North Carolina-Style Pulled Pork Sandwiches

North Carolina-Style Pulled Pork Sandwiches


1 person made this

About this recipe: Biting into a good pulled pork sandwich is (to many Americans, anyway!) like going back to a warm summer day in one's youth! This recipe gives two ways to prepare the pork: The traditional barbecue, indirect heat method or oven. As with all true barbecue, it takes time, but it is OH so worth it

WileyP New Mexico, United States

Serves: 12 

  • For the sauce
  • 240ml white vinegar
  • 240ml cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon light brown soft sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon Tabasco sauce (or to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • For the pork
  • 1 tablespoon mild paprika
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons hot paprika
  • 2 teaspoons light brown soft sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic granules
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse sea salt
  • 1kg hickory wood chips (or 2 tablespoons liquid hickory smoke)
  • 1 pork butt roasting joint (about 3.5-4kg)
  • 10-12 potato rolls (or hamburger buns)
  • 1 recipe creamy cole slaw (see recipe on this site)
  • 10-12 dill pickle spears

Prep:1hr  ›  Cook:6hr  ›  Extra time:8hr marinating  ›  Ready in:15hr 

  1. Make the sauce: Whisk together the white vinegar, cider vinegar, brown sugar, cayenne pepper, Tabasco sauce, salt and black pepper. Continue whisking until the brown sugar and salt have dissolved. Can be used immediately, but is best if you transfer it to a bottle or jar with tight fitting lid and refrigerate 2 days (shaking occasionally) before use.
  2. In a small bowl, mix mild paprika, light brown sugar, hot paprika, garlic granules, mustard powder, ground black pepper, onion powder and sea salt. (If cooking in an oven, spread liquid hickory smoke over entire joint at this point.) Rub spice mixture into the joint on all sides. Wrap in cling film (barbecue method) or aluminium foil (oven method), and refrigerate 8 hours, or overnight.
  3. Prepare a barbecue for indirect heat, warm to 110°C, or if using the oven method, preheat the oven to 180°C / Gas 4.
  4. Barbecue method: Sprinkle a handful of soaked hickory chips on coals. Remove cling film and place roasting joint on grate over a drip pan. Close cover. Check hourly, adding fresh coals and chips as necessary to maintain heat and smoke. Cook until internal temperature reaches 90-94°C, about 6-8 hours.
  5. Oven method: Place foil-wrapped joint in a tin and into the oven. Bake until internal temperature reaches 90°C, about 4-6 hours.
  6. Remove the roast from the barbecue or oven and let it rest for 30 minutes. Using forks, shred the pork, removing any fat as you go. Chop any larger pieces until a fine pulled pork consistency is attained. Return the pulled pork to the roasting pan. Stir in about half the barbecue sauce, more or less to taste. Serve on potato rolls, topped with coleslaw. Add a pickle spear on the side and pass the reserved barbecue sauce for those who would like more.


Do *not* use lean cuts/roasts of pork in this recipe. This recipe was developed during the colonial days, using what was considered the worst throw-away portions of the pig. Long, slow cooking is necessary and once properly "pulled" (shredded), very little fat will remain.

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