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Slow-roasted, brined, pulled pork


jonnymikes
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So I've got a pork butt in a brine in the fridge now, used a tupperware pitcher, thought it worked well. Anyway, gonna slap a rub on it in the am for a nice slow roast. I've heard the usual ideas (cumin, pepper, thyme, fennel). Anyone got any other ideas? When you do a roast butt like this, do you used a liquid? If so, what?

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So I've got a pork butt in a brine in the fridge now, used a tupperware pitcher, thought it worked well. Anyway, gonna slap a rub on it in the am for a nice slow roast. I've heard the usual ideas (cumin, pepper, thyme, fennel). Anyone got any other ideas? When you do a roast butt like this, do you used a liquid? If so, what?

I should add, I am going for a pulled pork-type product.

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Michael Chiarrello's fennel rub is very good, but I get the idea you're looking for something else.

What about a paste?

1 onion, quartered

6 cl garlic

1/2 C piloncillo broken into pieces, or gur, or dark brown sugar

1/4 C sweet paprika

3 tbs coarsely cracked black pepper

1 tbs coarsely chopped rosemary

1/2 (dried) rubbed tsp sage

1/2 (dried) tsp thyme

Mix all in a cuisinart with enough corn or canola oil to form a paste, and coat butt generously

While butt cooks, make a "mop" of decent bourbon such as Rebel Yell and Grade B maple syrup. 1-1/2 before butt is done, start mopping every 20 minutes.

Also, make a mid-Carolinas mustard sauce by mixing:

1 C cider vinegar

1/2 C dijon mustard

2 tbs maple syrup

2 bs bourbon

1-1/2 tbs Worcestershire sauce

1 tsp chipotle hot sauce

1 tbs Morton kosher salt

Ground black pepper to taste

1 C corn or canola oil

Mix all. It holds together best if you mix as an emulsion. I.e., mix all ingredients but oil. Add oil in slow steady stream while whisking, until emulsion forms.

Cook butt to 180 deg F internal for sliced pork, and 195 internal for pulled pork. If, pulling separate the glazed, crusted exterior (Mr. Brown) from the interior meat (Miss White). Pull Miss White thoroughly, leave Mr. Brown in larger chunks. Mix the less attractive pieces of Mr. Brown into Miss White with enough sauce to moisten the meat. Plate the pulled pork so that it is surrounded by Mr. Brown, and sauce all 'til glistening.

Rich

Edited by boar_d_laze (log)
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I swear by this rub (thanks, Matt for putting it into RecipeGullet!) and this South Carolina Mustard Barbeque Sauce and if you'll look around eGullet about pork products, you'll find that many, many people agree.

One of the keys to getting the best out of your pulled pork is roasting (actually, many of us prefer to smoke our butts (click here) is to do it low and slow, and you can expect it to take a lot longer than you think. The temp in the oven or smoker is ideally not much higher than the temp at which you expect to pull the meat out, and if you use a meat thermometer, expect a serious stall if you are cooking low and slow enough. That's when that collagen and gristle will melt and make your butt everything it should be.

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
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I should add that when I do a butt, I almost always smoke a whole butt (about 7 - 9 lbs, bone-in), in a dedicated smoker (Bar-B-Chef Offset from Barbeques Galore) at around 250 deg F. Smoking technique can be a little complicated, and I don't sense any need to get into it here. But ... if you want advice, just ask.

That said, you can do a very good job in a kitchen oven at 300 deg F. Having brined, there's no need to add any moisture, or use any sort of braise technique.

Rich

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I should add that when I do a butt, I almost always smoke a whole butt (about 7 - 9 lbs, bone-in), in a dedicated smoker (Bar-B-Chef Offset from Barbeques Galore) at around 250 deg F.  Smoking technique can be a little complicated, and I don't sense any need to get into it here.  But ... if you want advice, just ask.   

That said, you can do a very good job in a kitchen oven at 300 deg F.  Having brined, there's no need to add any moisture, or use any sort of braise technique. 

Rich

My "plan" was a 5-pound butt at around 250 for 10 hours or so. It's in the brine already, so for this shot, the best I can do is improve the rub-type thing.

I would love to get into a real smoking deal, but this one is sadly down the river too far to be brought back. I will message about a future plan rich.

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jonny,

A 5 pound butt shouldn't take anywhere near 10 hours, even at 250. Seven hours is more like it at 250. Also, my experience in a kitchen oven is that 300 is pretty much the same as 275 is pretty much the same as 250 -- with the only differences being that higher temperatures are quicker and slightly safer.

If it's bone-in, wiggling the bone is as good a test as an internal temp reading. When the bone wiggles enough that you can pull it out without resistance, the pork itself is ready to pull. No matter what temp you cook at, allow a long resting time before pulling. I like to rest a butt at least an hour. If you're resting longer, which isn't a bad idea, it's a good idea to hold the butt in an insulated cooler while it rests, or, almost as good, in the oven to keep the meat from falling into the "danger zone" (below 140 deg F). Some people "pull" by shredding the pork with two forks. I prefer to pull by hand. I pull enouth to make a layer of Miss White with bits of Mr. Brown in the serving dish, sauce it lightly, repeat until all the pork is pulled,

The rub to which snowangel linked looked interesting if not exactly pantry friendly. But it's inappropriately salty for a brined butt.

On the other hand, the sauce to which she linked not only looks like a good one, but more "authentic" than my dijon sauce. Interesting that we both chose mustard based sauces since ketchup based sauces are more common in eastern and western South Carolina. The commonality of Carolina sauces generally, being their thin, vinegary nature. Not that I'm from there, I'm SoCal born, bred, and barbecued.

Anyway, if you do go with my dijon-maple thing, try fitting some peaches into the meal somewhere. They're a natural fit. (FWIW, when I use this rub and sauce, I smoke the pork over a mix of maple and peach woods.)

Rich

Edited by boar_d_laze (log)
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I did a very simple rub this summer on a slow roasted pork butt - salt, pepper and LOTS of sweet pimenton. It was tremendous. If the quality of the pork is high, then this simple rub works well to highlight the porkiness while adding a nice hint of smoke from the pimenton.

Have fun and please report back!

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I should add that when I do a butt, I almost always smoke a whole butt (about 7 - 9 lbs, bone-in), in a dedicated smoker (Bar-B-Chef Offset from Barbeques Galore) at around 250 deg F.  Smoking technique can be a little complicated, and I don't sense any need to get into it here.  But ... if you want advice, just ask.   

That said, you can do a very good job in a kitchen oven at 300 deg F.   Having brined, there's no need to add any moisture, or use any sort of braise technique. 

Rich

My "plan" was a 5-pound butt at around 250 for 10 hours or so. It's in the brine already, so for this shot, the best I can do is improve the rub-type thing.

I would love to get into a real smoking deal, but this one is sadly down the river too far to be brought back. I will message about a future plan rich.

I usually smoke outdoors (weber bullet) but on occasion I have made "pulled pork" in the oven. The best recipe/method I have found is from Tyler Florence:

http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/recipes/re...6_27406,00.html

Basically -

apply the rub & roast at 300 degrees until it's falling apart (about 6 hours).

Enjoy!!!

Edited by lcdm (log)
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Hey, 007JB, how the heck are you? Nice to see you here in the land of my exile.

Sides: Any of the traditional barbecue/soul sides such as beans, greens, mac & cheese, yams, fries, potato salad, green salad, cottage cheese with fruit, cole slaw, etc., are naturals with pulled pork. But really, anything at all you'd like that would either compliment or cut pork's unctiousness is great.

When I do dishes like this, I frequently like to mix it up, with a little bit haut. Pork does well with fruit. Grilled peaches or nectarines would be very nice -- perhaps with greens and pommes frites. In point of fact, the rub and sauce were put together to go with a traditional Caesar salad (the way they made it at Nickodell's, a restaurant right outside Paramount Studios) starter, pommes souffle and cole slaw on the plate, and peach cobbler served with creme anglaise for dessert. Pulled pork partners well with gewurztraminer.

The "taditional presentation" is a 4 oz scoop of pulled pork onto a supermarket hamburger bun, a big spoonful of coleslaw right on the pork, and a generous shmear of barbecue sauce on to the top half of the bun.

Websites: virtualweberbullet.com is an excellent site for beginning smokers whether they use a WSM or not. There are a few others as good, and not oriented towards WSMs. For instance, Smokey Hale's www.barbecuen.com But since this thread isn't about smoking, but about the kitchen oven we don't have to go there. Also, whether in cookbooks or on the net, it's worth noting all of the 'q experts disagree with one another about pretty much everything.

Rich

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I forgot this thread was kitchen cooking a pork roast. I have convection roasted pork loins stuffed & unstuffed on a roasting pan using a dry rub of Tony Chachere's (Cajun seasonal). A staple dish here in the south is bone in butt or shoulder braised in a cast iron dutch oven till it almost falls apart; about 3 hours. I like to cut deep wells in the roast, spoon in a 1/2tsp Tonys then seal the slit with a toe of garlic. If you sear the roast till dark brown on all sides before pouring in the braising liquid (water, stock, wine or combination) you will have a wonderful brown gravy for veggies to simmer in. Sweet potatoes & carrots are my familys favorite, served with steamed white rice, early peas, & hot french bread. This same method is also used for beef roast's.

I'm doing just fine Rich glad to see you here, BTW yall boar_d_laze is giving some expert advice on this thead. He is VERY knowledgeable in the art of cooking.

Edited by 007bond-jb (log)
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  • 5 years later...

So my roommate requested i make pulled pork this weekend, should be simple enough though i dont have a smoker which is a shame. Nevertheless im debating on whether this needs a brine or not. I was going to dry rub it and then cook it in the oven after browning on low temp for a loooooong time. We got pork butt so theres a nice amount of fat on it meaning moisture loss is not something im worried about. I was then going to make my own bbq sauce of some sort and finish it with that.

So if i do brine it, what should the salt % be to water? Any other interesting ideas or tips to make pulled pork awesome?

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I don't think a pork butt needs a brine. I think it changes the texture and gives the meat a hammy flavor. I could see brining a loin as that's much leaner, but I rarely brine those either.

That's the thing about opposum inerds, they's just as tasty the next day.

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this is how AB does it a GE:

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/barbecue-pork-butt-recipe/index.html

add a little liquid smoke to the brine.

good luck! better get cracking now!

I agree with Rotuts. AE's recipe is very good. If you can't smoke it, a little liquid smoke in the brine will make it taste like you did. Lots of people are scared that liquid smoke is some weird chemical but it is really just smoke that's been distilled.

If you have a large crock pot, you could also use the Ultimate Cheater Pulled pork recipe. It makes a pretty decent product in a situation where you can't smoke. It does not create any bark though so it will not be texturally the same as a roasted or smoked butt.

http://thebittenword.typepad.com/thebittenword/2008/11/ultimate-cheater-pulled-pork.html

Edited by BadRabbit (log)
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So no access to a covered BBQ either? I get a pretty decent pulled pork with a nice smoke ring cooking pork butt by indirect heat generated by charcoal in a Weber kettle. I also would not brine. Also I would not bother browning it. I do not see the extra step as adding much.

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I was not able to pull up the Splendid Table pulled pork

but im glad Splendid table was mentioned as it a fine show

and the two books are well worth a perusal at you Library if they have them

i bought them and learned a lot:

to go back to the topic:

Low and Slow pork shoulder is very similar to "carnitas" a shoulder that is slow simmered for a long time, pulled out of the 'broth' ( never though this away ) then fork pull apart and saute.

the difference is that the flavor that went into the water ( good to keep ) on low and slow stays in the meatr.

if you do the brine with Lq. smoke and molassas then do the low and slow foil wrap

make sure you save all those juices that come out.!

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should you chose to brown, which might not be needed

do not brown with the rub on it.

it will just burn

if you are keen to brown, and why not? this is Science We Eat !!!

consider after the brine/mollasses and lg smoke:

pat very dry and place in a Very Hot Oven

with a pan for the Jus

until you like the color

take out and add your rub. consider something wet to help your rub adhere:

your favorite mustard will work well!

of course we'd like to see a pic of your final product!

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I wouldn't brine it personally.. Brining denatures the protein in the meat and causes a distinct texture change. I am sure it will taste fine if you do , but it can change how the meat pulls apart in the end.

pulled apart and sauce added you will have lots of flavour anyway and the butt will stay nice moist if you do a slow braise. A brine really won't give you much benefit in this situation.

Edited by Ashen (log)

"Why is the rum always gone?"

Captain Jack Sparrow

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I'm a little surprised about the apparent prevailing opinion here. I'm no expert, but I've done pulled pork myself a few times and have brined each time. No hammy taste, and no texture problem with the finished product. But then my brines are simply salt and water - maybe adding sugar to the brine would make it taste hammier?

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