Let's Digress

Bourbon Brown Sugar Pulled Pork Recipe

This recipe originally came from HeyGrillHey.com and I tweaked it to suit my needs. I’ve made this more times than I can remember and it has consistently been a crowd pleaser. 

What you’ll need: 

-Bone-in pork shoulder

-Preferred dry rub (I’m a fan of Bearded Butchers Bold Blend, formerly called the Brock Lesnar Blend I believe)

Mop sauce: 

-1 1/2 cups of cheap (or your preferred) bourbon

-1/2 cup of apple cider vinegar

-1/2 cup of brown sugar (light or dark)

-1 tablespoon of crushed red pepper flakes if you’re mildly adventurous

-1 tablespoon of whatever dry rub you rubbed on your shoulder

Note: This usually takes 10-12 hours from start to finish depending on shoulder size, ambient temperature, and how impatient I’m feeling. I have also included images at the bottom for motivation and emotional support.

What to do: 

  1. Preheat smoker to 225°
  2. Liberally cover the pork shoulder in your preferred dry rub. You don’t actually need a binder like some people say, just aggressively cover that butt in seasoning. 
  3. Put the newly-covered butt on the smoker.
  4. Make the mop sauce
    1. Mix the mop sauce ingredients into a pot and bring it to a boil.
    2. Congratulations, you’ve made the secret sauce.
  5. Let the shoulder smoke for a couple of hours. After some bark has started to build, mop it with the secret sauce every hour-ish.
  6. After about 6 or 7 hours of this, move it to a disposable aluminum pan and dump the remaining secret sauce over it and cover it tightly with aluminum foil. 
    • 6 or 7 hours is a guess; generally you can wait until the internal temperature reaches 165° or when the shoulder has built up enough bark for your liking.
  7. Bump the smoker temperature to 250° and leave it alone for another 4 or 6 hours. You’ll know it’s done when the internal temperature reaches 201-206° or when probing the butt feels like stabbing soft butter. 
  8. Remove it from the smoker and let it rest for 30-45 minutes. After that, remove the bone (which should slide right out) and shred that puppy. 
  9. Congratulations, you’ve successfully created a BBQ masterpiece and have further advanced your American heritage.

Bonus content if you want an additional pork adventure in your life: 

Fire up a propane griddle top or cast iron skillet, dunk a corn tortilla in the leftover juice, place it on the griddle, add some of the newly-pulled pork and your preferred cheese, and quesadilla it like there’s no tomorrow. 

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