Dry cured pulled pork

While experimenting with the creation of bark I stumbled on a theory. By dry curing my pork shoulder I noticed I skipped the zone in 2 sessions. Could be a coincidence (or not). So join me in the experiment and try this delicious recipe!

Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Oriental
Servings 12
Author BBQ Bastard


  • 5 kg Boston Butt (aka. pork shoulder)
  • 2 cups oriental dry cure recipe link in instructions

For the oriental BBQ sauce

  • 8 tbsp orange juice
  • 8 tbsp ketjap manis
  • 4 tbsp lemon juice
  • 4 tbsp sushi vinegar
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp sriracha
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar syrup
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground fennel seeds
  • 1/2 tsp laos

Finishing sauce

  • equal part oriental sauce at taste
  • equal part cider vinegar at taste


Dry curing the boston butt (a day before smoking)

  1. Prepare the oriental dry rub (recipe here)

  2. Rub the pork shoulder thoroughly with the dry cure and put in the fridge for at least 12 hrs. 

    By doing this the outside of your pork butt will get infused with delicious flavors and the surface will dry out! In my opinion this improves the bark even without adding a rub. 

  3. Thoroughly rinse the pork shoulder to remove the salt cure. Don't worry the flavors are infused by now. 

  4. Pat the pork shoulder dry and put back in the fridge for about 12 hrs. so it can dry out. 

Smoking time

  1. Start your smoker or BBQ for indirect cooking at low heat (about 100°C/200°F) add a couple of wood chunks of your taste (I used apple chunks)

  2. Once the smoke turns blue put the pork shoulder on the grid and close the lid. 

  3. Let the pork shoulder cook until you get an internal temperature from about 84°c/184°F. Meanwhile simply do NOTHING (except from keeping your dome temperature OK, making your sauce and drinking a beer. I even went to bed with my Igrill set). 

    WARNING: this method could cause skipping the zone leading to a fast and juicy result. Mine was done in 9 hrs. and my best so far! Please keep me updated how yours went! It's important for me to know if my hypothesis is correct (see the article)

  4. Make your sauce by mixing all ingredients and boiling it untill it thickens.

End stage

  1. Once the internal the internal temp. is 84°C/184°F you can open the lid for the first time! Try to resist pulling some strings allready! Now you need to baste the sauce on the shoulder every 15-30 minutes. Do this for about 3-4 times or untill you reach an internal temperature of 94°C/200°F. If it goes faster you need to baste a bit faster.

  2. Let the shoulder rest for about an hour in an oven from about 65°C/150°F slighly covered with thin foil. 

  3. Pull the pork shoulder and add your finishing sauce at taste.