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pulled-pork-sandwichSignature Carolina barbecue is slow cooked & smoked pork, dry rubbed and finished with a tangy slightly spicy vinegar based sauce.  You can use a slow cooker to start the pork - just make sure to finish it over a wood fire or grill with wood chips for that smokey flavor.

The best plan is to begin prep at least the night before to season you meat and let it sit refrigerated overnight + prepare the sauce so flavors will develop and come together.

You will have left over sauce that can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 months.  This is also great over grilled chicken or pork tenderloin.

Eastern Carolina Pulled Pork Recipe

1.9/5 rating (16 votes)
  • Ready in: Make the sauce 1 to 2 days in advance + 8-12 hours to season meat + 20 minutes prep + 6-8 hours cooking time (if using a slow cooker double time)
  • Serves: 10
  • Complexity: easy
Eastern Carolina Pulled Pork Recipe


  • For Pulled Pork
  • 1 tablespoon mild smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons light brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons hot paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 8 pounds pork butt roast
  • hickory wood chips, soaked
  • Soft white hamburger buns
  • For Eastern Carolina BBQ Sauce
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 1 cup cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper (more or less to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon hot pepper sauce (e.g. Tabascoâ„¢), or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper


For Pulled Pork

In a small bowl, mix mild paprika, light brown sugar, hot paprika, celery salt, garlic salt, dry mustard, ground black pepper, onion powder, and salt. Rub spice mixture into the roast on all sides. Wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate 8 hours, or overnight.

Prepare a grill for indirect heat.

Sprinkle a handful of soaked wood over coals, or place in the smoker box of a gas grill. Place pork butt roast on the grate over a drip pan. Cover grill, and cook pork until pork is tender and shreds easily, practically falling apart - this will take about 6 - 8 hours. Check hourly, adding fresh coals and hickory chips as necessary to maintain heat and smoke.

Remove pork from heat and place in an aluminum pan. Allow the meat to cool slightly at least 15 minutes, then shred into bite-sized pieces using two forks.

For Carolina Barbecue Sauce

Combine the white vinegar, cider vinegar, brown sugar, cayenne pepper, hot pepper sauce, salt and pepper in a jar or bottle with a tight-fitting lid. Refrigerate for 1 to 2 days before using so that the flavors will blend. Shake occasionally, and store for up to 2 months in the refrigerator.

Toss pork thoroughly with the sauce and serve on white hamburger buns. 

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