Sunday, February 27, 2011

Pulled Pork, Part Two

Pulled Pork, Part Two

The meat has rested all night long, enrobed in a lovely mixture of spices with a nice mustard undertone. Boy, that sounds high-falutin', but it is important for the flavor of the finished pulled pork to have it sit under the spices for the night.

And now for the confession. I got the smoker all set up and then discovered that somewhere along the way, the temperature gauge had fallen out. It could be anywhere, this smoker has been moved a couple of times since the last time I used it, so I did a makeshift thing and stuck the following in the hole. 

I can monitor the temperature somewhat with this, and it's better than nothing. I thought about using my good wired thermometor to do this, but decided I didn't want to chance ruining it. Also the smoker has sat outside in Florida for over a year, and that's hard on metal as well. In case you haven't figured it out, I'm angling for a new smoker, soon. I did say that I would catalog my triumphs as well as the mistakes I've made or the disasters I've encountered in the kitchen, and outside. So, at this time, the butts are on and the smoker is going. It's now 8 am. I put the butts on about 7:30, started the charcoal going at 7 am. 
Butts on the fire, fat side up.

This is actually a picture of a couple of butts I did last year, and the backdrop was a lot prettier.  Make sure you put the meat on, fat side up, this helps to baste the meat, and just makes it lovely and luscious. 

I check the smoker every half hour and add from 6-12 briquettes, depending on how it's cooked down. I also add some soaked wood chips for the smoke, my goal is to get a nice smoke ring on the meat when I take it off. But I don't like a really heavy smoke taste, so I do try to moderate it a little. And the moisture from the soaked wood chips also helps the meat cook a little.
At noon the internal temp was about 148, and I added the last of the soaked chips. I wrapped the meat in aluminum foil about 1 pm, and placed it back on the smoker.   You want to wrap it and then let it finish cooking in the foil, because it helps to keep the meat tender and flavourful.    And when you unwrap it to 'pull' the pork, you'll also get some lovely juice to pour over the meat.   This is all about the flavour. 

And checked the fire about an hour later, added a few more briquets, and then left it. I pulled the meat in around 4pm, and stuck them in the warmed oven to rest. When our guests arrived, I proceeded to 'pull' the pork and it was fork tender and shredded easily.

The pink is the smoke ring, and the black outer skin is called the bark.

Pulled pork with bark and smoke ring included.

And as you can see from the pictures, people were very generous and brought lots of good stuff to eat with the pork.

And here's the final picture, a nice close up of the meat.
Check out the bark and the smoke ring.   This is just how you want it to look.   
And before I forget completely, you need the recipe for the rub.    You can vary the amounts to suit your taste, but try it this way the first time, and then make your adjustments.    The ground hot pepper really doesn't make it super hot either, but does add a nice flavour to the meat.   

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

For more recipes please check out   

All about food. *giggle*

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