In this this week’s special Super Bowl newsletter recipe I will show you how to make my cherry Dr. Pepper injected pulled pork in all of it’s complete and utter, fall-apart deliciousness.
Get the Recipes for Jeff’s Rub and Sauce
My original rub provides the perfect seasoning for pulled pork. It goes on at the beginning for flavor and crust formation and then seasons the finished product once it’s pulled and ready to use.
I promise you’ll love my dry rub/seasoning recipe and my barbecue sauce recipe or you don’t pay!
Reasons to buy: Support the newsletter and the website | Own “the recipes” | Get the email newsletter 100% AD FREE from now on | Includes the Texas style rub recipe | Immediate delivery via email
- Prep Time: 25 min
- Cook Time: 14 hours
- Smoker Temp: 225-240°F
- Meat Finish Temp: 205°F
- Recommended Wood: Hickory + Cherry (50/50 mix)
- (1+) 6-8 lb. Pork Butt(s) (Boston Butt)
- (2) 12 oz. cans of Cherry Dr. Pepper (1.5 cans per butt*)
- (1) batch of Jeff’s original rub (purchase recipes here)
- (1) 9×13 Disposable cake pan (about 2 inches deep)
*I used about 9-12 ounces as an injection then I used about 1/2 can in each pan per my instructions below.
I highly recommend using the pork butt instead of the picnic when making pulled pork. The picnic will work fine but it does have a thick skin that needs to be removed and in my opinion it is not as flavorful as the butt.
The butts are usually called a “Boston butt” and range anywhere between 6-8 lbs and may have a fat cap on the top side.
I have seen these lately being sold as 3 and 4 pounders as well but upon closer inspection you will notice that they are actually just halves.
Tip: The pork butt normally shrinks by 40% during cooking which is great information if you are calculating how much meat to cook. i.e. an 8 lb. butt will yield just under 5 lbs of meat.
I decided to inject my pork butts this time which is something I rarely do. My original rub (purchase recipes here) is amazing and adds a lot of flavor to the meat. Injecting with the cherry Dr. Pepper adds flavor to the inside of the pork butt and increases the juiciness of the finished product.
I put an ounce or so of cherry Dr. Pepper about every 2 inches across the top of the butt. There are various methods for injecting meat but I usually go in at a 45 degree angle and once I push the needle in.. I back up about 1/2 inch before pushing in the plunger.. seems to work well for me. It is ok if some of the fluid runs out the top of the hole you made.
I normally use yellow mustard or some olive oil to help the rub to stick but in staying with the theme, I used more cherry Dr. Pepper to simply wet the outside of the meat and help the rub to stick better.
Once I moistened the outside of the meat, I poured about 1/2 cup of Jeff’s original rub (purchase recipes here) on top and proceeded to massage it into the meat. As the rub mixed with the beautiful deep red color of the soda, it turned into a paste and made the pork butt look good enough to eat right then and there. I added more rub for the sides and bottom of the pork until it was well coated on all sides.
Leave the pork butt(s) on the counter to warm up a little and go get the smoker ready to go. If this takes you more than about 25-30 minutes then you might want to do this before prepping the meat so it does not sit out too long.
I highly recommend setting the smoker up for cooking at about 225-240°F. I tend to keep mine at about 225°F or so most of the time. This does take a little more time but then my rub does not burn so it’s worth it to me.
If you have a water pan, be sure to use it. It does seem to help keep the air more moist and while I don’t subscribe to the idea that the moisture actually gets into the meat, I do think that moist air has less of a drying effect than completely dry air so it does help.
If you like you can add some juice, more Dr. Pepper or even an onion or garlic bulb to the water pan if you’re feeling it.. I threw in an onion and garlic bulb for good measure;-)
Once the smoker is setup and ready to go, place the pork butt directly on the grate and let it smoke away for a while. If your pork butt has a fat cap like mine did, place it fat side down.
What Type of Wood for Pork Butt? : I use heavier flavors for the larger cuts such as mesquite, hickory or pecan. In this session, I used a 50/50 mix of Hickory and Cherry to stay with our “cherry” theme a little bit.
If you are using a charcoal, electric or gas smoker, keep the smoke going by replacing the chips/chunks as needed for at least 4-6 hours.
Be sure to insert a digital probe meat thermometer either in the beginning or sometime in the first 4-5 hours so you can monitor the internal temperature.
Note: you can also use a thermapen to check the temperature once the pork butt gets close to being done. The new Mk4 reads in about 3 seconds or less and I always keep mine close by anytime I am cooking.
Once the pork butt reaches about 160 degrees, you may opt to place it in a pan and/or wrap it in foil to finish it off. At this point the butt has been exposed to plenty of smoke and some time in the foil will not only super tenderize it, it will help it to get done a little faster in some cases. You can always just leave it on the grate until it’s done if you wish.. your call.
Here’s one of my pork butts.. at 3 hours in
Then at about 5 hours..
At around 6 hours, I checked and they had reached 160 degrees so I placed them in a foil pan, added some cherry Dr. Pepper to the bottom and covered the top with foil before placing them back into the smoker to finish.
Let the pork butts cook until they reach at least 200 degrees with about 205 being about perfect. At this point they are very tender and will practically fall apart with very little effort.
Here is one of the butts once it reached 205 degrees. As you can see the pan is full of liquid which is part cherry Dr. Pepper and mostly rendered fat and juices from the meat. The juice will be saved and used later.
Beautiful smoke ring and it is absolutely delicious.. albeit very hot!
If you follow my cooking instructions and let it cook to an internal temperature of 205 degrees, this process will be very easy. I usually slide the bone out first thing. I then start pulling the meat into large pieces and discard any fat that I find.
I then stir the meat around in a bowl and it just sort of falls apart. If you have any trouble with this, just use 2 forks and pull the meat in opposite directions to shred it.
As I stir it around, I am still looking for any pieces of fat that can be removed. I do not like clumps of fat in the meat so I am very careful to remove as much as possible. This is a little tedious but I think it is worth it and knowing that my family and friends are not eating that stuff makes me feel like it’s a worthwhile task.
Add more of my rub if it needs it. I usually add several tablespoons more and stir it around to coat. Do a taste test to make sure you added enough.
The pulled pork is now finished and can be used in special game day appetizers or whatever way you wish.
Get the Digital Recipes for Jeff’s Rub and Sauce
***Note: you get the Texas style rub recipe free with your order!
If I could give these recipes away, I would do that. I really want you to have them! But, then, this is how I support the newsletter, the website and all of the other stuff that we do here to promote the art of smoking meat.
Read these recent testimonies:
Love the sauce and rubLove the sauce and rub recipes. So far I have used them on beef ribs, pork ribs, and different chicken parts. Can't wait to do a beef brisket. Texas rub is great as well! ~Peter S.
I tried the rub on a beef..I tried the rub on a beef brisket and some beef ribs the other day and our entire family enjoyed it tremendously. I also made a batch of the barbeque sauce that we used on the brisket as well as some chicken. We all agreed it was the best sauce we have had in a while. ~Darwyn B.
Love the original rib rubLove the original rib rub and sauce! We have an annual rib fest competition at the lake every 4th of July. I will say we have won a great percent of the time over the past 15 years so we are not novices by any means. However, we didn't win last year and had to step up our game! We used Jeff's rub and sauce (sauce on the side) and it was a landslide win for us this year! Thanks Jeff for the great recipes. I'm looking forward to trying the Texas style rub in the near future! ~Michelle M.
You see the raving testimonies and you wonder, "Can the recipes really be that good?"
No worries! Make up a batch and if it's not as good as you've heard.. simply ask for a refund. Now that's a bargain and you know it. Let's review:
- You decide you don't like the recipes.. you don't pay!
- The recipes are absolutely amazing!
- Once you order, there'll be no more recipe ads in the email version of the newsletter
I really, really appreciate the support from my newsletter friends and be sure to let me know if you have any questions about this.
You Need Jeff's Book!
With more than 750 reviews on Amazon.com and a rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars, it comes highly recommended.
It is a Bestseller in Barbecueing & Grilling books on Amazon.
Note: German version available under the title "American Smoker" at Amazon.de
Buy Almost ANYTHING at Amazon!
If you enjoy the newsletter and would like to do something helpful, then..
The next time you decide to order something at Amazon.com, use THIS LINK to get there and we'll get a small commission off of what you purchase.
Thank you in advance for using our special link: http://www.smoking-meat.com/amazon
- Remove meat from wrapper
- Inject cherry Dr. Pepper into pork butt about every 2 inches.
- Generously apply Jeff's rub to all sides of pork butt.
- Setup smoker for cooking at 225-240°F.
- Place pork butt into smoker fat cap down.
- When internal temperature of meat reaches 160°F, it can be wrapped in foil, if desired, to speed up the process.
- Let the internal temperature of the meat come to about 205°F before calling it done.
- Let the meat cool uncovered on the counter for about an hour.
- Remove the bone from the meat and discard.
- Pull the meat apart into sections removing any clumps of fat as you go.
- Further pull the meat into smaller pieces discarding any fat or gristle that you find.
- Season the finished pulled pork again with Jeff's rub and stir around to disperse.
- The pulled pork is now ready to use as you wish.