North Carolina-Style Pulled Pork

North Carolina-Style Pulled Pork

Doug 0

"This recipe is delicious, especially when smoked with hickory chips on a charcoal grill. A spicy rub and a zesty vinegar sauce turn pork into a North Carolina favorite."

Ingredients 15 h {{adjustedServings}} servings 426 cals

Serving size has been adjusted!

Original recipe yields 10 servings



Amount per serving ({{servings}} total)

  • Calories:
  • 426 kcal
  • 21%
  • Fat:
  • 23.1 g
  • 36%
  • Carbs:
  • 12.1g
  • 4%
  • Protein:
  • 39.1 g
  • 78%
  • Cholesterol:
  • 135 mg
  • 45%
  • Sodium:
  • 1698 mg
  • 68%

Based on a 2,000 calorie diet

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  1. In a small bowl, mix mild paprika, light brown sugar, hot paprika, celery salt, garlic salt, dry mustard, ground black pepper, onion powder, and salt. Rub spice mixture into the roast on all sides. Wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate 8 hours, or overnight.
  2. Prepare a grill for indirect heat.
  3. Sprinkle a handful of soaked wood over coals, or place in the smoker box of a gas grill. Place pork butt roast on the grate over a drip pan. Cover grill, and cook pork until pork is tender and shreds easily, about 6 hours. Check hourly, adding fresh coals and hickory chips as necessary to maintain heat and smoke.
  4. Remove pork from heat and place on a cutting board. Allow the meat to cool approximately 15 minutes, then shred into bite-sized pieces using two forks. This requires patience.
  5. In a medium bowl, whisk together cider vinegar, water, ketchup, brown sugar, salt, red pepper flakes, black pepper, and white pepper. Continue whisking until brown sugar and salt have dissolved. Place shredded pork and vinegar sauce in a large roasting pan, and stir to coat pork. Serve immediately, or cover and keep warm on the grill for up to one hour until serving.
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Reviews 183

  1. 233 Ratings


Okay, I'm a born and raised NC girl. I've been away for 4 years and crave BBQ daily. I decided to make this to see what I got. I used 4 pounds of pork shoulder, boneless, so I halved the recipe. I did the rub exactly as is and marinated it overnight. The next morning, I made up the sauce exactly as written, halved for the amount of pork. After tasting it, I decided it needed more brown sugar so I added 2 more tablespoons. I put half of the sauce and the pork in my slow cooker and cooked it for 8 hours. I then took the pork out, let it cool and then shredded it. (It was already falling apart.) I used a large spoon to take all of the fatty oil off of the good bits in the bottom of the slow cooker, and then I added the rest of the sauce, in addition with about 1/4 cup more brown sugar. I then put the pork back in. That is EXACTLY what I grew up eating, and my husband, a NC boy, completely agrees! I am so happy, I can't begin to tell you!!! Thank you SO much for this recipe!


We love North Carolina barbeque and have been looking for a recipe for a long time. This is a good one. I did make some changes though, as I was cooking it in the oven. Before I used the rub I stabbed the pork to make some slits in the meat. Then I put a tablespoon of liquid smoke on top and bottom of the meat. Then I used the rub. I wrapped the pork in heavy foil and put it in the refrig all day. Before I went to bed I preheated the oven to 350 degrees. Then I put the foil-wrapped pork in a pan in the oven overnight. By seven the next morning it was smelling wonderful and the meat was falling off the bone. I let it sit for about an hour and then shredded the meat. The fat just fell away leaving all that wonderful pork. As for the sauce, I thought it had a very strong vinegar flavor, so I added more brown sugar (a 1/4 cup at a time) until it tasted as I thought it should. Totally, I put in 1-1/4 cups of brown sugar. I also heated the sauce on the stove top until the sugar disolved. I also added 2 tablespoons of liquid smoke to the sauce. Then I mixed the pork into the sauce and let the whole thing simmer for about a half hour. Wonderful flavor. Tasted just like what we remembered from Lexington.


This is the 3rd time I've made this and my family loves it. I decided to cook the pork in a crockpot. I added 2 T. of salt and 2 T. of Liquid Smoke and cooked it on High for 8 hours. I then made the existing sauce recipe. With a 5-1/2 lb. pork butt using a single recipe, the meat soaked up all the sauce. Next time I will double the sauce. I omitted the salt since I put it on the meat before cooking. I also reduced the red pepper to 2 tsp.