BBQ Pulled Pork and Coleslaw: North Carolina Style

BBQ Pulled Pork and Coleslaw: North Carolina Style

Prep Time

15 minutes

Cook Time

6 hours


5 people

Yum! Here’s a recipe for some low-and-slow North Carolina-style barbecue pulled pork.

It may take up to 12 hours to cook over the coals, but the flavor it delivers is definitely worth the wait.

This BBQ Pulled Pork recipe uses a rub for the pork and a North Carolina-style mop sauce so the flavor really pops! The recipe has quite a few ingredients, so let’s dive straight in, and don’t forget to click here to see the how-to video.

Brought to you by the chefs at Rattan Direct.


  • 4 lb pork shoulder
  • To taste, sea salt

For the Rub

  • 1 teaspoon fennel seed
  • 1 teaspoon ground garlic
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • A pinch celery seeds
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons brown sugar

For the Sauce

  • 1 cup vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons ketchup
  • 5 tablespoons apple juice
  • 3 tablespoons soft brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce
  • 1 teaspoon chili flakes
  • Freshly ground black pepper

For the Red Slaw

  • 1/2 head white cabbage, shredded
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • 3 tablespoon sugar
  • 3 tablespoon salt
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  • 1 Add plenty of sea salt to the meat and stand aside whilst the fire gets to temperature.
  • 2 Light your BBQ on one side only. Once the flames have died down, put an oven thermometer on the rack opposite and close the lid. Now wait until it hits between 225F and 300F. The lower the better. By the time you hit this temperature, the coals will be almost spent, so you need to keep it topped up gradually, but too much or you will raise the temperature. The more often that you cook this way, the better you be at controlling the heat.
  • 3 Meanwhile you can get on with the rub, the sauce and the slaw.
  • 4 Mix the ingredients for the rub together, in a pestle and mortar if you have one. Don’t worry if you don’t; those fennel seeds are hard to crush down anyway.
  • 5 Mix the sauce ingredients together and leave to stand.
  • 6 Mix the shredded cabbage and carrot together. Add the sugar and the salt. Set aside for about 15 minutes, or until it has released its moisture.
  • 7 Mix the rest of the slaw ingredients together to form the sauce.
  • 8 Rub the spice mix all over the pork, and if the fire is ready, add to the rack opposite the coals. Insert a meat thermometer.
  • 9 Scatter a few handfuls of wood chippings on the fire (we used beech) and close the lid. Check the fire every hour to see if it needs topping up.
  • 10 Drain the liquid from the slaw, using kitchen roll to make sure it is completely dry. Stir in the slaw sauce.
  • 11 When the pork hits an internal temperature of 150F (this may take 6 hours at least) wrap it tightly in foil and put back on the rack, with the lid closed. It may take a further hour to hit 203F, which is where the red zone on the thermometer is likely to stop.
  • 12 Unwrap the pork and leave to cool slightly before shredding with two forks.
  • 13 Toss the meat in sauce and serve piled into bread buns with the red slaw.


15 Apr

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