The Dark Art of Oven Pulled Pork

I prepared some [rootbeer] pulled pork on sunday, took some piccie's along the way and eventually had a nice pulled pork sandwich.

Pulled pork is quite simple to make you just need to be patient and cook low and slow. The joint traditionally used for PP is the shoulder, complete with a lump of bone. Shoulder, also known as the butt, or pork butt, don't ask why, I don't know. It is generally a pretty crap piece of meat as it is riddled with streaks of fat and connecting tissue. HOWEVER, that is the secret of PP, the low and slow cooking melts all the crap away more or less, tenderizes the meat and you end up with a piece of juicy, fall off the bone yumminess.

1. First off the meat. In this case 9.5lbs for just over $12 as it was on offer this week.



2. Then the dry rub mix - I prefer the Central Texas style, slightly modified. Central Texas style is basically 50/50 salt and medium ground pepper, copying a couple of the top BBQ people I add some onion powder, paprika for colour and a little chilli powder for the cowboy kick.

The onions at the back are to put in the pan with the root beer whilst it is cooking. They infuse more flavor into the meat.



3. This is a point of interest. See the round looking piece of meat just below the bone? Well, when cooked this is considered the filet steak part of a PP shoulder joint. When pulling the meat you extract this, slice into medallions and serve up.........or, just keep it to yourself.



4. Ready to rub. See the scissors? I trim off loose, flappy bits of fat, think aerodynamic. The rub is in the bowl, all dropped in, lid on and given a shake.



5. Covered in the dry rub, in the dish and surrounded by onions. Two points here:

a. I use throw away dishes for oven BBQ style. I don't want to spend hours prepping the meat, having a nice nosh and then spend an hour scrubbing a pan.

b. A cooking comment: As I did this earlier I know it worked, ordinarily PP is cooked with the fat on the top so that the dry rubbed fat melts into the meat. Well, the fat never all melts and most people pick out what fat remains after cooking anyway. AND, most importantly I like the slightly crispy, burnt'ish, flavor filled bits of meat. So I decided to give it a go meat side up. After enjoying it, I can tell you it works as a technique.



5. In the oven, about an inch to inch and a half of root beer poured into the dish so that the meat soaks it all up when cooking.

1 hour 270 F to start, just to warm it through.

THEN

1 hour 370 F to get the crispyness of the skin going - the bark.



6. After the second hour take it out, sprinkle some sugar over the top -it will caramelize with the cooking, add crispiness and flavor.



7. Top up the root beer a bit, cover in foil, pinch the foil in tight to stop moisture getting out and put it back in the oven.

270 F......for about 4 to 5 hours.



THATS 270 F....DO NOT MAKE THE MISTAKE OF TRYING TO BUMP UP THE TEMP. LOW AND SLOW.

8. After about 4 hours check the temp. It needs to be over 165 F.

You will see if the meat is looking like it just wants to slide off the bone that is in there, if it does, go for it. Take off the foil and give it another half an hour to re-crisp the top meat. Keep an eye on it though you are just trying to get that crispy outer bit not produce a lump of pork jerky.

 
Down to the wire so time to look at ancillaries.

Coleslaw. Got to be sweet coleslaw. Dead simple: Bag of shredded cabbage and carrot, mix up one cup of mayo with a tablespoon of white vinegar and sugar. Mix the veg with the mayo mix. Add some chilli for a zingy taste.



The BBQ sauce: Tin of tomatoe sauce; couple of punnet things of apple mush; tablespoon of cider vinegar; minimum of a tablespoon of honey depending how sticky you want it. Then sort of play it by ear according to your tastebuds. I throw in a teaspoon of chilli powder, some onion powder.....and to get a smoky flavor I put in some Worcestershire sauce and a squit of a smoky off the shelf sauce. Everything in a saucepan and warm & stir so that it is hot for the dishing up on the meat. You can keep this in a sealed container in the fridge for leftovers.

 
Last edited:
There we go 7 hours after starting. NOW LET IT REST FOR AT LEAST HALF AN HOUR BEFORE DOING ANYTHING WITH IT. That keeps it juicy and stops it drying out.



Then, ,you get ready for the pullin'. First pull out the shoulder bone. It should more or less fall out clean, nothing attached if it is cooked properly.

Then I take out each muscle group so that I can remove the remaining connective tissue which is almost jelly like in consistency. The fat should have melted away.

Doing it fat side down this time proved to be a good idea. No fat left on top, just nice crispy bark.



Then drop it in a bowl and shred with a couple of forks, add in some of the remaining dry rub and mix well.



Then serve and eat...........for the next three or four days, kids love it.



Note: The meat on the bun has already had some of the homemade bbq sauce mixed in.
 
Last edited:
There you have it.

The meat and doings cost around $17, if I sold it by the portion I could have trousered $5 per portion for about 20 portions, so about $100.
 
But the world has already passed its pulled pork threshold, every restaurant in every town, every burger van in every lay-by, every menu in every cafe: all the world's pork has been pulled.
 
I thought this was going to be about Jeremy Corbyn's tryst with Flabbott.

The picture of inverted anus supplies means I may yet be right.
 
But the world has already passed its pulled pork threshold, every restaurant in every town, every burger van in every lay-by, every menu in every cafe: all the world's pork has been pulled.
A bit like those soggy burgers and reconstituted onions sold by burger vans. Crap! Until you have had BBQ delivered of a smoker you have not had BBQ. A Texan would Molotov a British burger van because something inhuman was being done to the meat. I had a nice stainless BBQ in the UK and thought my burnt offerings were the biz, I would be shunned by people if I tried to offer them meat from one of those here.
 
Since electricity and gas isn't all that cheap in the home country, would it work to slap in in a slow cooker for eight hours and then crisp it up for the last hour or so?
 
Since electricity and gas isn't all that cheap in the home country, would it work to slap in in a slow cooker for eight hours and then crisp it up for the last hour or so?
Slow cookers need a stock to spread the heat - not sure it would work on a dry joint. I did a beef brisket really slow and shredded the result- it was a great success and I'm certainly stealing the bbq sauce recipe
 

TamH70

MIA
Nice work, Effendi. If I had an oven that could do that stuff I'd probably have all I needed here to follow along and make it.
 
Since electricity and gas isn't all that cheap in the home country, would it work to slap in in a slow cooker for eight hours and then crisp it up for the last hour or so?
It is popular as a meal during the working week with many folk and they prep it in the slow cooker. First step is to braise the joint on all sides (5 - 10 mins all in) in a frying pan before dropping it in the cooker.

Here you go a couple of US google recipes for you:

Slow-Cooker Pulled Pork Sandwiches : Food Network Kitchen : Food Network

http://allrecipes.com/recipe/92462/slow-cooker-texas-pulled-pork/

5-Ingredient Slow-Cooker Pulled Pork - Slow-Cooker Suppers - Southern Living
 
@Effendi I like Pulled Pork and BBQ in general but am not a fan of the sweeter styles. Do you know the different types I.e. Kansas Style, Texas style etc so I know what to look out for?
 
A Texan would Molotov a British burger van because something inhuman was being done to the meat. I had a nice stainless BBQ in the UK and thought my burnt offerings were the biz, I would be shunned by people if I tried to offer them meat from one of those here.
Ain't that the truth!

I had the devil of a job trying to get my UK colleagues to even close the lid on a gas barbie, let alone a proper smoker. They were rather surprised, to say the least, when I did the cooking. No more burnt-to-shit steaks that had flared up like one of the NAAFI queens on Arrse.
 
Slow cookers need a stock to spread the heat - not sure it would work on a dry joint. I did a beef brisket really slow and shredded the result- it was a great success and I'm certainly stealing the bbq sauce recipe
Ta muchly. My kids like it and even forgo the H3inz varieties when I knock it up.

I was inspired by an Aussie I met at a BBQ competition, his thing is to only use natural products for all his sauces and flavourings. He liquidizes things like mangoes, pineapples and tomatoes to make his competition winning sauces. The thing with off the shelf stuff is that it is basically vinegar and sugar sauce with colour and artificial flavor added - proppa BBQ'ers use vinegar, but will insist of cider vinegar.
 
THE best BBQ sauce I ever tasted was made by an Army chef - he refused to divulge his secret recipe, despite bribe offer of huge quantities of beer and several fat women.
 
@Effendi I like Pulled Pork and BBQ in general but am not a fan of the sweeter styles. Do you know the different types I.e. Kansas Style, Texas style etc so I know what to look out for?
What they call Central Texas BBQ is basically dry rubbed with a 50/50 salt and pepper mix, little to no sauce as the meat should be good enough to stand by itself. Note: Pulled pork is not actually a Texas style BBQ meat, it is here and does very well, but did not originate here. The tell is the fact that it needs a sauce to compliment it. Texas is about; beef brisket, which is their classic signature bbq; they do ribs; turkey, and they do sausage too......all slow smoked so infuse flavor and cook. The Texas style comes from the early German immigrants who smoked their meat to preserve it and sell it at market. The Texas tradition is to go to market at early o'clock, grab a BBQ for brekkers and then get on with the day....it still goes on nowadays with some of the top BBQ places opening at sparrow fart and closing by 13.00hrs.

Kansas has the full spread including pulled pork. Kansas uses a sauce to coat their meat it is a thick, sweet, sometimes spicy sauce. You could spend a month in Kansas City and, like Texas, eat in a different world class BBQ shed every night.

The Carolinas also do the full spread. They use a vinegar based sauce that is as runny as vinegar, they put some spices in with it and sometimes just a touch of tomato to try and make it appeal to people like me. I don't go much on the Carolina sauce.

Then there is Alabama style, Memphis style and a few others dotted around. They are mainly the places that were either the meat producing areas, or the areas that the meat was taken to for processing.
 
Last edited:

Drivers_lag

On ROPS
On ROPs
Slow cookers need a stock to spread the heat - not sure it would work on a dry joint. I did a beef brisket really slow and shredded the result- it was a great success and I'm certainly stealing the bbq sauce recipe
I've been thinking of doing a brisket like that after some low n slow success.

Did you cover it?
 
I've been thinking of doing a brisket like that after some low n slow success.

Did you cover it?
You can take just about any old lump of dog-eared, poor-cut meat, and the slow cooker will break down the fat and gristly connective tissue. I've done it before overnight, 24 hours or more of cooking. Typically it falls to shit, but that is what you want for "pulled".

If you want a bit more structure to the end result, and ideally you do with brisket, then you need a finer degree of control than the typical High/Low settings of a slow cooker.
 

Latest Threads

Top