Texas Style Pulled Pork

Texas Style Pulled Pork

Texas Style Pulled Pork

I call this recipe “Texas Style Pulled Pork” because it reminds me of the way brisket and spare ribs are cooked in the Lone Star State.

For Texas Style Pulled Pork, it’s all about simple ingredients – Meat, Salt, Black Pepper and Post Oak Smoke.

Pork cooked this way takes on a delicious flavor and I love it because you can taste the actual meat. In Texas Post Oak is used as the primary fuel source and it gives the meat a pleasant, smoky profile.  It can be strong like hickory but the flavor is true barbecue.

Texas Style Pulled Pork

Stick burner pits rule in Texas, but you can cook Texas Style Pulled Pork on any bbq pit.  I’m using my Big Green Egg running B&B Lump charcoal.  I scattered 5-6 chunks of good seasoned post oak over the hot coals and let the pit come up to 275⁰.

The pork butt gets seasoned with a 50:50 blend of Morton’s Corse Kosher Salt and Tone’s Restaurant Ground Black Pepper (both can be found at Sams club).  Then it goes on the Egg fat side down for 4-5 hours until a good bark forms.

Texas Style Pulled Pork

I don’t bother with probing the butt at this point because it’s all about the bark.  When it looks right it’s time to wrap the butt to get it tender.

Instead of using the Texas Crutch (aluminum foil), I go with peach butcher paper.

Butcher paper is used in barbecue to preserve the bark. It turns out a little firmer in the paper where aluminum foil steams the bark causing it to be mushy.

Once the butt is wrapped place it back on the pit and stick a meat probe into the center of it.  Set the alarm for 198 degrees and kick back and have a cold one. This is where a Probe Thermometer comes in really handy. I used a Thermoworks DOT for this pork butt. You can check them out here>>

It’ll take several more hours for the butt to reach target temp and when it does it needs a good rest. I have a dry cooler on hand and just sit the butt right down inside it. Close the lid and come back after a couple hours.

Texas Style Pulled Pork

When you’re ready to serve the Texas Style Pulled Pork, remove it from the cooler and unwrap the butcher paper.

It’ll still be hot so wear hand protection (cotton Hand Saver gloves under a pair of nitrile gloves), and shred the butt by hand.

Texas Style Pulled Pork

The bark is absolute best part.  The Salt & Pepper create a savory, crusty bark and the post oak flavor is just right.

Texas Style Pulled Pork

Texas Style Pulled Pork is great for sandwiches, tacos, nachos, or just eating plain with some sliced sweet onion and pickled jalapeños, but don’t forget the white bread!

Texas Style Pulled Pork

Also sauce is completely up to you; in Texas it’s frowned upon, but I say enjoy however you want!

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Texas Style Pulled Pork

Ingredients

  • 8lb Pork Butt
  • ¼ cup Corse Ground Kosher Salt
  • ¼ cup Corse Ground Black Pepper

Instructions

  1. Prepare Smoker for indirect cooking at 275⁰ using chunks of Post Oak added to the hot coals for smoke flavor.
  2. Combine the Kosher Salt and Black Pepper in a small mason jar.
  3. Season the outside of the Pork Butt with a good dose of the salt & pepper seasoning on all sides.
  4. Place the Pork Butt on the smoker and cook for 4-5 hours or until internal temperature reaches 165-170 degrees.
  5. Wrap the Pork Butt in peach butcher paper and return to the smoker.
  6. Monitor the internal temperature with a probe thermometer inserted into the center of the pork butt. Final target temperature should be 198-200⁰.
  7. Rest the Pork Butt in a dry cooler for at least 1 hour before serving. To Serve: remove the blade bone and shred the pork butt by hand.

Malcom Reed
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Texas Style Pulled Pork

Comments 31

  1. Malcom is my BBQ hero. He is a great host, and I can follow his instructions. I have a pellet grill, kettle grill, and Big Green Egg. With this equipment, I have been able to do almost everything he has shown. In fact, I followed Malcom’s tips to purchase my Green Mountain Pellet Grill.
    This Boston Butt recipe is straight forward and outstanding.
    My family loves his smoked spatchcock herb chicken. So good, and so easy.

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      1. I recently moved to Texas and want to do your Texas Style Pulled Pork. I’m going to order some butcher paper from Amazon, What width of butcher paper would you recommend…18”, 24”, etc.?

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  2. I am new to a pellet grill, I have the Yoder 480. Taking time to adjust from charcoal. I have been trying your recipes and have enjoyed them all.
    This time I tried the Texas Style Pulled Pork. It turned out great. The only problem mine took 10 hours at 285 to reach 198. I guess my charcoal cooked hotter than I thought.
    Tonight I am trying the Smoked Party Wings. I will start them early.

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  3. Did this recipe on my ceramic smoker. I used a picnic instead of butt. Couple of observations, and I’d love some input.

    First, I figured it would be a little drier than going TX crutch. It was a little, but not too dry by any means.

    Second, the flavor was fantastic. And more surprisingly, it seemed to be throughout the meat, not just isolated to surface. It seems to me that on normal smokes, getting some meat from deep inside the shoulder, there’s not too much going on besides just a good pork flavor. This one seemed to be flavored completely through.

    Would these differences have to do with it being a picnic? Butcher paper? Simpler rub? I did coat it pretty well with less ingredients, so the concentration of salt and pepper would be greater. What’s thoughts on Boston Butt vs picnics? I generally smoke butts, however, this may steer me toward picnics more often.

    Malcom, thanks for the videos! Great info, fun to watch, and family-friendly. Kudos!

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      Really the picnic and the butt have about the same fat content and same types of muscles – so they really yield very similar. You just had a good product to start with and had a good cook.

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  4. Are there any combinations of wood varieties that can mimic post oak? Living in CA with all the restrictions we live under, even if I knew anyone in TX I imagine we could be in deep trouble by sending it into the state.
    We have several types of oak here plus I burn almond in the winter for heat and we have manzanita on our property. Although it ( manzanita) burns very hot, I’m not sure about any toxic properties it may have for smoking food – have to look that up before I try it, but it sure cleans the soot out of a chimney.

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    2. I don’t know where you are Lynne, but the supplier I use in OC has post oak. They deliver also. Just look up the Woodshed in Orange.

  5. Gas grills can do it all. Trust me, I make a smoker pouch and set the heat and make all of these recipes. More times than not the grill doesnt matter, except I paid a ton less!

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  6. Would it be possible to cook this a day before and then heat it up? I’m cooking a Sunday lunch for about 70 people and would love to get my cooking done on Saturday so that I can prep my other items on Sunday. Also planning on using your smoked chicken with blue cheese slaw recipe! Also I’ve got a pellet smoker, hoping I can get enough smoke to make it good.

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      I always cook it fully and go ahead pull the pork butt. This is where you can taste it and add a little more rub or BBQ sauce. Then place it in a ziplock bag and store in the fridge overnight. Then the next day remove it from the fridge, place it in a metal pan and cover it with saranh wrap and them foil. then you can reheat the pork in the oven or on the smoker around 250 – takes about 45 minutes to reheat.

  7. I’m surprised there is no injection used with this method. Does the pork dry out at all? I’m using a mastebuilt electric smoker and have tried a few rubs. Really looking forward to the simplicity of this. Meat n heat!

  8. I’m surprised there’s no injection with this method, does the pork stay moist? I’ve tried many runs but never able to get a bark in an electric smoker so looking forward to trying this!

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  9. Malcolm,

    This is late notice, but tips with smoking 4 pork shoulders at once? 3 are the same size and one much larger (nearly twice the size). All in, it’s a little over 32lbs.

    Thanks
    Chad

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      Give yourself plenty of time to cook this much meat – especially if your cooker is loaded down and the airflow is a little restricted. As they get done, wrap them in foil and place them in a dry cooler. They can hang out there for 5-6 hours no problem. Holding will be your friends for this cook.

  10. Hi, Malcolm! Tried this one the other day with an 8 lb Boston butt…I think this will be my “Go to” pulled pork recipe from now on! So simple and delicious! I did change a few things about the recipe, though: one, I added garlic powder to the rub, which technically makes it Santa Maria-style (Santa Maria is my hometown, btw); two, I injected the butt the night before the cook with a simple apple juice / cider vinegar-based injection; three, I used hickory instead of oak, simply because I had some on-hand. Soooo good! I think with the addition of some packed brown sugar and maybe a bit of cayenne for added bite, this would also be great for ribs! Will definitely do again.

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