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Pulled Pork on the Big Green Egg

Pulled pork is one of the cornerstones of BBQ. Luckily, it's also one of the easiest things to do. There are some variations on the ingredients in pulled pork but the most important one is patience.  Remember BBQ is cooked low and slow and it's done when it's done.

Here's how I prepare pulled pork:

  • Start with a whole pork butt.  Sometimes you'll find these called Boston Butt, bone in butt, etc. and they typically run 6-8lbs.
  • Slather the entire butt with cheap yellow mustard.  Not dijon, not Grey Poupon, not spicey; just simple yellow mustard.   You won't taste this and it really just serves to bind the rub to the meat.
  • Liberally apply the rub of your choice.  There are a couple of commercially available rubs that I like.  If you don't already have a favorite, I'd recommend Dizzy Pig's Dizzy Dust or Bad Byron's Butt Rub.  Personally, I can't tell much difference in doing this much in advance of starting your pit, but I'll leave that up to you.
  • 20081216_0250_smallFire up your pit for indirect cooking with a drip pan and get your temperature settled in to about 250 degrees.  I leave the drip pan empty.  To me, it's just for catching the drippings.  Note:  if you're using a cooker with a water pan, then I'd add water to the pan.
  • Put your butt on and settle in for a long cook.  I use 1.5 hrs per lb. as an estimate for planning purposes only.  At the end of the day, every cooker is going to cook a little different and so will each piece of meat.  Remember, the meat is done when it's done.  Cook by internal temp of the meat, not the clock.
  • 20090104_0337_smallAfter 4-5 hrs, your butt should be close to 160 degrees internal temperature.  It's in this range, +/- 10 degrees that the internal temperature of the meat will plateau.  Once it plateaus, it can stay there for several more hours.  It's in this plateau that the magic is happening.  The connective tissues are breaking down and the fat is rendering from the meat.  Keep feeding the fire (if needed) and be patient.  While pork is edible at 160 degrees, it ain't done.
  • Once the meat breaks the plateau, the temperature will begin to rise again.  Once it hits 195 degrees internal temperature, it's done.  Wrap it in foil and let it rest for at least an hour.
  • When you're ready to eat (and who wouldn't be by now?), unwrap the butt and it should easily pull apart.  I like to use a couple of forks for pulling the meat apart.  I also discard the bone and any excess fat during this process.
  • Serve it up on cheap white hamburger buns and provide some BBQ sauce as a condiment.
  • Enjoy!

So get out there and get cooking, but remember patience is required to get through that plateau.  Hang in there, the results are worth it.


Reader Comments (16)

i liked your pointers on the plateau. I'm a rookie at bbq/smoking and trying to learn the ropes. I'm doing a beef rib roast this weekend.....any tips or good recipes?


January 9, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMikeofAle


I'd just use a little garlic, salt and pepper on a rib roast. You don't want to cover up the tast of the beef. Be sure not to over smoke it. I'd go with a fruitwood of some sort like apple or cheery. But go easy.

Be sure to keep an eye on the internal temp of the meat and pull it off the cooker about 5 degrees lower than your target. Then cover it loosely with foil and let it rest. The temp should continue to rise ~5 degress or so and the juices will redistribute. You'll love it!

Thanks for the comment,

January 9, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterbraddog

Thank you, will do. I'll let you know how it turns out!


January 9, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMikeofAle

Hey Mike, take a picture...we like BBQ porn!

January 9, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDobroD

Rubber Rib Roast.......
Alright, so my first attempt of throwing a rib roast on smoker fell short of my expectation. I followed your advise of flavoring the meat and not over smoking....the part i didn't strictly adhere to was keeping an eye on the internal temp of the meat and thus not able to get the meat off 5 degree below my target temp (135).
So here's my blunder: I had a 5-6lb rib roast (w/ bones 10-12 intact). I followed someone's rule of thumb of 25-30 minutes per pound at a cooking temp of 325 - 350. So, based on my weight, I figured this thing is going to be cooking for 2.5 to 3 hrs, minimum! I tried to avoid being the rookie I am and "just let it cook" and not peaking or lifting the lid to get an internal temp(regretfully). At the 2 hour mark, I heard the fat dripping and decide to take a look at the internal temp.......150!! I yanked it off the rack and very loosely wrapped in foil as I didn't want the temp creeping any higher during my 30 minute rest before slicing. After the rest, I sliced it which wasn't as easy as the rib roast I've done in the oven before. And the medium rare pink was nowhere to be found.....this thing was overdone! The flavor was amazing......but it was slightly on the rubbery side :( I saved it the best I could by throwing some of the fat from the exterior seasoned portion and a beef bullion cube to make a watery gravy to drizzle on top.
I guess one of the only good things of this cook was keeping a solid cooking temp of 330 for the duration of the cook in 10 degree weather.
I'm picking up another one tomorrow.......i can't be defeated, i'm gonna get this thing right, as the rib roast is one of my favorite cuts of meat!
Thanks again,

January 15, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMikeofAle

The best part about BBQing is that you get to eat your mistakes!

Hang in there,

January 16, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterbraddog

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[...] Pulled Pork on the Big Green Egg GrillandBarrel com Posted by root 19 hours ago ( Pulled pork is one of the cornerstones of bbq luckily it also one of the easiest things to comment by mikeofale on january 9 2009 11 06 am so based on my weight i figured this thing is going to be cooking for 2 5 to 3 hrs minimum powered by wordpress midd Discuss  |  Bury |  News | pulled pork on the big green egg grillandbarrel com [...]

Interesting to use mustard as a binder. I'm going to try that next time. I recently got a Big Green Egg and have been having a lot of fun with it.

June 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterNinette

Congrats on the BGE! It will absolutely change the way you eat!


June 7, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterbraddog

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thanks nice post.

August 29, 2009 | Unregistered Commentergoogle ceviri

Nice work. Going to the store now to buy one and cook it. I'm also needing a smaller grill so I can keep the plate setter underneath the butt while cooking. Thinking I may need to invent one as this gigawidget doesn't exist yet.

September 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterThomas

interesting post, thanks. check back soon

September 14, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterbillisill
Ok, so I have my first pork shoulder outside happily smoking away at about 215 on my brand new BGE. Some recipes call for basting with cider every hour or so during the last few hours ... but this seems to contradict the "keep the lid closed" advice. What do you think?
Thx in advance
August 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGreg
If you're lookin' (or bastin' with cider), you ain't cookin'. Skip the baste, keep the lid closed, and resist the urge to peek. Be patient and let that butt/shoulder get to 195 degrees. It'll be worth it.

August 11, 2010 | Registered CommenterBraddog
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