Barbecued Pulled Pork on a Charcoal Grill

From America's Test Kitchen Season 6: Pulled Pork and Cornbread

Why this recipe works:

While developing an accessible pulled pork recipe, we determined that the shoulder roast, which has the most fat, also retains the most moisture and flavor during a long slow cook. For flavor, we massaged a spicy chili rub into the meat, wrapped the roast in plastic, and refrigerated it for at… read more

While developing an accessible pulled pork recipe, we determined that the shoulder roast, which has the most fat, also retains the most moisture and flavor during a long slow cook. For flavor, we massaged a spicy chili rub into the meat, wrapped the roast in plastic, and refrigerated it for at least three hours to "marinate." Next we cooked the roast first on the grill to absorb its smoky flavor (from hickory chips—no smoker required), then put it in the oven to finish cooking (largely unattended). Finally, a rest in a paper bag allowed the flavorful juices to be reabsorbed by the meat. As a final step towards the best and easiest pulled pork recipe, we developed three barbecue sauce recipes from North Carolina and South Carolina.

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Serves 8

Pulled pork can be made with a fresh ham or picnic roast, although our preference is for Boston butt. Preparing pulled pork requires little effort, but lots of time. Plan on 10 hours from start to finish: 3 hours with the spice rub, 1 hour to come to room temperature, 3 hours on the grill, 2 hours in the oven, and 1 hour to rest. Wood chunks help flavor the meat; hickory is the traditional choice with pork. Serve the pulled pork on plain white bread or warmed buns with the classic accompaniments of dill pickle chips and coleslaw. You will need a disposable aluminum roasting pan that measures about 10 inches by 8 inches as well as heavy-duty aluminum foil and a brown paper grocery bag.

Ingredients

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