What Grill Size Do You Need to Choose as a Starter?

You care about how you grill. Selecting and preparing your food is only half the battle of cooking perfectly-grilled food. Many beginner grillers don’t yet realize the importance of quality grills and grilling tools. We’re here to make it easier to find the right grill for your needs so you can get the most delicious-tasting meals without all the hassle.

This guide, written by your friends at Kick Ash Basket, will help beginner and intermediate grillers learn how to select the right grill and grill size for achieving the perfect meal each and every time. 

Types of Grills

There are three main types of grills: charcoal, gas, and pellet. We prefer charcoal grills, and we’ll tell you why below.

1. Charcoal Grills

Charcoal is the outstanding favorite for outdoor grilling, according to most pros. The taste associated with charcoal grilling is rich, savory, and smoky, and it’s what gives that flavor we think of when we daydream about a fun and delicious summertime BBQ. 

Here’s how a charcoal grill works: air comes into the bottom of the grill after a manual adjustment. It passes over lit charcoal, leaving through a vent at the top of the grill. The more air that passes through the grill, the hotter it gets. This means you have strong control over your temperature zone, and you can keep it consistent throughout the cooking process. This makes charcoal grills especially good for tougher cuts of meat that will grow more tender if they’re smoked long and slow.

The two greatest benefits to charcoal are the unique flavor and the enhanced ability to control the temperature. The drawbacks to charcoal are that it requires a little more skill (though it’s easy to learn), takes longer to heat up, and you have to be aware of ash discharge.

Kick Ash Basket was designed to hold the charcoal and simply shake out the ash, so that charcoal burns more evenly, no ash gets in the food, and cleanup is easier. With one of these, even total beginners can find success with a charcoal grill!

Popular charcoal grill choices include  The GoodOne Smoker/Grill The Big Green Egg (BGE), Akorn Grill, Weber Kettle Grill, Vision Grills, and Kamado Joe Grill (Check out our comparisons of the Vision with BGE and Kamado Joe with BGE).

There are three primary types of charcoal grills: kettle, kamado, and barrel.

Kettle Charcoal Grills

Kettle grills are, of course, in the shape of a kettle, usually with a diameter of 20-30 inches. The charcoal sits at the bottom, and an elevated grate allows for smooth airflow. The sphere of the grill keeps air flow consistent, so food heats quickly and consistently. 

Kettle grills are metal and relatively lightweight, so they’re portable. Plus, they typically require less charcoal and are less expensive than other types of charcoal grills. 

Check out this Masterclass article about cooking with a kettle grill

Kamado Charcoal Grills

Kamado grills, also called “egg grills” or ceramic smokers, are a little more sophisticated, but they are still doable for the novice griller. A kamado is like a kettle, but it has an egg shape and is made of a thick ceramic material (making it much heavier than the metal kettle).

This grill uses all-natural lump charcoal with a controlled heating process, so it produces less ash and cooks with the greatest versatility and control. Ceramic grills are well-insulated with a strong seal, so the air flow maintains heat well. This reduced air flow means the meat is less likely to dry out than on gas or kettle. 

Fun fact: This name for ceramic grills originates from Japan. Kamado is the Japanese word for stove or cooking range on a grill! 

Barrel Grill 

Barrel grills are longer– unsurprisingly, shaped like a barrel. Their lengthwise lid allows for more cooking space. They work similarly to a kettle grill, but they may heat up slower due to the elongated shape. We like these if you tend to grill a lot of food at one time. 

2. Gas Grills

Charcoal grills are most frequently compared to gas grills. Gas grills are easier to start and learn to use than other types of grills. With the turn of a knob, your burners are on and you’re heating up in no time. You also don’t have to worry about a grill chimney or creating temperature zones, like you do with charcoal.

Some benefits to gas grills: 

  • Gas is cheaper than coal (and you can even hook it up to your home’s gas).
  • Gas grills are easier to clean up than charcoal grills (if you don’t have the Kick Ash Basket, that is).
  • Gas gives off steam, which in some cases may add moisture to food.
  • Gas grills have a lot of optional accessories, including charcoal-like side burners.

On the other hand, gas is less controllable and doesn’t burn as hot as charcoal. Although gas grills are convenient, the gas is too “clean” to add any of that delicious charcoal or wood-y flavor you’d get with charcoal or pellet grills. Gas grills are great for novice grillers but might not be ideal for those looking for that real, homestyle BBQ. 

3. Pellet Grills 

Pellet grills are new to the scene, but they’ve quickly become quite popular. They’re very easy to use, and they’re similar to an outdoor oven. A pellet grill has a container of wood pellets on the side, and a push of a button moves those pellets into a flame to ignite with a hot rod. Fans and air vents move the wood fire around for an even cook, and there is usually a digital thermostat for precise cooking temperatures. Overall, this creates more of a wood-cook flavor, as opposed to a smoky flavor. Learn more about how a pellet grill works here

Pellet grills are easy to use. They’re consistent and efficient, which makes them a good choice for beginners. If you prefer a wood-cooked flavor to a smoky one, you may want to consider a pellet grill. Traeger grills,Green Mountain  grills  are the most commonly known pellet grills. 

To close this gap, we need to help consumers understand what a pellet grill is, how it works, and the problems that might arise. Here is a blog from Derrick Riches that helps set expectations on Pellet grills. What to expect from your pellet grills blog

Which Grill is Right for You? 

Some things to consider when choosing the right grill to purchase for your needs include: 

  1. Type of grill
  2. Grill size
  3. Taste
  4. Weather, and
  5. Portability

1. Type of Grill

Of the three types of grills listed above, most people looking to become grill masters opt for charcoal. This is because charcoal grills give food a smoky, authentic flavor while allowing greater cooking control for the griller. However, if you’re looking for an easier and faster grill, a pellet or gas grill might be the right decision for you.

2. Grill Size

If you have made the choice to go for a charcoal grill, you’ll want to decide between the kettle, kamado (ceramic), or barrel size. To make this decision, you’ll want to consider the kind of grilling you’ll be doing. Will you do it every day for your family of four, or are you more likely to be grilling at weekly Saturday BBQs for all your friends? If you tend to grill in smaller batches, the kettle or kamado are both good choices. If you want to grill more food at once, you’ll want to look into purchasing a barrel grill. 

A grill that is too small could mean you end up glued to your grill throughout your entire backyard bash. A grill that’s too large for your typical grilling needs will increase the time it takes to cook and will be harder to clean. Choose the grill size you’d use most frequently.  

3. Taste

It’s hard to beat the savory, smoky flavor that comes from using a charcoal grill. Charcoal grills just produce a better flavor than gas— it’s science. Ceramic charcoal grills create an especially strong flavor, since they can heat up to 600+ degrees. They are great for creating a fire-grilled taste (even for pizza!).

Smoking is the slowest form of cooking. You grill meat low and slow to get a tender and delicious flavor (You can only smoke meat, as it will destroy most plant-based foods). If you want to smoke your meats, you’ll need something that can retain heat and smoke—like a lid-on charcoal grill. We love that Three Little Pigs offers smoking classes to learn about this delicious and masterful form of grilling from the best of the best! 

Food prepared on a charcoal grill tastes smokier, on a pellet grill tastes woodier, and on a gas grill tastes cleaner. Supplement these tastes with award-winning Three Little Pigs rubs and sauces to create the perfect flavor for your meals! 

4. Weather

If you’re grilling in the summer only, you don’t really need to worry about which grill you pick—they’ll all work well! If you plan on grilling in the winter, you’ll want to decide if you’ll BBQ with the top on or prefer to grill with top down. Barbequing can help you maintain heat and cook evenly, even on cooler winter days, while grilling with the top off lets you crank the heat and cook faster. Charcoal grills retain the most heat when grilling in the winter

5. Portability

Do you plan on bringing your grill to a neighbor’s yard to cook food together? Are you going to a tailgate with your BBQ buddy? If you need portability in your grill, you’ll probably want a kettle grill (which is made of lightweight metal). Ceramic and barrel grills are just too heavy to move around. If you’re going to keep your grill in your backyard, though, ceramic and barrel grills are a great choice. They’re high quality and add a cool aesthetic to your backyard. 

What Grill Size Do I Need?

When it comes to deciding the ideal grill size or type, it all comes down to preference. If you’re looking to adopt grilling as a hobby for fun outdoor feasts and irresistible meals, you’ll want to look into charcoal grills. From there, you’ll want to consider portability, aesthetic, and price point based on your needs. 

There’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to grills. Think about what you want out of your grill, and don’t be afraid to reach out to someone who can help! Your friends at Three Little Pigs would be glad to steer you in the right direction, and so would your neighborhood grillers at Kick Ash Basket! Chatting with some pros is a great way to get started on your road to unbelievably-delicious flavor!

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Smoked Brisket Chowder

Smoked beef brisket and corn chowder. Corn chowder is a great way to use up leftover smoked brisket!


  • 1-pound smoked beef Brisket, shredded or chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 leek, halved, thinly sliced
  • 1-1/2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, diced into 1/2 to 3/4-inch cubes
  • 5 cups reduced-sodium beef broth
  • 2 cups frozen sweet corn kernels
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream
  • 1 tablespoon of Thee Little Pig’s Championship Rub


  1. Heat oil in 6-quart stock pot on medium-low heat until hot; add leek. Cook 4 to 6 minutes, stirring occasionally until softened. Add potatoes and broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover and simmer 20 minutes, or until potato is tender. Remove from heat.
  2. Add 2 cups potato mixture to blender container. Pulse on and off until smooth. Roughly mash remaining potato mixture in stock pot for chunky consistency; combine with blended mixture in same pot. Add corn, cream, Championship rub, chopped beef Brisket. Season with salt and pepper, as desired. Cook 5 to 10 minutes or until heated through. Garnish with cheese, cilantro, lime, hot sauce and avocado, as desired.

Brisket Frequently Asked Question link:

Chris Marks (CBBQE) Chief BBQ Expert Three Little Pig’s BBQ Rubs/Sauces & Good-One Manufacturing.

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Texas-Style Dinosaur Ribs

A steer has 13 ribs on each side. Starting at the front of the cow first 5 ribs are in the chuck cut. The next 7 ribs are part of the rib section and extend down into the short plate. The remaining rib is in the loin cut. As you might imagine, these cuts vary quite a bit from one end of the steer to the other. They vary not only in flavor, but in texture as well.

Short Plate ribs or Loaded beef ribs, which are cut from the lower portion of the rib cage and often have a nice layer of fat-laced meat sitting on top. The challenge is finding ones that would live up to the beef rib expectations. Often, the short ribs I came across were cut into small, individual bone portions, with wildly varying amounts of meat on them. I have found that you will not find the loaded beef ribs at the standard grocery or big box store, but I can always rely on the local specialty butcher to get me the cut. Short plate ribs are available in local big box and grocery cut into short ribs. Most short plate ribs have 3 bones in the plate.

Chuck Short Ribs come from right under the chuck from the first to the fifth rib and can also go by the name Flanken Ribs when cut horizonal against the bones. Traditional chuck ribs come with 4 bones and the bone is much larger than the plate.

Texas-Style Dinosaur Beef Ribs Short Rib Recipe


  • 2- Slab of Beef Short plate ribs
  • 2-Cups of Three Little Pigs Texas Beef Rub
  • 2-Cups of Three Little Pigs Memphis Rub
  • 1-Cup of Yellow mustard


  • Begin by removing the fat and the very tough silver skin from the top of the meat.
  • Remove the membrane from the exposed side of the bones.
  • Coat the top of the Beef ribs with Mustard.
  • After stripping the membrane from the back of the beef ribs, layer Three Little Pig’s Texas Beef Rub & Memphis rub  on Top of the beef ribs and using a Jaccard tenderizer, drive the rub down into the beef rib, flip rib over and tenderize between each bone.
  • Setup your smoker to 250-275 degrees.
  • Put the beef ribs on, bone side down, and add your choice of wood, I prefer wild cherry and pecan for beef ribs.
  • You will not need to add more wood and you will not need to turn the meat over. Cook bone down all the way. The exact length of the cook depends on variables such as the composition of the meat and fuels being used.

Estimated Cooking times:

1″ thick meat should hit 205°F – 210°F   in about 4 hours.

1.5″ thick meat should hit 205°F – 210°F in about 6 hours.

2″ thick meat should hit 205°F – 210°F in about 8 hours.

Chris Marks (CBBQE) Chief BBQ Expert Three Little Pig’s BBQ Rubs/Sauces & Good-One Manufacturing.

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SpatchCock Chicken recipe in an Air Fryer

This healthy air fryer whole spatchcock chicken is plump, juicy, and full of flavor that the entire family will enjoy. Cooking the chicken in the air fryer gives you succulent, tender meat and perfectly crispy skin every time.



  1. Pre-heat air fryer to 350F.
  2. Spatchcock chicken (Video Instructions)
  3. Rub chicken with Three Little Pig’s Touch of Cherry BBQ Rubs
  4. Cook for 45 minutes skin side down, after 45 minutes flip and cook for another 15-20 minutes or until the chicken is browned and the internal temperature reaches 165F.
  5. Rest the chicken for 10 minutes before carving. The bottom of the air-fryer will collect the juices, feel free to serve on the side or make a gravy!

Chris Marks CBBQE (Chief BBQ Expert) Three Little Pig’s Rubs & Sauces and Good-One Smoker/Grills

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“Super Food” Smoked Turkey Breast

A food product must have more than just one thing going for it nutritionally to be what dietary experts call a “superfood.” Turkey pretty much has it all. Turkey breast is one of the leanest meats available with one of the highest amounts of protein. A four-ounce serving of boneless, turkey breast contains 26 grams of protein, about one gram of fat and zero grams of saturated fat

Simple Three Little Pig’s Brine


Brine Directions:   

In a large saucepan, combine water, Championship rub, sugar, over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat.

Add ice or place in refrigerator until completely cooled. Select a container large enough to hold all the brine and turkey. Add turkey, making sure to stretch the skin of the turkey away from the legs. This will allow the brine to get as close as possible to the surface of the meat. Let sit overnight in refrigerator.


  1. 3-4# Turkey Breast
  2. Three Little Pig’s Carolina BBQ Sauce
  3. Three Little Pig’s Championship Rub
  4. Yellow Mustard

Turkey Breast Directions:   

  1. Use yellow mustard to coat both sides of the Turkey Breast, liberally coat both sides of the Turkey Breast with Three Little Pig’s Championship Rub.  
  2. Heat the Smoker or Grill to 300 degrees, add favorite flavor wood, I prefer cherry or pecan.
  3. Smoke or Grill Turkey Breast to 165 degrees, measure with a thermometer to verify correct temperature. I prefer the Thermapen quick read.
  4. Remove the turkey breast from the smoker and rest for 15 minutes.
  5. Gently remove the Turkey Breast from the cavity with a sharp knife and hands.
  6. Once breast is removed cut against the grain for the best results.
  7. Serve with a side of Three Little Pig’s Carolina BBQ Sauce to dip.

For Pulled Turkey:

  • Remove the turkey breast from the smoker or grill coarsely shred with two forks.
  • Mix Three Little Pig’s Carolina BBQ sauce with the pulled turkey, add more sauce for more intense flavor.
  • Serve the turkey on buns with slaw.

Chris Marks CBBQE (Chief BBQ Expert) Three Little Pig’s Rubs & Sauces and Good-One Smoker/Grills

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“No Wrap” Pork Dry Rib Recipe

There are wet ribs, sticky with a succulent, barbecue sauce, and there are dry ribs, where the flavor is all in the dried mixture of  BBQ rubs and spices, melded into something greater than the sum of their parts by time, smoke and pork fat.



  1. Strip membrane off the back of all the ribs.
  2. Using a fork poke the back side between each rib to break up connective tissues.
  3. Coat both sides of the ribs with a thin coat of yellow mustard.
  4. Coat both sides of the pork ribs with Three Little Pig’s Kansas City Sweet rub, then apply a coat of the Touch of Cherry Rub on Top of the Kansas City Sweet rub. (layer flavors)

DIRECTIONS: · Heat Smoker 250 degrees add 2 chunks of either apple or cherry flavor wood or favorite pellet flavor, once the ready to go. ·Select (4) Slabs of Pork Ribs, Strip membrane off back of each rib to guarantee tenderness. Liberally coat yellow mustard over both sides of the baby back rib, this will act as a tenderizer and a bonding agent for the rub. · Meanwhile, coat both sides of the ribs with the Three Little Pig’s rubs. · Place ribs in a vertical rib rack for 4-5 hours depending on your smoker, ½ ways through the cook rotate the 180 degrees in the rack this will guarantee an even cook. · Once the meat has pulled back from the bones, use a toothpick to check tenderness. · Remove from Rack and place flat on the smoker and apply a light coat of Three Little Pig’s Touch of Cherry rub to finish.

Chris Marks CBBQE (Chief BBQ Expert) Three Little Pig’s Rubs & Sauces and Good-One Smoker/Grills

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What is a Tri Tip Steak?

Smoked tri tip is one of the easiest and tastiest things you can make on a smoker.

What is a Tri Tip Steak?

Tri-tip steak is a large, tender, triangular muscle cut  from the bottom sirloin of a steer. It is also known as a triangle steak, bottom sirloin steak, or Santa Maria steak. Originally popularized in Santa Maria, California, you can find Tri-tip just about everywhere now.

How to Reverse Seared Tri Tip

Let the tri tip smoke until the internal tempatures hits 110 degrees, and then remove the tri tip from your smoker. Adjust the smoker to get it up to 400 degrees. When the smoker is up to temp place the tri tip back in the smoker, and let it cook for an additional 10-15 minutes. When the internal tempatures of the meat hits 130 pull it from the smoker and, let it rest for about 15 minutes before slicing thin.

How to Slice Tri Tip

Take a look at the picture below to see the best way to slice a smoked tri-tip. start on the narrow end of the steak, and slice it thin against the grain. When you get to the “knuckle” of the tri tip the grain switches directions. Be sure to rotate your slices with the knuckle to ensure every slice is tender.

Reverse Seared Tri Tip Steak Recipe



  • Setup smoker to smoke at 225 degrees using your favorite flavor wood or pellet. (Pecan)
  • Trim excess fat off top of Tri-Tip.
  • Rub surface of tri tip with the oil, and then generously apply Three Little Pig’s Texas Beef rub to both sides of the meat.
  • Place the tri tip in smoker and smoke until the internal temperature  reaches 110 degrees (approximately 45-60 minutes)
  • Remove the tri tip from the smoker and adjust the temperature of your smoker to cook at 400 degrees.
  • Return the tri tip to the smoker and let the meat cook until the internal temperature is 130 degrees
  • Let the tri tip rest for 15 minutes before slicing thin and serving.

Chris Marks CBBQE (Chief BBQ Expert) Three Little Pig’s Rubs & Sauces and Good-One Smoker/Grills

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Southern Style Pulled Chicken Recipe

BBQ Pulled Chicken with a tender whole chicken cooked on a smoker, grill, oven, or crock pot is so easy and convenient you will be amazed at results.

How to Make Pulled Chicken:

Pulled chicken is generally made one of three ways, cooked on a smoker or grill, cooked in an oven, or cooked in a slow cooker. They all have their merits, no matter how it done in an oven, the easiest option that keeps the chunks firm and flavorful, the smoker and grill has the most flavor and zest (the slow cooker is the easiest option but the meat will fall apart with served).

How to Make Pulled Chicken on the Smoker/Grill


 Smoker Instructions:

  1. Prepare Chicken by applying a coat of the Three Little Pig’s Mustard style BBQ sauce over the entire chicken.
  2. Cover the whole chicken with Three Little Pigs Championship BBQ Rub.
  3. Place chicken in smoker at 250 degrees.
  4. Add your favorite flavor of wood chunks or pellet.
  5. Smoke until breast hits 165 degrees in thighs and legs reach 180 degrees.
  6. Once to temperature remove from smoker let rest for 30 minutes.
  7. Pull meat from bones and place in large mixing bowl or large catering tin pan.
  8. Add the 1 cup of chicken broth and 2 Cups of Three Little Pigs Mustard Style BBQ Sauce to the bowl and mix.
  9. Put chicken back in smoker to warm, pour sauce over, stir, and enjoy!

How to Make Pulled Chicken in the Oven


 Oven Instructions:

  1. Prepare whole chicken by applying a coat of the Three Little Pig’s Mustard style BBQ sauce over entire chciken.
  2. Cover the whole chicken with Three Little Pigs Championship BBQ Rub.
  3. Place chicken in oven at 325 degrees.
  4. Cook until breast hits 165 degrees in thighs and legs reach 180 degrees.
  5. Once to temperature remove from oven let rest for 30 minutes.
  6. Pull meat from bones and place in large mixing bowl or large catering tin pan.
  7. Add the 1 cup of chicken broth and 2 Cups of Three Little Pigs Mustard Style BBQ Sauce to the bowl and mix.
  8. Put chicken back in oven to warm, pour sauce over, stir, and enjoy!

How to Make Boneless Breast Crockpot Pulled Chicken:


1. Stir together all sauce ingredients in a 5-6 qt slow cooker.

2. Add chicken and turn to coat. Cover and cook on high 3 to 4 hours or on low for 6 – 7 hours. Chicken is done when cooked through and easy to shred

3. Remove chicken to a cutting board and shred each breast using two forks. Place shredded chicken back in the crock pot and stir to coat with the Mustard Style BBQ Sauce.

Ways to use leftover Pulled Chicken:

  • Add it to a salad (leave it cold) with corn, black beans, cucumbers, tomatoes, and lettuce and top with mustard BBQ sauce.
  • Add it to a baked potato with some sharp cheddar cheese.
  • Make it into a BBQ chicken quesadilla with some thinly sliced red onion and cheddar cheese.
  • Add it onto pizza dough with red onions, cilantro, and cheddar.
  • Make it into tacos with finely shredded cabbage, Pico de Gallo and ranch dressing.

Chris Marks CBBQE (Chief BBQ Expert) Three Little Pig’s Rubs & Sauces and Good-One Smoker/Grills

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ABC’s of Pork Butt & Shoulder

I Like Pork Butts and I Cannot Lie! 

While pork shoulder and pork butt come from the same basic region of the pig and can be used interchangeably, they are cut from opposite ends of the shoulder region. Pork shoulder is cut from the thinner end of the shoulder, contains slightly less fat, and can be better for cooking and slicing whole. Pork butt, on the other hand, is cut from the thicker, fattier end of the shoulder, and excels in recipes like pulled pork where the meat is meant to be shredded.

Pork butt is not from the rear of the pig. Pork shoulder is from only part of the shoulder.  

Know the difference between pork shoulder and pork butt.


Also known as “Boston butt”Also known as “picnic shoulder” or “picnic roast”
Well marbled with intramuscular fatTypically, has less intramuscular fat and marbling
Often sold with fat cap intactFrequently sold with skin on
Rectangular, uniform shapeTapered, triangular shape
Sold as bone-in and bonelessIf boneless, typically sold in netting; when netting is removed, meat “unfolds” into uneven layer

What are the most asked Questions on Pork Butt ?

How long does it take to cook a Pork Butt/Shoulder at 250 degrees?

Smoking a Boston Butt low and slow produces the most delectable results, but this takes a lot longer than you think. Smoking the meat at about 225-250 degrees takes between 1.5 and 2 hours per pound of uncooked meat. So, if you have a 7-pound uncooked Boston Butt, it could take up to 14 hours to be done. But is important to cook to temperature instead of time, the above is a basic guideline for reference. 

What temperature should you cook pulled pork to?

Check for doneness. For pulled pork, the ideal temperature is 205°F. The high internal temperature allows collagen to break down, making the meat very tender. Keep in mind that the pork shoulder will continue to cook internally by 5 degrees even after it has been removed from the grill.

Can you overcook pulled pork?

The pork is done cooking when the meat pulls away easily with a fork. It’s pretty hard to overcook a pork  butt or shoulder when using this method below, as long as the moisture is maintained, but once the meat starts to become tender, keep an eye on it, as the texture can become mushy if it cooks too long past the 205 temperature range.

Should I wrap my Pork butt in foil?

I prefer not to wrap because I like a crispier bark, but if you elect, here are the steps.

Wrap in foil: At the 5-hour mark the internal temp should be in the 160 range. Wrap in aluminum foil to keep the meat from getting too much smoke and to catch the moisture being released during the cooking process.

How do you moisten pulled pork?

Place your whole butt or shredded pork in an ovenproof dish or cater dish, add in a little liquid to replace some of the lost moisture. This can be apple juice, broth, or BBQ sauce. Cover the dish in a double layer of foil, to lock in the moisture, and set it on a baking tray in the middle of your oven until the pulled pork reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

Do you leave skin on pulled pork?

Pork shoulder that is due to be pulled should always be skinless to allow the flavors to permeate. You can ask your butcher to do this for you, but if you’re removing it yourself, don’t let the skin go to waste – roast it until crunchy and serve it on the side or as a snack.

Fat Cap up or Down?

The main reason for cooking with the fat cap down is many people feel doing so allows the fat cap to act as insulation, protecting the meat from the direct heat and will keep the meat from drying out. Also having the meat side up allows a better bark to form, without the impressions of it resting on the grill grates

Do you keep fat on pulled pork?

Pulled pork is cooked slowly over a low heat until it is tender enough to be ‘pulled’ apart. Fat equals flavor when cooking meat and especially when you are slow cooking. Essentially you need enough fat to keep the meat juicy.

Can I pull pork the next day?

No, it will not pull until it is heated up. All the fat will turn more solid just like any grease that cools off. Think about how hard the fat turns in the bottom of any meat cooked and then put in the refrigerator overnight

How long can you freeze pulled pork?

6-8 months

Freezing Smoked Pulled Pork

For more than several days of storage, food needs to be frozen at 0 degree. In fact, freezing pulled pork can keep it last for 6-8 months. To achieve, the best method is to use a cryovac machine or Ziploc bags.

How long can pork shoulder/butt rest in cooler?

How Long Can I Safely Hold Meat in A Cooler? — The standard advice on food safety is that you can safely keep food in the “danger zone” for a maximum of four hours. The danger zone, of course, is between 40°F and 140°F.

What temp does pork shoulder stall?

Around 160°F

The Stall: Even with our careful attention to our smoker temps, we still experienced what “low and slow” experts call “the stall.” When smoking meats like beef brisket or pork butt over extended periods, the internal temperature of the meat can seem to plateau or stall at around 160°F (71°C)—it can even drop slightly.

Do you need to inject pork shoulder?

You do not need to inject to get moist and tender pulled pork. But you can enhance the flavor with an injection. If you plan to pull it and/or chop it prior to serving, you can simply add broth or BBQ Sauce to the pulled/chopped meat prior to serving.

What is the best way to reheat pulled pork?

How to Reheat Pulled Pork in the Oven

  1. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Place the pulled pork into a baking dish with leftover juices and cover with a lid.
  3. Bake until the pulled pork reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
  4. Mix the pulled pork again.

What Else Can I use Pulled Pork for ?

Pulled pork is a staple barbecue food. Sure, it makes for a great pulled pork sandwich, but it’s also has many other possibilities not just BBQ. Since pulled pork is tasty and versatile, it would be a shame to waste it on the same old barbecue sandwich recipes you have been using for generations.

Unique Pulled Pork Recipes that are not BBQ Sandwiches

  1. Pulled Pork Nachos.
  2. Pulled Pork Poutine.
  3. Pulled Pork Chili.
  4. Pulled Pork Enchiladas.
  5. Pulled Pork Mac and Cheese.
  6. Pulled Pork Gyros.
  7. Pulled Pork Pizza
  8. Thai-Style Pulled Pork Over Rice
  9.  Pulled Pork Taquitos 
  10.   Pulled Pork Cuban French Bread Pizza
  11.  Pulled Pork Bratwurst 
  12.  Pulled Pork Shepherd’s Pie 
  13.  Pulled Pork Lettuce Wraps 
  14.   Pulled Pork Burrito Bowls 
  15.   Pulled Pork Hoagie 

Simple No-Wrap Pork Butt or Shoulder



  • Preheat your smoker to 250°F.
  • Combine all Three Little Pig’s Touch of Cherry & Championship rub in a bowl and mix.
  • Apply a coat of Three Little Pig’s Mustard BBQ Sauce on the butt or shoulder as a rub binder.
  • Apply a generous amount of the rub on all sides of the pork shoulder.
  • Place the pork shoulder in your smoker fat side down, with 5 to 6 wood chunks of your choice on top of hot coals. Cook until the deepest section of the meat reaches an internal temperature of 205°F, or about 8 1/2 hours.
  • Once the pork shoulder has reached its targeted temperature, remove from your smoker and place in a large aluminum drip pan. Cover with aluminum foil and let rest for 1 hour.
  • Using Meat Claws or Disposable BBQ Gloves, shred the pork shoulder and discard any bones or sizable chunks of fat. Once fully shredded, pour in your choice of finishing sauce over the meat. For a Carolina style pulled pork use either Three Little Pig’s Carolina BBQ sauce or new Carolina Mustard Sauce.
  • Assemble sandwiches with buns, pickled onions, sweet pickles, and Three Little Pig’s Mustard BBQ sauce to finish.

Chris Marks CBBQE (Chief BBQ Expert) Three Little Pig’s Rubs & Sauces

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How to Reverse Sear a Steak

Reverse searing is the reverse of this process. First you cook, smoke the meat on a very low indirect heat before searing the outside over high direct heat. The method works by slowly and gently cooking your steak to just under medium-rare, so the steak is cooked evenly through the cut.

For medium rare, it typically takes about 40 minutes at 250 degrees on the smoker, Once your steak is cooked to your preference, take it out and, next, in a hot (and we mean HOT)  grill or skillet, sear the steaks for one minute on each side. You should be left with a steak that has that has a tasty coating with a tender inside.

When cooking steak in cast iron skillets, you want to use a type of oil that has a high smoke point. For example, peanut oil, canola oil, grapeseed oil, and avocado oil are ideal options for cooking steak due to their high smoke points.

Simple Reverse Seared Steak Recipe.



  • Generously season steak(s) all over with Three Little Pig’s Texas Beef BBQ Rub. If desired, set steak(s) on a wire rack set in a rimmed baking sheet and refrigerate, uncovered, overnight to dry out the exterior.
  • When all the charcoal is lit, and smoker has reached 250 degrees, spread the coals evenly over half of coal grate. Set cooking grate in place, cover smoker, and allow to preheat for 5 minutes. Add your choice of flavor wood, I prefer Pecan, then clean and oil the smoking rack.
  • Set steak(s) on cooler side of smoker and let cook uncovered, turning occasionally, until a thermometer registers 105°F (41°C) for rare, 115°F (46°C) for medium-rare, 125°F (52°C) for medium, or 135°F (57°C) for medium-well. Cooking time can vary greatly, so check the steaks often.
  • Once the steak hits your desired teampature, build up the biggest fire you can on the grill side of the smoker or move to a hot skillet.
  • Return steak(s) to the hottest part of the grill or skillet and cook, turning frequently, until crisp and charred all over, about 1 1/2 minutes total. Serve right away.

Chris Marks (CBBQE) Cheif BBQ Expert Three Little Pig’s BBQ Rubs/Sauces & Good-One Manufacturing.

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