Pork Shoulder (8 lb)
from the cryovac packaging and rinse under cool water. Pat the outside dry with paper towels and place in a large platter or pan.
For Carolina style barbecue coat the outside everywhere with a good layer of
Kosher Salt (to taste)
and let the pork butt hang out until you fire up the smoker.
Set your smoker to run in the 250 degrees F (120 degrees C) range for 8-10 hours. For fuel I start with a good base of charcoal and I use chunks of Hickory wood for the smoke. I add the Hickory to the coal as needed for the first 5 hours.
Once your pit has stabilized in the 250 degrees F (120 degrees C) range, add 2 chunks of the wood and place the pork butt Fat Side Up on the cooking grate. Close the lid and kick back for a while because good bbq takes time.
The fat will render down over the top of the butt as it cooks but in Carolina, the pitmasters also use a vinegar based sauce for extra moisture. Combine
Kosher Salt (2 Tbsp)
Crushed Red Pepper Flakes (2 Tbsp)
Finely Ground Black Pepper (1 Tbsp)
Apple Cider Vinegar (4 cups)
. Mix the ingredients together in a large bowl and let the sauce rest for at least 2 hours. Overnight is recommended.
Once the pork butt has smoked for 2 hours take a peak and see how the outside is looking. If it looks a little dry go ahead and mop or drizzle the top of the butt with the vinegar sauce. Repeat this process every couple of hours until the pork butt hits 200 degrees F (93 degrees C) internal. It will take in the neighborhood of 8-10 hours for the pork butt to fully cook but don’t rush it.
Once you can stick a meat thermometer in the thickest part of the butt away from the bone and it feel really soft, it’s done.
Remove the pork butt from the smoker and place on a platter. Don’t plan on tearing it apart right at this moment. Large cuts of meat need to rest for a few minutes, so cover the platter in aluminum foil and let it hang out on the table for 20-30 minutes. It won’t hurt to place it in a dry cooler with a couple old towels for up to 2-3 hours.
After the pork butt has rested, remove the blade bone and shred the meat by hand for a pulled texture or you can also chop it to a finer consistency like they do in Carolina joints.
Last but not least, finish off the pile of pork deliciousness with a good dose of the Vinegar Sauce. The acidity balances out the flavor of the pork and the peppers add just enough heat to let you know it’s there. Toss the pork a little by hand and get ready to eat. The only thing you need are some
Hamburger Buns (as needed)
Coleslaw Mix (to taste)