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Memphis Style Pulled Pork (Kosmos Q)

Nothing beats a pulled pork sandwich for lunch, and this recipe is for those of us who want it FAST. Fire up your cooker, and let the smoke work its magic so you can enjoy the best Memphis-style pulled pork you’ve ever had.


•         7-8 lb Pork Boston butt

•         1/8 cup Unrefined evaporated cane sugar (no table sugar, please)

•         2 Tbsp Kosmo’s Q Dirty Bird Rub regular or hot

•         1 Tbsp Kosmo’s Q Cow Cover Rub

•         1 Tbsp Kosmo’s Q Texas Beef Rub

•         1 tsp Dry mustard

•         1 tsp Dry thyme

•         1 tsp Dry oregano

•         1/8 tsp Ground ginger

•         6 oz Ginger ale


Let’s get some of the legwork out of the way, so the cooking goes as smoothly as possible. The first (and probably the messiest) step, is creating the rub paste. Grab a medium mixing bowl and add the sugar, BBQ rubs, mustard, and herbs. Stir well to combine.

Next, prepare the pork butt. Using a sharp knife, trim off loose and excess fat, as well as any silverskin present. Nobody wants chewy bits in their pulled pork – keep only the good fat that will render down and flavor the meat!

Time to flavor the pork butt! Get the rub mix you made earlier, and set aside 2 tablespoons. Use the rest to coat all sides generously, getting it into all nooks and crevices between the muscles! Then put the pork in a lipped pan (to avoid spillage) with the fat cap facing down, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 12 hours, going as long as 36 hours if you want (the longer the better).

And that’s about it! After giving it enough time to absorb the flavors, the pork butt is ready to meet the heat.


About six hours before you want to serve & eat, is the perfect time to fire up your grill/cooker (set up for indirect cooking). You want to maintain a temperature of 325ºF (163ºC) on the indirect side of the cooker, for about 4 hours, so manage your coal supply as necessary. Use any smoke wood you like – we recommend 3-4 chunks of hickory, and a couple chunks of cherry.

While the pit is getting up to temp, get the pork butt out of the fridge, uncover it, and hit all sides with the rub mixture set aside earlier in the recipe.

And once the coals are ready, put the butt on the cooker, with the fat cap facing down. Close the lid/door, and let the smoke work its magic for the next 3 hours! Make sure the temperature on the grates stays in the 325-350ºF (163-176ºC) range.

Right at the 3 hour mark, or when internal temperature in the pork butt hits 165ºF (74ºC), wrap it fat-side-up in a triple layer of heavy duty foil. Add the ginger ale before sealing the foil around the butt, taking care not to tear or puncture the foil.

Return the wrapped pork butt to the cooker, and let it cook for about 2 more hours. You’re aiming for a core temp between 195ºF (91ºC) and 203ºF (95ºC) in the thickest part of the butt – never pull it below 195º.

Once internal temperature looks good, get the butt off the cooker, and open up the foil. Allow it to steam & rest for at least 15 minutes to stop the cooking process. Then pull the pork with two large forks (or by wearing suitable gloves). If you see any particularly large pieces of fat, throw those out.

Pro tip: save the liquid from the foil wrap, skim the fat off, and add some to the pulled pork to keep it moist.

Finally, serve the pulled pork on a bun, topped with your favorite BBQ sauce and a handful of coleslaw.