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updated: 11/19/2013 9:50 AM

Pulled Pork Sandwiches

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  • Cook of the Week Kevin Thomas' pulled pork sandwich.

      Cook of the Week Kevin Thomas' pulled pork sandwich.
    Courtesy of Kevin Thomas

 

1 Boston butt, 7 to 9 pounds

Injection

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cup apple juice

cup beer

cup sugar

cup salt

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

Rub

cup brown sugar

cup sugar

cup paprika

1/3 cup garlic salt

1/3 cup kosher salt

1 tablespoon chili powder

1 teaspoon oregano

teaspoon cayenne pepper

teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon coarse black pepper

teaspoon dry mustard powder

Extra-virgin olive oil

Mop

cup beer (or water)

cup apple juice

Mix all injection ingredients until dissolved. Using a meat injector, inject pork all over with mix. Pat dry.

For the rub: In a medium bowl, mix the sugar, salt and spices until well combined. Rub a light coat of extra-virgin olive oil over the pork; this allows the rub to stick better. Generously sprinkle the rub over the pork and massage it into the meat. Allow pork to sit overnight covered in refrigerator. Remove from the fridge at least an hour prior to cooking.

For the mop: Mix beer and cider in a spray bottle.

Bring grill or preferably a smoker to about 225 degrees. This temperature should go no lower than 215 degrees and no higher than 275 degrees; 225-250 degrees is ideal. I use briquettes (some prefer lump charcoal) and about three chunks (not chips) of apple and cherry and one chunk of hickory. I do not soak my spice wood.

Place the pork on the smoker with fattiest side up. No need to turn or flip. Spritz lightly once an hour with the mop. Don't spray so much that the rub comes off. Monitor the internal temp of pork until it reaches 195 degrees. This will take anywhere from 12 to 15 hours depending on smoker temperature, wind and outside temperature.

Remove pork from the smoker; wrap it in foil and towels to keep the temperature up and let rest about 1 hour. The internal temperature should hit 200-205 degrees, but it is done and delicious at 195. Remove from wrap and shred. This should give you about 5 pounds of meat.

Serve on a plain hamburger bun with slaw, fries, baked beans, etc. Some folks dribble a little barbecue sauce on top of the pulled pork.

Serves 20.

Cook's note: If you like a little kick, add teaspoon more cumin, cayenne and chili powder to the rub. The pork can be frozen, preferably vacuum sealed. Reheat in a slow cooker with a little apple juice, water and beer. If vacuum sealed, simmer sealed bag in a pot of water until heated through.

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