BBQ pork is something you experience. For those of you willing to invest the time necessary to pull off this feat you will be handsomely rewarded with the best smokey, tender, and delicious BBQ pork ever, guaranteed. An average pork shoulder usually ranges from 4-6 pounds with the bone in and are commonly found at your local grocery store.
If you have a dedicated smoker then you are good to go. For those of you that don't, no need to worry. We used a Weber kettle grill using the snake method. This simple and convenient trick will allow you to smoke for hours on end with an easily controllable temperature. The snake method may require the addition of charcoal half way through the cook, however, we find it a perfect opportunity to inspect the cooking progress of the pork shoulder.
We add smoke by placing wood chunks along the charcoal snake so it ignites and burns as the charcoal does. For this recipe we used hickory chunks, however, you can substitute with mesquite chunks if you prefer a bolder taste or cherry chunks if you prefer a lighter smoke flavor. All three are different and equally good!
This may seem like a lot of work however that's not the case. This recipe took us 8 hours and 30 minutes of cook time. The Weber grill took 10 minutes to set up, a quick check in every 30-60 minutes, at the 4 hour mark another 5 minutes to add more charcoal and hickory chunks, and before we knew it, the smoke was done. The total amount of actual work was roughly 20 minutes so plan on 30 worst case. Most of the time is spent waiting which you can do whatever you like to pass the time.
Generously season the pork shoulder with salt, freshly ground black pepper, garlic powder, and paprika. Smoke the pork shoulder at approximately 250 °F with hickory chunks until the internal temperature reaches approximately 200 °F. The pork shoulder starts to break down at approximately 195 °F giving you that much desired pull apart consistency that will melt in your mouth with every bite.
A 4-6 pound pork shoulder will take on average 8-10 hours to complete or approximately 2 hours of cook time per pound of pork. We'll want to keep an eye on the pork shoulder as the cook progresses. We'll need to tend the charcoal and wood chunks throughout the cook to make sure we have plenty of fuel and the temperature is roughly where we want it to be. If the smoke is running hot then slightly close the top vent to reduce airflow. If the smoke is running cool, then open the vent to allow more air flow. Once your desired temperature is reached remove from the smoker and allow the pork shoulder to rest for 20 minutes.
This simple to make buttermilk recipe will yield about 10 homemade biscuits.
Preheat the oven to 450 °F.
Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together through a mesh strainer into a bowl. This prevents clumps forming during the mixing process and creates unified batter dough for the biscuits.
Place a grater box over a piece of parchment paper. Grate the frozen butter on the large holes of a box grater. When you get down to a small chunk of butter, cut it into 5-6 small pieces. It is important that the butter is frozen so that the biscuits rise in the oven.
Use the piece of parchment paper and transfer the butter to the bowl with dry ingredients. Use two butter knives to sift the butter into the flour mix and break up any clumps.
Make a small hole in the middle of the mixture and pour in the buttermilk. Beat the buttermilk in with a mixing spoon until the dough comes together and comes off the sides of the bowl.
Transfer the dough to a lightly floured working surface. Press the dough together into a 1-inch-think rough rectangle. Generously sprinkle the dough so it does not stick to the working surface. Fold the dough in half from top to bottom and pat it down into a rectangle. Repeat with the folding until you reach 8 folds total. At this point your dough should be a little springy and silky to the touch.
Shape the dough into a rough rectangle with a thickness of 1 inch. Use the ring cutter to cut the dough into 6 -7 biscuits. Refold the left over dough pieces and pat it down into a small rectangle and cut more biscuits as desired.
Arrange the biscuits in a 10-inch cast iron skillet. Place the biscuits so that they touch each other but not the sides of the pan. Put the cast iron skillet in the oven and increase the oven temperature to 5000 F.
Bake the biscuits for 14-17 minutes or until golden brown.
Remove the cast iron skillet from the oven and immediately remove the biscuits for the pan into a cooling rack.
Crafting the Sandwich
Once the pork shoulder has had ample time to rest gently pull apart into bite sized chunks. Grab a handful of BBQ pork and toss with a tablespoon of your favorite BBQ sauce.
Cut one of the freshly baked buttermilk biscuits in half and pile on the BBQ pork shoulder. Dress with a drizzle of BBQ sauce and if you prefer add some freshly made coleslaw. Serve and enjoy!
BBQ goes perfectly with big red wines! Try an Argentine Malbec or Australian Shiraz.
A 5 oz. serving of pulled pork averages 184 calories without sauce. BBQ sauce depending on your favorite brand adds approximately 52 calories per 2 tbsp. A buttermilk biscuit averages 170 calories. That gives you a grand total of roughly 406 calories per sandwich, which considering the amazing flavors, is pretty awesome.
Recommended Serving Size: 1 sandwich (Approximately 406 cal.)
Total Servings: Approximately 12
Below are a few of the items used to create the finished result. The curated items below and ingredients above have been carefully selected and represent what we believe to be the best balance between quality and cost.