Two Men, Two Pits and a Blog

Three Hour Pulled Pork Sandwiches

The smoke curled nicely from the old kettle grill, whilst the crispy cottonwood leaves scattered in the October breeze. Its cool today, IMG_0295half way between noon and supper time, and the heat off the pit sure feels good on my hands. The shadows are dropping swifter now, much quicker than those months ago and patron to the steamy days of summer. How the heat and humidity then seems but a distant vapor now, and also with the sun, which once dallied eternal in the sky. It is all gone now. And so we embrace a new season at the pit. A transitional season. And what better way to do that, than with some succulent, apple smoked, pulled pork sandwiches, POTP style of course. This one is a humdinger, folks. And here’s how to do it.

After a meeting with your local butcher, acquire your self a heaping mass of country-style ribs. These will be of the pork variety, and true to meat nomenclature standards, not ribs at all. What they really are is chunks of a pork butt, which of course isn’t from the hind end at all, but rather the shoulder. Anyways, this is the same section of pig where your pulled pork is created from. Country style ribs are just a small portion of that. And it is because of this,  that a three-hour pulled pork sandwich is even possible.


Next, and whilst your cooker is coming up to speed, rinse off the meat under cold water for to irrigate any bone fragments stowaways possibly leftover from the band saw used to cut them. And then dust them liberally with your favorite pork rub. We tried out some Cajun Blast this time, so to pack a bit of spicy heat into our plunder, on this chill, autumn day. After a fashion, and a tip of the hat, take them out to the pit, properly stoked with coal and a small matter of smoke wood. We used apple wood for ours. But you can use what ever, and no, that doesn’t mean green treated two by fours!


Using the old kettle grill, this isn’t exactly low and slow, tho we turned down the bottom dampers to anemic slits, governing the amount of oxygen coming in, thus dropping its temperature some. It all works out tho, as you will see. Place the pork opposite the hot coals, as in-direct as you can, then plunk on the lid and let it smoke for a couple of hours. Assume your standard pit side posture, feet up, manly beverage in hand, and muse over the curling smoke, racing cloud shadows, and darting tweety birds.  After two hours of this most agreeable pastime, foil the meat with a half cup or two of your favorite beverage or juice, and put it back over indirect heat. This step is where the magic happens.

For the next hour, your meat will be in the likes of an expensive health spa, pampered, and loved in an all-inclusive steam bath. This step is often used on ribs or briskets, and works wonders here too. This is where the collagen breaks down and good things happen. Where elegance ingratiates meat. And it is a glorious thing. Check in on it after a spell, after about an hour or so. It is done when the meat pulls easily with but a twist of the aluminum tong.

Take the meat out of the foil for the final step, and put it back on the grill. Now is the time to varnish it up with your very favorite BBQ sauce. The final brush strokes, if you will,  to your Picasso in Pork. Man! Can you smell it yet?

As a matter of course, we toasted up some lightly buttered kaiser rolls over the remaining coals, and assembled a proper, man-sized sandwich shortly there after. You will never regret toasting your buns people. It’s just the right thing to do. Especially on frigid evenings around the pit, where the wood smoke gently rises. Amen.


Three Hour, Apple Smoked, Pulled Pork Sandwiches. Tasty bark, deep smoke ring. Oh buddy. You getting hungry now!  So next time you are in the mood for some savory pulled pork, but don’t have all day to smoke a big butt, try this little number. It’s good! A sandwich sure to please the ravaging stomach and the clock alike.

People who read this might also like Country Style Rib Sandwiches

39 responses

  1. That is absolutely amazing. I’m now hungry and I just had breakfast. I love pork. And, to my doctor’s chagrin, I love crisp pork fat. That’s probably why I prefer the shoulder cuts, whether country ribs or pork steak. It’s the only cuts I can find a morsel of fat.

    November 5, 2013 at 11:37 am

    • I hear you! Who doesn’t fancy some crispy pork fat. Pig is such a versatile animal for the grill. Can’t beat it!

      Thanks for chiming in Richard. Always a pleasure to hear from you!

      Go light your BBQ!


      November 5, 2013 at 11:40 am

  2. Reblogged this on My Meals are on Wheels.

    November 5, 2013 at 12:10 pm

  3. Love to hear such love for pulled pork – one of the great meats.

    November 5, 2013 at 2:51 pm

  4. Love pulled pork and love this method of preparing it. Instant (almost) gratification. Looks so good.

    November 5, 2013 at 4:30 pm

    • Thanks. Yeah it works pretty good if you haven’t got much time. BBQ…Gotta love it.

      Grill on, puginthekitchen!

      November 5, 2013 at 4:48 pm

  5. Looks delicious, as always on ur blog! 😉 Love pulled pork.. I made it at home a few days ago, I added it to my latest blog, and it was awesome. 🙂

    November 5, 2013 at 5:36 pm

  6. laurie27wsmith

    They look so good I’ll share them with the world. 🙂

    November 5, 2013 at 6:23 pm

  7. My mouth is watering right now……….

    November 6, 2013 at 7:16 am

    • That is the bane of reading food blogs!

      November 6, 2013 at 9:08 am

      • Totally–but only good ones like yours. I do consider myself a foodie and have eaten at some of the best restaurants. I can tell that your dish would taste great. Take care…..

        November 7, 2013 at 6:26 am

  8. laserscope

    Love pulled pork and love this method of preparing it.

    November 6, 2013 at 7:49 am

  9. Liz

    You walk such a fun line between science (collagen breaking down, etc) and storytelling (spa-pampered meat for cryin’ out loud). And “You will never regret toasting your buns people.” is a great statement. Hurrah hurrah!

    Another thought: Was just considering, as I was editing my gazillionth recipe for a client, that there is just too much “hurry up, throw it together, call it cooking” out there. No. Sometimes something will take three hours and more than three ingredients and it’s going to be worth it. Good food should take time and assembling something out of parts may get dinner on the table in a hurry (and that’s important, I know–we don’t all have hours and hours and hours for meal prep (or even one hour) most of the time). But when we can take the time, it so makes a difference. Amen 😀

    November 6, 2013 at 8:55 am

    • Thanks Liz, you are at once the master of thoughtful comments. Your comments, in point of fact, are not unlike the very sort of cooking you just described. You took some time out of your day, on purpose, and you crafted something great. Good BBQ is like that too. Good BBQ, for example, preparations can start a couple days before hand if you have a mind to – marinating your respective meats and such. Then all day on the pit, slowly smoking. The hurry up mentality seldom works where good BBQ is concerned.

      Your comment reminds me of the old saying, “Good things come to those who wait…But crap comes right away!” Least I think that’s an old saying.

      Thanks again, Liz.

      Now go cook something slowly!

      November 6, 2013 at 9:16 am

  10. Ah yes … the Country “style” ribs. Interesting story about these beauties. Years ago, an enterprising Butcher was having a tough time selling the Rib Loin Chop, primarily because it lacks the Tenderloin portion people are accustomed to in a Pork Chop. So, he thought Hmmmmmmm … “how ’bout I cut these rib chops twice as thick then, slice them through the main loin muscle and ‘lay’ them on a tray, bone side down.” EUREKA !!! The Country “style” ribs were born and … they FLEW outa his meat counter with reckless abandon!! I LOVE these little gems … in fact I wrote about them in my Blog months ago …
    Amen again Sir … stay hungry friend 🙂

    November 6, 2013 at 3:04 pm

    • Very cool. I was hoping you’d chime in with your meat knowledge, being the resident butcher and all, in our readership.

      Interesting what a few word changes can do for your meat sales!

      Thanks kindly sir.


      November 6, 2013 at 3:20 pm

      • Very happy to oblige my Smokie friend. Incidentally, did you happen to take a ‘gander’ at my Tri-tip post from last week? If you haven’t tried this, you need to give it a go. My mouth is watering … again !! 🙂 Stay hungry!!

        November 6, 2013 at 3:44 pm

      • No, I hadn’t seen that one yet. Definitely will go check out what you did tho. Thanks for the update!

        November 6, 2013 at 3:48 pm

  11. chefmo73

    Shoulder is the champion of pig meats. Love this post and your blog. Looking forward to spending time on your delightful entries.

    November 6, 2013 at 3:58 pm

    • Thank you kindly, chefmo! Welcome aboard, man! Pull up a chair and make yourself comfortable.

      November 6, 2013 at 4:02 pm

      • chefmo73


        November 6, 2013 at 4:03 pm

      • chefmo73

        If you are in the NYC area, def come to my place for dinner.

        November 6, 2013 at 4:03 pm

      • Sweet! Its good to know I won’t go hungry out there!

        November 6, 2013 at 4:04 pm

  12. Your site looks so tasty! Thanks for visiting my page today because now that I have found you I’m a follower. 🙂 We have a Webber that is looking for some new ideas…

    November 6, 2013 at 6:23 pm

    • Oh very cool. Welcome aboard, and make yourself comfortable!

      November 6, 2013 at 9:35 pm

  13. Yum…fingers crossed,we think we located a smoker grill 🙂

    November 7, 2013 at 7:20 am

    • YES!!! Hope you’re successful. Life in Ecuador would be even gooder!

      November 7, 2013 at 9:32 am

  14. Now I’m hungry again. It’s like 7:36 AM . So I guess I’d want a BBQ omelet this time of day. 🙂

    November 7, 2013 at 7:36 am

    • MMM, BBQ omelette. That might just work!

      Being hungry seems to be the plight of reading and/or writing food blogs. Aw well.

      Thanks TJ!

      November 7, 2013 at 9:30 am

  15. Well, I was perusing the latest entries and almost slipped by when I saw… “3 hour pulled pork”. “What?”, I thought – “A 3 hour smoke from from POTP?” say it ‘aint so! So I stopped in to read and low and behold – I see that the Trusty Weber rises to the occasion again. I honestly love using that thing offset like you did with some smoke and running it a little higher than traditional. Love it boys! Keep up the great work!

    November 7, 2013 at 4:04 pm

    • Thanks much! Yes, I have been tinkering with the 3 hour pulled pork idea for a while, and am still putting the finishing touches on it, but in the end, good is good, and this one was.

      Oh we have much weber love here. Them little kettle grills can do so much. And they last a long time. Versatile units, and really the best bang for the buck in the grilling market.

      Thanks for checking in!

      November 7, 2013 at 4:47 pm

  16. Pork!!! Artistry in its purist form! Pork fat, toasted buns, I am truly a disciple.

    November 7, 2013 at 7:44 pm

  17. You’re writing is so eloquent and I absolutely love the detail in the picture. The smoke flows out of the pit so magesticly and the words that accompany. Your pulled pork recipe looks delicious and a great classic BBQ recipe. I created a crock pot recipe on my blog because I currently reside in apartments without acess to a nice smoky grill.

    November 14, 2013 at 9:40 am

    • Thank you much! Crock pots are an apartment dwellers friend! In point of fact, crock pots are everybody’s friend.

      Anyways, appreciate the comment. Thanks again!

      November 14, 2013 at 9:55 am

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