Sunday, January 19, 2014

Oven Slow-Cooked BBQ Pulled Pork

Oven Slow-Cooked BBQ Pulled Pork in sandwich with BBQ sauce and red onions

Perfect for Super Bowl Sunday

Pulled pork takes a while to make if you do it the traditional way—12 hours or more of slow cooking with wood smoke. Plus you need to hang around outside to tend the fire. For most of us, that’s just not going to happen very often (especially when the weather turns cold, as it has right now in much of the US).

Well, good news! You can “barbecue” a pork shoulder in your oven—and get succulent pulled pork that rivals your favorite BBQ joint’s.

With the Super Bowl coming up in a couple of weeks, you may be having some friends over to watch the game. Hungry friends. Serve them this great pulled pork and you’ll be a winner—no matter how your team plays.


Oven Slow-Cooked BBQ Pulled Pork in sandwich with BBQ sauce and red onions, overhead view on black

Recipe: Oven Slow-Cooked BBQ Pulled Pork

This recipe is a riff off my Oven Slow-Cooked BBQ Spare Ribs. It’s even easier though, because pork shoulder is more forgiving in terms of temperature sensitivity.

As noted in the post on spare ribs, people often use the term “barbeque” for anything cooked outdoors on a Weber. But most of the time, what we’re actually doing is grilling—i.e., cooking meat over relatively high heat. That’s not a good method for most barbecue meats (like pork shoulder, spare ribs, and beef brisket), which have lots of connective tissues that make them tough. Cooked this way, pork shoulder will be “done” (i.e., safe to eat) at 160 degrees F, but it will be very chewy. Not what you want for pulled pork, which should be so tender that you can readily tear it apart—“pull” it—with your hands.

Barbecuing is very different from grilling. When you barbeque meat, you cook it at low heat (typically 200 to 225 degrees F) for several hours. This slow-cooking process allows the connective tissues and fat to melt away (which typically happens around 190 degrees F).

Fortunately, you can achieve the same degree of tenderness in your oven. And because you don’t have to keep a live fire going at a constant temperature, you can let the barbecue cook largely unattended. The meat will come out tender and flavorful.

For this recipe, you need pork shoulder (a/k/a pork butt or Boston butt). An entire pork shoulder typically weighs 16 pounds or more (and can take a day to slow cook). So unless you’re feeding a huge crowd, you’ll want something smaller. Most supermarkets sell cuts of pork shoulder sized anywhere from 2 to 5 pounds. You can get a bone-in or boneless cut. Either works, although I think the bone-in has a bit more flavor (but of course you’ll get a bit less meat).

This recipe uses a small amount of liquid smoke to help flavor the meat during the cooking process. Good liquid smoke is a natural product, containing nothing but water and natural smoke concentrate. But do read the label; cheaper brands include chemicals you don’t want to use. BTW, I got the idea for using liquid smoke to scent the meat from Chef John, although my method of cooking the pork differs from his. Warning: As the pork cooks, your oven will emit a wood-smoke aroma. If you’re allergic, or the idea of this smell drifting through your house doesn’t appeal, omit the liquid smoke.

For this recipe, you’ll use a “rub” to season the meat, and it’s best if you apply it the day (or night) before you plan to cook the meat. You can use your own recipe for the rub, or use my favorite—which I describe below.

Preparation time for this recipe (making the rub and applying it to the pork) is about 20 minutes. Then the rubbed pork needs to rest in the refrigerator overnight before cooking. Cooking time is about 1½ to 2 hours per pound of meat. So this recipe does take a bit of time (though most of it is unattended).

This recipe yields about 6 to 8 generous servings (~2½ servings per pound of uncooked pork shoulder—the pork loses some weight as it cooks). Leftovers store well in an airtight container in the refrigerator for a few days.

Ingredients

For the rub:
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons pimentón (smoked Spanish paprika)
  • 2 tablespoons dried ground chipotle or ancho chile powder (ancho doesn’t have a smoky flavor, but it’s milder than chipotle)
  • 1½ tablespoons garlic powder
  • 1½ tablespoons onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
For the pork:
  • ~3 pounds pork butt (I prefer bone-in, but boneless works fine; use more if you prefer, but it’ll take longer to cook; see Headnote)
  • hot water (I usually heat it in a kettle)
  • 2 teaspoons liquid smoke (optional; but it does add some extra flavor)
Procedure

Steps 1 through 3 should be accomplished several hours before you plan to start cooking the pork. Ideally, the rub-coated, uncooked pork butt should rest in the fridge overnight.
  1. The night before you want to cook the pork, prepare the rub: Combine all ingredients, then mix thoroughly until well blended.
  2. Coat the pork butt: Remove the pork from its packaging (if it’s tied, untie it). With your hands, pat the rub on all sides of the pork. You’ll want to use at least ¼ cup of rub, but use more if you wish (see Notes). Reserve unused rub for another purpose.
  3. Place the pork butt in a heavy food-storage bag (I use freezer bags), squeeze out as much air as possible, and fasten the top. Refrigerate overnight.
  4. Half an hour before you want to begin cooking the pork, preheat the oven to 250 degrees F and remove the pork butt from the refrigerator to warm up. (See Notes; may increase oven temperature if you want the pork to cook faster.)
  5. Place a wire rack in the bottom of a roasting pan (preferably a pan that’s just large enough to hold the pork). If you don’t have a wire rack, roll a sheet or two of aluminum foil between your hands, forming a “snake” that you can place (in zig-zag configuration) in the bottom of the roasting pan. Add hot water until it’s about halfway up the legs of the rack (you don’t want the water to touch the pork, which will sit on the rack). Add the liquid smoke to the water. (Again, as the pork cooks, your oven will emit a wood-smoke aroma, so omit the liquid smoke if this doesn’t appeal to you. But do include the water—it helps keep the pork moist.)
  6. Place the pork butt on the wire rack (again, make sure it doesn’t touch the water). Tent the pork and the rack with a sheet of aluminum foil, crimping around the edges to keep steam from escaping. Place the roasting pan in the oven and set a timer for 3 hours.
  7. At the 3-hour mark, remove the foil. Insert the probe of an instant-read thermometer to determine how the pork is coming along (you want it to reach 190 - 200 degrees F). If the pork is not done yet, return it to the oven until it reaches the appropriate temperature (leaving the foil off).
  8. Timing note: Total cooking time is usually 1½ to 2 hours per pound. If the pork is taking too long to cook, you can increase the oven temperature to 300 - 325 degrees F to hurry things along. In some cases, pork butt will cook a bit faster than you expect it to. If that happens, turn the oven down to 225 (or even 200) degrees F.
  9. Once the pork is done, if you need to wait before serving it, remove it from the oven and wrap it in aluminum foil. You can hold the cooked pork in a 180-degree F oven for up to 3 hours.
  10. When ready to proceed, remove the cooked pork from the oven and let it cool at room temperature for at least 15 minutes. Then pull the pork: Many people use their hands—but be careful not to burn your fingers. Alternatively, use a pair of large forks, pulling the meat into shreds.
  11. Serve the pulled pork with your favorite barbeque sauce (you might want to try our Tangy Barbecue Sauce). You can serve the pork as a meat dish or use it to make sandwiches (which is what I usually do). For sandwiches, plain white buns are the traditional choice. Popular garnishes include dill pickle slices and onions. Many people like to top their sandwiches with coleslaw, too.
Oven Slow-Cooked BBQ Pulled Pork in sandwich with BBQ sauce and red onions
Notes
  • The rub I use in this recipe contains both pimentón (smoked Spanish paprika) and dried chipotle chile powder (made from smoked and dried jalapeño peppers). The naturally smoky flavor of these ingredients helps flavor the pork. 
  • The recipe for the rub makes way more than you’ll use for this pulled pork. You can store the rest in an airtight container at room temperature for a couple of weeks. It will keep even longer if you refrigerate or freeze it.
  • I tend to use a lot of rub—about half a cup for a 3-pound pork butt. It adds a nice, spicy crust.
  • You should use an instant-read thermometer when slow-cooking pork shoulder (or any barbecue meat) because you really need to know what is going on temperature-wise. I like the (rather pricey) Thermapen—its temperature sensor is at the tip of the probe, so you can position it accurately, and it records a temperature within 3 seconds. It’s also exceptionally accurate (within about one degree). I received one of these as a gift several years ago, and find it indispensable. BTW, I have no connection with the makers of Thermapen, nor do I gain financially (or in any other way) from mentioning it; I’m just an extremely happy user of their product.
  • When pork shoulder is barbequed the traditional way, it cooks at 200 - 225 degrees F, which is a lower temperature than I specify. You can cook it at this temperature if you want—and you may get slightly better flavor. But the difference really is small, and you’ll increase cooking time quite a bit.
  • Step 8 mentions that you can finish cooking pork shoulder at 300 or 325 degrees F if it’s taking too long to cook and you want to hurry things along. You can also cook it from the start at either of those temperatures, and it’ll take less time. (Melissa Clark of the New York Times has published a recipe for cooking pulled pork at 300 degrees F.) If you go this route, I suggest taking the aluminum foil off of the pork shoulder (Step 7) after 2 hours rather than 3. 
  • When barbecuing pork shoulder over a fire, many people use a mopping sauce to keep the meat moist. This isn’t necessary when you prepare pork in the oven, though it adds extra flavor—so do this if you want. Start mopping after you remove the aluminum foil in Step 7. 
  • BTW, barbecue sauce generally does not make a good mopping sauce. Barbecue sauces usually contain sugar and/or tomato, which tends to caramelize and char when exposed to heat. So use a different sauce for mopping, and add barbecue sauce at table when you serve the pulled pork.
Oven Slow-Cooked BBQ Pulled Pork in sandwich with BBQ sauce and red onions

Resolved: Eat More Pulled Pork

“Ummm, nothing like pulled pork,” said Mrs. Kitchen Riffs, biting into her sandwich.

“Yeah, and this will be perfect for the Super Bowl,” I said, adding more Tangy Barbecue Sauce and sliced onion to my sandwich. “Going to watch any of the game this year?”

“I’m not much of a football fan,” said Mrs K R, helping herself to some Mayonnaise Potato Salad.

“But I know you like the commercials,” I said. “Gee, I can’t decide whether this Garlic Coleslaw is better as a side dish, or as a garnish on my sandwich.”

“Well, those commercials are all online the next day,” said Mrs K R, dishing up some Baked Beans with Bacon. “So I can just watch the best ones.”

“Meaning the funny ones?” I asked.

“And the ones with Clydesdales!” said Mrs K R.

“Yeah, can’t have too many of those,” I agreed.

“Or too many pulled pork sandwiches,” said Mrs K R.

“Is that a hint that I should be making more Oven Slow-Cooked BBQ Pulled Pork?”

“Well, it’s not too late for New Year’s resolutions,” she said.

Hey, finally a resolution I can keep!

You may also enjoy reading about:
Tangy KC-Style Barbecue Sauce
Barbecued Pork Steaks
Jalapeño Coleslaw with Pimentón
Garlic Coleslaw
Creamy Cole Slaw
German Potato Salad with Bacon
Mustard Potato Salad
French Potato Salad
American (Mayonnaise) Potato Salad
Potato Salad Basics
Baked Beans
Or check out the index for more recipes

104 comments:

  1. Hi John!

    I actually prefer "barbecuing" pork in the winter time because it gives me an excellent "excuse" to leave the oven on for a long period of time and the aroma just sets the house on fire, smell wise that is:) I've had my share of "poor" liquid smoke. It turned me off to liquid smoke for years not realizing it really does matter what ingredients are included. Dye colors have no place in liquid smoke and yet, many had dye years ago. I should probably check out the new "styles" now.

    I know it isn't possible, no smellavision yet, but I believe the thought of that slow cooked pork is wafting through my computer screen. Just what I needed for another snowy day here in central PA. Thanks for sharing, John...

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    1. Hi Louise, I wish they would invent smellavision! The name brand liquid smoke is OK stuff - but pretty potent, so don't use too much! No snow here, thank goodness! Thanks for the comment.

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  2. Replies
    1. Hi Arthur, that rub recipe is delish! I use it on everything. ;-) Thanks for the comment.

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  3. Can't wait to try this. Actually it has been so warm here that we could smoke outside but then Manservant is in charge. I much prefer my timing to his so will put this one on my to do list!! Thanks, John!

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    1. Hi Abbe, this is a winner! I love pulled pork, and now I can make it any time. ;-) Thanks for the comment.

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  4. What a great array of side dishes! Pulled pork is awesome on its own, and I think the baked beans and potato salad would take it up a big notch. Perfect Super Bowl food!

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    1. Hi Beth, those sides are almost better than the main event. Almost. ;-) Thanks for the comment.

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    1. Hi Caroline, it is! ;-) Thanks for the comment.

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    1. Hi Kristi, it's a super dish. ;-) Thanks for the comment.

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  7. Hi John , love barbeque pull pork for the Superbowl , love the ingredirnts , I can almost taste it , it's just heavenly delicious , thanks so much for sharing :)

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    1. Hi Nee, this is heaven! ;-) Thanks for the comment.

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  8. Oh yeah! You had me as soon as I saw the picture! Just so happens we bought some liquid smoke recently and were wondering how to use it. Thanks for sharing a great recipe!

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    1. Hi Lizzy, liquid smoke is one of those things that sounds too trashy to be good stuff, but actually is. Or at least not bad stuff. ;-) Thanks for the comment.

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  9. There is nothing that makes me feel more American than a pulled pork sandwich. This looks fantastic!

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    1. Hi Maureen, it is fantastic! Hope you get some pulled pork soon.Thanks for the comment.

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  10. Our Broncos just won and we'll definitely be having a party. Consider this the first addition to our menu! Thank you for sharing such a delicious recipe. I hope you have a wonderful start to your week, John!

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    1. Hi Monet, you must be delighted your team will be in the Super Bowl. Good luck! Thanks for the comment.

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  11. Well, John, you know I'll be having a great Super Bowl!! Denver Broncos!! This looks fabulous for a SB party though I would prolly use chicken. However, I never have SB parties because I'm stuck in the kitchen and can't watch the game, or there is always somebody who doesn't watch and immediately assumes since I am a girl I don't watch and so chews my ear off on some useless subject. So these days it's just Trace and I, much much better :)

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    1. Hi Nazneen, chicken would be good cooked with this method, and would take a lot less time! Congrats on the Broncos, and I hope the Super Bowl is fun! Thanks for the comment.

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  12. I will surely eat them ALL!! Now off to exercise. HA!

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    1. Hi Cquek, alas, eating does mean exercise for me these days! Thanks for the comment.

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  13. This looks so delicious, who said pork was not the king of meat? (so I have heard) :D

    Cheers
    CCU

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    1. Hi Uru, pork probably is the king of meat - tons of flavor, and so versatile! Thanks for the comment.

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  14. Mouthwatering! This method is interesting. I usually always cook my pork in a cast-iron French oven...

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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    1. Hi Rosa, isn't this a fun method? It's not quite the same as smoking over a live fire, but it comes pretty close. Thanks for the comment.

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  15. I always associate pulled pork with summer and your post took me away from the cold January weather momentarily. Your version looks great and I really like your rub recipe. I have a Big Green Egg and I'm going to try your rub the next time I smoke a butt! Great post, John!

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    1. Hi Bill, smoking pork on a Big Green Egg is the way to go! It's a great rub - definitely worth trying, IMO. Thanks for the comment.

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  16. This does look really good and it's great that you can get the same results using your oven rather than having to go outside to check the BBQ for over 12 hours. I think a pork shoulder is an excellent cut of meat as slow-cooked it becomes very tender and it has lots of flavour. I hope to try this recipe (even though we don't have the super-bowl!) xx

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    1. Hi Charlie, pork shoulder really does have a lot of flavor. But it does need some cooking to tenderize it! Thanks for the comment.

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  17. Detailed recipe! Would love to make it some day. Nice thing about it once it is done, there will be lots of leftovers since I dont think I will invite anyone to share. No way! :)

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    1. Hi Ilke, there really are a ton of leftovers, and of course you can also use a larger cut of pork shoulder (cooking time, of course, will be longer). And you're right that it's hard to share this! Thanks for the comment.

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  18. One of the things I love about pulled pork is how less fussy it is, leaving more time to enjoy guests. So easy to do ahead and freeze too. Great recipe!

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    1. Hi Judy, you're right that this is easy to do ahead. Then just warm gently (using a barbecue sauce of some sort to help provide a little moisture). Thanks for the comment.

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  19. I'm always curious about pulled pork recipes, will have to get around trying one soon :)

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    1. Hi Gintare, it's a great dish! Definitely worth trying sometime. Thanks for the comment.

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  20. As I don't have a smoker or even an outdoor grill this is my preferred method too. I also like to stew the leftovers in garlic, rosemary and juniper after it's been pulled and served once. Creating a mock porchetta of sorts. GREG

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    1. Hi Greg, love the idea for the leftovers! I'm so going to try that. Thanks for the comment.

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  21. We both had pork on the mind for Super Bowl. The big differences? I did mine in a crockpot and the other? MY TEAM IS GOING TO THE SUPERBOWL. OK, now that that's over...yes, still pretty excited but I'll try to calm down but one last thing I will mention is that I pulled for the Rams a few years ago so now it's your turn right...GO Broncos!!

    I'm trying it next time with some of those smoky spices. Yes of course there will be a next time...slow cooked pork is to die for!

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    1. Hi Barb, lol! Of course you're excited - it's always fun to have a team go to the Superbowl! This should be a great game - two terrific teams. And slow cooked pork really is to die for. ;-) Thanks for the comment.

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  22. This looks wonderful John, perfect game watching food. I'm glad to know about the "good" liquid smoke, I always thought that all of it was chemicals. Thanks for great tips, as usual!

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    1. Hi Chris, I always thought liquid smoke was artificial, too, until I did some research a couple of years ago. It's not something I use a lot (a bottle will last us for years!) but it's nice to know you can use it without feeling guilty. ;-) Thanks for the comment.

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  23. There's so much you can do with pulled pork and it's so easy to make. Love your version!!

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    1. Hi Ashley, I've never met a pulled pork I didn't like! Thanks for the comment.

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  24. I would say this I'd want to add this to the game day line up, but not sure if I still want to watch since we aren't in it anymore. Lol. I like the idea of this rather than spending all day smoking it. Although, giving my husband the job, means I have more time for desserts. Hope you two had a great weekend.
    -Gina-

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    1. Hi GIna, the smoked kind is better, but this is pretty good. Plus if you use a fairly flavorful BBQ sauce, I doubt if you'd notice the difference in a sandwich. Thanks for the comment.

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  25. I have always wanted to make pork shoulder in my oven but I didn't know how to go about it. Now I do! Thanks for this recipe :)

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    1. Hi Laura, I love pork shoulder! It's so flavorful, when cooked right. And when made into pulled pork, it's wonderful. ;-) Thanks for the comment.

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  26. I love everything about this, down to that big ol bun and a bunch of pickles on the side to stack on top! Major yum!

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    1. Hi Pamela, those pickles are key. ;-) Thanks for the comment.

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  27. This is a perfect Super Bowl Dish and sounds pretty amazing!

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    1. Hi Unknown, it really is a great dish! Thanks for the comment.

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  28. John, I have made pulled pork before for a Tamale recipe, but never heard of liquid smoke- what will they come up with next! Unfortunately, we don't have Super Bowl here in Australia. Instead, there is all-day cricket. My husband can easily sit for 6 hours watching a cricket match on TV, but after 10 minutes, I'm done! Thanks for the recipe!!

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    1. Hi Fran, liquid smoke is worth getting to know. I don't really understand the rules of cricket so I'd probably be out of there in 10 minutes too! Thanks for the comment.

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  29. Oh the super bowl aka the diet destroyer.
    I think I will spend the day at the gym. All those super bowl snack mini treats, I can do damage.
    This sandwich looks good though!

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    1. Hi Dawn, it's definitely too easy to overeat on days like the Super Bowl! Good thing it only comes once a year. ;-) Thanks for the comment.

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  30. yummmmmmm, I love pork, this is a great way to make it in oven instead of on the bbq.

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    1. Hi Lizzie, isn't this nice? And I agree pork is wonderful! Thanks for the comment.

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  31. Takes a long time to make but it's worth it. This is just perfect for Superbowl and no matter who you are rooting for, this pulled pork is the real winner. This a fun feast, John. Thank you! :)

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    1. Hi Ray, you're right that this is so worth the time! Thanks for the comment.

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  32. This is a crowd pleasing food. Who wouldn't want a bite of tender flavorful BBQ pulled pork? Perfect for Superbowl night.

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    1. Hi Holly, isn't this nice? One of my favorite forms of BBQ! Thanks for the comment.

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  33. Pulled Pork has to be my favorite sandwich of all time! I've only ever made a slow cooker version and would love to try yours out. It seems I've been grilling and not barbecuing all these years.. I'm glad you cleared that one up for me:)

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    1. Hi Barbara, grilled or barbecued, as long as it tastes good it's OK in my book! ;-) Thanks for the comment.

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  34. I've been looking for a great pulled pork recipe! Bookmarking this straight away - looks wonderful.

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    1. Hi Amanda, this is so worth making! And the rub adds a lot. Thanks for the comment.

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  35. I love what slow cooking does to food. Cooking in their own juices they become so delicious. I like this recipe of yours and since we do not eat pork or beef, I guess I will try it with lamb.

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    1. Hi easyfoodsmith, I'll bet this would work well with lamb shoulder! That wounds like a wonderful idea. Thanks for the comment.

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  36. Great post, fabulous recipe and delicious pictures as usual, I am hungry now :). We do not eat pork so what do you suggest as an alternative? can you give me a name of a meat cut? I am stuck since we came here to the US in meat... I cannot find a cut that is tender for my kids, they only eat ground meat.

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    1. Hi Amira, sorry about that hunger thing. ;-) The classic beef cut for BBQ is brisket, but I don't suggest it for this recipe (it can be a bit fussy to prepare properly). You might try a chuck roast -- shoulder roast. I haven't tried this, but I think it'd work. You'll have to experiment with the timing, but with long cooking it should become quite tender and come close to falling apart. If you try it, do let me know how it turns out. Thanks for the comment.

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    2. Thanks John for your suggestions, I will write them down and try the recipe as soon as I can. Will let you know :)

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    3. Hi Amira, I hope it works! Have fun!

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  37. This is an interesting post! I love pulled pork and haven't made it for a while. Now you got me thinking about it.

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    1. Hi Dawn, thinking about pulled pork always makes me happy! So I'm glad to make you think about it. ;-) Thanks for the comment.

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  38. I can't remember the last time I made pulled pork. I love it, but just don't make it near enough. You definitely have inspired me to change this. Your pulled pork sandwich looks outrageously delicious! I didn't know that pimentón was Spanish smoked paprika. Thanks for the info and the great recipe John!

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    1. Hi MJ, I don't make pulled pork often enough either! Good New Year's resolution, no? ;-) Thanks for the comment.

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  39. Replies
    1. Hi Raymund, it's really wonderful stuff - truly worth having. Thanks for the comment.

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  40. YUM!!!
    I would be your football watching friend if you served me pulled pork... even though I really cannot understand what is going on in the game ;)

    I tried using this method with kangaroo, it was so good, and lean!!!

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    1. Hi Julie, trust me, me in the US always understand what's going on in the game! Thanks for the comment.

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  41. Gosh, lovin melted pulled pork...
    i love making a pulled pork with the belly too, the rendered fat taste pretty good!!
    lovely photographed too!!!

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    1. Hi Dedy, never thought to try pulled pork with the belly. What an interesting idea! Thanks for the kind words, and comment.

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  42. I love slow cooked meat, and the next day is even better when I make sandwich too! This winter has been pretty warm and I cook much less oven meal like this. Yours look so perfectly cooked and inspired me!

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    1. Hi Nami, I wish we had your winter! Ours has been much colder than usual. So this dish is perfect for us! Thanks for the comment.

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  43. Delicious! I love how slow cooking keeps the meat so tender and moist :)

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    1. Hi Kiran, I agree long cooking like this makes the meat incredibly tender. Not to mention incredibly tasty! Thanks for the comment.

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  44. was given pork shoulder and didnt know what to do with it, i think i know now!

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    1. Hi Amy, pork shoulder done this way is heaven! Truly good stuff. Thanks for the comment.

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  45. That looks like a mighty fine sandwich. Adriano would love that. Italians do like their bread and fillings.

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    1. Hi Suzanne, isn't this nice? Pulled pork is wonderful in a sandwich, but also good all by itself. Thanks for the comment.

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  46. As a born and raised Seattleite, you can bet we'll be watching the game at our house. This recipe is perfect. Everyone loves pulled pork!

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    1. Hi Kristi, this should be a really great game -- I can't wait. And you're so right that everyone loves pulled pork! Thanks for the comment.

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  47. My local team just missed making the Super Bowl. Drat! But I'll take solace by chomping down on this sammy instead. ;)

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    1. Hi Carolyn, bummer for you, but at least you get this great sandwich as a consolation prize! Thanks for the comment.

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  48. I LOVE pulled pork - this looks absolutely delicious! And I love the roll.

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    1. Hi Kitchen Butterfly, pulled pork is wonderful! Can't get enough of the stuff. ;-) Thanks for the comment.

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  49. Hi, thanks for your recipe. I saw that you said bbq sauce is not a good mopping sauce and I understand why. Do you have a suggestion of a good mopping sauce to use?

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    1. Hi WHekimyan, for a mopping sauce I usually put together some cider vinegar with a bunch of black pepper, probably cayenne, paprika, and salt, and maybe a touch of Worcestershire sauce. I don't have an exact recipe -- I tend to do it a bit differently each time -- so you'll have to mess with it to come up with a mix that pleases you. I guess I should really perfect this and publish it, shouldn't I? :-) Thanks for the question.

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  50. NewenglandgardenerMay 20, 2014 at 7:27 AM

    Hi,
    I am not setup to smoke so have done pulled pork in the crock pot, but it is always a little mushy and "crockpot-ty". This looks great. I would like to do this for a party of 30 along with cold fried chicken about 3 sides and will portably serve it on a smaller snow flake roll. I am figuring on 6-8lbs, do I need to cook this for 10 to 16 hours and at what point would I uncover? Thanks for your help.

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    1. Hi Newenglandgardener, sounds like a great party! I haven't cooked this size pork, so I'm guessing on when to pull the foil, but I'd probably do it at 4 or 5 hours -- most of the smoke effect would have taken place by then. I'm guessing the timing will be closer to 10 hours (and you can hurry things along by turning up the oven temperature; see Step 8 of the Procedure). Since timing on something like this can be a bit unpredictable, I have a couple of suggestions (how I'd do it). I'd probably actually cook it the day ahead, cool and shred it. Then reheat it in BBQ sauce for the party. Makes timing easy. Or, if you want to cook it the day of the party, but it gets done too soon, you can wrap it in aluminum foil and then place it in an insulated picnic cooler, and put the top on (you know -- the kind you put ice in and beverages to keep them cold; an inexpensive foam one should work). The temperature of the meat will drop slowly, but should be safe for several hours (but obviously you'll want to monitor its temperature). Thanks for the question, and let me know how things turn out!

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    2. newenglandgardenerMay 22, 2014 at 7:20 AM

      Thanks for your help. I think my schedule will be this: season pork on Thursday and pop it in the oven Friday night before bed at 200 and check when I get up around 6 and pull of the foil it should be done by 9-10 am. I will let it cool pull & sauce it and put it in a deposable pan and refrigerate re-heat before the party and serve from a crock pot. Whew!

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    3. Hi Newenglandgardener, sounds like an excellent plan! And serving it from the crock pot is a super idea. I wouldn't stress on when you remove the foil -- I'd think it'd be OK if you got an extra couple hours of sleep (although this is a guess; but if I were doing it, I'd probably opt for the sleep!). Thanks for the update.

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