These classic sliders are worth the wait. The pork is melt in your mouth perfect while our favorite slaw recipe has the right crunch and creaminess to compliment the meat.
Authentic Carolina Pulled Pork
Takes 7 hours and makes about 12 sliders
- For dry rub
- 3 tablespoons coarsely ground black pepper
- 3 tablespoons (packed) dark brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons paprika
- 2 tablespoons coarse salt
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 untrimmed boneless pork shoulder halves (also known as Boston butt; about 6 pounds total)
- For mop
- 1 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon coarsely ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon coarse salt
- 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
- 8 pounds (about) 100% natural lump charcoal or charcoal briquettes
- 6 cups (about) hickory wood smoke chips, soaked in cold water at least 30 minutes
Make dry rub:
- Mix first 5 ingredients in small bowl to blend.
- Place pork, fat side up, on work surface. Cut each piece lengthwise in half. Place on large baking sheet. Sprinkle dry rub all over pork; press into pork. Cover with plastic; refrigerate at least 2 hours. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Keep chilled.)
- Mix first 6 ingredients in medium bowl. Cover and refrigerate.
- Following manufacturer’s instructions and using lump charcoal and 1/2 cup drained wood chips for smoker or 1 cup for barbecue, start fire and bring temperature of smoker or barbecue to 225°F. to 250°F. Place pork on rack in smoker or barbecue. Cover; cook until meat thermometer inserted into center of pork registers 165°F., turning pork and brushing with cold mop every 45 minutes, about 6 hours total. Add more charcoal as needed to maintain 225°F. to 250°F. temperature and more drained wood chips (1/2 cup for smoker or 1 cup for barbecue with each addition) to maintain smoke level.
- Transfer pork to clean rimmed baking sheet. Let stand until cool enough to handle. Shred into bite-size pieces. Mound on platter. Pour any juices from sheet over pork. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Transfer pork and any juices to baking dish. Cover with foil; chill. Before continuing, rewarm pork, covered, in 350°°F. oven about 30 minutes.)
- Divide pork among bottoms of buns. Drizzle lightly with barbecue sauce. Top with cole slaw. Cover with tops of buns.
The entire process takes about 7 hours but you can make the pork a day or two before. Use our favorite slaw recipe (found here)