The meat used here is a pork shoulder roast; any butt roast will do. I cut way back on the salt; I didn’t use as much as is noted here. I also did one rack of St. Louis-cut ribs this way. Both turned out much better than Alton’s braising method—in my humble opinion.
I’ve learned some things about the cut of meat. Picnic roasts and Boston butts are the best. Nevertheless, do not purchase a roast merely on account of the name. If the roast as packaged is boneless or trussed (bound with twine or a net), don’t buy it. The connective tissue and fat has been removed and the end result will be dry and less tasty.
This Q is most excellent for taking to work. You start 24 hours before, marinate the roast until you get home from work, dry off, sit it in the rub for a couple of hours, then smoke it for 3-5 hours and into the crock pot on 300° with a temperature probe and alarm inserted. When the alarm goes off (this usually happens betwee 5 and 6 in the morning for me), turn it way down or off and go back to bed. Get up, turn it off if you haven’t, go shower and dress, etc., then pull the pork, make the sauce, put the pork back into the crock pot, bottle up the sauce and go to work picking up a bag of buns on the way. Around 11, plug the crock pot into an outlet in your conference room and announce the joy to shouts of glee.
|12 oz||pickling salt|
|(I use a gallon zip-lock bag.)|
|1 tsp||fennel (whole and ground)|
|1 tsp||coriander (whole and ground)|
|1 tsp||cumin (whole and ground)|
|1 tbsp||chili powder|
|1 tbsp||onion powder|
|(I add some fresh-ground black pepper and garlic powder too.)|
|200-210° in smoker|
|Refresh wood 3 times|
|Alternate method for non-purists: smoke for 2-5 hours, wrap in foil and place in oven at 300° for 3-4 hours, or overnight in a slow cooker (crock pot). This is what I do because there’s too much risk of drying out the roast and it’s too much work for no return (in my experience). But then, I live in Utah and not the Deep South where I’d risk lynching with such an attitude. People here love my pulled pork.|
|1 hour rest in heavy foil or in the crock pot|
|Pull with two forks into nice thumb-sized chunks: do not shred into a furball|
|Served with optional barbecue sauce. I’ve made a sauce out of the drippings from the crock pot, enriched with molasses and tomato paste, then reduced a bit. Sometimes I just buy some sauce from the local Smokehouse Restaurant.|