Eastern North Carolina Style Pulled Pork (BBQ)

Growing up in Southeastern North Carolina, when you say BBQ we think pulled pork with an apple cider vinegar sauce. I’m a bit of a BBQ snob (LOL) and have to say, I am partial to my BBQ over most restaurants I’ve tried. Most restaurants put way too much sauce on the meat. I prefer to taste the flavor of the meat; the sauce is simply supposed to enhance it, not drown it! Also, most restaurants add sugar to the sauce; no good for us on Low Carb/Keto!!

I’ve cooked BBQ in a crock pot, oven and smoker. By far, the smoker produces the best flavor… due to the smokiness of course. You can’t go wrong with smoked foods now can you? That being said, if you don’t own a smoker, use your oven. An oven won’t produce the smoky flavor but will produce good BBQ all the same. If you want the smoky flavor but do not have a smoker, add some wood chips to your grill (follow grill or wood chip instructions on this) and cook on low for about 4 hours and finish in the oven. The key is to keep the temp around 275.

BBQ is a labor of love and cannot be rushed. This is not something you can come home after work and expect to have ready in an hour or two (see tip below). The cooking process itself takes at least 10 hours. This is one of those plan ahead meals. BUT your patience will be rewarded.

On this occasion, the weather called for on and off showers all week. My smoker is electric and, unfortunately, I do not have a covered shelter (I have rigged up a shelter for it but on occasion but I won’t go there). I decided to smoke the meat for 4 hours on Saturday, refrigerate over-night and finish in the oven on Sunday. Of course, you could do the entire cooking process in the smoker or your oven, it’s up to you here. Remember, low and slow! I would also recommend brinning the meat. I did not brine the butt on this occasion due to logistical issues (I’ll post my brine procedure soon).

I hope that you enjoy this recipe. If you have questions, please leave me a comment.

Sir Mix Alot would be proud…

Tip: make enough to freeze. After it’s cooled, portion it and place in vacuum seal bags. Seal, label and freeze. It’s great left over!

Eastern North Carolina Style Pulled Pork (BBQ)
Print Recipe
Growing up in Southeastern North Carolina, when you say BBQ we think pulled pork with an apple cider vinegar sauce. I'm a bit of a BBQ snob (LOL) and have to say, I am partial to my BBQ over most restaurants I've tried. Most restaurants put way too much sauce on the meat. I prefer to taste the flavor of the meat; the sauce is simply supposed to enhance it, not drown it! Also, most restaurants add sugar to the sauce; no good for us on Low Carb/Keto!! 
Prep Time
1 Hour
Cook Time
12+ Hours
Prep Time
1 Hour
Cook Time
12+ Hours
Eastern North Carolina Style Pulled Pork (BBQ)
Print Recipe
Growing up in Southeastern North Carolina, when you say BBQ we think pulled pork with an apple cider vinegar sauce. I'm a bit of a BBQ snob (LOL) and have to say, I am partial to my BBQ over most restaurants I've tried. Most restaurants put way too much sauce on the meat. I prefer to taste the flavor of the meat; the sauce is simply supposed to enhance it, not drown it! Also, most restaurants add sugar to the sauce; no good for us on Low Carb/Keto!! 
Prep Time
1 Hour
Cook Time
12+ Hours
Prep Time
1 Hour
Cook Time
12+ Hours
Ingredients
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Heat Smoker or Oven to 275 Degrees. If using a smoker, go ahead and soak your wood chips. I used a mix of hickory and apple wood. Add the wood chips after about 10 minutes of smoking. DO NOT ADD WOOD CHIPS TO YOUR OVEN!!
  2. Cut 2 sheets of tin foil, about 1.5 feet long. Lay the sheets shinny side to shinny side and fold the ends a couple of times. You're basically making a large sheet.
  3. Lay the boston butt fat side down and coat liberally with the Butt Rub
  4. Flip over and coat the fatty side. Leave fat side up.
  5. Pull up sides of foil until closed. Then fold down the edges of the foil to expose the meat. You are basically making a tin-foil pan for the meat. You could use a tin foil pan and cover with foil later if you so choose.
  6. After your smoker (or oven) has reached 275, add your butts to the racks. I smoked a ham (top) and a boston butt (bottom). Close the door and walk away, no peaking!! Set a timer for 4 hours. If using a smoker: After 2 hours have passed, add more wood chips.
  7. After 4 hours of smoking, your meat should have a nice smoky flavor. In my case, I removed the meat, set on a baking sheet, wrapped the meat in foil and placed in the fridge over-night. If you have the time, continue cooking. I continued the butt the following day in the over due to rain. In total, this boston butt cooked at 275 for 12 hours.
  8. After 12 hours (or until the internal temperature reaches about 200 degrees) remove the meat from the smoker/oven and let it rest for about 10 minutes.
  9. Now it's time to shred the meat. The meat should be falling apart and off the bone. You'll need to work with "chunks" of meat instead of trying to shred the whole thing. I used these plastic bear claw thingys to shred the meat. It's hard to describe the process but i'll try... with one claw in each hand, use one claw to hold a chunk of the meat and the other to grab the meat and pull away. The meat should shred. I have also chopped the meat with a cleaver but prefer the shredding method. (comment with questions or if clarity is needed).
  10. After the meat is shredded, add the NC Style BBQ sauce to taste. I'm not a fan of overly sauced BBQ so again, to your taste. If I had to guess, I use about 1/4 cup. Salt to taste and add more butt rub if needed.
  11. Enjoy!
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