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I am always a fan of meat that has been cooked low and slow. This Cajun Pulled Pork recipe is one of my favorites and I know you’ll love it as much as I do! It requires a little bit of preparation at the beginning, but is practically fool-proof and will produce a meat that is tender, juicy, and tasty. Another bonus of this pulled pork recipe is that it makes A LOT. If you are a food prepper (and I hope you are!), you will love the number of meals you can make with this recipe. Pulled pork can be used in a variety of ways.
The best cut of meat to use for pulled pork is either a “pork shoulder” or “pork butt”. These two terms are used interchangeably. Specifically, Boston Butt, is the most common cut used for pulled pork. The cut comes from the upper part of the shoulder/front leg (not the rear!) and oftentimes still contains the blade bone.
This time around, I chose to use a Cajun seasoning instead of my usual sea salt dry rub. I also wanted to make the pork butt extra juicy so I chose to put the meat in a brine the day before I actually cooked it. Now if you have never brined before, you are missing out on some flavorful meat. The process is rather easy, but just takes some planning.
The chemistry behind brining is actually pretty simple. Meat already contains salt water. When meat is immersed into a liquid that contains a higher salt concentration, the brine sinks into the meat. Any flavoring added to the brine will be absorbed into the meat with the saltwater mixture. Because the meat is now loaded with extra moisture it will stay that way as it cooks. Cool, right?
Keep in mind that you can improvise with whatever flavorings and spices that you like. The ingredients and recipes listed below are all Paleo-approved. If you buy anything from the grocery store that is already mixed, read the nutrition label and make sure no additional naughty things have been added…companies like to do that!
With whatever flavorings and spices you use, the process of cooking the pork butt remains the same. This particular recipe calls for a roaster oven. You can use your regular oven or if you have a meat smoker, by all means, use that! I hope you enjoy this one.
Makes: 1/4 cup
2 tsp. sea salt
2 tsp. garlic powder
2.5 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. ground black pepper
1 tsp. onion powder
1-2 tsp. cayenne pepper (depending on how spicy you like it!)
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. thyme
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
In a small bowl, add and stir all ingredients until thoroughly mixed.
1/2 cup sea salt
1/2 cup Coconut Palm Sugar (a great Paleo-approved substitute for brown sugar)
2 qts cold water
3 Tbsp. “Cajun Spice Dry Rub”
In a large container (I used a rectangular tupperware that has an air-tight lid), add and stir all ingredients until thoroughly mixed.
Large Tupperware with Air-Tight Lid (for brining purposes)
Large Roaster Oven or Crock Pot (you may use your oven or meat smoker as well)
5-7 lbs Bone-In Pork Butt
Brine Solution for Pulled Pork (recipe above)
1/4 Cup Cajun-Style Dry Rub for Pulled Pork
24 Hours before you plan on cooking the pork: Make the brine solution and pour into large tupperware. Place pulled pork in brine solution and make sure it is completely immersed. Refrigerate overnight.
8-10 Hours before you plan on eating the pork: Set roaster oven on LOW (around 215 degrees). Take the pork out of the brine solution and place in the roaster oven. Cover the pork shoulder with Cajun-Style Dry Rub and massage it in well. Place lid on roaster oven and allow pork to cook for 8-10 hours.
TIP: For pulled pork that is fork- tender and easily falls off the bone, allow the internal temperature of the meat to reach 180 degrees F.
I love to used pulled pork in a variety of ways. You can add it to your morning scrambled eggs, make some street tacos like the recipe HERE, or simply mix it with some vegetables for a quick go-to meal.
What are your favorite ways to use pulled pork? List any comments or questions below!
Tennille Boseman is a self-proclaimed busy body and credits the Paleo diet for the energy she has to do it all. She loves eating real food, is a recovering Peanut Butter-aholic, and now has a real obsession with almond butter. When she’s not eating that by the spoonful, you’ll find Tennille in the kitchen experimenting with new Paleo recipes. Her cooking style is simple, realistic, and delicious. Tennille is the owner of Paleo Plate, a protein/energy treat company and is also the founder of the Jett Powered Foundation. She spends her spare time attempting to perfect her double unders and pull-ups at Fit Farm Crossfit and watching episodes of Breaking Bad with her husband. Her most favorite role, however, is being a mom to a very precious two-year-old boy. She has learned that life is fragile and that some of life’s greatest triumphs come from the biggest challenges. Tennille is Utah grown and raised, but is currently living in Omaha, Nebraska with her little family and overweight dog (we’re working on that one).
If you have any questions (or recipe suggestions!), contact Tennille at firstname.lastname@example.org