Oooohhhhh, to own a food truck! I could sell these babies! 😉 They’d sure beat the horrific food in this town hands down. Maybe someday…when I win a small lottery…well, no harm in dreaming! 😉 But these Barbecued Smoked Pulled Pork Shoulder sandwiches would knock their SOCKS off.
Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve had a serious crush on anything barbecued! Anything grilled! And now, I’ve fallen head over heels in love with my smoker! This was only just my second time using it, and I still can’t get over how easy it is to use. Had I only known, I would’ve wanted one years ago! I highly recommend getting one if you don’t already own one, and they have so many different kinds to choose from now it’s crazy! I won a gift card, so we went with a stand-up-style electric one that you just add water, wood chips, preheat, add what you’re cooking, set it and walk away! It’s basically as easy as using your oven!
My first time using this magical contraption was making Homemade Pastrami that came out insanely DIVINE. Every bit as good as Katz’s Deli in NYC! (At least that’s what my hubby said. I have trained him well. 😉 ) So I knew that I had my work cut out! Maybe not top it, but at least measure up to it!
So, rub first. I was a little bit worried about using brown sugar, afraid that it would burn so badly that it wouldn’t be edible, but after careful consideration, I couldn’t imagine coming up with a rub without it. So I decided to trust my instincts and just go for it. It was a good decision. 😉 I added all of the usual suspects, balancing sweetness with a little heat, and just a few surprises to add that “something extra” for depth and layers of flavors.
I prepped this roast the same way that I did the pastrami. I patted everything on, placed it onto one of the racks, (sprayed), that goes to my smoker, placed that onto a baking sheet and let it marinate overnight. Uncovered. Yes. Uncovered. Don’t worry, it won’t dry out. Plastic wrap will just make the rub stick to the plastic and turn it wet. We don’t want that.
The rest is just as easy! Slow-smoke until the internal temp reaches 203º for pulling, and you’re almost home!
While the pork was blanketed in a billowing cloud of heavenly mesquite, I knew that this. Was going to be good. Phenomenal more like it. And a serious homemade barbecue sauce was definitely going to be required! No bottled bbq sauce was touching THIS roast! 😉 And the Balsamic Espresso Coca Cola Barbecue Sauce that I created for this worked beautifully!
The pork all but fell apart on it’s own when it was done it was so tender! And it tasted so good, that I’m surprised that we were even hungry by the time it was all pulled and sandwiches were made! It’s hard to stay out of!!! Tender, juicy, flavorful, spicy, omg… just heavenly!! And looked every bit as gorgeous as some of those barbecue joints that Guy Fiery always gets to go to on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives! Deep, dark color on the crust on the outside, and succulent on the inside! I was so very happy with this!!
So if you’ve never tried smoking, you might want to finally take the plunge, too. My hubby said that my pulled pork has always been really good, but that these were the best sandwiches that I’ve ever made! That mesquite flavor that seeps in just really takes it over the top!! Nothing else will ever compare now!
Be sure to add this to your summer to-do list! Enjoy!!
Please click here for my VERY good Balsamic Espresso Coca Cola Barbecue Sauce to go along with. It paired perfectly!
- 2 (9-10 lb.) pork shoulder roasts (bone in), remove thick top layer of fat trimming down to ⅛" thick
- For Rub:
- 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
- 1½ Tbl. seasoned salt, I use Johnny's
- 1½ Tbl. regular table salt
- 3 Tbl. smoked sweet paprika
- 3 Tbl. Cajun seasoning such as Slap Ya Mama
- 3 Tbl. garlic powder
- 3 Tbl. onion powder
- 2 Tbl. chipotle powder
- 2 Tbl. coarse ground black pepper
- 1 tsp. instant espresso powder such as Medaglia D'Oro
- ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
- In medium bowl, mix together rub ingredients until very well mixed. (*Only make half a batch if smoking just one roast).
- Trim thick layer of fat from roasts leaving just an ⅛" layer of fat behind, and turn over to meaty side-up. Use half of the rub on tops and sides of roasts. Place rubbed side down onto sprayed racks that go to your smoker. Place racks onto baking sheets, and coat top (fatty) sides with rest of rub. Refrigerate, (uncovered), overnight if possible, or for at least a few hours.
- Fill your box with wood chips and fill water bin. We used mesquite and filled all the way full. Preheat your smoker, insert thermometers into each or at least one roast. Place into smoker, plug in probe if that's the way yours works, and smoke until internal temp reaches 203º for pulling. (Or 190º for slicing and a little less tender).
- Let rest for 15 minutes before pulling.
- *We served this on split, buttered and broiled rolls, piled high, and drizzled with my Balsamic Espresso Coca Cola Barbecue Sauce. Pure. Heaven. Enjoy!
**Make note that the amount of rub is for TWO pork shoulders. Cut recipe in half if not cooking for a crowd, or do not want any leftovers for the freezer. (Smoking time is the same of course). You can also go ahead and make the whole rub recipe, and save half in a tightly sealed jar or container *before using on pork (to ensure no cross contamination) to use for other meats so that you don't have to make more later. It's a VERY good rub.