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Thread: Need Help with a family dinner - Pulled Pork

  1. #1
    Senior Member Shinob1's Avatar
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    Mar 2012

    Need Help with a family dinner - Pulled Pork

    I'm hoping you guys can help me out, I have a dinner coming up with my in-laws that I want to knock out of the park. I'm wanting to do pulled pork sandwiches with sides. I'm thinking green beans cooked with bacon, cornbread pudding, and something else, perhaps a potato dish.

    The main issue I'm facing is the pulled pork. I don't have a smoker. The equipment I have is a large crock-pot, and an oven. I know this won't be a true "bbq", but my thoughts are on how I can slow cook the pork butt.

    I'm thinking I could put it in a roasting pan, covered in foil for 225 for 10 hours or brown the meat and then stick it in the crock-post for 10 hours, (mine has a 10 hour setting). If I go the crock-pot route, how much liquid should I use? I've read that 1 cup is the most you'll need, previously I had filled the crock-pot with liquid to where it almost covers the meat.

    Any tips on how to prepare the beans and any ideas for sides would be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
    Save the pork drippings for the beans to add that extra punch. I am in the same boat as I do not have a smoker but I routinely will slow roast a pork butt in the oven overnight at about 225 degrees. Make sure you have a decent rub recipe and it will be finger licking good, but watch out because when you take it out of the oven and start cutting into it, you might end up eating it all yourself.
    Twitter: @PeterDaEater

  3. #3
    P.S. I don't pretend to be someone who has a talent at putting together complete dishes but you will need something acidic with those rich foods. Perhaps make your own pickles or pickle something, just some thoughts. Oh yeah and good luck and pictures are mandatory.
    Twitter: @PeterDaEater

  4. #4
    Senior Member Lucretia's Avatar
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    Oct 2011
    Isle of Lucy
    When I smoke a pork butt, I finish it in a 200 degree F oven overnight. It won't be overcooked--sounds like stereo.pete does his overnight, too.

    If it were me (just making this up off the top of my head), 2 days ahead of time I'd make up a rub of smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, celery salt, black pepper, and a little allspice. (Ingredients listed in order of quantity.) Smoked paprika is great if you can find it, and will help add a smoky flavor. You might even want to add a few chugs of liquid smoke or some chipotle powder (if you like spicy bbq) to add a little more smoke flavor. Rinse the butt and dry with paper towels, and rub the seasoning into the meat. Wrap it with plastic wrap and return to the refrigerator overnight. One day ahead of time, remove the butt from the fridge about an hour before you're ready to cook it. I'd toss it uncovered in a 400-ish degree oven for about 10 minutes to brown it up some. Remove from the oven, reduce heat to 200-225 degrees, cover the butt well, and stick it back in the oven overnight. No additional liquids.

    For sides: cole slaw (good as a side, and some people really like it on their bbq sandwich). Corn is coming into season, and if you can find some wonderful corn on the cob, it's good with bbq. Potato salad and baked beans are also classics. A nice thing about many of these dishes is you can do the prep work well ahead of time. And if you split your rolls, slather them with garlic butter, and then toast them before you make your sandwiches it's really nice.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by stereo.pete View Post
    P.S. I don't pretend to be someone who has a talent at putting together complete dishes but you will need something acidic with those rich foods. Perhaps make your own pickles or pickle something, just some thoughts. Oh yeah and good luck and pictures are mandatory.

    definitely slaw for the acidic part, as Lucretia mentioned. Finely chopped cabbage, apple cider vinegar, sugar and a little ketchup or bbq sauce is simple and tasty.
    Tom Gray, Seagrove, NC

  6. #6
    Rub it with spices, especially smoked hungarian paprika, then put it in your oven at 225. All your missing is smoke.

    For pulled pork bbq sauce, go thin, acv for tartness, liquid hickory, and shoot for sweet and smokey, not spicey or tart(though you need some of all 4).

  7. #7
    I have a big offset smoker, but sometimes if I have to be away or don't want to get up in the middle of the night to add wood, I'll smoke the meat for only a few hours and finish in the oven, as others have described. Do you have an outdoor grill of any sort? It would be a pain to try to smoke long term on a grill, but you could for an hour or two with just some wood chips wrapped in foil. I've done this on friends' gas grills. Soak the chips in water, wrap in a foil pouch, pierce it with a fork a few times and heat over the grill until it smokes. Keep the meat away from the heat - only heat the side of the grill with the chips.

    And I second everyone's thought that coleslaw and pickles would be a good addition!

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    SpikeC's Avatar
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    Feb 2011
    I have some smoked sea salt that adds a great smoky hit in a dry rub.
    Spike C
    "The Buddha resides as comfortably in the circuits of a digital computer or the gears of a cycle transmission as he does at the top of a mountain."

  9. #9
    Don't bother with the crockpot. I can't imagine a full butt fitting in one, but, even if it's large enough, a crock pot isn't what you'll want to use because it's a sealed environment. You'll have watery pork that has no crust. Use the oven.

    I would go with a combination of all the recommendations here. Smoked salt, smoked paprika and even liquid smoke if you want (I know liquid smoke is heresy). Since you're not actually smoking it, and if you want to further increase the flavor in the pork, you might want to also consider using an injection. Let the rub penetrate and marinate for at least 24 hours. I've had relatively good results letting the injection penetrate for 24 hours as well. However, I WOULD NOT let any injection with a lot of salt or vinegar (still can't believe people put vinegar in an injection IMHO) penetrate for too long.

    Cook it at, at least, 250 uncovered. I recommend this temp over lower temps because it will take a noticeably less amount of time, you'll have better crust development and you'll render out more fat. At lower temps, you may end up with pockets of fat that have not sufficiently rendered. I also don't cover or wrap the meat because it inhibits the creation of a crust.

    Use a remote thermometer if you have one to make sure the temp gets to 170-175 (for slicing), over 185 for pulling and shredding. If you want a crunchier crust, increase the temp for the last 15 minutes or so to 350. Let the meat rest at least half an hour before serving. You can cover it or wrap in foil now. If it's done well in advance of the dinner, you can double wrap in foil and put it in a cooler and cover it with bath towels. It will keep very warm for 4 to 5 hours using this method.

    If you want to go with commercial products and recipes, I recommend Big Bob Gibson's rub, competition red sauce and pork injection recipe. I've personally used all of three.
    "Don't you know who he is?"

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    99Limited's Avatar
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    Mar 2011
    LVW, Manchester, NJ
    Lucretia's is spot on. As far as the crust goes, since you're not smoking the pork, I wouldn't worry about it. Keeping the roast wrapped while cooking will help make the roast nice and moist. You could also use a cooking bag.

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