OK LT - here's what you do the first time. You will need:
Hickory CHUNKS (not chips)
Charcoal (do NOT use the stuff with lighter fluid in it already)
Cheap apple juice or apple cider
Chimney (to start the coal - I prefer 2 but 1 will do)
2 sheets of newspaper per chimney
Buy one of those plastic lighters
Instant read thermometer
Silicone gloves or pot holders to pick up the hot hunk of meat as you do not want to pierce with a fork
coleslaw recipe below
1 pork shoulder or picnic or pork butt, whatever it's called in your area
cut the hunk of fat off the meat - there's plenty of fat in it, you don't need it, plus, it will create more "bark", that's the brown stuff on the outside that gets all the yummy tasty goodness
Rub your shoulder or picnic (nope, you can't make me say it!
) with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Let come to room temp for about 30 minutes or so.
Soak your Hickory chunks (about 5) in enough water to cover. Sometimes you have to stick a plate in the bowl to hold the chunks down.
Fill the water pan will apple juice.
Take one full
sheet of newspaper and scrunch up and place under your chimney in that area provided. Place a combination of the hardwood briquettes and charcoal in the chimney. Light the paper by poking the lighter through the holes all around. You will see wisps of smoke coming up out of the coals. It will take about 20 minutes until you see fire. When you see the fire you can dump the coals in the coal pan. Place the chunks about the coals, place the meat on the rack in the middle, close the door, and leave it alone!
It will quit smoking eventually but that's ok. The smoke has penetrated the meat. One of the worst things you can do is over-smoke something.
Now, if you notice your temperature setting getting too low you can always heat up some more coals in your chimney - dump those in. Sometimes, depending on how long it takes, I have added 3 or 4 more additions. I'm like Bob, I don't know times either but I know that a hunk of meat can take up to 10 - 12 hours, so plan on that.
After about 8 you can take your instant read thermometer and get an idea. You want the meat to get up to at least 190. Anything less won't be pullable. If you can hold out until it reaches 200 or even 210 you will be smitten for pulled pork forever!
Now, get a head of cabbage and shred or chop. Chop 1 small green pepper and one small carrot. Toss together and add about 1 cup of the sauce below. Let "marinate" for an hour or two.
BBQ Sauce time:
2 cups apple cider vinegar
3 TBS ketchup
2 TBS packed brown sugar
4 tsp. kosher salt (makes a huge difference so use kosher)
1 TBS Tabasco or other hot sauce
1 – 2 tsp. hot red pepper flakes, more or less to taste
1 – 2 tsp. black pepper
If you mix the brown sugar and salt first with just the vinegar the vinegar will help "melt" it. Mix in everything else and add as much red pepper flakes as you want. Don't over do it at first though.
Like mentioned above, take about a cup of this to use for the coleslaw and then use the rest to spoon over the pulled meat.
OK, once the meat is done let it rest for about 20 - 30 minutes - IF YOU PULL IT TOO SOON ALL THE JUICES WILL RUN OUT AND IT WILL BE DRY AND YOU WILL HATE YOURSELF!!!!!!!!!!
OK - off soapbox - once the meat has rested and cooled pull as much as you will eat.
Place pulled meat on bun, top with some of the BBQ sauce, then top with the slaw, put bun "lid" on and enjoy!
This looks long but it's really not hard to do - once you do this you will be begging for more recipes and they won't scare you.
**you better make this - it took me forever to type it