Friday, February 25, 2011

Pulled Pork, Part One

We're having a few people over on Saturday for a potluck and I'm going to fly in the face of wisdom and make Pulled Pork for a bunch of southerners who know their BBQ.    Oh, and by the way, I'm a Dane who grew up in Canada, lived in the Midwest for many years and now I'm making a quintessential southern dish.    So, follow along with me. 

I've made Pulled Pork a few times, and it has always gone over well. A good friend of mine, who also happens to be a certified BBQ judge, walked me through the process and taught me some of what to look for and what to do.

One thing my friend Dee taught me was how important it is to prepare the pork correctly. And this is before you even get the fire going. You start with Boston Butts of course, but then you do a couple of things to help make them fantastic. 
 I bought mine at Sam's Club, they came two to a package.
Bottoms up.
Aren't they pretty?

Mustard and Rub
Very important is the rub, but what happens first is what can make it over the top good.
Pork Rub Recipe 
¼ cup salt
¼ cup pepper ( a mixture of fresh ground pepper and commercial pepper works well)
4 tbsp. garlic powder
4 tbsp. onion powder
¼ c. sugar
2 tbsp. cayenne pepper (I use ground hot pepper, the red kind). 
2 tbsp. crushed Italian seasoning (I put it in my mortar and pestle and crushed it some more)
4 tbsp. paprika

Now, this can get a little on the messy side. And make sure your hands are clean, so go wash them now. You need the rub to stick to the meat, and one way to do this is by coating the meat with some yellow mustard. 
Squirt some mustard all over the meat, and rub it in with your hands.  Or just use your silicone pastry brush and spread it, making sure you get some neat little patterns on the meat. 

You don't need a great deal, just enough to cover the meat. Now, take the rub you mixed up and sprinkle it all over the exposed meat. Just like this.  

Rub sprinkled over the bottom of the meat.

Turn the meat over onto some clean plastic wrap or foil, and coat the last side with mustard and sprinkle the rub on that. 
Fat side up, and ready for more rub.
Spread a little of the rub on the bottom of the pan, a little more doesn't hurt.   
A little rub sprinkled in the pan

I put the meat in these foil containers and put them in the fridge, covered with some plastic wrap. 

 Rubbed and ready to rest.

Now you need to let the meat rest overnight. Wrap it well and place it into the fridge.
The next morning, take it out and let it rest on the counter while you get the charcoal ready in the smoker. Take the rest of the rub, and sprinkle it on the Butts, making sure you get any spots you might have missed.
The cast of characters:
Boston Butt
Good quality charcoal and wood for the smoke
Then add in some mustard, the rub, and time, lots of time. This is a long, slow process, but oh, so worth it. And I'll show you the results tomorrow, for now, the meat is in the fridge resting, which is where I'm going shortly.  I'll be starting my charcoal early, around 6:30 am or so, and will put the meat on as soon as the charcoal briquets show some ash.    
See you tomorrow with the final results.

For more recipes please check out   

All about food. *giggle*

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