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Home arrow Cookbook arrow Recipes
Categories Pork Carolina Style Pulled Pork - Brine and Rub(Brine & Rub)
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Carolina Style Pulled Pork - Brine and Rub(Brine & Rub)
Description:This process has resulted in pork butts that received rave reviews at three Eggtoberfests (2002-2003-2004). It requires a lot of preparation, but will produce some of the best pulled pork you have ever tasted.
• lb lb Boston Butt• tsp tsp Celery Seeds (RUB)
• Oz Oz Molasses (BRINE)• tsp tsp Garlic Powder (RUB)
• Oz Oz Pickling Salt (BRINE)• tsp tsp Dry Mustard (RUB)
• qt qt Bottled Water (BRINE)• tsp tsp Black Peppercorns (RUB)
• Tbs Tbs Mild Paprika (RUB)• tsp tsp Dehydrated Onion Flakes (RUB)
• Tbs Tbs Hot Paprika (• tsp tsp Kosher Salt (RUB)
• tsp tsp Firmly packed Light Brown Sugar (RUB)
Instructions:DAY 1

Mix the Molasses, Pickling Salt, and Bottled Water. Let them sit in the brine for 24 hours in either a refrigerator or cooler. If you are going to brine the butts in a cooler, replace half of the water with ice. Rinse off the Butts and put them in the brine.

Clean out the entire smoker. Take any partially burned pieces of wood from previous smoking sessions and set them aside. Remove the fire ring and firebox to make sure ALL of the ashes are out of the egg. Reassemble the egg (don't forget to make sure the hole in the bottom of the firebox ring lines up with the draft door on the egg) Open the bags of charcoal and separate the pieces of charcoal into the 3 large bins - Large, Medium, & Small (include the charcoal dust in the small bin). Stack the largest & longest pieces in the bottom of the egg so that there are lots of small gaps for oxygen to get in from the bottom. Keep building up using smaller and smaller pieces (including the pieces of partially used lump you pulled out of the smoker from your last session) until you are within approximately 1" of the top of the fire ring (your hickory chunks will need that room between the charcoal and the plate setter).

If you are using the Maverick ET-73 Redi Check Smoker thermometer to monitor the dome temperature, remove the clip from your BGE dial thermometer, but leave that thermometer in the Egg (you will use the dial thermometer prior to putting the butts on the egg).


Grind the celery seeds, peppercorns, onion flakes, and kosher salt into a powder with the spice/coffee grinder. Mix those ingredients with the rest of the rub ingredients.

Take the butts out of the brine and dry them off with paper towels. Pat the rub onto all six sides of the butt and any openings between the muscles. Shake off any excess (the excess rub can be used on the next butt.) Dispose of any left over rub. Wrap each butt in saran wrap and place in either a refrigerator or in a cooler with ice in sealed bags or dry ice (if using the same cooler that was used to brine the butts, drain the brine solution and dry it out before putting in the rubbed butts).

Pour 2-3 bottles of the beer into a large bowl or pail. Place about 10-15 chunks of hickory in the bowl (make sure they all fit below the top of the bowl/pail.) Fill in the gaps with several handfuls of hickory chips. Fill up the rest of the bowl with water and hold the wood under with a heavy plate or pan top. (the chunks and chips should soak for at least an hour or two before you put them on the fire. However, soaking them on the day before you intend to use them means that is one less thing to forget about!)


If you haven't already prepared your smoker or soaked your chips, do so now!

Start your BGE with either starter squares or, if you can find it, Greenheat gel. I start fires in four locations in the charcoal and usually get 2 or 3 to keep going. Open the draft door and take the cap off the top. (Cheating tip - if you don't have a BBGGuru forced air unit, get one of those cheap hand-held fans that use a AA battery and position it in front of the draft door. It will force air up through your charcoal stack and will get your fire going a lot faster.)

Once you see your dome temperature starts to move above 250, open the lid and make sure your fires have established themselves throughout the top of the stack. If they have, start placing the hickory chunks on top of the charcoal stack. Once they are placed, scatter the hickory chips over the top of the stack.

Place your plate setter, "legs" side up, on top of the fire ring (you might have to "tamp" down some of the hickory chunks a few times to get the plate setter to sit flat). Place the drip pan on top of the plate setter. Place your smoker grid on top of the legs of the plate setter.

Take the butts out of the cooler or refrigerator at this time. You want them to be as cold as possible before you put them on the egg. As they warm up, they will absorb the smoke flavor faster than if they start off at room temperature. Arrange 3 (2 for the medium egg) butts on the grid with the layer of fat on top (you want the fat to trickle over and through the butt as it melts!) (If you have a large egg, you can get 4 butts on the grid by placing them on their sides). Insert the meat probe from your remote thermometer into a meaty part of one the butts (you might have to fish around inside the butt to get around the bone).

If you are using the Maverick ET-73 Redi Check Smoker thermometer, replace the BGE dial thermometer with the Smoker probe. With either thermometer, make sure that the end of the probe is not sticking into one of the butts when you close the lid. If it does, rearrange the butts so there is a gap between the butts in the front middle portion of the grid.

Start adjusting the temperature of the egg. Move the draft door so that you have a gap of about ¼th of an inch. Close down the daisy wheel so that no smoke is coming out of the draft door or between the lid and the base of the egg. You want to bring the dome temperature to a range of 210 to 225. As you reach that range, move the draft door so that you have a gap of 1/8th inch opening and start closing down the daisy wheel. Once you have the temperature within that range, you will generally only use the daisy wheel to adjust your temperature. If the temperature starts to fall, open the daisy wheel to allow the smoker to pull more air through the egg. If the temperature starts to rise, close down the daisy wheel to slow down how much air can move through the egg (which in turn dampens the ability of the fire to pull more air from the draft door.).

The real work is done! Now the worrying begins! (just kidding!). If you are using the Maverick thermometer, make sure you set it to alert you if the smoker temperature goes below 200 degrees. Keep an eye on the smoker temperature for the next few hours to make sure the temperature is staying within your range and adjust the daisy wheel as necessary (try not to adjust both the daisy wheel and the draft door at the same time - it is extremely difficult to smoothly adjust temperatures if you adjust both simultaneously). Also keep an eye on the meat temperature. If the temperature starts to jump, move the probe to another location or another butt (the probe was probably in a pocket of fat which has melted and gotten hotter than the meat).

Notes:In order to make "pulled pork", you must pull apart the strands of meat (as opposed to slicing or chopping it). You can use your fingers or a pair of folks (place one in each hand and turn them inside out). The first step is to pull off a section of the butt. Pull the outer crust off and set it aside. This is called the "Bark" (as in the bark of a tree). It is very chewy and very intensely flavored (it contains the rub that did not soak into the meat and was directly exposed to the smoke). Next, scrape off and discard any remaining fat from the outside of the muscles. Finally, pull apart the meat using your fingers or the forks. Once you have a "mound" of meat, add vinegar sauce to taste. Note - I highly recommend adding vinegar sauce before serving the meat. It helps cut the greasy feel of the pork. Also, make sure to have a side of slaw available. (The recipe for the Vingear Sauce and slaw are in a separate posting).
Number Of Servings:Source:Alton Brown - Brine/Steven Raichlen - Rub & Vinega
Vegetarian:NoTime To Prepare:
Date:Tue 08 Mar 2005 18:24:08 UTCViewed:14204 times
Rating:3,38 (8 votes)

recipe rating
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SaltrodderComment added on: Mon 21 Dec 2009 18:14:08 UTC
As a newbie, I have to ask - How long does the meat cook once you reach the proper temperature? Or does the Smoker Thermometer determine this?
BIG TEXANComment added on: Sun 08 Aug 2010 20:18:07 UTC
I dont see how much these weighed as it says lb lb Boston butt? Sort the lump chacoal? Just build a big fire, get it going, put the wood on and adjust the temp to 225. Nine hours or so at 225 they will get 195 degrees and almost fall apart. IMO keep the drip pan full of water.
Naptown SmokerComment added on: Sat 11 Jun 2011 20:55:33 UTC
I desperately want to cook this, but the amounts for the ingredients are all messed up. Anyone know the proportions?
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