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BBQ Pulled Pork by Chef Michael Olson

When I talk to fellow BBQ fans, the conversation, at some point, leads to either ribs or pulled pork. When I got into cooking with charcoal and later, pellet grills, many Saturdays were highlighted by a full day on the deck of our home being enrobed in a cloud of dizzying deliciousness from the smoke and aroma of the pork shoulder. Yes, it takes a long time, but once you get it rolling, there is not a whole lot to do. The low and slow cooking caramelizes the sugar in your BBQ rub onto the surface of the meat and of course the smoky scent… well, let’s say that you can’t be surprised if neighbors are curious.

Serves 12

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 9 hours

8-10 lb3 ½ -4 ½ kgskinless, boneless pork butt
½ cup125 mLyellow mustard
½ cup125 mLBBQ Rub
1 cup250 mLBBQ Sauce
½ cup125 mLwhite vinegar 


½fresh green cabbage
½ cup 125 mLmayonnaise
1lemon (juice)
2 tsp 10 mLcelery salt
24dinner rolls

  1. Brush one side with mustard and cover in the rub, then do the same to the other side so that the entire surface is covered in the rub.
  2. If using a smoker BBQ, set it to 210 °F (100 °C) and cook the pork, lid down, for 8-9 hours, until the internal temperature reaches 185°F. If using a gas BBQ, place the butt in a roasting pan (not the good one) and use indirect heat (by turning on a single burner opposite the side of the grill where the meat is) and maintaining the temperature.
  3. Stir the BBQ sauce and vinegar together and use up to half of it to baste the pork over the last hour of cooking.
  4. Remove the pork from the smoker and let it rest on a cutting board for 30 minutes, then use two forks to pull the pork into large shreds and pieces – there is no need to break it down to a fine shred – you want to retain texture once it is mixed into the sauce.  Toss the pork with the remaining BBQ sauce and hold, covered in a roasting pan on the grill at 165 °F (74 °C) until ready to serve.
  5. For the coleslaw, grate the cabbage and carrot on the coarse side of a box grater and dress with the mayonnaise, lemon juice, and celery salt. Chill until ready to serve.

To serve, split the dinner rolls and let your guests dress their sandwiches with the pulled pork and coleslaw.


The outside of the shoulder will caramelize and take on the smoke – this is known as the “bark.” Try to break this up and work into the remainder of the meat for best flavor.

Pellet or ceramic charcoal cookers are what I prefer for this kind of BBQ. You can do it on a gas grill but keep an eye on the temperature so that it doesn’t scorch.

This dish holds well so for a crowd; you can make this long before your guests arrive and reheat it in the BBQ sauce.

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