Saturday, June 21, 2008

Memphis Style Pulled Pork

When I moved away from Memphis, finding real BBQ became a challenge. I stopped in a little roadside BBQ and ordered a chopped smoked pork shoulder sandwich, and they didn't have a clue what I was talking about. "You ain't from 'round here, are ya'?" said an old Gabby Hayes type seated at a picnic table near the counter. Well, I guess I gave myself away. This recipe reminds me of what we used to get at Top's BBQ back in Memphis - only better.


2 TBS Memphis Style dry rub *
4-6 lb Boston Butt pork roast
1 batch of Bobbie's BBQ Sauce


Rub roast well with dry rub. And allow roast to come to room temperature. Rub can be applied night before if desired.

Build fire on the grill. I do mine on a Weber, but use whatever you have. But whatever you use, you must be able to maintain a low temperature and arrange for indirect smoking. I use a method similar to this one. Have plenty of hickory chunks on hand (or chips, if you can't find chunks). My cooking grate has the hinged ends to make it easy to flip up and add fuel without disturbing the meat.

Bank the fire on the far side of the Weber, and position the drip pan on the near side. Place roast over the drip pan (with a bit of water in the drip pan). Sometimes, I put a can of water directly over the fire to maintain humidity in the cooker.

Cover grill so that the upper vents are opposite the fire. Adjust upper vents wide open and lower vents half open. Check every 30 minutes or so, adjusting the lower vents as needed to balance temperature at around 225-250 F. Once the heat has balanced out, you can relax a bit and check less frequently. Add hickory chunks or chips now and then as smoke diminishes.

It takes about 1.5 hours per pound to achieve the desired tenderness. Be patient. You might turn the roasts around every couple of hours if desired to evenly expose all sides to the hot side of the grill.

Continue cooking at 225-250 until interior temperature of meat reaches 180 for at least an hour. Remove from smoker and wrap in foil. Allow to rest for 30 minutes or until cool enough to "work" with either fingers or dinner forks.

[If it's getting late, and you just can't tend to the fire any more, you can move the meat to a crock pot or to a slow oven for finishing out. Here's an account of how I did just that.]

Pull the pork into shreds, and drizzle with BBQ sauce to moisten (several tablespoons - use the reserve at the table).

Serve on toasted hamburger buns with extra sauce and mayo if desired. Top with Memphis Style Cole Slaw. Get down with your bad self!

* We use Chef Paul's Salt Free Magic Seasoning since we're limiting our sodium intake. There are plenty of dry rub recipes out there. Here's an example.
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Nate J said...

Your BBQ pork recipe succeeded in making my mouth water and making me crave it ASAP. Unfortunately, it is past 10:30PM where I am right now!

Maybe I'll buy a small charcoal grill for a 4th of July weekend BBQ... I only have a gas grill currently and I don;t think it really would do BBQ pork justice.

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