Pulled Pork with Homemade Barbecue Sauce

The Daily Meal is spending football season getting favorite game-day recipes from chef supporters of Taste of the NFL
Pulled Pork

Madeleine Hill

The Daily Meal is spending football season getting favorite game-day and tailgating recipes from chef supporters of Taste of the NFL. This week, Andrew Zimmern — three-time James Beard Award winner and host of the Bizarre Foods franchise on the Travel Channel — shares his recipe for pulled pork. A tailgate isn’t really complete unless there you have some delicious barbeque on the grill cooking low and slow. This recipe is your one-stop shop for serving up tender pulled pork, from your spice mix, to basting sauce, to an easy homemade BBQ sauce.


To celebrate Super Bowl 50, we’ve partnered with Taste of the NFL and their chef partners all season long. Now in its 25th year, the official NFL charity, Taste of the NFL helps to raise awareness and funds via the season-long Kick Hunger Challenge. To date Taste of the NFL has raised and donated in excess of $24 million to food banks and nonprofit organizations in the 32 NFL cities, resulting in more than 192 million meals for Americans in need. 100 percent of the proceeds generated goes directly back to local communities. Get in the game. Help Kick Hunger. For more information or to donate to your favorite team/city visit: www.kickhungerchallenge.com

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For the rub:

  • 1/4 Cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 Cup paprika
  • 3 Tablespoons ground black pepper
  • 3 Tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 Tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 Tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 Tablespoon celery seeds
  • 1 Teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 Teaspoon ground ginger

For the sauce:

  • 3 Cups cider vinegar
  • 3 Tablespoons molasses
  • 2 Tablespoons dark corn syrup
  • 1 Cup chile sauce, such as Heinz chile sauce
  • 1/3 Cup brown sugar
  • 2 Teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 Tablespoons hot sauce, such as Crystal hot sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 Teaspoons red chile flakes, or more to taste
  • 1 Teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 bone-in pork shoulder, roughly five to six pounds

For the basting sauce:

  • 1 1/2 Cup cider vinegar
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 1 Teaspoon hot red chile flakes
  • 1 Tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 Cup brown sugar
  • 1 Teaspoon ground black pepper


For the rub:

The night before: Combine the rub ingredients, set aside.

For the sauce:

The night before: Combine barbecue sauce ingredients over medium heat in a small pot. When simmering, lower heat to maintain simmer and gently cook until barbecue sauce consistency is reached, 30 to 40 minutes. Cool and refrigerate overnight.

Massage pork shoulder with the rub and let sit overnight in the refrigerator.

For the basting sauce:

The day of: Combine the basting sauce ingredients, whisking until sugar and salt are dissolved, and set aside.

Prepare a charcoal grill to cook the pork over indirect low heat, keeping charcoal to one side. Grill the pork shoulder over indirect medium low heat, using smoking chips if desired to establish a deeper smoke flavor. You will want to keep adding hardwood or charcoal every 40 minutes or so to maintain a medium low heat of roughly 275 degrees F. For gas grills, you also want to maintain a temperature of roughly 275 degrees and cook over indirect heat. Baste every hour with the basting sauce.

Pork is done when the meat is fork tender, and almost falls apart. It will have shrunken back from the bone. This will take 6 to 7 hours, depending on the size of the shoulder.

Let rest for 15 minutes. Pull apart with a fork. Serve with the barbecue sauce.


Pulled Pork Shopping Tip

Bone-in cuts tend to be slightly less expensive than their boneless counterparts, and have more flavor.

Pulled Pork Cooking Tip

According to the USDA, the recommended internal temperature for cooked pork should be 145 degrees Fahrenheit.