Easter Weekend Apple Juice Brined Pulled Pork Smoked on Beech Wood

What to do on a rainy Easter weekend (apart of debugging an application on a board running lwip with mqtt using tls)? Smoking Pulled Pork for dinner 🙂

Pulled Pork Sandwich

Pulled Pork Sandwich

Using basically the same approach and recipe as in “Apple Juice Brined Pulled Pork“, as the sous-vide cooker did not return yet from the warranty repair (the controller board was constantly resetting).

So here is the picture series from beginning to end: starting with 1.9 kg pork shoulder, prepared the day before:

Pork Shoulder

Pork Shoulder

Brining overnight in the refrigerator with spices, sugar, salt, apple juice:

Brining pork shoulder

Brining pork shoulder

Starting the beech wood fire at 5am (yikes!):

beech wood fire

beech wood fire

Dry rub (salt, pepper, sugar, spices) while the smoker warms up:

Dry Rub on Pork Shoulder

Dry Rub on Pork Shoulder

Placing it at 6am into the smoker, on top of a pan filled with water:

Pork Shoulder in Smoker

Pork Shoulder in Smoker

Keeping the smoker temperature between 106°C and 135°C, constantly adding beech wood. Biggest challenge is the changing wind and the repeated rain showers:

Smoker Fire

Smoker Fire

Goal is a meat temperature of 92°C. After 5 hours it reached 76°C and started the stalling phase:

After 5 hours

After 5 hours

It then stalled around 77°C for 3 hours. Finally, after 12 hours smoking, it reached the target 92°C:

After 12 Hours reached 92°C

After 12 Hours reached 92°C

Rested for two hours in aluminium foil: Yes, it is black, but smells so good!

Rested in foil

Rested in foil

Then it gets pulled and mixed in a bowl:

Pulled Pork Shoulder

Pulled Pork Shoulder

Plate with Pulled Pork

Plate with Pulled Pork

Served with buns, coleslaw/carrots/celery salad, onions, pickles and a white Alabama style sauce:

Pulled Pork Sandwich

Pulled Pork Sandwich

Happy Pulling 🙂

PS: working on getting TLS with lwip and mqtt running together. Getting close… (I hope)….

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18 thoughts on “Easter Weekend Apple Juice Brined Pulled Pork Smoked on Beech Wood

  1. I was with you until you put that sauce on it. As a Georgia boy originally, I would have put a tomato based BBQ sauce on it. Looks like you did the meat very well, just like some of the BBQ shacks.

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  2. Beechwood smoked beer works very well too. My beer (I also brew/own Valkyrie brewing co in Dallas, WI) called Whispering Embers works very well as a marinade on pork giving it that smoked flavour plus the beer infusion. In your area, something out of Bamberg is what you’re after. I get my malt for that beer from there.

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  3. Erich,

    I like what you wrote and did… though having to change your temperatures into real units is kind of a pain 🙂

    I will say that it takes a real man to keep a fire done like that as constant as required to make good bbq is very hard. I use a PID which helps a ton… the people on the circuit in the US are all upset about PID because it leveled the field in competition BBQ.

    It is my opinion that 275 is too hot… and I always strive to keep it between 225 and 250… though I can’t see where you measured the temperature. I typically clip the thermocouple right above the pork.

    Not too many people have the discipline for a 2 hour rest… and that is the 3rd most important factor in a good boston butt. (1-quality of shoulder, 2-temperature, 3-rest)

    I use https://www.amazon.com/Original-BEAR-Pulled-Shredder-Claws/dp/B003IWI66W …. which I know makes me a wimp. There are people who use a knife and chop… which is a crime in my book. (kinda like the Ketchup based sauces in the comments)

    Personally I think that you should ban the people above who suggested a Ketchup based sauce from posting on your blog because they obviously don’t “get it”… but I suppose that is up to you 🙂

    Alan

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    • Alan,
      thank you so much for all the insights :-).
      Yes, I have started working on a PID controller, but at the end I stopped it because a) other cool projects lined up and b) I like to the human factor in the process :-).
      And yes, 275°F (135°C) is on the top end, and I missed to write that the temperature was more in the 250°F/121°C area, and only at the end I was going up the the 275°F to get a nice bark (which my family loves too!).
      About the °F/°C units: now you feel like I do when I read all the articles which read °F only. I think we all should move to Kelvin numbers :-).
      Typically I put the secone thermocouple on the side of the pork got get a good reading, with another probe inside the meat.
      And yes, the 2h resting time is what I always want to be at, I think it is (as you say) as important as all the other parts of th eprocess.
      I’m using normal forks to pull it apart, always worked well that way.
      And I’m not at all religious about the sauce: I think everyone should have the freedom to choose :-).

      Erich

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      • Ah Yes… The bark is a big deal.. I have a friend who always does the same thing with the bark and he does a better job than me. I think that is a place where I fall down a little bit. Ill give a 2nd to Kelvin (I stood by his grave last week in England)

        As to the sauce.. that is a religious issue for me… the right sauce with the right style…. well actually I like anything that is done with care. 🙂

        The other thing that I do sometimes (which I learned from Steve Raichlen) is to put some vinegar pepper sauce after it is pulled… but that could be thin ice for some of your readers.

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      • I’m from Maryland (south of Mason-Dixon line) and I think we have good BBQ.

        I got some in NC once, after years of hearing how good it was, and didn’t care for it at all. I think you just get used to what you’re used to. 🙂

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      • The gentleman from Maryland is a Yankee in my book for sure 🙂 [side comment: I am from KY which makes me a mongrel by many from both sides … and even worse I lived in California for a bunch of years] … and really Im just teasing on all of the North/South jokes before anyone gets to frothed up

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    • Thank you! It was not only looking good, it tasted GOOD too :-). And my sous-vide cooker returned from repair (they sent me a brand new one!), so one of the next thing I will try is combining sous-vide cooking with smoking the pork shoulder. I have high expectations 🙂

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