Grandpa’s famous bbq pulled pork is easy enough that anyone can make it and it’s so tender and juicy you’ll think you’re at a southern bbq restaurant
*This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of the National Pork Board. Opinions and text are my own
My mom called the other day to tell me that Grandma had sent her some photos from when Grandpa would make the meat for the fair every year and she wondered if I would like to have them to keep with Grandpa’s Famous BBQ Pulled Pork recipe. Um, yes. That’s a no brainer. I love having recipes that have been passed down and have a good story to go along with them. If you’ve been reading my site for a while now you’ll remember that I love a good heirloom recipe like these Heirloom Apple Rolls, Grandma’s old fashioned strawberry ice cream and one of my all time favorite stories about her and Grandpa and an outhouse (you absolutely must read it. It’s cute.) a Texas Sized Chocolate Sheet Cake and more that you can find under Heirloom Recipes. Today I’m excited to have teamed up with the National Pork Board to bring you a comfort food recipe that’s been passed down through my family.
Let’s get on with Grandpa’s Famous BBQ Pulled Pork.
And guess what, it’s not just a recipe on my site! 10 leading bloggers plus a few amazing chefs have teamed up to bring you an awesome FREE e-cookbook! We cannot wait to share all of our recipes with you, so please click here for the FREE e-cookbook!
Isn’t there something wonderful about juicy pork with saucy, drip down your chin BBQ sauce? It’s literally one of the best meals in the world, in my humble opinion. And it’s even better when it’s a family recipe. This recipe has a cute little story that goes along with it. I love stories with recipes. In fact, I’ve begun asking my mom to write down a little memory or story when I ask her for recipes that way I can pass it on to my children and there’s not much that’s more comforting than comfort food with a tender memory.
My sweet Grandpa passed away right after my 3rd birthday. It wasn’t expected at all. In fact he’d just had his Gall bladder out and all was well, and then he was gone. My mom was pregnant with my little brother and so close to her due date that the doctor asked her if she had any unfinished business that she desperately needed to be at the funeral for. She said no, we knew we loved each other more than anything. So the doctor didn’t give permission for her to travel. That must have been so hard to not be there. But she’s helped us kids to all know him through the stories her and Grandma tell. I love to visit my Grandma to this day and sit on the floor of her bedroom going through her cedar chest and reading the love letters he would write while serving in World War II, looking at old photos and reading articles about him and the work he did in the Czech Republic. They even honored my Grandma years ago for the kindness and amazing things he did while serving there, especially for the children.
Constant Walter Thueson, or Walt as everyone knew him was a joker and a tease, but boy did he have a big heart. People remember him as the owner of the gas station that would fix a car for free for a stranded family driving through town, have people over for dinner that had nothing, and he was quick to always help anyone in need. Every year Grandpa would cook for the big fair and while the crowds loved the beef, pork or buffalo, it’s only the pork that I make with the sauce.
You may need to click the letter to read it, but it’s from the chamber of commerce thanking Grandpa for yet another succesful BBQ. Everyone looked forward to all of that delicious food and Grandpa used the same yummy recipe every year. Grandma says that he would inject the meat with his famous BBQ sauce, bury it in the ground to roast all night. In fact she says, “We would lay in bed worrying all night that it was too hot and would over cook or too cold and it wouldn’t be ready for all of those people, so Dad would get up and go to check on it multiple times. Those were the good ol’ days, weren’t they?”
Yes, Grandma those were the good ol’ days. We’ve lost a little something with how hurried we’ve become and there isn’t that town community that there used to be. But I’m not going to let that be the case for our children. We will pass on the recipes, share the stories and create our own traditions with friends and family so that we remember to slow down and enjoy our hard work and good relationships.
And we are going to eat a lot of this pork, because not only does it make me feel close to a man that I never knew, but it’s dang good too. I have to say, even sitting here writing this post I’ve felt so close to him and I can just imagine that little sparkle in his eye and how proud he would be to know that his recipe and story will be shared with all of you. Jeepers, it even makes me a little emotional. Love you, Grandpa.
Ok, phew, let’s wipe those tears and making Grandpa proud. Start out with your sauce. Melt down a little butter with the onions so they get all tender and fragrant. Add the remaining ingredients and simmer for 10 minutes. Allow the sauce to cool. I make the sauce in big batches and store it in the fridge in a mason jar for a couple weeks at a time. When you are ready for the pork, fill an injector and inject the pork all over, about 10 different spots using about 1 1/2 cups of sauce or whatever you can fit. Then roast in a slow cooker on low for 8 hours or in a low heat grill for 6-8 hours.
I would love to know if there are any family recipes and stories that you have! Please share! And I’d love for you to follow along in our Heirloom recipe series. You can start by reading the posts in the first paragraph. There are some sweet and funny little stories.
Grandpa’s Famous BBQ Pulled Pork
- 1 Pork Shoulder/Butt about 3 pounds
- 1 Cup BBQ Sauce *recipe follows
- Meat Injector
- ⅓ Cup Onion, chopped
- 3 Tablespoons Butter, unsalted
- 1 Cup Ketchup
- ⅓ Cup Lemon Juice or Vinegar *we used apple cider vinegar this time
- ⅛ Teaspoon salt
- 2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
- ½ Cup Water
- 2 Tablespoons Prepared Mustard
- 2 Tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
- First prepare the bbq sauce. Heat a sauce pan over medium heat and add the butter. Once the butter has started to melt add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally until the onions are soft and translucent. Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Once the sauce reaches a boil turn to low and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
- Fill the meat injector. If the pork came tied up remove the paper or plastic but leave it tied with butcher string, otherwise just place it in the slow cooker. Using the meat injector, inject the meat about 6-10 times all over with about 1 cup of BBQ sauce, leaving the remainder for the end.
- Cook on low for 6-8 hours (we always do 8 unless it is a very small piece of meat) or until so tender the meat is falling apart. Serve immediately with reserved sauce.
This juicy pulled pork is salty and tender just like a real Luau pig would be in Hawaii!
Everyone needs a slowcooker carnitas recipe for an easy way to throw together Taco Tuesday.