Nothing says BBQ like a good ol’ Texas Style Pulled Pork Sandwich. There are so many different ways to make pulled pork, but this is one of my favorite recipes. In typical fashion, I added my own twist to a classic recipe, including three of my competition-winning rubs and sauces.
Texas Style BBQ focuses on salt and pepper, so those two elements really come through in the meat. Unlike traditional pulled pork, this pork butt has a fragrant bark. I find the burnt ends give the sandwich the perfect texture. You’ll feel like a pitmaster with every bite.
Depending on where you live, your pork butt may be labeled pork shoulder, which is a more accurate representation of where this cut comes from.
You’ve never had Texas style pork like this before! I often get asked which recipes novice pitmasters should try first. I always recommend pork butt because it’s a forgiving cut with great potential. With the right method, pulled pork always turns out amazing.
You’d be surprised what a few simple ingredients can do. I keep a wide variety of sauces and rubs in my pantry so I can make whatever strikes my fancy. Here are a few tasty ingredients to get your collection started off right.
- Heath Riles BBQ Garlic Jalapeño Rub. This rub is my most popular and always gets rave reviews. It’s a great blend of garlic, pepper, and a hint of jalapeño. I use this as a base coat for chicken, beef, seafood, and more. Try a sprinkle on your popcorn for a savory twist. This rub is mild, so it’s suitable for everyone.
- Heath Riles BBQ Beef Rub. Don’t let the name fool you; this rub is fantastic on so much more than beef. I love using it in my Texas-style BBQ dishes because it’s heavy on the pepper. It also includes those Tex-Mex spices we all know and love, like cumin and chili powder. I use this on everything from vegetables to pork. It’s just that good.
- Heath Riles BBQ Tangy Vinegar BBQ Sauce. I created this sauce because I wanted a vinegar-based sauce that was more balanced than what I found on the shelves. I use it on mostly pork recipes, like my ribs, but you can use it on anything you want. If you’re feeling feisty, add a little honey to make a unique salad dressing.
- Fischer's Pure Honey Raw and Unfiltered, Clover Honey (32 ounces). This ingredient is where my twist on Texas-style comes in. Pure honey adds excellent flavor to this pulled pork sandwich without overpowering the other flavors. I recommend using clover honey because of its mild taste.
- Prairie Fresh Pork Butt. I love using Prairie Fresh Pork Butts because they come out of the package ready to go. This brand always creates gourmet results. Trust me; I’ve experimented with many different kinds of pork. This is hands-down the best.
- Mustard. This condiment isn’t just for hot dogs! It is one of the best binders for smoking because it helps the seasoning stick to the meat and gives it a Mississippi twang. I use French’s mustard because it’s so smooth.
- Sandwich Buns. You'll need a sturdy sandwich bun if you make your sandwiches as Texas-sized as I do. If you're feeling fancy, you can toast your buns for extra crunch.
The Smoker Setup
Here’s the equipment I used to make these delicious Texas Style Pulled Pork Sandwiches. Be sure to check out the equipment and tools section for more of my recommended tools.
- Outlaw Patio Smoker. This is a great smoker that always creates top-notch results. The Outlaw is unique because it uses logs to smoke your wood. It gives pitmasters a more hands-on smoking experience. I love using it for a fun change of pace.
- Royal Oak Charcoal. I filled my pit with Royal Oaks charcoal. This is one of my favorite charcoals because it contains no fillers. I also added a few sticks of hickory.
The Process for Making a Texas Style Pulled Pork Sandwich
You can find a detailed explanation for making these sandwiches in the recipe card and video at the bottom of this post. For now, here’s a brief overview of how this recipe comes together.
- Prep the Outlaw Patio Smoker. I fired up my smoker and got it up to about 300°F.
- Trim the pork butt. While the grill heated up, I unwrapped the pork shoulder and patted it dry with paper towels. Then, I trimmed any sharp edges off my pork butt. I always trim any bone fragments and do a little trim work on the gland at the top of the pork shoulder.
- Add binder and seasoning. When I trimmed the pork shoulder to my liking, I added a generous layer of mustard. You can use any binder you’d like, including mayo or olive oil. I personally love the burst of flavor mustard gives the meat. Then, I seasoned the pork shoulder with my BBQ Garlic Jalapeño Rub, starting with the backside. Once my base coat was complete, I added a layer of my BBQ Beef Rub., making sure every piece was coated. A good way to coat your butt is to roll it on your cutting board, so it grabs all that seasoning.
- Smoke the pork shoulder. I put my unwrapped pork shoulder on the Outlaw for about 3 ½ hours, spritzing it once an hour with water.
- Wrap the pork. Then, I took my Texas-style pork butt off the smoker and placed it on two large sheets of aluminum foil. After that, I added “Heath’s twist” to the pulled pork. First, I topped the meat with a drizzle of honey and finished it off with my BBQ Tangy Vinegar BBQ Sauce. What a winning combination.
- Finish the meat and let rest. Last, I wrapped my pork butt in the foil and put it back on the pit for another 2 hours. Once it reached 203°F-204°F, I took it off the smoker and set it in the cooler to rest for 2 hours.
- Shred and serve. When the meat was done resting, I unwrapped it and shredded it, taking out any large pieces of fat. Then, I put a big scoop on my sandwich bun. Absolute perfection.
The finished pork butt was Texas dark, and the bone slid out with hardly any effort. My sandwich was hearty, with just the right amount of heat. It didn’t lack flavor or texture since I left some pork pieces on the chunky side. This sandwich is going to be one of your BBQ standbys.
Serving Suggestions for Texas Style Pulled Pork Sandwich
I always top my sandwich with another drizzle of my BBQ Tangy Vinegar BBQ Sauce. You can serve your sandwiches with my Mississippi Coleslaw. The best thing about this recipe is that you can use pulled pork in various ways. Here's some inspiration.
Storing Pulled Pork
If you have leftovers, you can store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or vacuum-seal them and store it in the fridge for up to 3 months.
Equipment and Tools
Outlaw Patio Smoker, Royal Oak Charcoal, paper towels, cutting board, a spray bottle, heavy-duty aluminum foil, 1 or 2 half-size deep aluminum pans, Thermapen One, YETI Tundra 65 Cooler, insulated gloves for handling meat, Victorinox Fibrox Pro 6-inch Curved Boning Knife.
Texas Style Pulled Pork Sandwich on the Outlaw Patio Smoker
Get your grill up to temperature of approximately 300º.
Take your pork butt out of the pack, trim any excess fat, and remove any bone fragments
Coat your pork butt with mustard and season all over with Heath Riles BBQ Beef and Garlic Jalapeno Rubs.
Place your pork butt on your grill unwrapped for 3-3.5 hours. Spritz once every hour with water.
After 3 or so hours, take your pork butt off your grill and wrap it in aluminum foil with Heath Riles BBQ Tangy Vinegar BBQ Sauce and Fischer's Pure Honey Raw and Unfiltered Clover Honey. Place back on your grill for another 2 hours.
Once your butt hits 203-204º internally, take it off your grill and let it rest in a cooler for 2 hours.
After your pork butt has rested for 2 hours, take it out of the foil, shred it, and assemble your sandwiches however you'd like