If you're thinking we've taken this pumpkin spice trend a little too far, hear us out! The ubiquitous cinnamon-clove-nutmeg-allspice flavors in Pumpkin Pie Spice is perfect for so much more than pumpkin pie. Nothing basic about it. We combined our Pumpkin Pie Spice with brown sugar, smoked black pepper and cayenne for a dry rub that ends in perfectly-spiced pulled pork. We put our Pumpkin Balsamic Vinegar to work in this Pumpkin Spice BBQ Sauce for a fall-themed flavor explosion!
Pork Shoulder (ours weighed in at 4.5 lbs)
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 Tbl sea salt
1 Tbl Pumpkin Pie Spice
2 tsp Smoked Black Pepper, ground
1 Tbl Sariette Blend
1 tsp Cayenne
NOTE: We used our electric smoker for this recipe. Keep reading below for conventional oven directions.
Combine the brown sugar, salt, Pumpkin Pie Spice, Smoked Black Pepper, Sariette Blend and Cayenne in a bowl. Stir to combine. Use all the rub to season the pork shoulder on all sides. Place the shoulder directly on the rack in the center of the smoker and close the lid. We use applewood pellets for smoking and filled the liquid tray with water. Smoke for 5-7 hours or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F. The exterior of the pork should be a brownish red color.
Wrap the pork in a double layer of foil. Return to the smoker and cook until the internal temp reaches 200°F. Remove from the smoker and leave wrapped in foil. Allow to rest for 1 hour. Shred the pork. We took care to discard the gristle and left about 1/4 of the visible fat with the shredded pork. You may want to discard all of the fat.
Serve the pulled pork on buns with the Pumpkin Spice BBQ Sauce.
Note that the timing for cooking will vary for you. Our particular brand of electric smokers takes a bit of time to return to heat after opening the door to replenish the smoking wood and water and empty the drip tray.
Conventional Oven Directions:
Preheat oven to 225°F. Place the seasoned shoulder on a sheet pan or roasting pan. Roast for 4-5 hours or until the internal temp reaches 165°F. Wrap the pork in a large piece of foil and return to the oven and roast until the internal temp reaches 200°F. Remove from the oven and allow to rest while still wrapped in foil for 1 hour. Proceed with shredding and serving as detailed above.