Just because a dish is good, doesn’t mean it has to be hard to make. Today’s recipe is for the most tender and juicy pulled pork sandwich, one that’s not only full of good smoky flavors but is oh so easy to prepare. Once your seasoning is applied and allowed to set, this is basically a seven-hour, put-it-in-the-smoker and forget it production. Get ready for tender, smoky barbecue goodness.
Tip: I usually figure on 1/3 pound of meat per person, so take that into account when you buy your pork butt/shoulder.
Start With Seasonings
As we so often do, I start our dry rub with the Red River Ranch Original Seasoning, then add other spices like garlic powder, cumin, chili powder, onion powder, among others.
Now, are you ready for this? Get your mayonnaise and apply a thin coat to your meat, before you add the dry rub mixture. Place the roast in the icebox and leave it there for 12-14 hours.
Tip: The light coat of mayo not only helps hold the seasoning to the pork, but it creates a barrier that will keep moisture in the meat for a juicy final product.
Ready To Smoke
After the pork has been in the icebox for 12-14 hours, remove it and let it set at room temperature for a couple of hours before going to the smoker. This will help reduce your cooking time. I’m using our Pit Barrel smoker with a good hardwood lump that’s going to get white hot. Then I add chunks of apple wood and alder wood, along with mesquite chips, for a well-rounded smoky flavor.
Hang the pork in your smoker (250-260 degrees) and set your timer for three hours. Every hour we’re going to spritz the meat with apple juice, so for those of you keeping score, that’s a total of three times. After three hours hanging in the smoker, insert the temperature probe into the pork. We’re looking for the meat to be 165-170 degrees. If it’s there, take it out of the smoker.
Back To The Smoker
Once out of the smoker, place the roast onto aluminum foil and fold the edges up to create a “boat” around the meat. Pour in 1/2 can of ginger ale and 1/2 can of lemon lime soda. Fold the foil edges up and around the roast and add more foil to completely cover the meat, holding in the moisture from the soda. Place the roast back into the smoker (heated up to 270-275 degrees), on a rack, fat side down. Leave it in the smoker for a couple of hours, until the meat reaches 200 degrees.
Ring The Dinner Bell
Take that porker out of the smoker, put it in a large pan, then get to pulling it apart. This is probably the easiest part of an already easy recipe, because it will take no effort at all to pull this pork apart. It’s that tender. Put the pork on a bun and dress it with pickles and barbecue sauce. Any brand of sauce will do, but I like to add a little green chile chipotle relish for a little extra zing.
The pork butt I used was 10 pounds and it took a full seven hours to get it to the table. Cook time will vary with the size of the roast you use. You just need to make sure that after the first three hours in the smoker, your meat reaches 170 degrees; after it’s wrapped and returned to the smoker for a couple more hours, it needs to be at 270-275 degrees before serving.
Make plenty because family and friends will be coming back for seconds, and thirds, of this smoky, tender, juicy pulled pork sandwich.
Pulled Pork - Cowboy Kent Rollins
- 5 tablespoons Red River Ranch Original or your favorite blend
- 5 tablespoons smoked paprika
- 2 tablespoons coarse ground black pepper
- ½ tablespoon cumin
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- ½ tablespoon garlic powder
- 2 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 tablespoon dry mustard
- 9 to 10 pound pork butt or pork shoulder
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- Apple juice for coating
- ½ can lemon lime soda
- ½ can ginger ale soda
- In a small bowl, combine the Original seasoning, smoked paprika, black pepper, cumin, onion powder, garlic powder, chili powder and dry mustard.
- Coat the pork lightly with the mayonnaise. Generously rub the seasoning mixtures all over the pork. Place the pork in a large pan and cover with foil. Place in the fridge for at least 12 hours.
- Remove the pork from the fridge at least 1 ½ hours before cooking to let it come to room temperature.
- Meanwhile, preheat the smoker or grill to 250 degrees F. Add apple wood and mesquite chunks for flavor to the coals.
- Place or hang the pork in the smoker and cook for 3 to 4 hours or until internal temperature is 170 degrees F. Every hour generously spray the pork with the apple juice.
- Remove the pork from the smoker and place in a large foil pan or foil boat. Pour the lemon lime and ginger ale sodas around the pork. Tightly seal up the pork with tinfoil to seal in any moisture.
- Cook for 2 to 3 hours or until the temperature is 195 to 200 degrees F.
- Remove from the smoker, cover with foil and let the pork rest for about 15 minutes. Shred and serve.