I had been having trouble with my smoker and maintaining the heat in it while cooking. One of the suggestions I had gotten was to cook with lava rock on the heating element, and so I set out to Grill Works in Marion to pick up some lava rock and because I had read that I might not want to put the lava rock onto the heating element itself and damage the heating element, I ended up adjusting and turning the heating element upside down. This resulted in not getting as much smoke and while the temperature stayed constant, it didn’t seem to heat as much as I would have liked it to heat. Next time, I’ll likely try putting less lava rock with the heating element facing the correct direction.
Nonetheless, this recipe from Food and Wine 2009 tasted delicious. I was so glad to bring it into work to share with others and then continue to eat. I even considered adding it to a pizza, but didn’t end up making the pizza.
Carolina-Style Pulled Pork
1/4 c dark brown sugar
2 Tbsp sweet paprika
2 Tbsp chile powder
1 Tbsp dry mustard
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
7 1/2 lb bone-in pork shoulder, skin removed and thick layer of fat scored
3/4 c cider vinegar
1/4 c yellow mustard
2 Tbsp honey
In a bowl, mix the brown sugar with the paprika, chile powder, dry mustard and 2 Tsp each of salt and black pepper; rub the spice mixture all over the pork. Refrigerate the pork, covered, overnight.
Light a grill (smoker). Set a drip pan in the center of the grill bottom and surround with a single layer of lit coals. Place the pork fat side up on the grill over the drip pan. Cover and cook for about 8 hours, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted in thickest part registers 175 degrees. Replenish with a layer of lit coals every hour as needed to maintain a steady temperature of 200 to 250 degrees inside the grill. Transfer the pork to a rimmed baking sheet and cover loosely with foil. Let rest 30 minutes.
In a bowl, whisk the vinegar, mustard, honey, and 2 teaspoons of pepper. Pull the pork from the bone in large shreds. Add the pork to the mustard sauce and toss. Season with salt and serve with the buns.