When you think of smoked meat, pork barbecue is probably the first thing that comes to mind. Whether you plan to to use a smoker or a crock pot, this sensational recipe incorporates brining along with the great flavors of our salt-free Pork Rub to create a delicious meal!
Our goal at Sensational Seasonings is to share healthy recipes that allow you to quickly prepare meals at home that taste as good as your favorite restaurant. We think this one fits the bill! If your goal is to avoid as much sodium as possible, avoid brining altogether and make sure to use Sensational Seasonings, salt-free Pork Rub!
Serving Size (8+)
8 lb – 10 lb Pork Butt
2/3 cup table salt (for brining)
1 cup Sensational Seasonings Pork Rub
3 cups of wood chips (only if you are using an outdoor smoker)
Optional: spray bottle with 1/2 cup of brown sugar, 2 cups of apple cider vinegar mixed in a spray bottle
1. For brining, Dissolve 2/3 cup salt with lukewarm water in a very large bowl or container. Add 2 cups of ice cubes to cool the brine mixture before adding pork. Immediately refrigerate for at least 12 hours for the pork to brine. If you can’t completely cover the pork butt with brine, sprinkle salt on the exposed surface (this is called ‘dry brining’ and is pictured below).
2. Remove the pork butt from the brine and discard brine. Pat dry excess moisture on pork butt with a paper towel.
3. Sprinkle or rub 2/3 cup of Sensational Seasonings Pork Rub on the pork butt. Be generous with the seasoning – since it is salt-free, you can’t put too much. Just be sure to save some seasoning for applying later.
4. Pre-heat your smoker to 225°F and then place the pork butt in the smoker skin-side up. Use a drip pan on the shelf below for easier clean-up. Add smoke chips and replace when needed (1 cup at a time during the first 3 hours). Cooking time will range from 12 to 18 hours in order to reach an internal temperature of 190°F to 200°F for an 8lb to 10 lb pork butt. Optional: Spray 3 to 4 times while smoking with apple cider vinegar / brown sugar mixture to improve ‘bark’ formation.
Important Tip – You will likely find that the pork butt’s internal temperature will get stuck at 165° as you approach the 12th hour. At this point, you can speed up the process by increasing your smoker’s temperature to 275°. Another option is to take the pork butt out of the smoker, cover it with aluminum foil and place it in your oven at 350°. USDA guidelines require pork to be cooked to at least 160°F, but your pulled pork will be much more tender and flavorful if you allow it to reach an internal temperature of at least 190°F.
If you’re using a crock pot, set your crock pot to ‘high’ for the first hour and then cook on ‘low’ for the next 8 to 12 hours. More importantly, the desired internal temperature for the pork is 190°F to 200°F as I mentioned above.
5. Remove pork butt from smoker, oven or crock pot, pull the shoulder bone and separate the pork butt into several pieces and allow to cool. Upon cooling, shred the pork into small pieces and mix in the remaining ‘pork rub’ for additional flavor.
Sensational Seasonings is a gourmet seasonings company located in Johnson City, TN. Our healthy and delicious product line includes: Cajun Blackening Seasoning, Chicken Seasoning, Jamaican Jerk Seasoning, Italian Seasoning and Pork Rub. Each of our seasoning blends is either salt-free or low-salt (meeting all guidelines of the FDA). Reducing the salt content in our seasonings allows you to get more flavor from all the herbs and spices we include, while allowing you take total control of your salt intake.