Pulled Pork Sandwiches

  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 6 hr 45 min
  • Prep: 45 min
  • Cook: 6 hr
  • Yield: 12 sandwiches
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Ingredients

For the Pork:

6 tablespoons paprika

3 tablespoons granulated sugar

Scant tablespoon onion powder

Kosher salt and coarsely ground pepper

1 10-to-12-pound boneless pork shoulder or Boston butt, rinsed and dried

12 soft hamburger buns, split

Coleslaw, for serving

For the Barbecue Sauce:

2 cups ketchup

1/4 cup packed light brown sugar

1/4 cup granulated sugar

Freshly ground pepper

1 1/2 teaspoons onion powder

1 1/2 teaspoons dry mustard

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

2 tablespoons light corn syrup

Directions

  1. If using a gas grill, preheat to high on one side; put soaked wood chips in a smoker box. Once smoking, reduce the heat to maintain a temperature of 275 degrees F and cook the pork, covered, on the cooler side of the grill.
  2. Rub the pork
  3. Make the Neelys' go-to barbecue seasoning: Mix the paprika, sugar and onion powder in a bowl. Transfer 3 tablespoons seasoning to a separate bowl, add 2 tablespoons salt and 3 tablespoons pepper, and massage onto the pork. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 2 hours or up to 1 day. (Reserve the remaining barbecue seasoning.)
  4. Prepare the wood chips: Soak 6 cups wood chips in water, about 15 minutes, then drain. Don't oversoak, or the wood will snuff out the fire.
  5. Light the grill: Fill a smoker or kettle grill with charcoal and light. (Pat uses lighter fluid; you can also use a chimney starter.) When the coals are mostly white, spread them out with tongs. Spread 1/2 cup of the wood chips over the coals (use 1 cup for a kettle grill). The temperature of the grill should be about 275 degrees F.
  6. Cook the pork: Place the pork fat-side down on a rack in the smoker or on the grill. Cover and cook, rotating the pork every hour or so, until a thermometer inserted into the center registers 165 degrees F, about 6 hours total.
  7. Feed the grill: As the pork cooks, add more charcoal and wood chips to keep the temperature between 250 degrees F and 275 degrees F and to maintain the smoke level.
  8. Make the sauce: Meanwhile, mix the ketchup, 1 cup water, both sugars, 1 1/2 teaspoons pepper, the onion and mustard powders, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, vinegar, corn syrup and 1 tablespoon of the reserved barbecue seasoning in a saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil, stirring, then reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, at least 2 hours. Let cool, then reheat on the grill when ready to use.
  9. Shred the pork: Transfer the pork to a rimmed baking sheet (you'll want to catch all the flavorful juices) and let stand until cool enough to handle. Shred into bite-size pieces, pile on a platter and pour any juices from the baking sheet on top.
  10. Make the sandwiches: Mound the pork on bun bottoms, paint with a little barbecue sauce, top with slaw and cover with the bun tops. The best sandwich ever!
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