Game Day Menu Featuring Easy Pulled Pork

Pulled Pork is one of the most popular items served at BBQ restaurants. Unfortunately, most backyard grillers shy away from pulled pork due to the heavy time investment when making this classic. Today, we’re going to feature a pulled pork method that you will absolutely love! Along with pulled pork, we’ll be making some grilled carrots and dirty rice.

Pulled Pork The Easy Way

Making pulled pork on the grill or smoker scares a lot of people due to the amount of time involved. Pulled pork can take 12-14 hours to get finished. Most grillers don’t have that kind of time and want it done quicker. The solution is to use the “quick cheat” method that only involves only two to three hours of grill time. You’ll also need a seven quart or larger crock pot to finish the pork. I suggest that you do the smoking the night before your tailgate party and use the crock to finish it overnight.

Pork Shoulder Prep

First, pick out a pork shoulder roast that’s around six to eight pounds. You’ll also need to eyeball the roast and make sure it will fit in your crock pot. Next, take the pork shoulder and give it an olive oil rub. After that, liberally season the roast on all sides with Lawry’s Seasoning Salt, Cajun Spice, granulated garlic, cumin, paprika, and chili powder. Once it’s all covered in the spices, it’s time to grill.

Grilling/Smoking Pulled Pork

You’re going to grill the pork shoulder with indirect heat. Take hickory wood chips and soak them in water for 30-60 minutes before grilling. Take around 30 coals and pile them in a pyramid on one side of your grill. We’re not trying to cook the roast; we’re only smoking it for flavor. Light your coals and wait for them to all catch and turn grey. After that, spread them out along the one side in a flat pile. Add a handful of wet wood chips to the top of the coals, replace the grate, and then place the pork shoulder “fat side up” on the opposite side of the grill. Cover the grill, making sure the air vents are open and are directly above the pork roast.

Smoking Time

You should begin to smell that delicious aroma of hickory smoke wafting out of the grill vents. Every 20-30 minutes you will need to replenish the wet wood chips to keep the smoke going. After two to three hours, the coals will be almost burned out and the pork roast should look great. It’s nowhere near cooked yet, so no sampling!

Gas Grill Smoking Option

If you can shut down the flame on a third or half of your gas grill, you can smoke like a BBQ pro. Take a handful of hickory wood chips and place them in a foil pouch. Cut slits in the top of the pouch to allow the smoke to come out. Then place the pouch near one of the lit flame bars. You’ll need to place the pork shoulder in the “non-lit zone” to keep it from burning up. You will have to use three to four pouches for the two to three hour smoke fest.

Crock Time

After smoking the pork shoulder, it’s time to place it in your crock pot. Set the crock to low and let it cook overnight. You will wake to a house that smells like a BBQ joint—not a bad way to start your game day! In the morning, shut down the crock and remove the pork shoulder to allow it to cool. Once the crock juices have cooled, drain them into some glass jars. I suggest empty pasta sauce jars, they work great. Do not pour the juices down your drain as they will cause you plumbing problems later.

Pulling The Pork

After the pork shoulder has cooled, begin to pull it into chunks or strips. Return it to your crock pot on low and add your favorite BBQ sauce. Be gentle with the pork when stirring as you don’t want to shred it. Once it’s warmed through, it’s ready to serve. You can use any kind of buns that you like, but pulled pork is extra good on Hawaiian rolls.

Grilled Carrots

Grilling carrots is one of the more pleasant surprises for BBQ enthusiasts. It’s a unique side dish that will make your tailgate guests wonder how you came up with it. Once they try it, they will love the grilled flavor that the carrots get. You can also remind your guests that carrots are good for them, sure proof that you truly care about them. All kidding aside, grilled carrots are delicious!

What You’ll Need

  • 10-12 large carrots
  • Olive oil
  • Lawry’s Seasoning Salt
  • Pepper
  • Cajun spice
  • Granulated garlic
  • Cayenne pepper (optional)

Take the carrots and shave off the outsides with a vegetable peeler, then cut off both ends. Cut the carrots in half then place them in a large plastic baggie. Drizzle the olive oil into the baggie and toss the carrots so they’re all covered. Sprinkle in the seasonings and re-toss the carrots so they are all seasoned. You will want to grill the carrots with direct heat for 20-30 minutes making sure to turn them every 4-5 minutes. After the carrots have a nice grilled look, take them and move them away from the direct heat. Grill them another 20-30 minutes until they are done. They should have a nice BBQ char on them but should not be blackened. Serve the grilled carrots with ranch or Bleu cheese dressing for dipping and watch your guests enjoy!

Dirty Rice

Dirty rice is one of the tastiest sides around and very popular. This recipe is also an easy way to spice up your dirty rice that will leave your tailgate guests impressed. Buy two or three boxed dirty rice mixes and follow the package instructions. To make your dirty rice memorable, use Italian sausage instead of ground beef. It’s that simple, and the Italian sausage offers a flavorful change from the dirty rice everyone is used to. For your more daring quests, you can also use hot Italian sausage for an extra kick! 

Game Day Menus

Throughout the football season we have featured game day menus that will make your tailgate parties legendary. We will continue to bring you delicious grilling ideas through the rest of the football season and up to the Super Bowl. Be sure to check out the previous menu ideas below by clicking on the links, and stay tuned for more. Enjoy!

Main Image Credit:

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.