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Thread: Need Help with a family dinner - Pulled Pork

  1. #21
    Senior Member Shinob1's Avatar
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    Lucretia, I think you're right, I need to dial down the amount of new things I'm trying. I'm working from home this week so I can make everything ahead of time, (dinner is Saturday). Worse case I'll head out to our local BBQ joint to pick up sides, etc. The main thing I want is for the pulled pork to be really good.

    How can I tell when the pork is done? I have a thermometer with a remote, so monitoring tempature is no problem. I read that it has to hit 200 to breakdown the fat. When should I pull it out to rest?

  2. #22
    Senior Member lowercasebill's Avatar
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    just saw the cooks illustrated spring time menu magazine.. feature article on making pulled pork in the oven at home.. i did not have time to read it before work but it looks like just what you are looking for ..
    send pm if i can help .. i cook mine on big green egg but no experiece doing in the oven
    and you want to take the pork to 195 + or - . poke at i with your themo pen to check the tenderness as well

  3. #23
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    I've cooked well over 1,500 lbs of pulled pork in the last couple years in a lot of different ways and I can attest it is a very forgiving dish. Couple of thoughts:

    1. How much do you need to make? I always figure on 50% yield by weight. Some have boasted they can get 60% but I have never gotten higher than 53%. I usually plan a generous 6 oz cooked pork per diner. That would mean for 20 people you need 120 oz cooked or 240 oz or 15 lbs precooked. You may already have that figured out but thought I would mention it.

    2. When I'm mass cooking pork for a crowd, I don't worry about crust or bark as to me it is largely lost in the final product. That is up to you, but I wouldn't stress over it. I don't even season the outside of it for that reason. I just unwrap and throw it in the cooking vessel. I've found you can cook pulled pork as high 350 degrees and have a virtually indistinguishable product, but the window of optimum doneness is much smaller. Since it sounds like you have never done this before, I would go with 250 degrees and figure on 2 hours per lb of whole pork butt (10 lb butt, allow 20 hours). It probably won't take that long, but if it finishes early, whole, unpulled pork butt wrapped in aluminum foil holds beautifully and can be stashed in a cooler with towels for 4 or 5 hours without ever going into a dangerous temp zone.

    3. Pork is done when it's done. I know that sounds pretentious and unhelpful, but temps can fail so often. 195 is usually a good goal to shoot for, but you want to make sure the whole butt has broken down and tender. One of the quickest to get illogically and hysterically angry is to try and pull a butt that is not quite done (speaking from experience). I would recommend taking the probe of the therm and poking all over it, making sure it says at least 195 everywhere and that it glides in with little resistance all over.

    4. Pulled pork is dry. I don't care who you are or what you do, when you pull pork and expose all that surface area to air, evaporation wreaks havoc. That is why I always reserve as much liquid as possible from the cooking process and add it back as necessary. One great way to do that is with cooking bags. I would start the butts out unwrapped until it looks like the outside has dried out some (maybe 120 to 140 degrees) and then wrap them in the cooking bags. This will not only save the liquid for you, it will also prevent a big mess. These roasts will put out a gratuitous amount of moisture. Be forewarned. I have woken up to a kitchen floor full of pork fat before where it overran the sheet pan underneath it and leaked out the oven door.

    5. My usual finishing sauce is 3 parts reserved liquid, 2 parts white vinegar, 1 part BBQ sauce of choice. Add salt and bbq rub also as necessary to get the flavor you want. If you want a more neutral finished product, use reserved liquid, vinegar, butter, and salt. That will allow more flavor room for sauce on the sandwich if desired.

    6. I have never seen any advantage to injecting unless you are presenting the roast in a whole, unpulled form. If you are going to pull it, you have access to the inside of the meat anyway and it is much easier to flavor it when you can taste it.

    7. If you want to make baked beans, let me know. I've got a great recipe that is virtually impossible to screw up and has turned out great whether made for 250 people or our family for dinner.

    Sorry for the rambling. Hope this helps and that it turns out great!

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by adletson View Post
    If you want to make baked beans, let me know. I've got a great recipe that is virtually impossible to screw up and has turned out great whether made for 250 people or our family for dinner.
    You've made me want to make some, so post the recipe, please.

    Rick

  5. #25
    Senior Member Deckhand's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pensacola Tiger View Post
    You've made me want to make some, so post the recipe, please.

    Rick
    +1

  6. #26
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    My secret rub, anything that I can find but usually, garlic powder, seasoned salt, chilli peppers, light brown sugar and smoked paprika.
    I use a large home made Alton Brown terra cotta smoker with the electric heating element, natural lump coal and hardwood wood for smoking (mesquite).

    I smoke my butt for about 5-6 hours where the internal temp is at about 140, wrap it in foil and finish it off in the oven where I can control the temperature more easily. I set the internal temperature at 180, because I like the meat more firm and less mush. I have done it where it was at 200 internal temp and it was too mushy for me.

    Definitely do it in the oven. Leave it uncovered for about 5 hours at 225-250. Wrap it in foil after that and let the meat go to your desired temperature. If you want a little smokiness, add liquid smoke to it, just a tad.

  7. #27
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    Keri's Hog-Apple Baked Beans

    Prep time: 30 minutes
    Cook time: 1 hour
    Servings: 12-15, depending on how much meat is put in

    Software:
    1 lb bulk pork sausage
    1 green pepper, diced
    1 medium onion, diced
    2 28-oz cans Bush's Baked Beans, drained
    1/2 c. favorite BBQ Sauce (I prefer Sticky Fingers)
    1 can apple pie filling, apples diced
    1/2 c. brown sugar
    2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
    2 Tbsp. prepared Mustard
    1 tsp cayenne powder (optional, to taste*)
    1 tsp BBQ rub of your choice

    Hardware:
    Large skillet
    2 9x13 pans

    Preheat oven to 325º.

    In a large skillet, brown the sausage, making sure to thoroughly break it apart, and remove to a plate. Drain all but 2 tblsp fat from the skillet. Sauté onion and green pepper in the skillet over medium heat for a few minutes. In a very large bowl, mix the sausage, onion, green pepper, and remaining ingredients. Pour the beans into two 9x13 pans and bake, uncovered, at 325º for 1 hour or until the beans have thickened.

    *This is a rather spicy recipe due to the chipotle/cayenne powder. Feel free to leave it out if you'll be feeding those who prefer a less spicy taste.

    *If serving as a main course, substitute 1 lb. smoked leftover smoked pork or beef for the sausage.

    Hope everyone enjoys!

  8. #28
    Thanks for the recipe!
    Twitter: @PeterDaEater

  9. #29
    I'm just going to add one comment here because I agree with most things here. I have found a noticeable difference in the flavor of interior meat using an injection because you're seasoning right from the start and allowing both salt and sugar (usually) to penetrate. I think the key is using a sufficient amount of salt and sugar to season the interior meat. Granted, covering all of the meat with sauce before serving eliminates the need for injecting; however, if you just put the meat out without sauce, there is essentially no seasoning in or on the interior meat, which is how I prefer to serve it.
    Michael
    "Don't you know who he is?"

  10. #30
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    For me, after the pork is pulled, I season it with vinegar and salt to taste. I usually use balsamic vinegar. People can put sauce on afterwards, but I like to have my meat seasoned before it is presented. Haven't heard of a complaint yet.

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