The beginnings of a fine, North Carolina style pulled pork recipe is lazily smoked pork butts. The traditional method is to smoke the pork for hours and hours, which gives the meat a deep smoky flavor and unbelievable tenderness. The extended smoking time also creates a beautiful bark crust on the outside.
To make this Carolina pulled pork recipe, three things are needed. Pork butts, a spicy rub, and spicy vinegar barbecue sauce. Slow smoked with hickory, the fatty pork butts tenderize. The fat melts and the connective tissues turn into flavorful gelatin, which is why this is one of the most mouthwatering meats around. The vinegar sauce imparts a tangy heat to the pork.
Mix the spices together. Give the butts a good rubbin' with some of the vinegar barbeque sauce, and then rub on the dry seasoning. Allow the pork butts to rest for at least a couple of hours "in the rub".
Fire up the smoker. A temperature range of 225˚ to 240˚ F is what you want as the smoking temperature, and the closer to 225˚, the better. (Even though it will take a little longer, lower temperature smoking makes for juicier meats.) Place the pork butts into your smoker, fat side up. After five hours or so, begin to baste it with the vinegar sauce every hour.
When the internal temperature reaches 190 degrees, check the meat for tenderness. It may need to be cooked to 200 degrees to reach pulling-tenderness. When done, remove the pork from the smoker, wrap it or cover it with foil, and let it rest for at least an hour. This step make a tremendous difference in the final texture and flavor of the pulled pork.
After the rest, pull the pork, add some sauce, and serve it on buns. It's a nice touch to have a variety of sauces, pickles, and such available for your guests so they can fancy up their sandwiches as they see fit. And most important of all….Don't Forget The Coleslaw!