BBQ Pulled Pork Recipe with Jerk Seasoning
BBQ Pork Recipe
Like any true southerner, I love a good BBQ pork recipe. With an electric smoker, some BBQ wood, and a good BBQ rub, it’s pretty hard to mess up a Boston butt pork roast. The smoker and the fat in the meat do most of the work for you, so you’ll just need to help them along with some seasonings, and maybe with a great sauce. Yesterday, I tried something a little different. Instead of my usual BBQ pork recipes and my favorite BBQ rub, I used jerk spices on the pork, and I also made a batch of Jamaican jerk sauce to combine with the pork once it was pulled. Even if you don’t like the heat of jerk sauce, I guarantee that you’ll like the Jamaican jerk seasoning I used as a rub for this BBQ pork recipe.
Jerk Seasoning – Jerk Spices
My family and I enjoy jerk seasoning on pork and chicken. Jerk spices sort of create a party in your mouth, with reggae music playing in the background. Jamaican jerk seasoning is perhaps the most famous of all, but Jamaica isn’t the only place that uses traditional jerk seasoning. I’ve never been to Jamaica, but I’ve dined on meats seasoned with jerk spices on a couple of other Caribbean islands. I also had a student several years ago who was from Jamaica, and he was nice enough to bring me some samples of his mom’s jerk pork and jerk chicken. He wasn’t nice enough, however, to share the family recipe, but he did tell me about the ingredients his mother used. Her jerk seasoning and jerk sauce included allspice, scotch bonnet peppers, thyme, green onions, garlic, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, lime juice, and brown sugar. He said sometimes she added rum and vinegar to her jerk sauce, too.
Okay, so I had the ingredients, but I had no idea of the exact amounts. I had to do some “kitchen experiments” on my own. I created a BBQ rub and a jerk sauce, which I’m sharing with you here.
BBQ Pulled Pork Recipe with Jerk Seasoning
This BBQ pulled pork recipe is slow cooked on a meat smoker. We use a Brinkmann electric smoker, with chunks of pecan wood for flavor. Traditional jerk is cooked over pimento wood, but that’s pretty hard to come by for most Americans. Instead of pecan wood, you might prefer oak, hickory, peach, apple, or lime wood.
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- 5 or 6 pound Boston butt pork shoulder roast
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons allspice
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 1 tablespoon habanero powder
- 1 tablespoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- 2 teaspoons dried thyme
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 2 teaspoons nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/4 cup dark rum
- 1/4 cup lime juice
- Rinse pork shoulder and pat dry. Don’t remove the layer of fat that you’ll find on one side of the roast. The fat cap will add lots of juicy flavor to the meat as it smokes. Once the meat is cooked and ready to eat, you can remove the fat cap then.
- Combine all the dry ingredients. Mix with lime juice and rum to make the jerk seasoning. Rub the butt all over with the BBQ rub paste.
- Wrap meat tightly in foil and refrigerate overnight.
- About two hours before meat is ready to smoke, soak BBQ wood in water.
- Prepare smoker by placing wood on burner and filling water pan. Plug smoker in to heat for 20 minutes, with lid closed. Remove meat from fridge and unwrap. Let pork sit at room temperature for 20 minutes.
- When the smoker has heated, it’s time to put on the butt. If your smoker has a thermostat, set it to 220 degrees. Place meat, fat side up, on top grate.
- Smoking time will vary. For this particular BBQ pork recipe, we cooked the shoulder for ten hours and refilled the water pan after about six hours. The internal temperature of the meat is what you need to watch. The pork will be safe to eat at 165 degrees, but it’s easier to pull if you let the butt reach 185 degrees before removing it from the smoker.
- Take butt off smoker and wrap it in foil. Allow it to sit for 10-15 minutes before serving or pulling.
Recipe for Pulled Pork
Once the smoked pork butt has rested, remove the fat cap and the blade bone. If the meat is sufficiently cooked, the bone will lift out easily. Use two forks to shred the BBQ pork. You want lots of small fibers because that means more surface area, and more surface area makes it possible for more sauce to cling to the meat. By the way, I use a large metal roaster for pulling the pork.
Once all the pork has been pulled, combine ¼ cup apple cider vinegar, 3 tablespoons lime juice, 3 tablespoons brown sugar, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, and 1 teaspoon garlic salt. Stir until smooth. Pour over pulled pork and toss to mix well.
If you like, combine seasoned pulled pork with your favorite BBQ sauce. If you’re brave and adventurous, you might want to try mixing the shredded pork with my Jamaican jerk sauce.
Jamaican Jerk Sauce
2 tablespoons peanut oil
4 green onions, with tops, sliced
2 scotch bonnet peppers, sliced
½ cup ketchup
½ cup brown sugar
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
¼ cup dark rum
¼ cup lime juice
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 teaspoons ground allspice
2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon ground cloves
½ teaspoon nutmeg
Directions: In a skillet, heat oil, green onions, and peppers. Cook until onions and peppers are soft but not brown.
Cool slightly and add contents of skillet to blender or food processor.
Add remaining ingredients and puree.
Cover and store in fridge until ready to use. This can be used as a finishing sauce or as a marinade for pork, chicken, or goat.
Recipe for Pulled Pork Sandwiches
Now that your pork is ready to eat, you might want to try this recipe for pulled pork sandwiches. Hubby is from North Carolina, and this is his favorite way to eat pulled pork. Personally, I like my pulled pork sandwiches without onion and coleslaw. For me, coleslaw goes on the side – not on the sandwich! By the way, my North Carolina friends and family members like this recipe for pulled pork sandwiches, too. Hey – I’m from Georgia, and I don’t want slaw on my sammie, but you might like this Carolina version!
Hamburger buns or onion rolls
Garlic salt or garlic powder
Thin slices of red onion
Seasoned pulled pork, with or without sauce
Directions: Open buns or rolls and place on cookie sheet. Spread each with mayonnaise. Sprinkle one side of bun with black pepper. Sprinkle the other half with garlic salt or garlic powder.
Toast bread with the oven set to “broil.”
Remove bread and add pulled pork to the bottoms of the rolls. Top each with red onion slices and a scoop of coleslaw.
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