Grilled pulled pork that tastes close to classic barbecue. Get smoky flavor from a gas or charcoal grill.
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5 from 13 votes

Grilled Pulled Pork BBQ Sandwiches

Grilled pulled pork so tender and smoky, you won't believe it came from a grill instead of a smoker.
Prep Time4 hrs
Cook Time3 hrs
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: American
Servings: 10 servings
Calories: 370kcal
Author: Judy Purcell


  • 2 tablespoons coconut palm sugar -- or brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon granulated onion
  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon chipotle chile powder
  • 4 pounds country-style pork ribs (4-5 lbs)
  • 12 ounces beer -- or 1/2 cup each of apple juice , apple cider vinegar, and water
  • Homemade Sandwich Buns -- toasted
  • Coleslaw -- optional
  • Special Equipment: spray bottle (optional)


  • In a small bowl, combine the first eight ingredients and mix well. Arrange the pork ribs on a rimmed baking sheet and rub seasoning evenly over the pork to coat.
  • Place in a zipper bag and refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight. *Remember to prepare any wood chips for grilling, if necessary.
  • Remove pork from refrigerator and bring to room temperature while lighting and prepping a gas or charcoal grill with wood chips and water pan, with direct and indirect heat zones.
  • Once the grill is at 400°F, place meat on the grill over indirect heat leaving an inch in between the pieces to not crowd and allow smoke to circulate. Reduce heat to keep temperature around 325°F and grill for about 30 minutes before rotating the meat so the closest to the heat source changes. This is a good time to quickly brush or spray the meat with apple juice or beer to keep the surface moist. Grill for another 30 to 40 minutes.
  • Note: During this time, wood chips should be producing a steady stream of smoke. Grilling time can be extended as long as the wood chips are smoking and the internal temperature of the meat doesn't go above 200 degrees.
  • Once the meat has been on the grill for an hour or so, heat oven to 325°F. Transfer the pork onto a rack inside of a roasting pan in a single layer and pour beer in the bottom of the pan.
  • Cover tightly with aluminum foil and cook in the oven about 2 hours or until pork is 200°F internal temperature when testing the thickest piece. The exact time will depend on the thickness, so it is important to check after the first hour.
  • Once the pork has reached 200°F and is tender, transfer to a rimmed baking sheet until cool enough to handle.
  • Using your hands, pick up chunks of the pork and rub it between your thumb and fingers to shred, removing bone, connective tissue and fat as you go. (I like to wear surgical gloves for things like this.)
  • Optional: Strain and skim fat from juices in pan. Taste to determine if the juices are suitable to pour over the shredded pork (if you like the flavor, it's a yes)--add a small amount of water or chicken broth to dilute if needed.
  • This liquid can be reserved to moisten the pork when reheated or pour a little into each bag when storing for later meals. (Any leftover juices can be frozen for adding to soups.)
  • Toast the buns by lightly buttering each slice and place under the broiler on HI for 3-4 minutes until golden brown. When ready to serve, reheat the pork with barbecue sauce mixed-in 2-3 minutes.
  • Serve 1/2-2/3 cup per serving on each toasted bun, or serve plain with sauce on the side. Top with a scoop of coleslaw for the perfect finish.


Prep time includes resting with dry rub and total cook time includes time on the grill and in the oven.

Recipe Variation:

Use Savoring Today's ready-made Smoked Chile Pork Rub in place of the salt and spices for even more smoky flavor.


Calories: 370kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 35g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 134mg | Sodium: 820mg | Potassium: 601mg | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 190IU | Calcium: 44mg | Iron: 1.8mg