Creating incredible low and slow smoked pulled pork is a neat magic trick that a Primo pulls off with ease. Here is an easy method we have used dozens of times that turns a cheap cut of pork shoulder (pork butt, boston butt) into something quite special. Our most requested recipe, it demonstrates the virtues of owning a Primo. What you’ll need:
- 1 to 6 Pork Shoulders, 8 to 10 lbs each
- Sufficient rub, 1 to 2 cups per cut
- Sufficient brine/marinade to submerge the meat
- About 40 hours
Brining/marinading the meat doesn’t involve much work, just the ability to plan your meal about 40 hours in advance. Salt is the crucial component of any brine – from there the flavor is up to you. For ease of use, we typically use a combination of Goya’s Mojo Criollo (garlic, onion, citrus flavors) and a salt brine (ratio of 1/2 cup salt per gallon- add hot water to salt to dissolve- cool with ice, being conscious the ice dilutes the water volume). How much of each will depend on how much meat you have and the size container you are using so it is sufficiently submerged.
Submerge the pork in brine and put in the fridge for 24 hours or so. Small coolers and ice work well too if doing 4 cuts.
Before you pull the meat out of the brine, prepare your Primo for smoking. Here is a look at the “money muscle” of the brined cut. Always look for good marbling here when selecting your butts.
Rub it well.
Smoke at 225 using about 4-5 cups of an apple/hickory chip combination and a couple chunks of hickory. Smoke until the internal temperature is 195 to 200. A thermapen is helpful tool to check the temps of different muscles. This may take 10-16 hours, depending on the amount you are smoking. As you stabilize the grill to temp, we’ve found closing the bottom vent to about 1/8 to 1/4 inch at 170 (top vent open 1/4 inch or so) will allow the grill to ease into 225. It will cruise along from there!
Here’s how you can expect it to look when it has reached temperature. Don’t worry, it’s not burnt or dry! If you are ready to serve let it rest for at least 30 minutes or so before you pull. If not you can wrap it in foil then a towel, put it in a cooler, and it will keep warm for hours.
When ready to pull, reward yourself as the chef by starting with the “money muscle” for a taste- it will naturally come apart.
Finish the job of pulling the pork while it’s still hot. We don’t recommend “shredding” it- pull apart in natural pieces by hand getting rid of any unwanted fat or anything less than a “perfect bite.” We’ve found disposable aluminum half sheet pans are just about the perfect size to hold the pulled pork per cut. After pulling you can put the pan back on the Primo to keep warm at around 200 until ready to serve. We also recommend sprinkling another 1/4 cup or so of the rub in the pan and maybe even some butter. Your favorite bbq sauce is optional but it won’t need it.
Using two extension racks the Primo Oval XL 400 can smoke 6 shoulders at a time- if they were smaller you could even fit 8 at a time!
Pulled Pork App with Spicy Crema, Pickled Red Onion, and Cilantro on Tortilla Chip. One bite taco action.