Welcome to Djalali Cooks! We are making our way toward Memorial Day with a great cookout main dish: South Carolina Pulled Pulled Pork. The hallmark of South Carolina barbecue is the mustard-based sauce. It’s tangy and light, perfectly complimenting the sweet smoky pork. We are making sandwiches, but it’s so good all on its own with a side of coleslaw. Let’s get to the recipe!
We will start by making a spice rub for the pork shoulder. This will be the first layering of tangy mustard flavor. Whisk together dry mustard, light brown sugar, pepper and salt, cayenne and paprika. Dry the pork shoulder with paper towels, then generously coat all sides of the pork shoulder in the rub; press and pat the rub onto the meat and cover tightly with two sheets of plastic wrap. Set the pork shoulder on a plate or small sheet tray and set it in the fridge for 24 hours.
Smoker Set Up
We are using our Big Green Egg and hickory wood for this smoke; you can turn your gas or charcoal grill into a smoker with a foil packet of water-soaked wood chips. Soak the wood chips in water for about 15 minutes, then create a packet out of foil with the wood chips sealed inside. Cut three vent holes in the top of the packet. Once your coals are ashed over, scoot them to one side of the grill and place the foil packet on top of the coals, when the chips begin to smoke (about 15 minutes), place the pork shoulder on the cool side of the grill for two hours, until the pork develops a rosy crust on the exterior. If using a gas grill, you will place the foil packet directly on the primary burner. Turn all the burners on high and when the chips begin to smoke, turn off all but the primary burner and place pork on cool side of the grill.
South Carolina Barbecue Sauce
For the South Carolina Barbecue Sauce, we are starting with good old yellow mustard. We have brown sugar, salt, pepper, Worcestershire sauce, Frank’s Red Hot Sauce and white vinegar. Mix all of these together until the sauce is smooth.
Baste and Roast
If you’re not using a dedicated smoker, preheat your oven to 325 degrees and adjust the oven rack to the lower-middle position. At the two hour mark on the grill, transfer the pork to a roasting pan and brush 1/2 cup of sauce over the pork shoulder, cover tightly with foil and roast for 2-3 hours, until the pork is tender and gives no resistance when a fork is inserted. Remove from oven and let the pork rest, covered for 30 minutes.
If you are using a smoker and want to finish it in the oven, you can do that to speed things up, or you can let this pork shoulder go for about 1 hour per pound. For us, this amounted to about 7 hours on the smoker. At hour four, or when the pork has a deep burgundy color, wrap the pork shoulder in foil. Continue the smoke. When we were about 20 minutes from pulling this off the smoker, we basted the pork shoulder twice with the South Carolina Barbecue sauce, every 10 minutes. Leave the foil wrap on the pork and then let it rest in a cold oven or an empty cooler.
When the pork has rested and is cool enough to handle, use two forks or your hands to shred the meat.
Finish with Sauce
Place the shredded pork in a large bowl and drizzle on the remaining South Carolina Barbecue Sauce, mix it altogether with your hands to evenly coat the pork with sauce.
We like to make South Carolina Pulled Pork sandwiches on Martin’s Potato Buns with just a few dill pickle chips.
South Carolina Pulled Pork
And that’s all you need, really. No mayo, no ketchup. Just that delicious, sweet, tangy South Carolina barbecue sauce. It’s such a perfect marriage of flavors, the rich smoky pork and the mustard sauce. Personally, I prefer the Carolinas’ barbecue sauce over the tomato-based sauces like St.Louis or Kansas City. I like the vinegary base to cut through the richness of the meat. The sauce is flavored just enough to give it something extra without overpowering the flavor of the meat.
With summer approaching, I am really looking forward to evenings spent cooking outside, grilling up our favorite summertime foods with friends and family. Do y’all enjoy grilling out? What are your favorite foods to cook out on the grill? Let me know in the comments, or reach out on Instagram. Thanks for spending time with me today, if you’re interested in another great grill recipe, check out my Soy Grilled Pork Chops. I will see you again tomorrow with an easy dessert, perfect for a Memorial Day or summertime cookout. Take care and be well, everyone. xo Kelly
South Carolina Pulled Pork
Hickory-smoked pulled pork shoulder with South Carolina's signature mustard-based barbecue sauce – it's rich, smoky and tangy with a little kick. Have it as a sandwich, or on its own with a side salad.
- Pork Rub
- 3 tbsp. Dry Mustard
- 1.5 tbsp. Light Brown Sugar
- 4 tbsp. Kosher Salt (or 2 tbsp. Table Salt)
- 2 tsp. Pepper
- 2 tsp. Paprika
- ¼ tsp. Cayenne Pepper
- 1 Boneless/Bone-in Pork Shoulder Roast (4 to 5 pounds. If your roast is more than 5 lbs. plan for an extra 30-60 minutes in the oven)
- 4 cups Hickory Wood Chips, soaked for 15 minutes
- South Carolina Mustard Sauce
- 1/2 cup Yellow Mustard
- 1/2 cup Packed Light Brown Sugar
- 1/4 cup White Vinegar
- 2 tbsp. Worcestershire Sauce
- 1 tbsp. Hot Sauce
- 2 tsp. Kosher Salt (or 1 tsp. Table Salt)
- 1 tsp. Pepper
Whisk together dry mustard, light brown sugar, pepper and salt, cayenne and paprika. Dry the pork shoulder with paper towels, then generously coat all sides of the pork shoulder in the rub; press and pat the rub onto the meat and cover tightly with two sheets of plastic wrap. Set the pork shoulder on a plate or small sheet tray and set it in the fridge for 24 hours.
Smoker/Grill Set Up
Soak the wood chips in water for about 15 minutes, then create a packet out of foil with the wood chips sealed inside. Cut three vent holes in the top of the packet. Once your coals are ashed over, scoot them to one side of the grill and place the foil packet on top of the coals, when the chips begin to smoke (about 15 minutes), place the pork shoulder on the cool side of the grill for two hours, until the pork is a rosy color on top. If using a gas grill, you will place the foil packet directly on the primary burner. Turn all the burners on high and when the chips begin to smoke, turn off all but the primary burner and place pork on cool side of the grill and cover. Barbecue for about 2 hours, until the pork has a rosy pink crust on the exterior.
Mustard Sauce and Finishing
Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 325 degrees.
Whisk mustard, brown sugar, vinegar, Worcestershire, hot sauce, salt, and pepper in bowl until smooth.
Transfer pork to roasting pan and brush 1/2 cup sauce over meat. Cover roasting pan tightly with foil and bake until fork inserted into pork can be removed with no resistance, 2 to 3 hours.
Remove from oven and let rest, wrapped in foil, for 30 minutes.
Unwrap pork and, when cool enough to handle, pull meat into thin shreds.
Toss pork with remaining sauce.
Serve on potato buns and top with pickles.
Sylvia EspinozaMay 26, 2021 at 9:30 am
Good Morning, Kelly…just the name “Pulled Pork” gets my mouth to watering. Sure hope to try your recipe! Our grilling days with my husband’s large family always had beef fajitas, chicken, sausage, country-style ribs, often a chuck roast and/or pork roast. These days beef fajitas remain my favorite! Thanks for bringing us Pulled Pork today Hugs!~
Kelly DjalaliMay 26, 2021 at 12:47 pm
Hi Sylvia, Beef fajitas on the grill would be fantastic! I have always loved country-style ribs, too. I hope you give this regional bbq sauce a try, it’s great – even if you use it on ribs, or something other than smoked pork butt. Thanks so much for sharing your favorite grill foods! Have a wonderful rest of the week! xo Kelly
BGMay 26, 2021 at 6:45 pm
This recipe sounds wonderful. I would love to give it a try – but, no grill. Can I roast it in the oven? I know – not the same smokey flavor – but any guidance would be appreciated.
Kelly DjalaliMay 26, 2021 at 11:38 pm
Hi BG, I’d say yes, you can do it in the oven. To get the bark on the outside: in a Dutch oven, heat two tablespoons of vegetable oil over medium-high heat and sear the pork roast on all sides, then cover and place the Dutch oven in a 300 degree oven for one hour per pound. I would start basting it halfway through (after about 2 hours): use 1/2 cup of the sauce to brush over the pork and cover it, keep cooking for another 2-3 hours. I haven’t done this, I will say, but I am confident it will work. And trying is half the fun. Let me know how it works out for you. It’s a time commitment, but well worth the effort. xo Kelly