Recipe: Barbecue pulled pork

We have now had two fairly warm/dry-ish weekends on the bounce which is enough for me to declare it BBQ season!  I decided to kick off with some pulled pork - which requires minimal fuss or BBQ maintenance, and mostly just falls back on slow cooking.

It turned out really well - better than my last pulled pork (which was still a big hit at the bbq), and people seemed to enjoy it.

The BBQ sauce

(my coleslaw/pulled pork/bbq sauce sandwich made with leftovers today!) 

I decided not to be too wild with the sauce and just create a simple sweet/smokey ketchup based sauce for the pork - it only takes 10 minutes and is super simple (plus, it can actually be kept in the fridge for a while if you make more of it - this recipe is basically just the amount needed for this amount of pork)

  • 2 tablespoon dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • couple dashes worcestshire sauce
  • couple dashes hot sauce (something like Franks Hot Sauce)
  • 1/4 teaspoon chilli powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • salt & pepper seasoning
  • 250ml ketchup

  1. Stick all the ingredients except the ketchup in a saucepan, stir together over a medium heat
  2. It should fairly quickly become a dark, tar-like substance (sounds delicious right?), once combined stir in the ketchup and heat further. It should probably be a reasonable consistency after about 10 minutes simmering, but if not then just reduce until it hits your desired thickness
  3. Transfer to a bowl/jar/bottle for serving

The Pork

It was actually a massive piece of pork that I ended up cooking - having fed 4 people for dinner and lunch, plus with about a third left over.  For the rub, I just used the end of a previous batch (see recipe here) - which is good timing as it means I will be creating a new rub pretty soon.  For reasons of convenience and time, I cheated on the cooking and did the bulk of the work in the oven.

  • A decent piece of pork shoulder - the piece I had was easily 1.5kg. If you have a butcher or decent meat counter at your local supermarket you can just tell them how many you are cooking for and they should be able to advise
  • Some dry rub (see here for the one I used) - enough to liberally season the pork - I probably had about 5 heaped tablespoons (going by eye)
  • A barbecue with a lid 
  • Smoking chips (optional)


  1. Liberally season the pork with the dry rub and pat on with your fingertips

  2. Sit the pork in a roasting tray - ideally sitting on a rack if possible so not sitting directly on the base of the tin

  3. Add cold water to the tin to about 1cm deep (again, if using the rack, fill so the water doesn't reach the pork), then cover the tin with a foil tent

  4. Heat the oven to 110 degrees centigrade (for a fan oven - adjust accordingly for your own oven, but probably adding around 20 degrees for non fan) and put the pork in

  5. Cook in the oven for 4+ hours (depending on your time and size of the pork) - I cooked mine in the oven for about 6 hours

  6. As you are approaching time to remove the pork from the oven, start the barbecue. Once flames have simmered own and the coals are white hot, but the pork on the barbecue and cook indirectly (e.g. have the hot coals on one side of the barbecue and place the pork on the other side so not directly over the coals

  7. Add your smoking chips if using, and close the barbecue - leave to cook for at least an hour (I left mine on the barbecue for more like 3 hours), replenishing smoking chips appropriately

  8. Remove from barbecue and fork the pork to serve (making sure it is cooked properly of course!)

rob hinds Shambolically fumbling my way around the kitchen

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