Pulled Pork with Samuel Adams BBQ Sauce

My friend Todd from Samuel Adams posted a blog update highlighting a new relationship with the brewery and a local Boston food truck, Pennypackers.  The momentous occasion? Taco Tuesday!  

On the first Tuesday of every month, Pennypackers develops a new recipe based on a surprise beer supplied by the brewery.  Pennypackers sauce recipe read like a winner and since I was already planning on smoking a boston butt, adding in their BBQ sauce was a no-brainer.  

The first beer supplied to Pennypackers was Dark Depths, which, I couldn't locate.   However, I did grab the equally great Cinder Bock, which I figured would work just as well, especially with its drool inducing rauchbier smokiness.  

Samuel Adams Cinder Bock

Pulled Pork w/ Samuel Adams BBQ Sauce

Based on the recipe from Pennypackers

Sauce Ingredients

3 jalapeño peppers

1 poblano pepper

2 red peppers

2 yellow onions

10 cloves garlic

2 Tbls cumin

2 Tbls paprika

1 tsp ground ginger

1/2 tsp allspice

1 cup molasses

1 cup brown sugar

11/2 cups cider vinegar

3 cups crushed tomatoes


Boston Butt 3-5 pounds

1/3 cup favorite BBQ rub

1 cup of wood chips (pecan, cherry or apple…take your pick), soaked in water for an hour

The Pennypacker recipe gives a grill/braise process to cook the pork.  When it comes to grilling a Boston Butt, I'm hard pressed to not smoke my meat for extended periods of time.  Although straight up smoking takes twice as long as the braise, either method gives superior results.  Do what works for you.

To further add to the mix, I opted to smoke on the Weber kettle, versus the Saffire.  My Saffire has done such heavy lifting the last few years, I went back to my trusty Weber mostly to make sure I hadn't forgotten how to use it.  It's been lonely lately and in dire need of love.

To get started, pull the pork from the refrigerator about an hour before grill time.  Pat dry and generously season all sides with the rub.  Allow to stand at room temperature.

Setting up the Grill
Wood Chunks on Coals

When the lit coals have been added to the unlit coals, toss on the wood chips and close the lid.  Once the smoke starts, add the pork to the grill and replace the lid again.

Boston Butt on Grate

Plan on smoking the pork until the internal temperature hits 190 F with an instant read thermometer, about 8-9 hours.   Also, if using heat on only one side of the pork, plan on rotating the butt 180 degrees about half way through the cook.

While the pork is smoking, work on the sauce.

Dice and sauté all the peppers, onions, and garlic in a little vegetable oil in a stock pot until well caramelized, 10-15 minutes.

Chopped Peppers

Deglaze the pan with the 22 oz bottle of Cinder Bock (or Dark Depths).


To crush the "crushed tomatoes" called for in the recipe, take a tomato, cut it in half and then rub it along the sides of a box grater.

Grating Tomato

I found this handy tip on Gourmet.  It works great.  This process also eliminates the need to remove the tomato skin, as the skin pulls back on its own the more you remove the flesh from inside the tomato.

Tomato on the Grater

Fast, simple, fresh and easy crushed tomatoes.

Grated Tomato

Add the crushed tomato, cider vinegar, brown sugar, molasses, cumin, paprika, ginger and allspice, and mix well.

Dropping Tomato

Allow the sauce to simmer 1-2 hours.

BBQ Sauce Makings

Add salt and pepper to taste.  Remove from the pot and puree in a blender.  Return the sauce to the pot and continue to simmer for another 15 minutes.  When done, remove from the grill and allow to cool.

Grill Temperature

Almost there.

When the pork reaches 190 F, remove from the grill.


Wrap the meat in foil and allow to rest for approximately 10-15 minutes.  Once done, grab a couple forks and shred the pork. A properly smoked boston butt will shred in minutes.

The fresh sauce ingredients, along with the wonderful presence of the Cinder Bock, really made the sauce.  It was quite different than the tangy sauces I'm used to and really, really good.  Oh, and the pork?  Those succulent strips of pork and charred black pieces of bark speak for themselves.  Now, how to get myself to Boston for August's Taco Tuesday?  I can only imagine what they will come up with next.

Pulled Pork Platter

What's your favorite beer to cook with?  Pulled pork goes great in tacos, what else do you use it for?  Leave your thoughts in the comments.