Chopped Barbecued Pork

Chopped Barbecued Pork

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Prep Time: 60 minutes
Cook Time: 485 minutes
Servings: 6
Slow-cooked to tender perfection, this pork shoulder is basted with a Carolina-style mop sauce, so named because it was traditionally slathered onto the meat using a string mop. One of the most flavorful portions of authentic Carolina chopped pork is the tasty browned surface of the meat, known to barbecue aficionados as the outside brown. For more information on chopping the pork, click on the link at right.


  • 4 lb. boneless pork shoulder, tied
  • 1 Tbs. kosher salt, plus more, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 2 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • Hush Puppies for serving


Generously season the pork with salt and black pepper. Place in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 12 hours.

In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the vinegar, cayenne, pepper flakes, brown sugar and the 1 Tbs. salt. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sugar is dissolved. Transfer the mop sauce to a bowl and let cool to room temperature. Let stand for at least 3 hours or up to 2 days. Reserve half of the sauce for serving.

Remove the pork from the refrigerator 1 hour before grilling.

Prepare a medium-low fire in a Big Green Egg or other well-insulated charcoal grill.

Place the pork on a V-rack set on a drip pan and set the pan on the grill. Cover the grill and smoke the meat, maintaining the temperature at about 250°F. After 1 hour, brush the meat on both sides with some of the mop sauce. Continue smoking, brushing and turning the pork every hour, for 6 hours total. Remove the pork from the V-rack and place the meat directly on the grill. Cover and smoke, brushing and turning the pork every hour, until it is tender enough to be pulled, 2 to 4 hours more.

Transfer the pork to a carving board, cover loosely with aluminum foil and let rest for 20 minutes. Chop the meat (for tips, click on the link at right). Transfer the meat to a bowl and toss with the reserved mop sauce. Serve warm with hush puppies. Serves 4 to 6.
Williams-Sonoma Kitchen.
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