Prep Time: 30 min
Cook Time: 13 hours*
Smoker Temp: 225-235°F
Meat Finish Temp: 205°F
Recommended Wood: Cherry (To keep with the theme)
What You’ll Need
(1+) 6-8 lb. Pork Butt(s) (Boston Butt)
(2) 12 oz. cans of Cherry Dr Pepper (1.5 cans per butt*)
(1) 9×13 Disposable cake pan (about 2 inches deep)
*TECHNICAL NOTE: The pork butt normally shrinks by 40% during cooking which is great information if you are calculating how much meat to cook. i.e. an 8 lb. butt will yield just under 5 lbs of meat.
PREP (INJECT & RUB)
When ready to cook, start your smoker going at 225 degrees F and preheat, lid closed, for 10 to 15 minutes. While the grill gets up to temperature, remove the pork from the fridge and allow it to reach room temperature.
Once at room temperature, Inject a couple ounces of Cherry Dr. Pepper every 2 inches along the fat side of the pork but.
- When injecting, use a 45-degree angle to inject the meat.
I used a little more Cherry Dr Pepper to dampen the outside of the meat, which aids in helping the rub stick.
Once I moistened the outside of the meat, I poured about 1/2 bottle of Smoked Bros Cherry Blast Rub on the outside.
- Ensure that all sides of the but are coated nicely.
SMOKING ON A STANDARD CHARCOAL GRILL
1. For those of you that DO NOT own a smoker, you can still achieve amazing pulled pork form a charcoal grill. Smoking on a charcoal grill is easy to do, especially if you are already comfortable grilling with indirect heat. Begin by filling a chimney starter about one-third full of briquettes. When they are fully lit, pour all the charcoal on one side of the charcoal grate (if desired, use a charcoal basket, which holds the coals close together so they burn more slowly) and place a large disposable foil pan on the other side. Then, carefully add about 2 to 3 cups of water to the pan. The water in the pan is important because it helps to maintain a low cooking temperature. It also adds some moisture to the food, which in many cases will cook for hours and hours, so it could dry out otherwise. Allow 30 minutes to 1 hour for the coals to burn down to the correct temperature and the water to heat up. Next, drop damp wood chips or dry wood chunks directly onto the coals. Then place your food on top of the cooking grate over the water pan and cover your grill. Expect to add more coals every hour or so to maintain the heat. Maintaining constant temp at 225 degrees is critical, don't allow temperature to swing heavily.
2. Put the pork directly on your grill grate, fat-side DOWN, and cook for 3 hours, mopping with your reserved brine every hour after the first hour. *Fat-side up will wash way the bark as the fat cap melts down the butt.
3. After 3 hours, the pork is going to have taken on as much smoke flavor as it can, so it is time to turn up the heat! Transfer your roast to a large disposable aluminum foil pan and pour about 1 cup of the brine liquid in the bottom of the pan. Increase your grill temperature to 250 degrees F, and cook for 6 to 8 additional hours, or until an instant-read meat thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the meat (but not touching bone) registers 195 to 200 degrees F. If the pork starts to brown too much, you can cover it loosely with aluminum foil. I usually put foil on after the pork has been on for 6 hours or so, but that is personal preference.
4. Once your pork is up to temperature, remove it from the grill and carefully transfer it to a large cutting board or serving dish and let it rest for at least 20 minutes. Pour the juices from the bottom of the aluminum pan into a liquid measuring cup and separate any fat that rises to the top. Now it's time to pull the pork into lovely shreds. You can use your hands, Bear Paws, or whatever method you like discard the bone and any lumps of fat, including the cap. Season the pulled pork with additional rub (if desired) and moisten with the reserved pork juice.
5. Serve on King's Hawaiian buns, with bread and butter pickles with Dukes Carolina BBQ sauce, if you like! Freeze any leftovers in labeled gallon freezer bags. Will keep in the freezer for at least a month for your future use.