Savanna Dry Cider Smoked Pulled Pork With Classic Coleslaw & Tangy BBQ Sauce
Pork shoulder (or pork butt as it’s called in the US) is one of those type of meats that is ideally suited for smoking. It is a thick cut of meat and cooking it “low & slow” over a period of 6+ hours will make it so juicy and tender that you will literally be able to pull it apart from the bone - that is where the term “pulled pork” comes from. This dish really is so versatile– you can either have slices of the shoulder on its own, which is fantastic, or you can pull the pork apart (pulled pork), mix it with your favourite BBQ sauce and enjoy it on fresh buns with some coleslaw to make pulled pork sliders or burgers. Pork shoulder is also generally a cheaper cut of meat and ideal for leftovers the next day, making it a good value buy as well.
Our recipe today will show you how to make the perfect smoked pulled pork and will leave your taste buds with a salty, sweet taste thanks to the mix of great ingredients and of course the Hero Smoker & Grill working its magic! Be sure to grab some cherry wood chunks as well and mix it in with your charcoal to further infuse the pork with a deliciously mild, sweet flavour.
Prep Time: 30 mins
Cook Time: 6 hours
Resting Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 7 hours 30mins
Ideal Internal Hero Smoker & Grill Temperature: 110 °C
Ideal Cooked Serving Temperature: 93 – 95°C
Recommend Cooking Method: Direct, with pork shoulder placed horizontally onto the cooking grate for the first part of the smoke and then wrapped for the last part of the cook.
Course: Main Dish
Servings: 4-8 people
Optional: Place 2 / 3 Cherry wood chunks or Apple wood chunks within your charcoals / briquettes to impart further flavour.
- 1 x Bone-in pork shoulder (2.7kg – 3.5kg – the bigger the better, trust us you will want leftovers)
- 6-8 x Large burger buns
- 2 x Tbsp Dijon mustard
- ½ x Savanna Dry Cider
- ¼ x Cup light brown sugar
- 2 x Tsp smoked paprika
- 1 x Tbsp ground sea salt
- 2 x Tsp garlic powder
- 2 x Tsp onion powder
- 2 x Tsp cracked black pepper
- 1 x Tsp ground mustard
- ½ x Tsp cayenne pepper
Tangy BBQ Sauce:
- 1 ½ x Cups tomato sauce
- ¾ x Cup apple juice
- ¾ x Cup Apple Cider Vinegar
- 3 x Tbsp tomato paste
- 1 ½ x Tbsp Molasses or Muscovado sugar
- 3 x Tbsp light brown sugar
- 1 x Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 1/2 x Tsp Mustard powder
- ¾ x Tsp hot sauce (Tabasco, Habanero Peri-Peri or Spicy Sriracha works great)
- 1 x Tsp fine sea salt
- ¾ x Cabbage, shredded
- 1 x Red onion, finely chopped
- 5 x Celery sticks, thinly sliced
- 2 x Tsp Caraway seeds
- 1 x Cup brown sugar
- 1 x Sunflower oil
- 1 x Cup white vinegar
- 1 x Tbsp sea salt
- ½ x Tsp black pepper
- 2 x Garlic cloves, finely chopped
Apple Cider Vinegar Spritz:
- 1 x Cup of Apple Cider Vinegar
- 1 x Cup water
- Spray bottle
- Light your Hero Smoker & Grill according to instructions.
- Preheat the Hero Smoker & Grill to a temperature of around 110°C.
- Rinse the pork shoulder and pat dry with kitchen towel on your Firesmiths Hardwood Chopping Block and then proceed to rub all over with the Dijon mustard.
- Mix the rub ingredients together in a small bowl and then season the pork all over making sure you covered all sides.
- Insert a Firesmiths Alarm Thermometer probe within the thickest part of the meat, near the middle of the pork shoulder (be careful not the press the tip of the probe against the bone) this will help you to monitor the temperature as the meat cooks and it will alert you as well once the targeted temperature is reached. Set the targeted temperature alarm to 72 °C. It should reach this temperature after roughly 4 hours, but that time can vary depending on outside weather conditions, the burn rate of your charcoal / briquettes as well as thickness of the meat. Do not worry though, pork is very forgiving and typically gets better the longer you slow cook it, so just keep on cooking until you reach the targeted temperature.
- Once the Hero Smoker & Grill is up to the recommended temperature, place the pork shoulder horizontally on top of the cooking grate.
- While waiting for the Pork shoulder to cook, start preparing the classic coleslaw, tangy BBQ sauce and Apple Cider spritz bottle (this will be used to spray the pork shoulder periodically as it cooks to keep it moist).
- Starting with classic coleslaw, mix all the ingredients (excluding the cabbage) into a large mixing bowl. Once mixed properly, add the shredded coleslaw and toss / mix until well coated. Once done, cover and place in the fridge.
- For the BBQ sauce, mix all the ingredients together in a medium mixing bowl and whisk together all the sauce ingredients until the sugar and salt dissolves. Once done cover and place in the fridge with the coleslaw.
- For the Apple Cider spritz, take a clean and empty spray bottle and pour in the ingredients. Shake and mix the contents in the bottle and put aside once done.
- At the 1-hour mark of your cook take the Apple Cider spritz and spray the pork shoulder. A few light sprays are fine. Don’t overdo it as you don’t want to rub to be washed off. Do this every hour until the end of the 4-hour cook.
- Once the pork reached 72 °C remove the pork shoulder as well as the Firesmiths alarm thermometer probe and place it between two stacks of heavy-duty foil. Roll up the edges of the foil, spritz it one last time with the Apple Cider Vinegar and then pour over ½ x Savanna Cider over the pork shoulder.
- Close-up the pork shoulder tightly with the foil and re-insert the Firesmiths Alarm Thermometer as previously instructed. Take care not to pierce the bottom part of the foil with the temperature probe to avoid any liquid draining out.
- Continue to cook until the pork reached 90 °C. Once temperature is reached, remove the pork, and place it inside a cooler box (if you don’t have a cooler box, the oven will do as well). Rest for 1-hour.
- You will probably want to dig in immediately but resist the urge – trust us it will be worth the wait!
- At this point take out the BBQ sauce and coleslaw out of the fridge leaving it to rest and get to room temperature.
- After the 1-hour mark, unwrap the pork shoulder and remove the bone (which should come out easily). Proceed to then shred / pull-apart the pork shoulder using large forks or gloves as it will still be quite hot.
- Discard any large chunks of fat and sinew and transfer the meat to a large serving bowl.
- Mix the meat with the BBQ sauce.
- Give the classic coleslaw one more toss and then serve on top of the fresh rolls.
- Enjoy and hope there is enough left for leftovers the next day!
- Pork in general is a very forgiving piece of meat. The longer it cooks the more tender and juicier the meat will be. Just stick to the temperature milestones as indicated and don’t worry if it takes you a bit longer. It won’t overcook. Remember that outside conditions, the type of charcoal you use, the thickness of the cut, your elevation and a lot of other factors can all affect cooking time. It’s therefore important that you use tools such as the Firesmiths alarm thermometer. You don’t want to spend the money and time to make this dish and then get it wrong.
- Pork shoulder on its own is just as a great. You can have it pulled or served as slices. Try both!
- Pulled pork (if there is anything left!) makes a fantastic leftover along with the coleslaw. So, don’t be shy and if you can afford it, to get a bigger cut as you will want to eat more the next day when all of the juices and BBQ sauce had time to further infuse the meat.
- This dish goes great with some potato salad as well.