A Texas wrap pulled pork is a delicious and popular sandwich that originated in Texas. It features tender, smoked pulled pork wrapped up in a tortilla or flatbread along with various toppings and sauce. The pulled pork is rubbed with spices, slowly smoked, and then pulled or shredded before being assembled into the sandwich. While simple in concept, part of what makes the Texas wrap pulled pork so iconic is the sweet, smoky flavor of the pork paired with toppings like crispy coleslaw, barbecue sauce, pickled onions, cheese, and more. The sandwich combines the best of Texas barbecue with the convenience of a handheld wrap.
What is Pulled Pork?
Pulled pork refers to pork that has been barbecued, smoked, or slow-roasted until it is fall-apart tender and then shredded or “pulled” by hand or with two forks. Pork shoulder, also called Boston butt, is the most common cut used for pulled pork because it becomes very tender when cooked low and slow. Other cuts like pork loin or ham can also be used.
The pork is seasoned with a dry rub consisting of spices like brown sugar, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, paprika, salt, and pepper before cooking. It is then smoked for many hours over indirect heat from woods like hickory, mesquite, applewood, or oak. The low heat (225-275°F) gently breaks down the pork’s collagen while infusing it with smoky flavor. Once tender enough to pull apart, the pork is shredded and mixed with some of the juices into succulent, smoky strands ready for sandwiches.
Smoking Methods for Pulled Pork
There are several equipment options for smoking pulled pork:
Smoker Grill – Provides consistent low heat and smoke flavor from charcoal or wood chips/chunks. Water pans can add humidity.
Offset Smoker – Firebox is offset from the main cooking chamber for indirect cooking. Provides intense smoke flavor.
Electric Smoker – Uses electric heating element to generate smoke and heat from wood. Easier temperature control.
Oven – Can mimic smoker by using a pan of wood chips and heating at 225-250°F. Less smoke penetration.
Slow Cooker – Cooks the pork in moist heat with smoke flavor from liquid smoke. Less hands-on time.
No matter the method, cooking low and slow and monitoring tenderness is key for pulled pork. Many recipes suggest 8-12 hours.
Assembling the Pulled Pork Sandwich
While pulled pork on its own is delicious, assembling it into a sandwich allows you to add flavor, texture, and moisture. Here are some classic toppings:
Buns – Sturdy brioche, Kaiser, potato, or challah rolls stand up to the pork. Soft white bread also absorbs juices well.
Sauce – Sweet and tangy barbecue sauce, sunny-side up egg, or aioli.
Slaw – Vinegary coleslaw provides crunch and acidity to balance the richness.
Onions – Raw sliced red onions or quick pickled onions.
Cheese – Melty cheddar, Swiss, provolone, or pepper jack.
Jalapenos – Fresh or pickled jalapenos bring heat.
Pickles – Dill pickles add another crunchy, sour layer.
You can also take the flavors in different directions, like making it “Memphis style” with coleslaw and barbecue sauce or “Carolina style” with tangy mustard sauce. The possibilities are endless!
What Makes a Texas Pulled Pork Wrap Unique?
While you can find pulled pork sandwiches across barbecue regions in the U.S., the Texas pulled pork wrap showcases a few special characteristics:
Large Flour Tortillas – The pork and toppings are wrapped in big, sturdy flour tortillas in place of buns. Soft taco-size tortillas can also be used.
Tex-Mex Flavors – Things like salsa, guacamole, queso, chili, and cilantro add Tex-Mex inspiration.
Mesquite Smoke – Mesquite wood is often used in Texas barbecue, imbuing a distinct smoky-sweet flavor.
Beef Brisket Combos – Some restaurants offer beef brisket in addition to or combined with the pulled pork in the wrap.
Frito Pie Toppings – Crunchy corn chips, chili, cheese, and other Frito pie ingredients can put a Texas twist on the wrap.
Bacon – Smoky sliced bacon is a popular accompaniment to balance the sweetness of the pork.
Benefits of Pulled Pork Wraps
There are many reasons Texas-style pulled pork wraps are so beloved:
Convenience – All the flavors of a barbecue platter wrapped up to eat on the go.
Customization – Endless topping possibilities to make it your own.
Portion Control – Wraps contain the filling instead of an open sandwich.
Substitute for Bread – Can accommodate gluten-free, low carb, or paleo diets.
All Ages Appeal – Kids and adults alike enjoy the finger-food friendly wraps.
Shareability – Easy to halve wraps for sampling different flavors.
Complement Sides – Potato salad, slaw, beans pair nicely on the side.
Comfort Food – Satisfying blend of smoky, sweet, spicy, and saucy flavors.
Cost-Effective – Pulled pork stretches further when used in wraps.
How to Make Texas Pulled Pork Wraps
While Texas pulled pork wraps are often purchased from food trucks and barbecue joints, you can also easily make them at home:
– Flour tortillas
– Pulled pork
– Barbecue sauce
– Pickled jalapenos
– Shredded cheddar cheese
– Diced onion
– Diced tomato
– Aioli or mayo
– Lime wedges
– Hot sauce (optional)
1. Heat pulled pork in a skillet over medium heat with barbecue sauce.
2. Warm tortillas in the microwave for 20 seconds to soften.
3. Spread aioli or mayo on each tortilla.
4. Top with the desired amount of pork, coleslaw, jalapenos, cheese, onions, tomato, avocado, and cilantro.
5. Squeeze lime juice over top and add hot sauce if desired.
6. Wrap up burrito-style and enjoy!
Get creative with additional toppings like crispy bacon, Fritos, guacamole, salsa, and queso. Serve with extra barbecue sauce for dipping.
Where to Find Texas Pulled Pork Wraps
While they can be made at home, you can also find mouthwatering Texas-style pulled pork wraps at:
Food Trucks – With their portable setup, food trucks can be found serving the wraps at festivals, parks, breweries, and other locations. Look for trucks with barbecue specialties.
Casual BBQ Restaurants – Many Texas barbecue joints offer wraps alongside their smoked meats plates and sandwiches. The wraps offer an easy takeaway option.
Fair Food – Fairs and carnivals throughout Texas often have food stalls selling big meaty pulled pork wraps. They make great food-on-the-go at events.
Austin – As a hip food city, Austin has many food trucks and eateries specializing in creative pulled pork wraps, often with Mex-Tex flavor twists.
Houston – Houston has its share of trucks and restaurants putting a Texas spin on wraps, like using links of smoked sausage.
Dallas – From the State Fair of Texas to local restaurants, Dallas offers big tasty wraps combining brisket and pulled pork.
Texas Pulled Pork Wrap Recipe
Here is a basic recipe to make signature Texas pulled pork wraps at home:
Texas Pulled Pork
– 1 bone-in pork shoulder/butt roast (4-8 lbs)
– 1⁄4 cup barbecue rub
– 1 cup apple cider vinegar
– 1⁄4 cup Worcestershire sauce
– 1⁄4 cup brown sugar
– 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
– 1 onion, sliced
– 6 cloves garlic, crushed
– Orange slices
– Apple juice
– BBQ wood chips
1. Trim excess fat from pork roast. Make slashes in top surface.
2. Rub the barbecue spice blend all over pork roast. Refrigerate overnight.
3. Combine vinegar, Worcestershire, brown sugar, and cayenne in a bowl. Stir to dissolve brown sugar.
4. Place pork in smoker or oven on a wire rack in a foil-lined pan. Top with onion, garlic, and orange slices.
5. Pour vinegar mixture over pork. Add enough apple juice to pan to cover bottom.
6. Smoke at 225°F for 8-12 hours, until internal temperature reaches 200-205°F.
7. Remove pork from smoker, tent with foil and let rest 30 minutes.
8. Shred pork using two forks, removing any excess fat.
9. Toss with barbecue sauce to taste.
– Large flour tortillas
– Shredded lettuce
– Chopped tomatoes
– Shredded cheddar
– Sour cream
– Barbecue sauce
1. Warm tortillas in microwave 10 seconds.
2. Place desired amount of pulled pork down center of tortilla.
3. Top with lettuce, tomato, cheese, guacamole, and sour cream.
4. Drizzle with barbecue sauce.
5. Fold in sides of tortilla and roll up burrito style.
Pulled Pork Wrap Tips
To take your Texas pulled pork wraps to the next level, keep these tips in mind:
– Use fresher, soft tortillas. Warm or toast before assembling for best flavor.
– Add homemade quick pickled onions or jalapenos for a tangy crunch.
– Mix different varieties of barbecue sauce into the pork for deeper flavor.
– Fry the pulled pork in bacon fat briefly before assembling wraps for crispy bits.
– Brush wraps with flavored butter like garlic-lime or spicy chipotle.
– Make a creamy, cooling ranch-style sauce for wraps by mixing sour cream with cilantro and spices.
– Try unique wrap styles like open-faced on flatbread or taquito fried wraps.
– Serve wraps with traditional Texas side dishes like pinto beans, potato salad or Frito pie.
– Garnish wraps with fresh herbs like cilantro or green onion for a pop of color and flavor.
– Add some heat with chopped raw jalapenos, pickled hot peppers or a drizzle of hot sauce.
One Texas pulled pork wrap made with a large 12-inch flour tortilla contains approximately:
Of course, the totals can vary significantly based on the amount of pork, toppings, and size of tortilla used. Most of the calories and fat come from the pork and cheese. Using lighter toppings like slaw and avoiding heavy additions like queso or sour cream can create a wrap with fewer calories. Smaller tortillas around 8 inches will also reduce the totals. Overall though, the wrap makes for a hearty, protein-packed meal.
With its tender smoked pork, overstuffed tortillas, and authentic Texas flavors, the Texas pulled pork wrap is a delicious way to enjoy barbecue on the go. The sandwiches have become popular nationwide, but getting one from the source in Texas offers a true taste of Southwestern cuisine. The wraps highlight creativity in barbecue by combining traditional techniques with global flavors in an easy handheld meal. Whether you are visiting Texas or cooking at home, be sure to try this Lone Star State specialty. Just be prepared to get messy as you devour the saucy smoked pork and toppings bursting from the tortilla in every incredible bite.