If you want to eat competition style pulled pork, you've got to learn to cook like the pros. This recipe for Competition Style Injected Pulled Pork has all the right ingredients, mixed with a few new techniques that will make your pulled pork blue-ribbon ready (even if you never enter it in a contest). The sweet and savory injection sauce really pushed our traditional pulled pork into delicious (and exceptionally tender) new territory with flavor in each strand of meat. Grab yourself a meat injector and give this one a try!
Competition Style Injected Pulled Pork
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 9-11 hours
Recommended Pellets: Apple, Hickory, Oak
Serves: 8-10 people
1 bone-in pork shoulder roast (Boston butt), 5 to 7 pounds
Traeger Pork and Poultry Rub, or your favorite barbecue rub
Traeger Regular Barbecue Sauce
10 hamburger buns
Coleslaw for serving
1 cup apple juice or cider
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons Traeger Pork and Poultry Rub
2 tablespoons brown sugar
In a non-reactive bowl, combine the apple juice, vinegar, water, worcestershire sauce, Pork rub and brown sugar. Whisk vigorously until all the sugar is dissolved.
Using Traeger's Meat Injector, inject all of the injection sauce into the pork. Start at the top of your pork butt and directly insert the meat injector deep into the muscle tissue. Depress the plunger 1/3 of the way, partially remove the needle and tip it about 25 degrees to the right, depress another 1/3 of the way, remove partially and tip about 45 degrees to the opposite side then depress the rest of the way. Using just one entry hole to access three different parts of your meat will result in less leakage and more juice staying in your meat. Look at the images below to get a better idea of the angles you'll want to hit at each injection site.
After filling your pork shoulder with all of the injection liquid, season generously with Traeger's Pork and Poultry Rub.
When ready to cook, start the Traeger grill on Smoke with the lid open until the fire is established (4 to 5 minutes). Set the temperature to 225 degrees F and preheat, lid closed, for 10 to 15 minutes. Put the roast on the grill grate, fat-side up, and smoke for 3 hours.
Transfer to a disposable aluminum foil pan large enough to hold the roast. Increase the temperature to 250 degrees F, and roast for 6 to 8 additional hours, or until an instant-read meat thermometer inserted in the thickest part, but not touching bone, registers 190 degrees F.
If the pork starts to brown too much, cover it loosely with aluminum foil.
Carefully transfer the pork roast to a cutting board and let it rest for 20 minutes. Pour the juices from the bottom of the pan into a gravy separator. 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.
Season with additional rub and moisten with the reserved pork juice. (Discard any fat that has floated to the top.) Add barbecue sauce, if desired, and mix well. Or serve the barbecue sauce on the side.
Pile the pork mixture on the hamburger buns, serve with coleslaw, and enjoy.