Recipes: Pork and Italian Sausage

The protein synonymous with BBQ, pork is the most versatile meat available, offering a wide range of cuts perfect for grilling and smoking.

View Grilled Pork Guide  | View All of Grill Girl’s Pork Recipes

Pork Butt

This cut of pork actually comes from the shoulder area of the pig —which is nowhere near the butt! It’s often also called a Boston Butt, because around the Revolutionary War it was shipped in barrels called “Butts” where it was popular in the New England area, which is how it became known as the “Boston Butt”.

Pork butts come from the shoulder of the pig, higher on the foreleg. Pork butts often come with a fat cap and are well marbled with intramuscular fat, making them a better choice for pulled pork than a pork shoulder. Tough cuts like the pork butt, like most cuts in the BBQ world, become tender only after cooking low and slow which in turn tenderizes the meat. The beauty of smoked pork is that they make great pulled pork sandwiches that are great for feeding a crowd.

Pork butts take an average of an hour per pound to cook at 250 degrees, so a 5lb pork butt will take approximately 5 hours to cook.

If smoking at 225, expect it to take about 90 minutes per pound and plan accordingly.

The pork butt should be smoked until it reaches an internal temperature of 203, which is the temperature that collagen breaks down in meat.

When smoking a pork butt or shoulder, you will most likely experience “The Stall” which is when the internal temp of the meat has been steadily rising and then stops. This is attributed by scientists to the meat evaporating and cooling the meat. The workaround for the inevitable “stall” is to use the “Texas Crutch” or to wrap your meat in foil.

Tips for Smoking Pork Butts

  • To keep your pork butt moist during the cook, you can inject and also spray the meat with apple juice
  • Cut some of the excess fat on the top and then score it to allow your rub to touch more of the meat
  • Pulled pork pairs well with my Carolina Gold BBQ Sauce or my Alabama White BBQ Sauce
  • Leftover pulled pork is great for a Pulled Pork Bahn Mi or Cuban Sandwiches you can make on your grill

Pork Shoulder

Pork Shoulder, also known as the picnic roast, is often sold with the skin on and comes in a tapered, triangular shape, It has less fat and marbling than the pork butt, which is why I prefer smoking butts over shoulders.

Most BBQ cooks prefer a boston butt over a picnic shoulder because of the uniformity and fat content, but if you are preparing a recipe that calls for crisp pork skin, then Pork Shoulder or picnic roast is the best choice for this.

Pork Tenderloin

Pork Tenderloin is one of the easiest and most versatile cuts of pork, it is amazing grilled and can also be cooked in cast iron or in the oven.

The tenderloin is always the most tender cut of any protein because it is the muscle that gets the least use. The pork tenderloin is an incredibly versatile cut of pork that can be cooked in more than one way. The most obvious is on the grill, and for my Pork Tenderloin with Mango Ginger Chutney Glaze, I set the grill to 375 degrees and cook both sides on the indirect heat for about six minutes each. After adding the glaze, crank the heat up to 400 degrees and move it onto the direct heat for about four minutes each side. You can also try cooking it on the cast iron — preheat your oven to 375 degrees, heat the cast iron to medium-high heat, and sear both sides of the tenderloin in butter. Then move the cast iron into the oven and let the meat cook for roughly 30 minutes. Other dishes I love making with pork tenderloin are sliders with grilled pineapples, cooking it on the Big Green Egg, and incorporating Caribbean spices.

Recipes

All Purpose Brine Recipe

All Purpose Brine Recipe

Should you brine your turkey? I say: YES! Not only can you prepare the brine in just 15 minutes, but my all-purpose recipe calls for easy-to-get ingredients.

Pork Belly Burnt Ends Recipe

Pork Belly Burnt Ends Recipe

Serve these Pork Belly Burnt Ends at your next gathering and you’ll be instantly famous for introducing friends to these epic BBQ morsels.

Grilled Island Spice Pork Tenderloin

Grilled Island Spice Pork Tenderloin

My friend Melissa Horwitz brought this pork tenderloin to a regatta after party and I knew I had to try it! The spices are warm and inviting and complement each other perfectly, like a Jamaican curry. This recipe originally came from Epicurious and was meant for the oven and I have adapted it to the grill and changed a few ingredients. The recipe is in two parts, the spice rub and the glaze that goes on at the end that caramelizes on the grill.

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