Carolina Style BBQ Pork (AIP)



Before you read this post…please oblige me by clicking on the cute little MP3 player above.  You know me enough by now to know I like atmosphere, presentation, M-O-O-D.  And I need to set the stage for you.  So, go ahead.  Click that play button. Turn up the sound. Then read on…

I got “the talk” from SupaDoc this past week. Without going into great detail, it went something like this. “Tests have confirmed you have autoimmune reactivity.”  Then a lot of yada, yada, yada medical talk to fill in the gaps.  He talked about leaky gut being healed and certain foods being okay to start re-introducing.  Yada, yada, more medical talk. Then, he said these words…

“It looks like the AIP (autoimmune protocol) is a diet that would benefit you to stay on F – O – R (gasp) L – I – F – E.”

Everything stopped.  Did he just say that in slow motion or was it just me?  Suddenly, delightful food memories flashed before my eyes:  crusty Italian bread dripping in my mom’s homemade meat sauce; Pecorino Romano cheese on everything from meatballs to veggies; Caprese salad with ripe tomatoes, fresh mozzarella and basil; fresh roasted red peppers dressed in olive oil and garlic atop Italian bread.

After wallowing for a bit (every gal needs a good waller once in awhile), I started Fran talking. (Fran is my mom.) I give myself Fran talks every once in awhile. My Fran talks always involve a Long Island/Brooklyn accent:  “Jennifah Marie!  Fuggedaboutit!”

Then, I got to thinking.  (Watch out! She’s thinking people!)  AIP hasn’t been all that bad.  I mean – really, I’ve made some yummy things from my own concoctions to delicious recipes from other bloggers and AIP cookbooks.  I’m in the kitchen a whole lot LESS than I was when I did hard core SCD.  AND – if staying on the straight and narrow to reduce triggers for autoimmunity means further reducing flare ups, having more energy, staying healthy for my family – then I’m in.

Now, that doesn’t mean I’m not going to sing the blues here and there.  I don’t like feeling…well…weird, for lack of a better word.  Some of you have known me long enough to think I’d be used to that feeling. But, frankly, I’m not.  It feels weird to bring my own food to church gatherings and our family’s homes for dinner.  It feels weird to give the waiter a long list of food allergies and ask a bunch of questions about how something is prepared and whether or not they use “pure” olive oil or an “olive oil blend”.

But a little weirdness is worth it to me.  Maybe I’ll start a revolution and weird will become COOL.  Weird eaters UNITE!

All right-y then.  This mamma is pressing on and going to share with you a FABOO dinner of Carolina-ish BBQ Pork that I would serve to any guest.  We’ve been eating it with an AIP coleslaw and either roasted sweet potatoes or butternut squash.  (sound familiar?)  I’ll post the coleslaw recipe soon.


The contents of this pot contain nothing but L-O-V-E.  See that rich, dark sauce in the bottom?  WUV, TWUE WUV…Wuv is what bwings us togevah…today… (name that movie)

Shared on Allergy Free Wednesday


5.0 from 5 reviews
Carolina Style BBQ Pork (AIP)
Serves: a crowd!
  • 1 (4-6 lb.) Boston Butt or pork shoulder roast (OR 2 roasts each weighing 2.5 to 3 lbs.)
  • 2 Tablespoons coconut oil, bacon fat OR fat of choice
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 Tablespoons coconut sugar, or maple syrup or honey (SEE NOTE BELOW)
  • 2 Tablespoons AIP Poultry Spice Blend
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons maple syrup (or honey)
  • 2 Tablespoons coconut aminos
  • 1 Tablespoon coarse grain mustard (gluten free)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  1. Preheat the oven to 300F. Pat the roast(s) dry and remove any butcher string.
  2. Combine AIP spice blend with cinnamon and coconut sugar (if not using coconut sugar just wait to add the maple syrup or honey later).
  3. Rub the spice mixture on all sides of the roast(s).
  4. In a small bowl, combine apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, coconut aminos, and mustard. Set aside.
  5. Heat a large oven-proof dutch oven (Le Creuset works beautifully) to medium or medium low.
  6. Once heated, add coconut oil to the pot and sear meat on all sides. Remove meat to large bowl or platter.
  7. Add onions to now empty pot and stir well until starting to brown.
  8. Nestle pork back into pot and pour any accumulated juices on top.
  9. Pour vinegar mixture gently over roast and onions. Toss in garlic.
  10. Place tight-fitting lid on pot (or if your lid isn't tight-fitting, place a piece of tin foil over top of pot, then put lid on) and place in preheated oven.
  11. Roast for 3 to 4 hours (I lean toward 4).
  12. Shred meat with two forks, removing any unwanted fat.
  13. Don't forget to pour the rich, beautiful sauce atop meat!! (Feel free to remove the liquid fat first if you must.)
  14. NOTE: I've made this recipe with coconut sugar and without. Coconut sugar works nicely with the spice rub. But honestly, I wasn't sure if it was AIP legal. That said, if you leave it out - just use 4 TBSP (instead of 2 TBSP) of maple syrup to the vinegar mixture.


Comments Adored

  1. Princess Bride. Bam! You know it girl…one of my favorites.

    Ah, for some reason I could not sleep tonight. I woke up (like wide awake) at 2:00 am…that never happens! And so I really enjoyed reading your post.

    I put my hand over my mouth when I read the FOR LIFE part. I was like, NO!… Poor Jen. But then you had such a great attitude about it and then I was like, Awesome Jen! I think you have the right attitude and you are taking it day by day. It sounds like you’ve really embraced the AIP and there are more benefits to continuing.

    Love that song you chose for the background. Go on ahead and sing those blues, it’s your blog and you can cry if you want to!

    Awesome recipe by the way!!!

    Have a great weekend.


    • Thanks AM!

      I was floored that no one answered that in the comments…

      Glad you enjoyed the post. Like you said, I just need to take it one day at a time. I’m hoping that my diet will offer more variety as I re-introduce foods (really hoping for eggs).

      Thanks for the sweet encouragement you are always so willing to give! I’m going to make your nutella for my girlie this coming week. She’s so excited!


  2. Princess Bride! That’s the best movie, so I’m glad you’ve gotten it in your blog now. But, Miss Jen, I wanted to let you know that you did miss a quote in your last post: “PLETHORA” from “The Three Amigos”!

    We’re using your recipe tomorrow for a Labor Day picnic. . .it looks delicious! And it’s my very favorite meal ever. :) We’ll let you know how much we like it (but I’m sure it will be scrumptious; everything you make is scrumptious!)


    • Thanks Emily-Wemily!
      I just now saw this message from you. Thanks for reminding me about the “PLE-THO-RAH” in my last post. I’m sure I will use that word again because it’s so fun to say! BTW – have you all watched Elf yet? Now THAT is a movie night we need together!

      We miss you!

  3. This sounds SO good. I am wondering if anyone has ever tried it in a crock pot? Do you think it would work? I want the bbq flavor, but prefer doing my pulled pork in a crock. Thanks!

    • I’ve made it in a crock pot before and it works well. I just do it low and slow. I usually double the recipe, and when I do, I put it on the night before I’m going to serve it. It cooks on low all night and then the following day. I would follow whatever time instructions you’ve used in the past that have worked for you. I’ve just found that with doubling it, 6-8 hours isn’t enough for it to get tender. I hope you try it! If you do, let me know.

  4. Thanks SO much for the super quick reply! And thank you for the positive answer about it working in a crock! Very excited. We just made pulled pork (it was a toss up between this recipe and another, but wasn’t sure this one would work in the crock) and so have quite a bit right now…but we make this once a week or so and I will be trying your recipe next. Can’t wait! And I will def report back about our experience. Been missing the bbq flavor since starting AIP.

  5. My family thought this was FABULOUS. My husband said it was “too good” and he ate way past need/comfort! And I had been feeling like an AIP cook failure. THANK YOU for this terrific recipe!!! It’s like we’re not even giving up anything by eating AIP.

    • Emily-

      Your comment made my day! Thank you so much for the sweet words. We’re in this together! It’s a huge commitment to make to yourself and your family. AND I’m (now) convinced that AIP food can be really yummy too. There are a lot of recipe inspirations out there. I have a pinterest board for AIP and many others do too. If you need some inspiration, I would search AIP on Pinterest and watch the magic. Pheonix Helix is another great resource. She makes a pork with apple onion gravy that is out of this world good!

      Take care –

  6. Princess Bride. One of my favorites! Thank you for this. BBQ is about the only way I like pork roasts, so starting AIP, I was at a loss.

  7. I thought mustard was not AIP. Is there something that could be substituted?

    • Hi Wendy,

      There are a few different approaches to AIP when it comes to seed-based spices such as mustard, black pepper, cumin, etc. My doc didn’t limit me when it came to mustard and black pepper, but told me to use caution and see how I felt when I had them. I found myself with no reaction or symptoms to them whatsoever, (and also do fine with nutmeg and cumin though I went off of all of them at first) so I use them in cooking – especially mustard. Mickey Trescott’s “The Autoimmune Paleo Cookbook” also has recipes that include mustard.

      As far as substituting in this recipe, I’ve never tried it, so I’m not sure. By definition, Carolina BBQ is mustard and vinegar based, so I’m not sure how that would work out.

      Hope that helps in some way –

  8. SO excited to find this recipe! Interesting about mustard– Mickey Trescott has that on her “can’t have” AIP list, but I think I like your answer better!

    Here is my conundrum: I have meat already cooked, how can I make the sauce and get a yummy bbq? My meat is the “leftovers” from my very sloppily trimmed fat when making home-made tallow. It is part beef, part lamb, maybe some pork. I had been simmering it for 2 days (not overnight- went in the fridge) and removed a pint of tallow, but was left with about a quart of what looks just like pulled bbq meat! Been searching the net for an AIP friendly bbq sauce and found this, but not sure how to handle the spice rub part of it. Suggestions?

    • WOW! You’re amazing! I wonder if you could make a sauce with the spices and liquid and cook it down, then toss it with the meat. I’d try something like that. Let me know how it turns out! You might want to do half of what my recipe calls for, because the ingredients get diluted in the pork juices (and fat), so it might be stronger in your situation.

      Hope it works out!

  9. Oh dear, your blog has saved my life. I am gearing up to start the AIP for rheumatoid arthritis (just started having flares at 28, YIKES) and found this recipe. I used it today for ribs and needless to say, it’s amazing. It will be my go-to pork recipe for my AIP month/time. Thank you thank you thank you, your recipes are awesome! I will definitely be using them alongside Eileen’s from Phoenix Helix, since she was also battling RA with her AIP approach. Can’t wait to discover more of your delicious recipes!

    • Megan! Thank you so much for the words of encouragement! I’m so glad you enjoyed the pork. It’s one of my personal faves. Eileen is a powerhouse of knowledge and I’m so glad you’re familiar with her blog. I wish I had the knowledge and discipline to do AIP at your age -it would have saved me years of struggle, but it’s never too late. Wish you the best –

  10. This was really delicious! I have been missing bbq-ey type things on the AIP and this fit the bill amazingly well. I subbed all maple syrup for the coconut sugar and added 1 T of tamarind paste. Delicious! Thanks so much.

  11. OMG…another Princess Bride junkie. My son, who was 10 at the time, was the MC at my brother-in-law’s wedding. He started his speech with that line. Classic! He was a hit…of course!

    Oh, and I’m trying this recipe toNIGHT!

  12. I made this recipe tonight and IT.WAS.AWESOME!!!!!! I don’t have a dutch oven so I just did it in the crockpot (on high for a bit then turned down to low). WOW!!! I’ve not have good luck with cooking roasts like this so I was hesitant. So happy to find this recipe that is even AIP compliant! THANK YOU! & GREAT JOB

    • Thanks so much Nikki! I’m glad you enjoyed it. In fact, I’m sticking it in the crockpot tonight on low for tomorrow’s dinner.


  13. I can’t thank you enough for this recipe! I made it today in my electric pressure cooker and it was delicious. Definitely a recipe I can make to share with family who eat a standard diet.

    • I’m so thankful it was a hit, Sarah! I’ve served it up for a long time at BBQs that we’ve had at our farmlet and have not gotten any complaints yet. It also freezes really well, so it’s easy to make a double batch and freeze a portion for an easy dinner down the road. Thanks for the sweet note!


  14. I’m new to pressure cooking so need some advice on converting this to my Instant Pot. I’ve heard that pressure cooking intensifies flavors, so should there be a reduction in the flavoring ingredients (ie., spice mix, aminos, etc.) I am follow strict AIP so will try this without the mustard. Thanks for any help!

    • I would love to try this recipe in an Instant Pot but I haven’t done that as of yet. I wish I could give you some guidance, but I haven’t done enough cooking in the IP to give advice. When I make it for the first time, I will probably keep everything the same and see how it turns out, but that’s just me. Sorry I can’t be of more help –

  15. Thank you for posting this recipe!!! Oh my goodness–SOOOO GOOOOOOOOD!!!! We had it with coleslaw and crispy sweet potatoes.

    • So glad you enjoyed it! It’s still a go-to recipe for us, especially when I’m having company. Crispy sweet potatoes sounds yummy!


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