Here you go. Thought I'd throw in the "old stuff" while the new one is being written.
FYI, this an oldie and a goodie, first written in 2001 (forgive me, it wasn't very long)
Pulled this off the old cookshack site, wanted to post some of the "best of".
Please add your information that you've learned so others may learn.
So, today's lesson: Pork butt, Pork Shoulder, Picnics... etc.
What are they?
Old link was bad, anyone have a good link to a site with Pork Cuts???
There are many sources, lots of information, but we'll try to put a little here for you to get started.
For purposes of this post, I purchase a pair of butts at Sams (they use IBP and I've had great success and this is NOT an endorsement for them)
For the new folks Pork 101: A pork shoulder(front part) can be divided into two parts: Butt end. - so called because it is the butt end of the shoulder (it isn't the actual "butt" of the pig...just the shoulder) Shank end. -so called because it has the shank bone in it. The back "shoulder" of a pig would be called a haunch or a ham. You generally make "pulled pork" from a Pork shoulder cut (either butt or shank). The butt portion is most popular because it has less bone and less connective "stuff" in it. The shank portion can make some tasty pulled pork as well, but it will have a slightly different texture, and more connective "stuff" in it, not to mention the big ol' shank bone (good for soup stock).
I was trying to "generalize" for someone who wanted an exact listing and I didn't have my log with me to recount how long everything has taken.
I'm at work (hi Boss) and the preferred method is indeed to use a Polder. Some controvery on what temp I've seen mention of everything from 180 to 205. I also shoot for an internal of 205 (and I check several places before I'm sure -- it's hard to get a good consistent read on pork lots of fat can throw the reading off). If it's a small pork butt, I might cook it only to 190. I go on my instincts more than my polder...
I've also seen everything from 1 hour to up to 2 1/2... yes really.
My recommendation: plan for 1 1/4 hours per pound, but don't do this blindly. I start checking mine about 1/2 way through my estimate and keep and eye on it when I'm mopping it.
I'm not a fan of foil but it does a great job of keeping the moisture in. My complaint is that I want some of the "renowned Mr. Brown" bark with my butt and you can't get that with foil -- it's too "mushy". Now what I have done is finish them off in foil to get them moist and then pop them on the grill for 10-15 to crisp up the outside.
It's also hard to get some mop onto the meat. A good vinegar based mop does wonder for pulled pork. (if you're interested, I'll post a killer apple juice mop that the family loves).
I've got a lot more comments about pork butts, but I'm interested in others input also. Do you apply a rub? how about mops? Do you serve in with sauce? mustard based? try it I can go on and on
FYI, in my Model 150 (that's my big one guys) I've done up to 8 butts and it average almost 1.5 hours per pound total. These each averaged about 12-14 pounds each.
So, what do you do with a Butt after cooking?
Eat it.... ....aahh Grasshopper, come along on this journey we call "pulled Pork". Being an Okie (go figure with my handle)in the Air Force I had the pleasure of traveling the world and the US and I've always found time for learning how different regions love their Q. I've learned about Pulled Pork from those in the S.E, particularly the Carolina's. I won't go into a full blown discussion of the virtues of Lexington versions, east carolina, and whether to use vinegar, mustard or a tomato sauce.
My suggestions for Pulled Pork
Once you've cooked it (remember cooking is a whole nuther lesson about vinegar mops), let it sit for 10-15 min (you always let the meat you cook sit for a few minutes to let the juices settle). You can then pull (you can pull with your fingers, you can pulled with forks, you can pull whatever you got, you just pull). Some actually like it sliced, but you have to cook it only to 180 to do that. Now, when you're pulling, look for "Mr. Brown and Mrs. White" in the pork, there will actually be two slightly different colors of meat, hince the names. Look for these and taste them, they WILL be different. Some swear by the Mr. Brown. If you didn't cook in foil (you didn't did you -- shame on you) then you'll also have some "bark" this is also something many pork pullers look for and eat. When done right it's not all dried and crusty, it just has a firmer texture and not quite dried out. So, now you have this huge mass of pulled pork.
The two traditional ways to eat pulled pork is either on white bread or cheap, small hamburger buns. And you know what, it's great that way. Now for the hard part. Some will eat this with cole slaw on the top -- yup, on the sandwich (also call a "samich" in some parts). Depending on which side of the mountain in Carolina (Lexington) you'll either use a mustard based sauce, a tomato based sauce or a vinegar sauce.
I have an excellent apple pork baste and mustard sauces which I'll post in a separate posting. So there you have it, the pulled pork tutorial (short version) Hope that helps Grasshopper. Enjoy, this pulled pork stuff is not native to Oklahoma, but my friends swear by it now -- and my Memphis Style Ribs (oops, another lesson). Welcome to the Pork Pulling Club, Good Q'in Smokin' Okie
Smokin Okies Vinegar Mop for Pulled Pork
(also called an Eastern Carolina Sauce)
- 2 cups cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup brown sugar (packed)
- 2 tablespoons salt (I like the flavor in Kosher/Sea Salt and bigger granules)
- 2 tablespoon red pepper (crushed)
- 1 teaspoon cayenne (I've also used Hungarian Paprika)
Smokin's Pulled Pork Baste & Serving Sauce
(makes about 5 cups)
- 4 cups apple juice
- 1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce
- 4 tablespoons cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoon dry mustard
- 4 tablespoon brown sugar
- 3 bay leaf
- 6 cloves of garlic
- 2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon cayenne (I sometimes use Hungarian Paprika)
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves (the secret ingredient)
Heat all of the ingredients in a nonreactive pan (the acid in the vinegar will react with some pans be careful) Bring it to a boil, reduce and simmer for 15 min. I make extra and put it in the fridge and it should last for a couple of months. But it's never around that long. When I put some pork in food saver bags, I'll put some of this sauce in there with it -- when I reheat the pork it taste just like the first time.
Smokin Okie's Virgin Mustard Sauce
(virgin for you first time mustard sauce people)
- 4 cups yellow mustard
- 1 cup lemon juice
- 1 cup honey
- 1/2 cup cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cayenne