Bison in the Backyard: Pulled Pork

Summer may be coming to a close, but I’m not ready to give up BBQ yet. We bison have been hanging out in the backyard all summer — and one of my favorite things to make this time of year is pulled pork!

Why do I love pulled pork? Better question is, where to start? I love the meaty flavor, the shredded texture (if you do it right, it just falls apart in your mouth), and especially the fat content. If you take a little bit off right after you roast it, it’s the perfect amount of fat and meat; and the fat melts in the meat, so really how much more tender can you get?

And in terms of serving, you can put pulled pork on a plate, in a bun, on nachos, in a tostada shell… I’m not exaggerating when I say you can put it on, in, or around so many things.

I usually make a nice rub for my pork butt too, which is what I’m really here to share today. Well, that and a sazon. A couple of guys I knew from the Dominic Republic taught me how to make a true sazon (particularly by adding things like mango, papaya, coconut, etc) and I loved it then but I really love it now.

For this dish, I did a simple mango sazon and it turned out de-licious.

For the rub:

  • 1 cup Demerara sugar
  • 3 cups chili powder
  • 1/2 cup onion powder
  • 1/4 cup ground cumin
  • 1/2 cup granulated garlic
  • 1/2 cup kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper

This is a basic rub, so it won’t overpower the sauce. Basically just combine all of your spices together and liberally rub onto a pork butt. Be sure to get the rub in every nook and cranny. Wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 24 hours.

For the sazon:

  • 1 red pepper, seeded and cored
  • 1 green pepper, seeded and cored
  • 1 yellow onion, peeled and quartered
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme
  • 2 tablespoons fresh oregano
  • 2 mangoes, peeled and chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled
  • 4 cups of water or chicken stock
  • ½ cup rice wine vinegar
  • ¼ cup honey
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Boil all of the ingredients until soft. Puree to a paste. Mix with shredded pork and bake covered for 25 minutes at 350 degrees. Uncover and bake for another 10-15 minutes.


I made this pulled pork before we planned this blog, so I’m sorry I don’t have other pictures. But that reminds me: you don’t have to buy some big R2-D2 looking smoker vessel. I used a little charcoal grill that’s falling apart in my back yard. The handles are falling off, literally. But it works. All you really need are basically wood chips, the pork, and a functioning lid to turn a piece of crap into a smoker.

To smoke:

Place coals on one side of a grill or in the bottom of your smoker. Important: just light one side of the coals and let the flame creep. Too much heat from lighting and all that coal will ruin your pork. Place apple and hickory wood chips (that have been soaked in water) on your coals. Place pork fat side up on the opposite side of the coals and chips. Smoke at 225 to 250 degrees for 4 to 6 hours. When finished, take off the grill and shred in a bowl. If there is too much fat on the cap, you can scrape some off with your tongs.


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