Basic Pulled Pork

Recipe courtesy of Wicked Good Barbecue

Serves a crowd


Basic Pulled Pork

  • 1 8-pound bone-in pork but
  • 1 cup IQUE Dry Rub (recipe follows)
  • ½ cup Pork Marinade Sauce (recipe follows)

IQUE Dry Rub

  • 1 cup (150 g) turbinado sugar ¾ cup (225 g) kosher salt
  • ½ cup (56 g) high-quality paprika (we like Spanish paprika)
  • 6 tablespoons (45 g) chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons (12 g) cumin seeds, freshly ground
  • 4 teaspoons (6.8 g) mixed peppercorns, freshly ground
  • 4 teaspoons (12 g) garlic granules
  •  teaspoons (7.2 g) onion granules
  • 2 teaspoons (9.2 g) MSG (or Accent), optional
  • 1 teaspoon (2.6 g) chipotle powder

IQUE Pork Marinade Sauce

  • 1 cup white grape juice
  • ½ cup cider vinegar
  • ½ cup packed light brown sugar
  • ¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
  • ¾ cup IQUE BBQ Sauce (Recipe follows)

IQUE Barbecue Sauce

  • 4 cups (600 g) packed brown sugar
  • 1 ½ cups (355 ml) cider vinegar
  • ½ cup (120 ml) Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon (4.8 g) dried thyme
  • 1 tablespoon (1.6 g) ground mustard
  • 1 tablespoon (9 g) garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon (7 g) ground cumin
  • 1 ½ teaspoons (3 g) Szechuan peppercorns,* freshly ground
  • 1 ½ teaspoons (3 g) long peppercorns,* freshly ground
  • 1½ teaspoons (3.9 g) chipotle powder or cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon (6.3 g) tomato powder,** optional
  • ½ tablespoon (3 g) hickory powder,** optional
  • 4 cups (946 ml) ketchup
  • ½ cup (120 ml) light corn syrup
  • 2 tablespoons (15 g) IQUE Dry Rub

Basic Pulled Pork

Basic Pulled Pork

Click image to enlarge


Basic Pulled Pork

This recipe makes more pulled pork than you will need for the BBQ Gravy Fries, but consider it a bonus. The pork freezes well, and you can use it for loads of differ­ent dishes. We like to stir it into a finished pot of greens or beans, add it to omelets, load it onto baked potatoes, and make pulled pork nachos or enchiladas. You're really limited only by your imagination. You might want to freeze it in a few smallish portions, so you can pull it out and defrost just the amount you will need for what­ever you are making.

Rinse the pork butt, but do not trim any of the fat. Generously apply IQUE Dry Rub all over meat, wrap tightly in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 4 to 6 hours.

Unwrap the pork butt and let sit at room temperature for up to an hour.

Prepare smoker and heat to 250°F. Place pork butt on the smoker, fat-side up, close the lid, and crack a beer. Smoke pork for 6 hours, or until the internal temperature reaches 175° F. Flip the butt fat-side down. Smoke until internal temperature registers 195°F (90°C), about 2 more hours. If the pork is not done after 2 hours, wrap tightly in aluminum foil until it reaches 195°F (90°C). It is helpful at this stage to monitor the internal temperature with a probe thermometer.

Remove pork from smoker and place into a pan fat-side up. Pour the marinade over the pork, tent with foil, and let it rest for 1 hour. Pull pork into large, thumb-sized chunks, mixing the meat with the accumulated juices in the pan. Serve imme­diately or refrigerate, wrapped, for up to 3 days.

 IQUE Dry Rub (makes about 3 cups)

Turbinado is raw sugar with coarse, blond-colored crystals. It has a light, molasses flavor. It is essential in this rub because it doesn't burn as easily as white or brown sugar.

We like to use mixed peppercorns-white, black, pink, and green-because they add complex fla­vors, hitting different points on your tongue as you eat. Also, look for fresh chili powder, such as Gebhardt's, and paprika, which have superior flavor. They can be difficult to find at traditional grocery stores. We order ours online, but if there is a good spice shop in your neighborhood, that is another option.

Place all ingredients in a spice blender and pulse until it becomes a fine powder. Refrigerate in an airtight container. This rub will keep indefinitely, but try to use within 1 month to ensure freshest flavor.

IQUE Pork Marinade

In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring all ingredients to a simmer. Use immediately or let cool and refrigerate.

IQUE Barbecue Sauce (makes about 2 quarts)

We like to start our sauce base with a mixture known as a gastrique — basically a sugar and vinegar reduction.

It's a great way to infuse additional flavors into a sauce while maintaining a fresh, bright quality. Often, we find a long-cooking barbecue sauce can mute some of the complexity that various dry spices bring to the party. This sauce comes together in about an hour and will keep in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.

In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, make the gastrique by bringing the brown sugar, cider vinegar, and Worcestershire sauce to a gentle boil. Remove from heat and add the thyme, mustard, garlic pow­der, cumin, ground Szechuan peppercorns, ground long peppercorns, chipotle powder, and tomato powder and hickory powder, if using. Let sit for 15 minutes. Stir in ketchup and corn syrup, return to stove, and simmer over low heat for 30 minutes. Remove from heat and add IQUE Dry Rub. Let cool and store in refrigerator, preferably in squeeze bottles, for up to 1 month.



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