This Pulled Pork Barbecue recipe is done Eastern North Carolina style. It features a tangy vinegar based sauce that sets it apart from other styles of barbecue. Serve it on a toasted roll with a side of slaw for a taste of the Carolina’s.
North Carolina Pork Barbecue
North Carolina is know for pulled pork. Eastern North Carolina pork is often referred to as chopped pork and it’s typically served with a spicy and tangy vinegar based sauce. It’s standard fare all over the state, and it’s as equally beloved as Western North Carolina barbecue. Die hard barbecue fans will tell you that when it comes to barbecue, it’s all about the smoke and they’re not wrong. My thought is that, the sauce and rub have a lot to do with the end product, too.
Helpful Pulled Pork Barbecue Making Tips
- This pork is made in the oven and results in a tender, fall apart end result. If you have a smoker, by all means adapt this recipe using your smoker.
- Remember to roast the pork fat side up. As it cooks, the fat renders and releases flavor and adds moisture. That gorgeous char just makes me starry eyed.
- The sauce makes plenty for basting and serving on the side. That being said, you may serve this pulled pork with your favorite sweet and smokey tomato based sauce, too.
- If you prefer, the vinegar sauce can be strained through a fine mesh strainer to remove the pepper flakes. We’re fans so, I never do. Either way, it’s delicious.
- This pork can also be chopped if you prefer a finer texture.
- You can enjoy this pulled pork as an entree, piled high on Texas toast or toasted rolls like these Kaiser rolls from Karen’s Kitchen Stories.
Dishes to Serve with Pulled Pork
Naturally, pulled pork is usually immediately followed by slaw. This pork is delicious with Carolina style red slaw or class mayonnaise homestyle cole slaw. Root beer bake beans or calico beans and fresh roasted corn on the cob wouldn’t hurt. And of course, pig pickin’ cake for dessert.
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Helpful Kitchen Items:
Pulled Pork Barbecue Recipe
- 1 6-8 lb pork butt
- 1/3 cup prepared barbecue rub blend (Your favorite) (See Cook's note for homemade rub)
- 2 cups apple cider vinegar
- 1 cup white distilled vinegar
- 2 Tbsp sugar
- 2 Tbsp crushed red pepper flakes may adjust to taste
- 1 Tbsp hot sauce i.e. Texas Pete may adjust to taste
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp cayenne
- buns and cole slaw for serving
- Liberally season pork on all sides with rub. Rub into the pork. Wrap in plastic wrap or place into an airtight container and chill overnight.
- Preheat oven to 300°F. Fit a rimmed pan with an oven safe rack. Unwrap pork butt and center on rack fat side up.
- Meanwhile, place sauce ingredients into a saucepan. Bring to a boil and immediately remove from heat. Reserve 2 cups for serving. (You may strain using a fine mesh sieve to remove pepper flakes, if desired)
- Roast pork for 6-7 hours basting with sauce every hour. Cook until it reaches an internal temperature of 200°F and the pork is falling apart. Rest uncovered for 20-30 minutes.
- Shred cooked pork using 2 forks removing all visible fat and bone. Drizzle with small amount of reserved sauce then serve remaining on side.
- Serve on kaiser rolls, hamburger buns or Texas toast with cole slaw.
- 4 Tbsp paprika
- 2 Tbsp salt
- 2 Tbsp granulated sugar
- 2 Tbsp brown sugar
- 2 Tbsp cumin
- 2 Tbsp chili powder
- 2 Tbsp black pepper
- 1 Tbsp cayenne
- 1 Tbsp granulated garlic or garlic powder
- 2 tsp onion powder