Best Pulled Pork (Adapted from Kevin and Amanda)

Best Pulled Pork
(Adapted from Kevin and Amanda)

1 (5-8 lb) whole Boston Butt or pork shoulder (bone-in with a layer of fat on the bottom)

Buns for serving

BBQ sauce (if desired)

Sliced pickles (if desired)

Dry Rub

1 TBSP ground cumin

1 TBSP garlic powder

1 TBSP onion powder

1 TBSP chili powder

1 TBSP cayenne pepper

1 TBSP salt

1 TBSP black pepper

1 TBSP paprika

1/2 cup brown sugar

Brine Solution

1/2 cup salt

 1/2 cup brown sugar

 2 quarts cold water

 2 bay leaves

 3 TBSP dry rub mix

Dry Mix

Mix dry ingredients together and store in an airtight container.

Brine Solution

Add salt to cold water and stir well until all the salt is dissolved.

Then add the brown sugar, dry rub, and bay leaves, and stir well.

Pork Preparation

Rinse the pork and place in a large container ( I used a JUMBO ziplock baggie).

Pour in the brine solution until the pork is completely covered.

Cover the container and place in the refrigerator for at least 12 hours.

After at least 12 hours, remove pork shoulder from brine solution, pat dry with paper towels, place in baking pan that is bigger than the shoulder by at least a inch in length and width and at least 3 inches deep. Sprinkle the rest of the dry rub onto the surface of the shoulder and massage in such that it adheres to the surface. Coat all sides.

*Make sure the fat layer on the shoulder is facing up before cooking. Place baking pan uncovered in a 225 degree F oven on the middle rack. Insert a probe thermometer into the center or thickest part of the shoulder, but not touching the bone. Monitor the temperature throughout cooking (a digital thermometer with an alarm function is the easiest way to do this). Do not remove from the oven until the center of the shoulder reaches 200 degrees. This process should take at least 12 hours.

When the shoulder has reached 200 degrees, shut off the oven and let the roast cool for a couple of hours before removing from the oven when it reaches 170 degrees. If the bottom of the pan is dry (or crusted with dried spices) then cover the pan with foil to retain internal moisture of the meat during the cooling period. When the temperature drops to 170 degrees or slightly lower, remove from oven.

Place on a large, clean work surface such as a cutting board, and remove the large sheet of crusted fat on the top.

Pull apart with two forks, it will pull apart very easily. And I dare you not to eat half of the pork while you’re cutting it up! It’s ridiculously good!

Serve on toasted buns with pickles and BBQ sauce if desired.


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