This post is sponsored by Stubb’s Legendary Bar-B-Q
Thanksgiving is hands-down my favorite holiday — because it’s all about the food. Literally — nothing else gets in the way. I feel the same way about July 4th. Getting together with family and friends, on a much more casual scale, firing up the grill, popping open a cold beverage and relaxing. Nothing else gets in the way — except maybe a squirt gun fight and some dazzling pyrotechnics. So to feed the descending hoard, I rely on my grill-master, a boston butt and some Stubb’s Legendary Bar-B-Q!
This recipe feeds a crowd and satisfies in a way that plain jane hot dogs and pre-formed hamburger patties can’t. Start with a six pound pork shoulder and butterfly the meat (or have your butcher do it for you) so it’s laid out to about 1 1/2″ thick. Then liberally spread both sides with Stubb’s Pork Spice Rub. Stick the butt in the fridge and let it soak in the flavors overnight.
The next morning take the pork out of the fridge and let it come to temperature while you make some quick pickled onions. Don’t worry, it’s easy.
Stubb’s has several types of barbecue sauce, any of which will work beautifully on this pork shoulder, but — you know me — bigger and better…. more and more…
I combined Stubb’s Spicy and Sticky Sweet Bar-B-Q Sauces along with pineapple juice and worchestershire sauce and cooked it down until thick and savory. It has just the right heat and sweet with a bit of tang. Love this!
I soaked the wood chips before putting them in the smoking box — so they actually smoke instead of burning — yeah, I might have made that mistake before.
Use an indirect grilling method to smoke/cook the pork. On a gas grill, that means turning on one burner, setting the wood chips over that burner and placing the pork on the opposite side of the grill. Smoke the pork like this for about an hour before switching to a direct grilling method – meat on heat. Wait until the shoulder is almost done before liberally brushing it with the heavenly sauce.
And let the meat rest for 15 minutes.
This part is optional – but I recommend it… a very thin slice of grilled pineapple on the sandwiches.
It adds a snappy sweet bite to the unctuous pork-y barbecue. Trust me. Now let’s bask in the beauty of these sandwiches. Get a napkin or two.
Hungry for more? Serve up these tasty sides and desserts and have a safe and happy 4th!
- Grilled Chipotle Lime Corn
- Barbecue Baked Beans
- Grilled Greek Orzo Salad
- Brussel Fennel Apple Slaw
- Charred Salsa Verde – served with tortilla chips
- Peach Caprese with Herb Dressing
- Peach and Blueberry Pie
- Coconut Mango Ice Cream
- Honeyed Peach Ice Cream with Almond Streusel
- Mango Lime Cake
- Pistachio Cake with Orange Segments
- Peach Melba Sangria
- Pineapple Mint Mojito
smoky spicy barbecued pork
- 1 6- pound boneless pork shoulder also called Boston Butt
- 1 jar Stubb's Pork Spice Rub
for pickled onions
- 1 cup apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 red onion if you have a mandoline, use it here, very thinly sliced
- 3/4 cup Stubb's Spicy Legendary Bar-B-Q Sauce
- 3/4 cup Stubb's Sticky Sweet Legendary Bar-B-Q Sauce
- 1/4 cup unsweetened pineapple juice
- 8 drops worchestershire sauce
- 16 buns
- 1 fresh pineapple cored and sliced into 1/4" rings
- pickled onions
- fresh cilantro
- additional Stubb's Sticky Sweet and/or Spicy Bar-B-Q Sauce
- 2 cups hickory wood chips
- smoker box
- instant read meat thermometer
The night before, butterfly the pork (or have your butcher do it): Butterflying means to cut the meat open so that it lays in a flat even thickness. Cut through the thick part of the meat, horizontally to almost the edge. Unfold it to get a broad flap of meat, about 1 1/2 - 2 inches thick.
Place pork on a baking sheet and liberally spread the Stubb's Pork Spice Rub over both sides of the flesh, massaging it in with your hands. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
The next day, soak the wood chips in a bowl filled with water for an hour.
for the pickled onions
Combine the vinegar, sugar and kosher salt in a measuring cup. Stir until sugar and salt have dissolved. Place the onions in a small bowl and cover with the vinegar mixture. Set aside for at least an hour and up to 2-3. (note: pickled onions will last a week or so in the fridge and they're great on sandwiches or with barbecued chicken, fish and seafood.)
for the barbecue sauce
In a small saucepan, combine Stubb's Spicy Bar-B-Q Sauce, Stubb's Sticky Sweet Bar-B-Q Sauce, pineapple juice and worchestershire sauce. Heat to boiling and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook, uncovered until sauce reduces and thickens, about 15 minutes.
ready the grill
Add the chips to the smoker box and place over one of the burners. Preheat your gas grill with a closed lid and wait for a soft white smoke to begin emanating from the grill (about 10-15 minutes).
Turn off all the burners except the one directly under the smoker box, for indirect cooking. Then place the pork opposite the smoker box, so it's not getting direct heat. Cook for about an hour at 350 degrees, without opening the lid.
After an hour, use the meat thermometer to check the temperature of the meat by inserting it into the thickest portion. When it reaches 125 degrees, turn the rest of the burners on and use direct heat for the remainder of the cooking. Grill the pork, watching for flare ups and turning the meat once or twice while cooking. You want to achieve an internal temperature of 165 degrees before pulling it off the grill.
During the last 15 minutes of cooking, liberally brush the barbecue sauce over the meat. Cook for 5 or so minutes, then flip the meat and brush sauce on the other side. Cook for 5 minutes and flip again, so the sauce forms a nice crust on the meat.
When the pork reaches 165 degrees, transfer it to a cutting board and tent with tin foil. Let the meat rest for 15 minutes so the juices can redistribute throughout the flesh.
for the pineapple
Meanwhile, grill the pineapple rings until you get some nice grill marks, flipping halfway through -- about 5-8 minutes. Transfer to a platter.
for the sandwiches
Using a very sharp knife, slice the pork as thinly as possible across the grain.
Place a pineapple ring on the bottom of a bun and top with a generous serving of sliced pork, followed by extra barbecue sauce, pickled onions and fresh cilantro leaves.