Smoked Pulled Pork in Homebrew Brine

With homebrew dry rub and slop sauce

Smoked Pulled Pork in Homebrew Brine Recipe

When you're brewing a batch of beer, sometimes its hard not to get hungry. Let's face it, there are few things in this world that go better together than beer and barbeque. Since the average brew session can take 4-6 hours, why not throw a pork shoulder on the smoker while you're brewing? The rewards in the end will be well worth the extra preparation for the smoked meats. Yum!

About This Recipe

Yield: makes 6 pounds
Brine time: 3 days
Smoke time: 8-10 hours
Special equipment: Wood smoker, Brining vessel, Digital thermometer
This recipe goes great with: Smoked Pumpkin Ale

Homebrew Brine

  • 1 cup sea salt
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 2 tbsp grains of paradise
  • 8 cloves garlic (peeled and minced)
  • 5 bay leaves, torn
  • 3 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, washed and chopped
  • 1 yellow onion, peeled and chopped
  • 5 cups homebrew, dark style preferred
  • 5 cups water
  • 2 quarts ice

Homebrew Rub

  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 2/3 cups Dried Malt Extract (DME)
  • 3 tbsp cracked black pepper
  • 2 tbsp sea salt
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 4 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 4 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tbsp dry mustard
  • 1 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper (cayenne)
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground fennel
  • 3/4 tsp dried thyme

Homebrew Slop Sauce

  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup diced yellow onion
  • 2/3 cups brown sugar
  • 12 oz diced tomato
  • 1 tbsp onion mustard
  • 12 oz homebrew (preferably amber, bock or red ale)
  • 2 tbsp malt vinegar
  • 2 tbsp Dried Malt Extract (DME) or sugar
  • sea salt to taste

  • Directions:
    Heat oil in a saucepan over medium low heat. Caramelize the onions for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the tomatoes and simmer for another 4 to 5 minutes. Add the mustard, homebrew, malt vinegar and DME and cook for around 30 minutes. Finally, add the contents to a blender and puree until smooth.


  • 6-8 pound pork shoulder, bone-in
  • lump mesquite charcoal
  • smoking firewood (apple, oak or mesquite)
  • wood chips (apple, cherry, walnut, pecan)


  1. In a large stock pot over medium high heat, add the sea salt, brown sugar, molasses, grains of paradise, garlic, bay leaves, carrots, celery, onion, homebrew and water.
  2. Stir until the mixture comes to a boil and then simmer for 15 minutes.
  3. Turn off the heat and let the mixture cool for 10 minutes.
  4. Add the ice to chill the brine to 40°F.
  5. Transfer the collected brine to a larger container that will hold the brine and the pork without spilling over. (A 5 gallon igloo cooler works well for this.)
  6. Add the pork and place a washed brick (or some type of heavy waterproof item) on top of the pork to completely submerge it into the brine and chill in the refrigerator for 72 hours.
  7. Remove the pork from the brine at least 12-24 hours before cooking, but keep it in the refrigerator.
  8. Once you start prepping your smoker, remove the pork from the refrigerator.


  1. In a small mixing bowl, stir together brown sugar, DME, black pepper, salt, ginger, garlic powder, onion powder, dry mustard, crushed red pepper, cumin, paprika, coriander, fennel and thyme.
  2. Sift the rub evenly over the shoulder and then pat onto the meat making sure as much of the rub as possible adheres. More rub will adhere to the meat if you are wearing latex gloves during the application.


  1. Start up 2 lbs of lump charcoal in the coal hot box.
  2. Soak your wood chips in water for 30-45 minutes.
  3. Once your coals turn white place a medium sized log of smoking wood onto the coals and seal the the hot box.
  4. Fill a water pan under the grill rack and place the pork on top. This will help keep the pork's environment moist.
  5. Keep the temperature between 250°F - 275°F for 8 to 10 hours. Check the coal, adding more firewood as needed, usually every 45 minutes.
  6. After 6 hours it is time to start layering the smoke flavors. Start by adding the apple wood soaked chips every 20 minutes for an hour. Next, add the cherry, walnut and pecan wood chips in the same fashion.
  7. After 10 hours the pork should be dark, almost black in color, and should nearly fall apart at the touch of a fork or knife.
  8. Remove the pork from the smoker and wrap in foil to sit for 20-30 minutes while the juices redistribute.


  1. Once the meat has cooled and your brew day has come to an end, pull the pork apart into thin strips. Serve in a large bowl.
  2. Mix the pork with the homebrew slop sauce and enjoy!
Christian Lavender Christian Lavender is a home brewer in Austin, TX and founder of and

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