Adapted from Kevin and Amanda’s Recipe
I have been wanting to get a smoker for a long time, but it’s hard to justify the price and space needed for one. This recipe is great because it has so much of that same smoked flavor, without needing a smoker. It is a bit time consuming as the brining and cooking take quite awhile. However, there is very little hands on time, so it is actually pretty easy to make. I certainly prefer this recipe to a slow cooker as I find that the slow cooker meat does not get the char on the outside or the smoky flavor. You do need to plan ahead by a few days to brine and cook. I buy my roast 3-4 days ahead of when it will be served.
Notes and Suggestions:
I highly suggest using 2 gallon Ziploc bags for brining the meat. This will keep the meat submerged in the brine. You can use any cut of pork shoulder or Boston butt. I prefer to get one without the bone, but the bone does offer quite a bit of flavor to the meat, particularly when slow roasted like this. For a large crowd (typically for our family gatherings we have between 15-25 people) I buy a 6-8 lb pork shoulder. You can certainly get a smaller one for a smaller crowd. We always have some leftovers, but that doesn’t ever bother us!
I like to serve this with my Cilantro Lime Cole Slaw. It has some creaminess, but it is lighter than a traditional cole slaw and the citrus really compliments the smokiness of the meat.
First, mix the dry rub ingredients together in a medium sized bowl. Store in an airtight container. Mix the Brine ingredients together. Place roast into a 2 gallon Ziploc bag and place in a large bowl. Pour brine solution over roast, seal bag and place in refrigerator for at least 24 hours. I like to put it in a bowl just in case the bag were to leak.
After brining, drain liquid, place roast onto roasting pan and pat dry with paper towels. This will help the dry rub to adhere.
Rub the remaining dry rub mix all over the roast. It’s best to really massage it in until the rub changes color and looks “wet”. Preheat your oven to 225 degrees F.
YES 225 degrees F. This is going to roast very low and very slow, and take a long time. If you have a digital meat thermometer with an alarm, this is a great chance to use it. For a large roast like this one, I plan on it taking about 18 hours. YES! I find it works best to get the roast ready for the oven after dinner the night before the event it will be served at, and put it in before I go to bed. It will still need some time to cook the following day, so budget your time (and oven space!!) accordingly. Also, be aware that some ovens are equipped to shut off after 12 hours for safety reasons. I highly suggest checking at 12 hours that your oven is still on.
Roast until the internal temperature reaches 200 degrees F. Turn off oven and let rest for two hours. If the pan looks dry, tent it with aluminum foil to keep in moisture.
Using two forks or meat shredders, shred the meat. If I am going to be serving it within a few hours of shredding, I like to put it directly into the crockpot on warm to keep warm and moist for easy serving! Otherwise, store in the refrigerator and put in the crockpot a few hours before serving.
To assemble the sandwiches, I like to use a Carolina mustard based BBQ sauce, but you can pick whatever floats your boat. The rub on this pork goes well with sweet, spicy, or mustard based sauces. If you like, feel free to place some pickles on top as well. Or put my Cilantro Lime Cole Slaw on top! I love to have a cornbread muffin with mine as well!
Pulled Pork SandwichesCourse: DinnerDifficulty: Easy
Tastes like it came from a smoker, but slow roasted in your oven
1 6-8 Lb Pork shoulder or Boston Butt Roast
24 White or Wheat Kaiser Dinner Rolls
- For Dry Rub:
1 TBSP Garlic Powder
1 TBSP Onion Powder
1 TBSP Dry Mustard
1 TBSP Chili Powder (Ancho Chili if available)
1 TBSP Cayenne Pepper
1 TBSP Salt
1 TBSP Ground Black Pepper
1/2 cup Brown Sugar
- For Brine:
1/2 cup Salt
1/2 cup Brown Sugar
3 TBSP Dry Rub Mix
2 Quarts Water
- Mix dry rub ingredients together and store in airtight container.
- Mix brine ingredients together in a large bowl.
- Place roast in a two gallon Ziploc container and pour brine ingredients over roast. Store in refrigerator for at least 24 hours, but not more than three days.
- Remove from refrigerator, discard brine, and place roast in a roasting pan. Pat roast dry with paper towels.
- Massage dry rub all over surface of roast.
- Preheat oven to 225 degrees F.
- Place roast in oven and roast until internal temperature reaches 200 degrees F. (Typically around 18 hours for a 6-8 lb roast).
- Turn off oven and allow roast to rest for two hours. If pan is dry, tent with aluminum foil to keep in moisture.
- With two forks pull pork apart and serve on white rolls.
- Choose your favorite BBQ sauce and pickles to dress up your sandwich!
- Or serve with Cole Slaw on top!