Some Observations on Pulled Pork

Discussion in 'Pork' started by papajoe8, Jul 5, 2014.

  1. I just broke out my smoker for the first time this year for the Fourth (shame on me).  We were hosting a small party so I decided to smoke a pork butt in advance.  I made a few modifications in the procedure to what I would normally do.

    I rubbed the pork 3 nights before the party.  Two days before the party I smoked the meat.  The pork butt was 7.5 lbs and I just didn't have a ton of time that day, so I cooked it at around 260-270 degrees (normally I would try to keep it at 220).  When the meat hit 120 internal temp, I stopped the smoke and put it in a tin and covered it tightly with foil.  The temperature was up and down but I maintained a rough average of about 275 after that.  The pork reached internal temp of 205 around 6 hrs and 45 minutes.  The pan was full of juice and the meat was falling off the bone.  Almost all of the meat pulled easily (with the exception of a small portion in the middle that required a little effort).  Afterwards I bagged the shredded meat and all of the juice in a ziploc bag and kept it refrigerated until the party 2 days later.

    When party time arrived, I heated up the oven to 350, put all the meat into a disposable tin pan and covered with foil.  After awhile (30 min to an hour ... the party was going on so I didn't keep track very well... I just waited until the meat was warm-hot when I stuck my finger in it) we put the tray on a sterno rack and served with a vinegar based sauce.

    I was unsure how this whole process was going to go, but I was pleasantly surprised to find the meat very smoky (even though it only accepted smoke for about 3 hours), tender and moist.

    The moral of the story:  In order to save some time I smoked at a higher temp and cooked a few days in advance and still had amazing results!  The results were at least equal to the really low and slow, and I would consider smoking pulled port this way routinely in the future.  Also, for those of us in regions where tomato based sauces are the norm, try a vinegar based sauce.  Mix it with some slaw and put it on a CWB.

    Any comments would be appreciated!

    Joe
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2014
  2. noboundaries

    noboundaries Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Another convert from the low n slow camp.  I've done 19 lbs of butt in 9 hours, then rested 3.  Fed a pot luck.  Rave reviews.  It definitely works to crank the temp up on the smoker if able and pressed for time. 
     
  3. atomicsmoke

    atomicsmoke Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Yep. Hot and fast works for pulled pork.
     
  4. I being a boy born and raised in Ontario Canada have eaten many Eastern North Carolina pulled pork sandwiches.  When i order a puled pork sandwich up in part of the woods, they always put a tomato based sauce on the pork,  In my honest opinion, that sucks  I think a vinegar based sauce for pulled pork is the only way to go.  About a year ago, a new BBQ/smoked meat restaurant. I ordered one of their pulled pork sandwiches, it came with red sauce, I proceeded to give them a recipe for a vinegar based sauce. They now have it on their menu. And the red sauce has mostly not been ordered much since then.
     
  5. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Vinegar is out of the norm for the Tri-State area. There are a few stories of Carolina Pitmaster's coming North to open Q joints and failing by only offering their traditional Vinegar soaked PP. Vinegar Sauce on PP is delicious because the Acid cuts the Fat and refreshes the palate.

    You didn't mention what Recipe you used but you may enjoy one of mine. It is more complex than the basic Eastern NC Sauce...JJ

    Tangy Pulled Pork Finishing Sauce

    This is an Eastern North Carolina style Finishing Sauce...

    2 C Apple Cider Vinegar

    2T Worcestershire Sauce or more to taste

    1/4C Brown Sugar

    1T Smoked Paprika

    2 tsp Granulated Garlic

    2 tsp Granulated Onion

    2 tsp Fine Grind Black Pepper

    1 tsp Celery Salt

    1 tsp Cayenne Pepper or Red Pepper Flake.. Add more if you like Heat.

    1/2 tsp Grnd Allspice.

    Combine all and whisk well. This is a thin sauce, bring just to a simmer and remove from heat. Adjust sweetness by adding Brn Sugar or additional Vinegar as desired...Makes about 2 Cups.

    For a Lexington Style Dip  add, 1/2C Ketchup and 1-3tsp Red Pepper Flakes...JJ
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2014
  6. noboundaries

    noboundaries Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Vinegar is not big on the West Coast either, though a few of the better Q-joints put a nice finishing sauce on the table along with their other sauces. 

    I can attest to the FRIGGIN' AWESOME GREATNESS of Chef JimmyJ's finishing sauce.  I never do pulled pork any more without making a batch. 
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2014
  7. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Aaawww. Thanks Buddy...[​IMG]...JJ
     
  8. The sauce I used was a bit simpler but I will be trying yours out next time!
     

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