It occurred to me a while back that every time we do a pork butt, it's always pulled and while that's an amazing way to serve smoked pork butt, it's equally good sliced. In this recipe, we are going to smoke a pork butt until it's just starting to get tender and then we'll slice it up and make some of the best sliders you ever ate. While we're at it, I'll show you my campfire sauce recipe (don't tell anyone that it's just mayo and your favorite barbecue sauce).
I recommend purchasing a boneless pork butt however, if you get home with a bone-in pork butt like I did, you can remove the bone. I'm not the right person to teach “butchering” but as long as you have a sharp knife, you can follow the shape of the bone and keep working at it until it is separated from the meat. Watch your fingers!
I guess the other option is to cook it with the bone intact and then remove it once the meat is cooked however, since we are not cooking this pork butt as long as we normally would for pulled pork, I am not sure how easily it will come out after the meat is cooked + it will be very, very hot!
Here is my pork butt, bone removed
Now since we are planning to slice this thing, I want it to have a nice round shape and this will require a little string around it to hold everything in place.
I cut five pieces about 2-feet long and one piece about 3-feet long.
The shorter pieces I wrapped around the pork butt one by one, cinching it tight and tying a simple square knot to secure it. I did these about every two inches or so along the length of the roast. To get them even just tie one on each end, one in the middle and then one on each side of the middle halfway between middle and the end strings.
I then tied the long string from end to end across all of the other strings.
A little mustard all over to help the rub to stick is just what the doctor ordered
And of course, a good thick coat of Jeff's original rub*. This is a big hunk of meat and it can handle a lot of flavor as long as there's not a lot of salt. Fortunately, my original rub recipe is very low in salt.
*Purchase formula here | Purchase bottled rub
At this point I usually leave it sitting while I go get the smoker ready however, this one is going in the fridge overnight so we can cook it the next morning.
Here's a look at what happens in about 20 minutes.
As you can see, the little bit of salt in my original rub* pulls moisture to the surface and that wets the rub and makes it look darker.
The next morning, the pork is ready for the smoker after it's long night in the ice box.
*Purchase formula here | Purchase bottled rub
Set up the smoker for cooking at about 250°F using indirect heat and if you smoker has a water pan, fill it up. If you are using a gas, charcoal, or electric smoker, you need to have enough smoking wood to last about 4 hours. I used an equal mix of apple and cherry but you can use whatever smoking wood you have available.
Once the smoker is ready, place the pork butt on the smoker grate. I used a bradley rack sitting on a baking sheet lined with foil to control the mess a little better but you certainly can just place it right on the grate if you want to. If you have multiple racks, you can place a pan below the pork butt to catch the juices that drip down if you want to.
About 3 hours in, the pork butt is looking good.
I'm expecting this roast to take 7-8 hours but ultimately, it's not done until it measures 175°F in the thickest part as measured by my handy dandy Smoke thermometer made by ThermoWorks. I like to use that for long cooks since I can place the receiver in my pocket and no matter where I am around the house, I know the temperature of the smoker and the meat. I didn't need to go anywhere while I was cooking this but if I had, I would have connected the Smoke Gateway which connects the Smoke to my home wifi signal and then I can get see the temperature of my pit and meat while I am at the store or out running errands. It auto connects after the initial setup so it's really easy to use.
To speed things up you can wrap with foil once it reaches about 160°F but I wanted really good bark and for that, it's best to leave it unwrapped the entire time.
Once the meat reaches 175°F, remove it from the smoker and set the pan on the counter for about an hour to rest and cool down.
Based on experience, if I try to slice that roast right now, even if it's cooled down significantly, it will fall apart and the slices will not look good. I recommend placing the roast in the fridge for at least 4-6 hours and overnight is best. I opted for overnight.
The next morning with my Chef's Choice 609 slicer all set up and ready to go, I removed the smoked pork roast from the fridge and cut off about a 4 inch piece for slicing. The smaller chunk will be easier to work with on the slicer.
This is the slicer that I use. It is a Chef's Choice 609 that I picked up for less than $100 and it does a great job considering I only use a slicer about twice a year.
Slicing up some pork roast at about 1/8 thick.
If you do not have a slicer, that's ok. Just get a sharp knife and you can slice the pork roast up that way and it will work just fine.
To make the sliders, I'm gonna need to get a few things ready like toasting the buns, warming the meat and making the campfire sauce.
I recommend placing the meat you plan to use in a foil pan with foil over the top and putting it in a 250-275 °F oven for about 15 minutes. This gives you time to make the campfire sauce and get the buns ready to toast.
Make the Campfire Sauce
I hope you were not planning on that being too difficult or a lot of ingredients. It's super easy and super good.. just the way I like it. Mix the two ingredients together until the color is consistent and set aside.
Toast the Buns
With the soft butter in hand, spread a thin layer onto the top and bottom of each bun and place on a baking sheet.
Turn the oven on broil and insert the buns to toast.
Watch them carefully so they reach a perfect golden brown and don't burn.
Meat is warm, let's make some sliders!
Place the toasted bun bottoms on a plate and start by adding campfire sauce on the bottom..
Add some slaw.
Here's the slaw recipe I used or you can just use your own favorite slaw recipe and the more colorful, the better. You can also use spinach greens or lettuce and a slice of tomato.
More campfire sauce–
Top it with a toasted top bun and it's ready to serve immediately!
- This would also make a great sandwich using normal sized buns if you are so inclined.
- Add some hot sauce to the campfire sauce to light it up.
- Brush melted butter on the very top of the buns after assembling to make them look and taste even better.
- Is there something that you do different or would add to these to make them better? Let everyone know in the comments below.