So this is my current week-end BBQ project: Pulled Pork out of the BBQ smoker :-). As a teaser, this is how the result looks like: tender, juicy slow-cooking smoked pork meat out of the smoker:
It is called ‘pulled’ because the meat is pulled into succulent little shreds after the cooking and smoking is finished. I love it to make sandwiches, and left-overs can be used the day after or frozen for later use.
The overall plan is the following:
- Rub the meat the day before with a dry rub.
- Smoke it for 8-12 hours the next day at 110°C until it reaches a core temperature of 88°C.
- Let it rest for about 1 hour in aluminium foil.
- Pull the meat into small pieces.
- Enjoy the pulled pork sandwiches 🙂
The Pork Meat
My wife organized a perfect piece of pork shoulder without bones from the local butcher: 2.348 kg of raw meat:
The shoulder is nicely marbled. During smoking the fat will melt and it it will lose some weight:
Then applied a little vegetable (sun flower) oil to prepare it for the rub. The dry rub sticks better to the meat with that in my opinion:
The Dry Rub
For the dry rub I used this recipe:
- 6 tbls (table spoon) brown sugar
- 4 tbls paprika powder
- 1 tbls kosher salt
- 2 tbls garlic power
- 2 tbls Rudy’s Rub
- 1 tbls ginger powder
- 1 tbls onion powder
Mix everything in a bowl:
Apply the dry rub. I massage it into the skin real good, plus under any flaps I may come across. Getting a good rub is important, because the rub will be distributed for the pulled meat.
Rub detail :-):
Covering it with plastic foil, and put it into the refrigerator overnight.
Putting it out of the fridge at 5am: the rub nicely covers the meat:
The meat has now time outside the fridge to warm up to about 15°C. Filling the ‘Cactus Jack‘ with wood:
Firing up the Smoker in the morning at 05:30am:
Now it has time to warm up the smoker and to create a nice firebox:
Putting the pork shoulder into the middle of the smoker chamber. An aluminium drip pan with warm water is placed below the meat.
Staring with a meat core temperature of 16°C:
After 1 hour, core temperature at 37°C:
After 2 hours, core temperature at 54°C:
After 3 hours with a core temperature of 64°C:
After 4 hours at a core temperature of 64°C:
After 5 hours, temperature at stalled at 72°C:
Still a long way to go up to 88°C….
After 6 hours still at 72°C. Wait, wait, wait…..
Then, finally after stalling at 72°C for two hours it reached the next level :-):
And it is looking good after 7 hours:
Smoking it for 8 hours and it is at 76°C:
After 9 hours at 78°C, then 10° to go!
After 10 hours it reached 81°C:
And finally after 12 hours it hits 88°C :-).
Time to rest it for 30-45 minutes in heavy aluminium foil:
And it lost some weight:
During smoking, there is plenty of time to prepare the BBQ sauce. Beside of using the famous Rudy’s Sauce, here is my version:
- 200 ml water
- 1 tbls bouillon concentrate
Cook this up, then add
- 5 tbls tomato paste
- 5 tbls mild mustard
- 5 tbls apple+honey vinegar
Mix together in a bowl, then mix it to the sauce:
- 1 tbls garlic powder
- 1 tbls onion powder
- 1 tbls salt
- 1 tbls black pepper
- 3 tbls brown sugar
Simmer it for a few minutes, then let cool it down. The mustard gives a nice orange color:
I logged the temperature inside the smoker and inside the meat over time: The meat temperature stalled at 72°C for about 2 hours. Don’t panic, just wait and go through it:
Taking the pork out of the foil:
With two forks the meat gets pulled. It is so soft that no force is needed! It has a nice crunchy bark and is soft and tender inside :-):
A pan full of pulled pork:
Pulled Pork sandwiches:
Pulled Pork is easy, but takes a long time to smoke and cook. It is tender, juicy and full of flavour, ideal to make it in a BBQ smoker. I very much like the bark: crunchy and full of flavours. If you have any tips and tricks for Pulled Pork BBQ, post a comment!
Happy Pulling 🙂