All good barbecue starts with a good rub. And guess what? So do good barbecue potato chips. Kettle Brand Bourbon BBQ Potato Chips are seasoned with brown sugar, tomato powder, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, bourbon and other spices.
That gave me an idea. Why not use those natural flavors to my advantage to create a bourbon BBQ rub for a pulled pork sandwich.
Bourbon BBQ Potato Chip Rub
All you have to do is pulse a handful or two of chips in a mini chopper until you have about 1/3 of a cup of crushed chips. Go ahead and grab a couple more handfuls for yourself. These uber-crunchy chips are pretty irresistible.
Then, mix the crushed chips with a bit more seasoning and generously rub the bourbon BBQ blend all over a pork butt.
Get your smoker going with some hickory, maple or pecan wood. You want to aim for a temperature of around 275F degrees.
Now, place that well-seasoned butt on the smoker, and cook it for about two hours. The goal is to reach an internal temperature of around 160F.
Hold tight. We’re not quite done. At this stage, the meat has absorbed pretty much all of the smoke that it can. We’re going to lock that flavor and juiciness in, and add some bourbon.
Apple Bourbon Wrap
Lay two pieces of heavy-duty foil or butcher paper on the counter. Place four pats of butter onto the foil about the length of the butt. Sprinkle half of the brown sugar on the bottom. This will flavor the underside.
Now, pat the rest of the brown sugar on top, and pour some apple juice and bourbon around the edges. Wrap that bad boy up real tight, so those juices stay inside your packet.
Return the pork to the grill for another hour or until the internal temperature reaches 200F. As tempting as it will be to start eating it at this point, you’ve got to let it rest. Just remove it from the grill and keep it wrapped up for around 30 minutes. This allows the moisture you’ve created to redistribute back into the meat.
When it’s sandwich-making time, shred the pork. You can use claws or two forks, but I prefer to use my hands because it allows me to feel my way around the meat, so I can pick out any overly fatty parts.
I wear cotton gloves with latex gloves on top. The cotton gloves protect my hands from the heat because even after resting for 30 minutes, it will still be very hot.
To keep the flavors consistent, toss the meat with bourbon barbecue sauce. Your local grocery should have a few varieties to choose from. Or you can show off your mad barbecue skills and make your own. Maybe try this recipe from Susie over at Hey Grill Hey.
To build the sandwich, start with some fresh buns. Brioche are my favorite because they’re light and buttery. Pile on a big handful of bourbon barbecue pork. Add a few sliced white onions and finish the pulled pork sandwich off with a mound of Kettle Brand Bourbon BBQ Potato Chips.
The chips give the sandwich an awesome crunch, and they complement the rub used on the pork.
This recipe makes six hefty sandwiches. Need to feed a bigger crowd? Just grab a bigger pork butt and another bag of chips.
Bourbon BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich
This is no ordinary pulled pork sandwich. It's got incredible bourbon barbecue crunch factor.
Pulse the chips in a food chopper. Combine in a bowl with the other spices.
Rub all over the pork butt. Let rest while you heat the smoker to 275F degrees. Smoke for 2 hours, to an internal temperature of 160F degrees.
Place two pieces of foil on the counter horizontally. Place 4 pats butter in a row about the length of the pork butt. Sprinkle 1/4 cup brown sugar over the butter. Place the pork on top. Pack the remaining brown sugar on top of the pork. Pour the apple juice and bourbon around the pork. Wrap tightly.
Return to smoker. Keep smoking, until it reaches an internal temperature of 200F degrees, about 1 more hour.
Remove from smoker. Keep tightly wrapped in foil, and let rest for 30 minutes.
Pull the pork, removing fatty pieces Toss in a bowl with bourbon barbecue sauce.
Place pulled pork onto a bun. Top with onion slices and chips.