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Jul 1, 2006 06:52 PM

In Need of Pulled Pork Basics

So, hubbie and are are getting ready to check out of the grocery this morning, and suddenly it occurs to me that I've always wanted to try making pulled pork. It's one of both of our favorites things.

So, we head back over to the butcher counter and ask him what cut I should get, and I buy a small 2-1/2 pound piece of said cut. Small, because we're only 2 people and there's no reason to have too much of this and it's an experiment anyway.

I've been looking through Epicurious and Food TV recipes, and through my myriad of cook books and magazines at home and there are so many ways of preparing this that I'm starting to get a bit woozy from it all.

I just need to wittle it down to a very basic, simple method. I can either use my gas Weber grill or of course, my oven. I don't have a smoker, but could buy the necessary accessory for the gas grill (I assume there is one). Or, I know there are ways to do this without even using a smoker. I'm not trying to be a purist about this, so the smoker isn't a total necessity for me.

Any easy ways to do this? I would prefer to use the grill over the oven if possible.



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  1. Laurie...I'm going to post a link to a recipe from a different food board at FinerKitchens ... other "regulars" on this board swear by this recipe for Gretchen's pulled pork and she offers 2 ways of preparing it, with a smoker or in the oven. It really is excellent. I'm sure you'll get tons of other recipes here too.

    1. 1. You want a pork shoulder, preferably the pork butt. If you have time, brine it for 12 hours (soak it in a gallon of water that has a cup of salt and 1/2 cup of sugar disolved in it. You can add other spices to the brine, if you want, such as crushed black pepper, crushed bay leave, some orange juice, etc.)

      2. Rub a spice mixture around the pork and let it rest for 1-12 hours, depending on how much time you have. If you use the brine, the spice mixture shouldn't contain salt. If you don't brine, add salt. The spice mixture can be whatever you like best, and there are many good premade mixes for pulled pork. I like a rub with some heat (pepper, cayanne) and some other flavors (garlic powder, paprika, etc). Search on line and you'll find many good mixes.

      3. Ideally you want to cook the pork low and slow, say an hour and a half per pound of meat, at around 200 to 250 degrees. You can cut the cooking process by starting it on the grill for the smoke flavor and then finishing it on the stove in a braising dish or wrapped in foil in a 325 oven (the latter is the Cooks Illustrated method).

      4. It best if you can get some smoke flavor into dish. Preheat your grill on high heat. Get some hickory (or whatever flavor you want) wood chips. Soak then in water for about a half hour. Drain and wrap in tin foil. When the grill is hot, put the foil pouch above the heat. Soon the wood will start smoking and releasing the flvorful smoke. Now, get ready to put the meat on. You want the heat on your grill to be on one side of the grill, while the meat is above the other side (so the heat is not directly below the meat). Try to keep the heat under 250 if you can.

      5. When it is done cooking, let it rest for 30 minutes before pulling.

      1. Yep, I got pork butt!

        Both sound very easy, thanks so much! I was hoping to cook it for dinner tonight, but I think now after reading both of your posts it will have to be tomorrow due to time constraints. Just gives me a reason to cook the whole chicken I bought on my Weber Beer Can Chicken thing-a-ma-jig instead, which I haven't gotten around to yet :-)

        Thanks a million!


        1. I am SO not into liquid smoke, but Will Owen's Kalua Roasted Pork made me a convert--was *perfect* for my pulled pork sandwiches. (PHOTOS below)

          Photo of Whole Pork Butt

          Photo of Pork (close-up

          1. There was also a pretty good recipe where you do it in a slow oven from David Lieberman's show on the Food Network. I'm sure if you go to you can look it up.