Pull it, smoke it, roast it, grill it, fry it - no matter how you prepare it, if it's pork, we want to eat it. Occasionally we like to vary from our standard irresistibly moist Pulled Pork recipe. With a brown sugar, Dr. Pepper and chipotle chile pepper sauce, this Sweet Barbacoa Pulled Pork definitely makes the "Must Traeger" list.
SWEET BARBACOA PULLED PORK
PREP TIME: 5 minute, plus brine overnight
COOK TIME: 8 hours
SERVES: 8 to 10
RECOMMENDED PELLETS: Apple or Hickory
1 bone-in pork shoulder roast (5 to 7 lbs)
2 cups apple juice in food-safe bottle
1 liter of Dr. Pepper
1/2 cup salt
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
2 cups water
1 can Dr. Pepper
1 can of green chilies
1 can red enchilada sauce
1/2 cup of brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon chipotle chile pepper
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
Combine the brine ingredients in a large bowl and stir until the brown sugar and salt are dissolved. Put the pork into the brine and make sure that it is submerged. (You may need to weigh down the pork.)
Leave the pork in the brine for at least 24 hours.
The next day, when ready to cook, start the Traeger grill on Smoke with the lid open until the fire is established (4 to 5 minutes).
Take the pork shoulder out of the brine and set it directly on the grill grate, fat-side up. Allow it to smoke for 3 hours, spraying it with apple juice every hour.
Meanwhile whisk together the ingredients for the sauce in a bowl and set aside.
After smoking it for 3 hours, turn the temperature up to 250 degrees F and roast for an additional 5 hours or until an instant-read meat thermometer inserted in the thickest part, but not touching bone, registers 195 degrees F. When it's ready you should be able to give the bone a gentle twist and pull and the bone should come out with relative ease.
If the pork starts to brown too much for your liking, cover it loosely with aluminum foil.
After it reaches 195 degrees F carefully take the pork off the Traeger and wrap with foil and a towel if you have one and keep in a cooler or warm oven for 30 minutes to an hour.
Using a set of bear claws or with your hands (preferably protected from the heat with lined, heavy-duty rubber gloves), pull the pork into chunks. Discard the bone and any lumps of fat, including the cap. Pull each chunk into shreds, and transfer to a large mixing bowl. Add in the barbacoa sauce and mix together thoroughly.
If you're a sandwich-lover you can load it up on a roll. We think that this sweet barbacoa pork really sings when served with black beans, cilantro lime rice, avocado and a few sprigs of fresh cilantro.