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BBQ Pulled Pork on a Kettle Grill (Grilling Basics)

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5 from 2 reviews

  • Author: Mike Vrobel
  • Total Time: 8 hours 20 minutes
  • Yield: 12-16 servings 1x


BBQ Pulled Pork on a Kettle Grill recipe. How to make low and slow barbecued pork shoulder on an everyday kettle grill.


  • 2 (4-pound) bone in pork shoulder roasts (one 8 pound pork butt roast cut in half)

Barbecue rub (just enough of my homemade rub for this recipe)

  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

Serve with


  1. Rub the pork shoulder: Sprinkle a heavy coat of the rub over the pork butt roasts. Pat the rub onto the meat to help it stick, and work it into any natural seams in the meat. (Don’t actually “rub” the roast, or most of the spices will wind up on your fingers.)
  2. Set the grill up for indirect low heat: Set your grill up for indirect low heat, 250°F, with a drip pan on one side of the grill and the fire as far over on the other side as you can get it. In my kettle grill, I open the bottom vents a crack, with the blades of the ash sweeper covering 3/4 of the rectangular holes. I make a tight pile of 80 unlit coals on 1/3rd of the charcoal grate, about three coals deep. (This is about 3/4 of a charcoal chimney’s worth of coals.) Put the two chunks of smoking wood on top of the unlit coals. Next, I light 10 coals in my chimney starter; when the coals are lit and covered with gray ash, I pour them on top of the unlit coals. Then I set the drip pan on the other side of the charcoal grate, add my grill grate, and brush it clean. I put the lid on the grill immediately, and set the top vent to halfway open.
  3. Cook the pork roasts: Put the two pork butt roasts on the grill over the drip pan and close the lid. Adjust the top vent to stabilize the temperature at roughly 250°F; let the temperature settle for fifteen minutes between vent adjustments. Once the temperature is stabilized, check the grill every hour to make sure the vents don’t need to be tweaked. (It’s OK if the temperature fluctuates; I try to keep it at 250°F, but anything between 225°F and 300°F is OK. Keep the lid closed - every time you lift the lid, heat will escape and the air you let in will cause the coals to heat up. I try not to open the lid until it is time to wrap the roasts.)
  4. Wrap the pork roasts and finish cooking: Cook the pork butts until they reach a temperature of 150°F in the thickest part, about four hours. Then, wrap the butts tightly with aluminum foil, put them back in the grill, increase the heat to 300°F by opening the vents more, and cook until they reach an internal temperature of at least 205°F, about four more hours. (Poke the probe thermometer through the foil and deep into the roast. Total cooking time is about eight hours for two four pound roasts. It is fine if the grill gets hotter once the roasts are foil wrapped - up to 350°F is OK.)
  5. Rest the roasts: Take the roasts off of the grill, put them snug against each other, and wrap both roasts in a single piece of aluminum foil to catch any leaking juices. Wrap a large towel around the foiled roasts to keep them warm. (I use a bath towel from our rag pile.) Let the roasts rest for one hour.
  6. Pull and serve: Unwrap the roasts and transfer them to a cutting board. Using two large forks, shred the roasts into bite sized pieces of pork, stirring the blackened bark from the outside with the shredded meat from the inside. Taste the shredded meat, and sprinkle with salt and pepper if the roast tastes bland. To serve, pile the pork on a hamburger bun. Top with sauce, cole slaw, and a couple of pickle chips, and dig in.
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 8 hours
  • Category: Barbecue
  • Cuisine: American