South Carolina Pulled Pork

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Dinner, Main Course American
By Adapted from America's Test Kitchen Serves: 4-8
Prep Time: 20 Minutes, with an overnight dry brine Cooking Time: 5-7 Hours Total Time: 8 Hours, with resting time

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


Pork Rub


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.