As we head into the 4th of July holiday weekend, there is no better way to celebrate Independence Day than with an All-American BBQ! At TEC Grills, we have found that a smoked pork butt is a great way to feed a crowd. A 6-pound cut of meat can make enough pulled pork to feed 15 people. And when it comes to ways to use the smoked, pulled pork, the sky is the limit.
While you can certainly cook the meat in your oven, you’re going to boost the flavor exponentially by smoking the pork butt on your TEC Grill. With our Infrared Smoker/Roaster accessory, you can easily smoke up to 4 butts on your 1-burner Patio or Sterling Patio model and up to 8 butts using the Gator Rack on the 2-burner grill. The infrared heat keeps the pork incredibly juicy.
When you’re choosing your cut of pork, you can use any large roast labeled pork butt, pork shoulder or Boston butt. They’re all the same cut of pork. We like to use pork butts because they have excellent marbling, which results in juicier pork and better flavor. And even though it is called the butt, this cut is actually from the front of the pig, at the shoulder. The key to cooking large, tough cuts of meat properly is to go with the adage “Low and Slow.” The shoulder is a heavily used muscle with lots of fat so you need a steady, low heat to break down the meat and fat until it is tender and succulent.
We would love to share our three favorite ways to use our smoked, pulled pork. But first, let’s talk about how to cook the meat!
The method is simple, as you can see below. Just remember to start early! The pork can take up to 8 hours depending on the size of the pork butt. The best way to tell if the pork is done is by taking the internal temperature with a meat thermometer. It will be tender, easy to pull apart and practically melt at your touch.
Smoked Pork Butt*
1. Preheat the grill with wood chips for 10 minutes on medium with the hood closed.
2. While the grill preheats, rub the meat with your favorite seasoning.
3. Place the pork butt on the smoker/roaster rack. Turn the heat down to low, and close the hood.
4. Smoke until the internal temperature of the meat reaches 195°-200°F.
*TEC Tip: to maximize the smoky flavor, replenish the wood chips while cooking. In our experience, pork pulls best when you remove it from the grill at 200°F.
Now you have a large portion of tender, smoky pork ready to eat. Here are three tasty ways to enjoy your slow-cooked meat.
Classic Pulled Pork Sandwiches:
Simply toss the smoked meat with your favorite BBQ sauce and serve on a sweet Hawaiian Roll. Where you put your slaw is a matter of personal preference – some like it on the sandwich, other prefer it on the side. We love this simple, vinegar based slaw. It’s got a tangy flavor that stands up to the sweetness of the bun. And best of all, no mayonnaise to worry about in the summer heat.
Pineapple Pulled Pork Tacos:
These tasty tacos transport you to the tropics. The combination of savory pork and sweet pineapple will guarantee a hit at your next cookout. Grill the corn tortillas and add the pulled pork along with Pico de Gallo, diced pineapple, cilantro, sliced avocado, and if you like to spice it up, sliced serrano peppers. Add a dollop of sour cream, and you’re good to go. We love to set up a taco bar with the toppings so each guest can build their own creation.
Pork Stuffed Sweet Potatoes:
Rethink the traditional stuffed baked potato with this Tex-mex version. Our baked sweet potatoes are stuffed with pulled pork (toss with your favorite BBQ sauce before stuffing) and black beans. Next, top with Monterey jack cheese and place under the broiler for a few minutes to melt the cheese. Top with parsley and serrano peppers if you like the heat!
What’s your favorite pulled pork recipe? Share with us in the comments!