Championship Pulled Pork On the Traeger Ironwood XL

Championship Pulled Pork On the Traeger Ironwood XL

Are you looking for the perfect Super Bowl pulled pork recipe? I’ve got your back with my savory Championship Pulled Pork. This recipe pulls out all the stops, including a tasty injection, the perfect combination of my signature rubs, and a sticky-sweet wrap. This recipe cooks low and slow on the Traeger Ironwood XL, giving you a rich, juicy, tender result. 

This recipe would be fantastic for the big game, a family reunion, or any event where you need to feed a hungry crowd. Be sure to make extra! You’ll want to use those leftovers in macaroni and cheese or Cuban sandwiches

Championship Pulled Pork | Heath Riles BBQ

Championship Pulled Pork is my type of meal prep. One or two Boston butts can give you a few days of delicious meals. Think outside the box with this one…nachos, burritos, alfredo, and even pizza tastes better with a hint of smoked pulled pork!

You can even freeze your pulled pork recipe and have a ready-made meal on those days you’re too tired to cook. Now that’s smart thinking! 

The Ingredients

With less than 10 ingredients, you can create a delicious, flavorful, moist pulled pork recipe. Here’s what you need to add to your shopping cart. 

  • Boston butts. Despite its name, pork butts come from the pig’s shoulder. It gets its name from an Old English word describing the “butt” of the gun or the widest part of something. I love this cut of pork, and it’s even better the next day. 
    • Heath Riles BBQ Pork Injection & Brine. My pork injection contains a proprietary blend of brown sugar, salt, pepper, and a few secret ingredients. You can use it to enhance roasts, Boston butts, or ribs. 
      • Heath Riles BBQ Garlic Jalapeño Rub. This zesty rub is my number one bestseller. People can’t get enough of the garlic, pepper, and salt combo! Grill masters worldwide have traded in their salt and pepper for this blend. Are you ready to level up? 
        • Heath Riles BBQ Pecan Rub. Though the name mentions pecans, this rub doesn’t contain actual nuts, making it allergy-friendly. Use this rub on chicken, pork, steak, burgers, or anything else that could use a savory touch. 
        • Heath Riles BBQ Tangy Vinegar BBQ Sauce. I created this vinegar-based sauce because I couldn’t find a sauce that wasn’t too tangy. This sauce is excellent on its own, but you can always pair it with a sweeter sauce for an award-winning combination. Add a dash to salads, burgers, ribs, chops, or coleslaw. 
        • Heath Riles BBQ Brown Sugar Honey Habanero Glaze. This sweetly spiced glaze is among my latest creations. It’s a great addition to ribs, roasts, and more. It adds a beautiful sheen and a burst of sticky-sweet flavor. 

        The Smoker Setup

        Here’s the main equipment I used for this recipe. More of my grilling favorites can be found in the Equipment and Tools section. 

        • Pellet grill/smoker. I cooked my Championship Pulled Pork on the Traeger Ironwood XL. This pit is incredible because you can use it to grill or smoke. The Traeger Ironwood XL has many excellent features, like a pellet sensor, a super smoke button, and easy transportation. 

        You can’t go wrong with the Traeger Ironwood XL if you cook large quantities of food. It’s roomy without taking up your entire patio. Plus, it’s ultra-durable, lasting for years!

        • Charcoal. I stoked the pit with Royal Oak Charcoal Hardwood Pellets. I love this brand because you get clean smoke with no fillers. It gives the potatoes a rich, deep flavor that tastes authentic. This charcoal burns hot and fast! 

        How to Make Pulled Pork

        You can find a detailed demonstration of this recipe in the video and recipe card. For now, here’s a quick rundown of how I created this game day pulled pork recipe. 

        • Fire up the pit. I stoked the Traeger Ironwood XL with Royal Oak Charcoal Hardwood Pellets and fired it up to 250℉.
        • Prep the Boston butts. I removed the Boston butts from their packaging and set them in a large aluminum pan. I trimmed the fat cap and veins off the meat, and removed any sharp edges. This ensures the meat cooks evenly. Be sure to watch the video to learn my trimming technique. 
        • Inject the meat. I laid the Boston butts on a large cooling rack to prep them for injection. To make my injection, I combined ¼ cup of Heath Riles BBQ Pork Injection & Brine and 12 ounces of water until smooth. Then, I injected the Boston butts in a checkerboard pattern, flipping it to ensure all of the meat was filled with juicy injection. 
        • Add seasoning. I seasoned the meat on all sides with a good coating of Heath Riles BBQ Garlic Jalapeńo Rub, followed by a dusting of Heath Riles BBQ Pecan Rub.
        • Start cooking. I set the Boston butts on the Traeger Ironwood XL and let them cook for a total of 6 hours, until they reached an internal temperature of 160℉.
        • Wrap the Boston butt. I took the meat over to the cutting board and laid aluminum foil on a baking tray, criss-cross style. Then, I laid the meat on the baking tray and dusted it with Heath Riles BBQ Pecan Rub. I poured Heath Riles BBQ Tangy Vinegar BBQ Sauce and Heath Riles BBQ Brown Sugar Honey Habanero Glaze. I wrapped the Boston butts tightly to ensure none of the juices escaped. 
        • Finish cooking. I bumped the Traeger Ironwood XL up to 275℉,  placed the wrapped Boston butts on the pit, then set a ChefAlarm to 204℉. Once the meat reached temp, I let it rest for 1 hour before shredding it. My 7 and 8-pound Boston butts had a total cook time of 8 and 9 hours. The only thing left was to dig in.

        The Results

        Cooking the Championship Pulled Pork low and slow gave the meat so much tenderness that the bone fell right out! The meat had the perfect bark with just the right combination of tanginess and sweetness. This pork butt has an incredible flavor that would make anyone drool! 

        Serving Suggestions for Superbowl Pulled Pork

        You can’t go wrong with a classic smoked pork sandwich. Picture a toasted bun topped with succulent Championship Pulled Pork and an extra drizzle of Heath Riles BBQ Tangy Vinegar BBQ Sauce. Add a side of Mississippi Coleslaw and fries for an unforgettable time. 

        Storing Leftovers

        You can store leftover Championship Pulled Pork in the fridge for up to 4 days or freeze it for up to 4 months. Leftover pulled pork can be used in casseroles, sandwiches, tacos, and nachos! 

        Equipment and Tools

        Traeger Ironwood XL, Royal Oak Charcoal Hardwood Pellets, meat injector, baking sheet, paper towels, cutting board, heavy-duty aluminum foil,  deep aluminum pans, instant-read meat thermometer, large cooler, and insulated gloves for handling meat.

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