Whenever barbecue pork recipes are mentioned my thoughts immediately turn to a side of ribs or some beautifully succulent pulled pork. Hickory smoked, low and slow, supremely tender and absolutely delicious.
Pork is such a versatile meat, in the most part lean with well defined areas of fat that make it perfect for both grilling and smoking alike and there's loads of easy recipes for you to try below.
The general rule with pork is if you have the super lean cuts from the loin then these are best cooked over high heat for a short period of time i.e. grilled; and those that contain more connective tissue such as the shoulder and ribs are best cooked for longer time with lower heat i.e. smoked.
Whether it's grilling or smoking, the lean part of pork should be pale pink, moist and slightly marbled with fat. There should be a good outer layer of firm white fat with a thin elastic skin. Small pinkish bones denote a young animal.
It depends which country you come from as to what each cut of pork is called. As an Englishman it took me an age to work out what a butt was so to be clear as I can be, it's not the backside, it's the shoulder.
Below is a pictorial representation of the various cuts of pork and which part of the pig they come from. You'll see some alternative names for the same cut, generally speaking the former is the American term, the latter the English term.
Butt / Shoulder - this is the cut for pulled pork. Full of connective tissue, it's perfect for slow roasting and smoking. The same applies to the picnic or hand.
Tenderloin is super lean and will dry out fast when cooked. Click here for Grilled Tenderloin Of Pork
Loin chops are great on the grill. Boned out and cured in one slab and you've got back bacon.
For the ribs we have a whole section dedicated to BBQ ribs.
The belly is usually cured by the butcher to make streaky bacon. It's a great cut for slow roasting and smoking like this smoked & slow roast pork belly. The french refer to it as "poitrine" a classic ingredient in Cassoulet.
The hind leg or ham is generally used for curing and sold either as ham or gammon. In its fresh state sliced it's leg fillet, great for grilling.
Cheeks - A small gem found in the fat of the jowl. It's best for braising low and slow in rich liquid. In Italy the jowl is cured and smoked to make guanciale.
Snouts and Ears? Very popular in Asian countries, prized for their chewy gelatinous and crunchy textures...and they're welcome to them!
Pork and Apple Burgers - If you're looking for a twist on a beef burger then look no further.
Basque BBQ Ribs - It's not smoked. This is how they're cooked on the North Coast of Spain
Grilled Barbecue Ribs - With a lovely spicy glaze.
Greek Souvlaki - Perfect for lunch on a hot day.
Pork Satay Kebabs - Here we've got a rich peanut sauce to tickle your tastebuds.
Rub For Chops & Steaks - Dusted with paprika to give a light piquant hint.
BBQ Pork Chops - with Sebastian's honey mustard sauce and fresh dill. Delicious!
Grilled Pork Chop Recipe - Raisins soaked in brandy are stuffed into the chop.
Tenderloin Of Pork - With a choice of sauces but I like the one with fire roasted red peppers.
Spit Roasted Pork - With the best crackling ever.
Barbecue Gammon Steak - Served with garlic mash and fresh pineapple.
BBQ Ribs Recipes - The complete guide with traditional American and Chinese recipes.
Easy Pulled Pork - Get the right cut of pork and you won't be disappointed.
Traditional Southern Style Pulled Pork - Slow and steady, fantastic results.
Smoked Pulled Pork Recipe - No rub on this one, just a tangy mop & BBQ sauce.
Smoked Pork Shoulder - This recipe is courtesy of Colin Richards in Florida.
Chinese Smoked Pork Tenderloin Recipe - a spicy oriental rub and sweet soy mop make a for really succulent dish.
Smoked Pork Loin - Basted with a delicious honey apple brandy glaze.
Smoked & Slow Roast Pork Belly - Supremely succulent, use it as an ingredient for other recipes or eat it just as it is.
Chinese Barbecue Pork (Char Siu) - Sweet, sticky and with a deep red color. This is perfect either sliced or shredded.
Pigs In Blankets - The perfect trimmings for your Thanksgiving or Christmas turkey.
In the old days barbecue pork recipes like these would have stated that the meat must be cooked through because of the risk of tapeworm or trichnosis and to be fair it's still common to hear folks say that pork needs to be well cooked despite these parasites having been all but eliminated from the food chain.
Overcooked grilled pork is tough and dry so if you're unsure use a BBQ thermometer and check. My view has changed and contrary to what government health authorities will tell you, I cook pork to 140°F or 60°C and then allow it to rest (the temperature will continue to lift a few more degrees whilst resting) and this produces succulent results with the core of the meat ever so slightly pink. Going by government guidelines you need to cook to an internal meat temperature of 165°F or 75°C but I only use this guideline when cooking ground pork such as burger or sausage. If you're doing pulled pork, don't worry about it drying out, you can cook to a much higher temperature and it will still be moist.
Just before we finish on this page there's a couple of other barbecue pork recipes (or cooking ideas) that may be of interest to you. Firstly there's my peppery Cumberland ring – a great way to grill and present a pork sausage.
Not quite a sausage but still worth a try is my grilled black pudding. It's easy and full of flavor. My favorite is served on a bed of caramelized apple like this.