Instructables

Pulled pork on a Weber kettle grill

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Picture of Pulled pork on a Weber kettle grill
The best meal that takes a day to make and a few minutes to eat: pulled pork
 
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Step 1: The Grill

BBQ is low and slow cooking. Although most 'Qers make pulled pork on a smoker, the same results can be achieved on a kettle. In fact, the benefit of a kettle is that you can grill and BBQ. By grilling, you use direct heat directly under the meat. (Think: steak) With BBQ, you use indirect heat, which is more like using an oven.

Step 2: The Meat & The Rub

Picture of The Meat & The Rub

Pulled pork is made from a cut known as a Boston butt. The butt is the upper part of a pork shoulder. When shopping for a boston butt, be sure it is not boneless. The bone adds tremendously to the flavor of the pork.

The initial flavor for the pork is provided by the rub. The rub is a blend of spices that is worked into the pork prior to cooking. Rubs are like relatives, everyone has one. Here is one I sometime use:

2 Tbls Dark Brown Sugar
2 Tbls Sweet Paprika
1 Tsp Cumin
1 Tsp Garlic
1 Tsp Freshly Ground Pepper
1 Tsp Sea Salt
1/2 Tsp Ground Mustard
1/8 Tsp Celery Seed
1/2 Tsp Ancho Chili Powder

Mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl until well blended.

The rub can either be added right before the cook, or the night before. The choice is up to you.

Whatever you do, be sure to take the pork out of the fridge at least 30 minutes before cooking.

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I posted a few weeks back and tried my first smoke a few days later. I had issues lighting my charcoal to start but everything else went smoothly. But due to my setup, if I had to add fuel or smoking wood, I had to remove the grill grate each time(I left everything on the grate including the meat so I bet I looked silly). To avoid that this time, I am going to give the snake method a shot. Anyone have any tips for the snake method?

One tidbit I learned that may help others(sorry if it has been mentioned and I missed it):

If you are having trouble hitting 190 near the end, you can preheat your oven to 225-250 and bring the meat to temp there. All the smoking that can be done is already done so no worries there. Just cover the meat with foil first but be warned---your house will now smell of all that wonderful goodness while you wait! I will get pictures this time if I remember during crunch time!

Rowdee2 months ago

Excellent. Im from California and living in Brazil. I am a cook and Im working on a fish taco biz here rite now. I want to incorporate BBQ pulled pork sandwihes in to my menu and I bought a Weber to start on till I can build a proper big smoker. This is an excellent article and method. I can see that it would really work. Thank you.

mnlang (author)  Rowdee2 months ago

That is awesome! Pulled pork on "anything" is fabulous. Sounds like you have a great plan. I'm glad I could help!

LouisK12 months ago

I'd add that getting a good digital thermometer is a huge help. NEVER trust the one built into the grill! I bought a Maverick which has a remote unit so I can monitor meat and grill temp from inside if I need to. Watching football, making pulled pork at the same time!

mnlang (author)  LouisK12 months ago

That is a great point! Multitasking was never so much fun!!

I am confused. How many charcoal brick-ettes are used? I seem to have read two different numbers and am a stickler for details, especially since this will be my first smoke and possibly for a dinner gathering. This is a great guide though. I will definitely be using it in a week or so!

mnlang (author)  ApacheRosePea00.2 months ago

Hi! No worries and thanks! You probably read this:

Place approximately 90 unlit coals to one side of your grill, or two piles of 45 coals to both sides.

Place approximately 20 coals in your charcoal chimney and light the chimney.

In essence, you will use 90 unlit coals and then later top that with 20 lit coals. How you organize the unlit coals in the kettle is up to you. Good luck!

Smoking in Astoria Queens.

Just set up my weber kettle to slow smoke a large pork shoulder. I cut off the skin leaving some fat on the meat, seasoned with my own light brown sugar Paprika rub, skin and joint and let them sit for an hour at room temperature while tinkering with the temperature of the grill. One side foil pan with water the other Royal Oak real wood charcoal. The smoke turned blue and the apple chips filled up my backyard with a foresty smokey aroma. The upstairs neighbor shouted out the window,'What are you cooking? It stinks!' She has always been a firm believer of using her mouth as a weapon. Not wanting to encourage her I trundled the kettle down an alley where the smoke moved in a different direction. Got the heat right again and popped the meat on the grill. I laid the seasoned skin on top so that the fat would baste the joint. When the meat hits the right temperature I will wrap in foil and let it sit. Add a few more chips a couple of oiled slices of eggplant and the skin on the grill and let that cook while the meat sits... Yum

My wife is going to use the smokey eggplant to make Baba Ghanoush

mnlang (author)  peter.lester.942 months ago

Wow, that all sounds great! Too bad your neighbor didn't know the magic you were creating!!

mspritzer4 months ago

My weber 22.5 inch does not have a temp gauge. What is the best way to measure temp?

I usually put an old fashioned meat thermometer through the top vent with a little foil wrapped around the probe to block the breeze around it. Also you can get the meat temperature by threading the cable of a digital thermometer through the vent and sticking the probe into the meat. The digital readout sitting outside nearb so there's no need to lift the lid.

mnlang (author)  mspritzer4 months ago
How about a digital thermometer where the probe is connected by a steel cable? If so I like to run the probe through a potato that has been cut in half. The potato is then set on the grate near the meat and measures the internal temperature of the grill via the cable hooked up to the thermometer.

Now I have to wait.

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lcagle4 months ago
Thanks for the info and so easy to follow along. This was my first time cooking pulled pork. When it was done the bone pulled right out. And the meat just fell apart it was yummy!! Now we're going for round two.
lcagle4 months ago
Thanks for the info and so easy to follow along. This was my first time cooking pulled pork. When it was done the bone pulled right out. And the meat just fell apart it was yummy!! Now we're going for round two.
danzo3215 months ago

90 briquets?! How big is your Weber??

mnlang (author)  danzo3215 months ago
Ha! Yup, 90! It's a standard 22.5 inch kettle. You need a good load of fuel to get through the cook.
I've been using weber grills for years and if I were to use 20 briquettes on each side as you suggest the temp would be 300 to 350..i usuall use 14 each side and add 6 every 45 mins
about
mnlang (author)  barcoblanton1 year ago
You are completely right if it was 20 a side, but it is 20 total, with only 10 each side. Although since I've posted this, I've moved to two zones with all the charcoal to one side. About 5 hours in, I rotate the pork and if necessary, add a few more coals to finish out the cook. Cheers!
hsides11 year ago
Sure did :) took another hour and a half but it turned out great! Love that rub recipe
hsides11 year ago
It's probably a little too late to ask now as I'm almost done but obviously for a smaller piece of meat it won't take as long? I'm 5 hours in and hitting 170 but just cooking a small picknick roast.
mnlang (author)  hsides11 year ago
Yes, if it is a smaller cut, it won't take as long. However, BBQ will "stall" around the 170 mark for several hours. So even though the internal temp will rise fast, it will plateau and only climb slowly until it's done. I hope it turned out great!
TheWilly171 year ago
This method was a huge success! It was the best PP I have ever made. I will be using this method on a Beef Brisket next week, thanks for posting this for everyone to share.
mnlang (author)  TheWilly171 year ago
That is so awesome, I'm glad it worked out!
TheWilly171 year ago
Ok, I'm trying this method. I am 45 min in and my grill surface is 260°, wish me luck the rest of the way.
TracesDad1 year ago
I started Smoking because of this Instructable. I used the dry rub recipe on the first butt i smoked and got more complements than anything. Here we are now 4 years later and i am going back to your method. i will not say that i have mastered anything but i have become very efficient with a smoker. I am planning on lighting up tomorrow morning for Father's Day weekend and I have to say that i am very happy i found this Instructable again. I will be following this to the T !!!! thank you for posting this!
mnlang (author)  TracesDad1 year ago
That is so awesome, thanks for letting me know! For more grilling tips, be sure to check out my site: AnotherPintPlease.com!
EricCable1 year ago
I am three hours into my cook and it's not looking good. I followed the instructions exactly (45 pieces of charcoal on each side, light 20 pieces and split between the two sides) and it never got above 180 (vent on bottom open, on top closed)

Any suggestions would be appreciated, but probably too late to save this chunk of meat.
mnlang (author)  EricCable1 year ago
All hope is not lost. Crack the to vent to get some air flowing. The temperature should rise. The meat is still cooking at 180, just slower. Increase the air moving through the grill and you should be fine. Good luck!
Cracking the top vent helped. Unfortunately, I had piled so much fuel on the grill the temp shot up to over 300. The good news was, it was done at the original finish time, but cooked a little fast.

I did like your rub recipe.

It will work better next time. Thanks
damocl1 year ago
Great guide , thank you
mnlang (author)  damocl1 year ago
Thanks, glad you liked it!
dmoskowitz1 year ago
Another brilliant guide! Might I recommend Bear Paws for said pulling (though these are a different brand, they are on Amazon Prime): http://amzn.com/B00ALH3LH6
mnlang (author)  dmoskowitz1 year ago
Thanks...and yes, those work great! I've used them once before, but have yet to order a pair for myself.
Quick-tune1 year ago
Yuk! what IS that stuff? do you actually eat it? it looks like there's been an RTA!
dpark20002 years ago
Thanks for the tutorial. Very informative. I've made pulled pork at 275 deg on the gas grill. I'm curious if you have tried a a slightly higher temp? Also, what size of Boston Butt did you use?

Missourian2 years ago
Well done.
cimz3 years ago
I used this instructable to make pulled pork yesterday. Thank you so much for posting! It definitely made the entire process much easier. Thanks!
mnlang (author)  cimz3 years ago
Thanks and awesome, that's great! I'm glad you had success!
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