North Carolina Pulled Pork BBQ by Ethan Stone

05/21/2010 11:51



Serves 8 to 12.

1 5-8lb Pork butt or shoulder (often labeled Boston butt) with bone in.


Spice Rub and Pork



tablespoons paprika


tablespoons ground black pepper


tablespoons brown sugar

1 to 1.5

tablespoon table salt


Tablespoon garlic powder


cups soaked wood chips

Lexington BBQ Sauce



cup water


cup cider vinegar


cup ketchup


tablespoon sugar


teaspoon table salt


teaspoon ground black pepper



teaspoon red pepper flakes



1. For the spice rub and pork: Mix all them spices together in a bowl… there is no exact science to a good rub…I change mine almost every time I make BBQ. Take that mixture, and rub it into your pork butt… if I catch your just sprinkling it on there… you’ll be in trouble! You’ve really got to rub that stuff into the meat… after all, it is called a rub isn’t it?! Then your roast may be wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerated for up to 1 day… but no less then 1 hour.

2. Soak wood chips in bowl of water to cover for 15 minutes. For your grill, you’ll need to set it up correctly to make it a smoker… if you are using a charcoal grill, open bottom grill vents and then light large chimney starter filled halfway with charcoal briquettes and burn until charcoal is covered with fine gray ash. Pour coals into pile on one side of grill and scatter wood chips over coals. Set cooking grate in place, cover, and let grill heat up. If you are using a propane grill, then make a foil pouch filled with about half the soaked wood chips… then poke a few holes in it to release the smoke. Place it between the grates of the grill and the heating element… in about the middle of the grill. Then fire up only one side of the grill to about medium low. In either case, you’ll want to generate an internal temperature of the grill of about 225 degrees (plus or minus about 15).

3. Set your butt down (pork butt that is!) on cooler side of grill. Cover, positioning half-open lid vents directly over meat (if you have them), and cook until meat has dark, rosy crust and charcoal is spent, about 2-3 hours. If needed add more soaked wood chips to the fire!

4. Once you’ve got about 3 hours of smoke on your butt, take it off the grill… put it in a roasting pan and cover it with foil. Hopefully at this point you’ve pre-read this recipe and have pre-heated your oven to about 350 degrees… stick your butt in that oven and let her roast for another three to four hours minimum! Some BBQ heads say the right way to tell if pork butt is done is by taking the internal temperature… if it reads 190... They say it’s done. I disagree, I only say my butt is cooked when I can pull out that bone in the shoulder with little to no resistance.. Remove from oven and rest, still wrapped in foil, for 30 minutes.

5. For the sauce: This sauce is LEXINGTON STYLE… not Kansas City, not Memphis… not California God forbid! This is a very tangy, very thin… and sometimes spicy sauce… meant to compliment the meat… not overpower the meat. Here’s what I do… in a medium sauce pan on the stove over low heat….whisk together all ingredients until sugar and salt are dissolved. Then set aside till you are through with the meat.

6. The final product! Using your hands, pull pork into thin shreds, discarding fat if desired. For the true Carolina Chopped pulled pork sandwhich… you’ll want to then take that pulled meat and cleaver the daylights out of it! That’s the chopped part!! Use your meat cleave and a large cutting board… and whack away until the meat is in small marble sized chuncks! Then toss the pork with 1/2 cup vinegar sauce and serve the remaining sauce at table.


To make the proper LEXINTON STYLE BBQ SANDWHICH… get a white bun… put your meat on it… then drizzle it with that thin BBQ sauce you made… then take a heaping table spoon of slaw (recipe below) and stick it on top… close the bun and enjoy! FYI- This type of BBQ is best served with hushpuppies and sweet tea… mmmm good! “Nuthin could be fine-a - then BBQ from Carolina!”

Lexington Style BBQ Slaw

1 lb green cabbage

1 Red Bell Pepper
4 tbsp ketchup
3 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp cider vinegar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes

Finely chop or hand grate cabbage and finely chop that Red Pepper. Whisk together other ingredients and pour over cabbage. Stir to coat, and chill, covered in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes -- preferably longer to allow flavors to blend.