4-5poundsPork Buttaka Pork Shoulder or Boston Butt
rub of your choicegood quality
2tablespoonsWright's Liquid Smokeoptional but recommended
1/2cupdark brown sugar
3tablespoonsDiamond Crystal kosher salt2 tablespoons if using Morton
You will need a rub of your choice. My rub: mix 1/2 cup dark brown sugar, 3 tablespoons Diamond Crystal kosher salt (use 2 tablespoons if Mortons), 1 tablespoon chili powder, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon onion powder, and 1 teaspoon pepper.
Place a 4 pound (give or take a little) bone-in (or boneless) pork butt on a large piece of plastic wrap. Rub with about 2 tablespoons of liquid smoke (optional). You can skip the plastic wrap if not applying rub ahead of time.
Use about one cup of rub and coat the meat. That is a very heavy coat.
If you have time, wrap the meat with plastic wrap. You may need a second piece. Refrigerate for a few hours, but overnight is fine. If you don't have time, just apply the rub and pop it in the oven. This is what I usually do.
When ready to cook, prep a large rimmed baking sheet with foil and a rack. Give the rack a heavy spray of PAM.
Place meat on rack and place in a 250° oven (not convection). I did not bother to preheat. I went with the fat cap down. You can shorten the time some by increasing the temperature of the oven to 300° but I suggest 250°.
Bake until internal temp of 195° plus (200°-205° is better). About 9-10 hours for me. This will vary some with the thickness of the meat, bone-in vs. boneless and the oven. You have some flex time in the next step to get your timing right.
Remove from the oven directly onto a large sheet of heavy-duty foil. Wrap tight with the foil then wrap with several towels. Place wrapped meat in a small cooler if available and rest for 1-2 hours until needed. It can stay warm for up to 4 hours is well wrapped in a cooler.
Just before serving, shred with forks. It will fall apart.
Cooking time can vary, but you can use the wrap time at the end to adjust the shredding time by a few hours.
If you don't have a rack, you can elevate the meat on balls of rolled up foil. Please do not leave it to cook in the muck. (see the crock pot recipe)
The liquid smoke is nice, but some object, so skip if you wish. If you use it, quality matters a lot. I use only Wright's.
My rub is provided for you but use the rub of your choice.
If you use my rub. The salt is calculated on Diamond Crystal Kosher salt. 1 teaspoon table salt = 1 1/4 teaspoon Morton kosher salt = 2 teaspoons Diamond Crystal kosher salt.
I find my rub still is good with half the salt if that is a concern for you.
195° is the minimum, but I much prefer 200° to 205°.
Good refrigerated for 3-4 days but I prefer 2 days since the texture seems to suffer. It will freeze well for 3-4 months.
Bone-in or boneless does not matter. But bone-in may take a bit longer.
Fat pad up or down does not matter.
I frequently just wet with the liquid smoke and apply the rub. And then directly into the oven. It is still great.
DO NOT cover with anything like foil or a lid in the oven.
Nutrition is hard to calculate. The fat drains, the rub forms bark and also drains some. So a lot of things are included in the nutrition numbers that may not be there.
I like to reheat on a sheet pan, I sprinkle with a little water on my hand (don’t overdo it). Cover tightly with foil and into the oven at 250°-300° until hot.The time varies by how you shredded it and the amount on the tray. Usually, I take about 45 minutes or so in the oven for me. I know that is not very exact but you get the idea.You can then turn the oven down (keep it covered) or transfer to a crockpot on low to keep warm.Never reheat or store with sauce applied -the acid will destroy the texture.
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