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Pulled Pork?

Where can I buy really yummy pulled pork for entertaining purposes? Nothing vinegar-based please...

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  1. as a north carolinian, its probably a sin for me to recommend anything that isnt vinegar based, but i'd suggest rocklands.

    (willards is the best i've had in the area but i think they only have vinegar-based dip)

    3 Replies
    1. re: kneelconqueso

      I believe Rocklands only has chopped pork, not pulled. I've had it twice from the Gtown location recently and it was decent but then again I too am an NC style fan and prefer mine pulled... I liked their ribs better.

      1. re: Ellen

        All chopped pork should be pulled first, then chopped. If you want to order by the pound, I don't see why they can't refrain from chopping.

        1. re: Steve

          True but theirs isn't much pulled, just chopped. Pork cubes. Falls out of the bun.

    2. I think you are going to hear a lot of answers.... how about KBQ in Bowie?

      1. they only do it once or twice a year, but the dutch market in germantown has awesome pulled pork with no sauce.

        1. I won't recommend the place as a "dining experience," but I've seen big ol' trays of pulled pork from Red Hot & Blue and it was decent.

          1 Reply
          1. re: wayne keyser

            just had a party with red, hot and blue's trays of pulled pork and pulled smoked chicken. i think the chicken was much superior to the pork in flavor and texture. (and i'm a pulled pork fan!). http://www.redhotandblue.com/virginia...

            the slaw was good, and there was also a mixed green salad with dried cranberries and blue cheese.

          2. All great answers...thanks, everyone!!

            1. Try Urban Barbecue in Rockville. I love their pulled pork.

              Urban Barbecue Co
              2007 Chapman Ave, Rockville, MD 20852

              3 Replies
              1. re: DCDeb

                Unfortunately, the pulled pork at Urban BBQ comes pre-tossed in a sauce. I'd rather taste the pork..

                1. re: Steve

                  If you ask they will forgo tossing it in the sauce.

                  1. re: dinwiddie

                    Good to know, thanks. I have enjoyed their ribs.

              2. I just bought a pound of pulled bbq pork from a tiny shop on Richmond Hwy (south of the beltway close to Ft. Belvoir) that was the best I have bought in the area. My family is from NC so I have sampled a lot of GREAT bbq from NC (Lexington and China Grove are my favorites) and this is not the same - but it is the closest thing I have had in the area.

                It is take out only and called Johnny Mac's North Carolina bbq. They also sell half-smokes if you are looking for them.

                2 Replies
                1. re: hotdawg

                  That's kind of far from me and it's NC barbecue. I hate BBQ with a vinegar base...

                  1. re: DChrissy80

                    NC has **2** types of BBQ. Eastern NC is the vinegar based while Western NC is more tomato based and not vinegar based. I grew up in Eastern NC so I prefer the vinegar myself but am happy with any real BBQ.

                    I'm going to have to make a trip to try this Johnny Mac's.

                2. I have to second the recommendation for Red Hot & Blue. We had some that was brought in for a holiday party recently and is was pretty tasty. The sauce comes on the side so no worries there.
                  I realize that this isn't the most "authentic" of BBQ joints around, but for the money and the time savings they're pretty darned good.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: fauxtographer

                    Rockland's is indeed chopped up pretty fine, but good flavor. I second fauxtographer, however, and recommend Red Hot and Blue. I bought both for an office lunch recently and didnt' tell the troops which pork came from which place, and Red Hot and Blue one hands down.

                  2. If you need a lot, make it yourself. A huge pork shoulder can be had for approximately $1.50/lb at either costco or sams. Coat liberally with yellow mustard, salt and pepper. Wrap loosely in foil, so some of the liquid can drain away and bake for hours at 225 degrees. I usually let it go until the internal temp is 180 with thermometer and remove/open the foil to get some burnt ends too. Then let it continue to cook until 205 degrees. It will be perfect and will fall apart.

                    Both Sams and Costco also sell bulk prepared pulled pork. Sams has one in the refrigerated section, but this has a vinegar sauce mixed in. Costco sells a frozen bulk pulled pork "Curly's" is the brand I believe.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: woot4fun

                      I don't like mustard BBQ either, but I totally agree with your suggestion. I spent a couple hundred dollars a couple of years ago on a BBQ caterer. I can definitely make this myself for much cheaper. Thanks!

                    2. Try any local Harris Teeter store, they have two kinds of pulled pork to go.
                      The usual east Carolina style, and the sweater KC style.
                      Both are good to go.

                      They do not carry the South Carolina mustard style though.

                      16 Replies
                      1. re: RobertM

                        Homemade is easy....can even be crockpotted (for the lazy). Chopped BBQ = cook did not bother to remove the fat......chopchop.

                        1. re: captpat

                          lots of threads on that crockpot pulled pork.

                          1. re: alkapal

                            My husband would have words with me if I were to use a crock pot. For me, trim the fat, put the ever-changing rub put on the day before, then set into an oven at 220F for at least 1-2 hours per pound or until the meat registers at 165F.

                            Sauce on the side for me (if at all), drenched in a mustard-vinagre sauce for him.

                            It's so easy to make at home, particularly when it's freezing outside and there's no excuse not to heat the house.

                            1. re: Caralien

                              i've braised mine in a le creuset dutch oven -- haven't ever tried the crockpot version. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/452570

                              do you think a dry, slow roast gives better flavor and juiciness? you use a pork butt?

                              1. re: alkapal

                                Pork butt, shoulder, Boston butt, picnic shoulder...

                                And yes, I do think the dry slow roast gives better flavor and juiciness. I'm not the type to baste and this method has worked very well for me.

                              2. re: Caralien

                                That's pretty much what I did. I bought a 17 lb. pork shoulder for about $26. I didn't trim the fat, but I did season the meat last night and plan to bake it low and slow in a 200 degree oven overnight.

                                1. re: DChrissy80

                                  holy smokes, dchrissy!!! 17 pounds! you gonna be eatin' some pork for a long while! i "have sauce, will travel." ;-).

                                    1. re: DChrissy80

                                      I'm cold and now feel as though I should be roasting a pork shoulder myself even though we have leftover roast chicken & beef from earlier in the week...

                                      1. re: DChrissy80

                                        over 40 + 1? LOL!

                                        good luck, and have lots of fun -- even without ol' alkapal. ;-(.

                                        i've saved many a good sauce recipe in my foodnetwork folder, and i'm sure you'll find lots of good stuff here on chow, too.

                                        flay's mojo dipping sauce: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/bo...

                                        bourbon baste: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/bo...

                                        emeril's bourbon-coffee sauce: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/em...

                                        tyler's oven-roasted pulled pork sandwiches and vinegar sauce: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ty... --- his 5-7 pound pork shoulder or butt yields 12 servings, according to this recipe.... average that, and you have 2 servings per pound. i think that is quite generous per sandwich, although that's the pork weight pre-cooking. some fat will render out, and there'll be some shrinkage, but i think you're on pretty solid ground, serving-wise -- especially with other dishes on the menu.

                                        plum ginger glaze: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/bo...

                                        it'd be neat to have a "sauce tasting" aspect to the party -- maybe even a competition from some foodie-cook friends who might like to bring their best to the table!

                                        btw, the best party buns for bbq pork, in my humble opinion, are the martin's potato dinner rolls. big enough to hold a decent amount of Q (and even slaw), but not so big to be sloppy. plus, the dainty ladies won't waste your bbq by filling up a sandwich, then complaining, "ooooooh, i just *can't* eat so much." and then dumping it in the garrbage. <grrr>

                                        1. re: alkapal

                                          Thanks for the suggestions! I didn't plan on making BBQ sandwiches, but I love Martin's potato rolls and will use those for my mini sliders at the party.

                                          1. re: DChrissy80

                                            please let us know how it turns out!

                                              1. re: Caralien

                                                The event turned out beautifully and the pulled pork was mighty tasty! Thanks for all of the tips!

                                2. re: captpat

                                  In Memphis, and other places where they smoke real bbq, they take the meat from the pork shoulder with tongs. Hence the term pulled pork. But the pulled pieces are quite large and do not make for easy eating, so these large pieces are then chopped. Has nothing to do with removing fat.

                                  Back when Rocklands had only the Georgetown location, their Q could satisfy a serious afficianado. Even after they expanded to one location, the quality held on for a while. But just as expansion ruins a lot of good things, so did it ruin Rocklands.

                                  After they closed down and reopened in Arlington, they produced some good chopped pork sandwiches. I don't know if they have started to get lazy again or not.

                              3. Bubba's BBQ in Merrifield sells their pulled pork by the pound. No sauce is applied. I work down the street and it's one of the regular catering restaurants we use for lunch meetings.

                                1. I was a fan of Red Hot & Blue -- still am -- but my affection for their pulled pork has been replaced. Now, I go to the Whole Foods Market in Fairfax to satisfy any BBQ jones that I have. Go to the smoker counter at the back of the store and ask for a pound (or 17) of pulled pork, and they pull a pork butt out and pull it in front of you. And for you beef lovers: Though I'm not usually a fan of pre-sauced BBQ, the chopped brisket in sauce is addictive.

                                  Whole Foods Market
                                  Fairfax, VA, Fairfax, VA

                                  6 Replies
                                  1. re: Gregory A

                                    a smoker counter? wow! do they have smoked chicken?

                                    1. re: alkapal

                                      lots of people love WF, but I'd rather do it meself. I'm totally getting into the local and home-made varieties these days, at least when it's freezing out...

                                      1. re: Caralien

                                        you are doing smoked chicken? when's dinner? -- or heck, breakfast or lunch....

                                            1. re: DChrissy80

                                              yes, dchrissy, especially smoked meats and Q...and seafood....and thai....and indian....and french....and chinese....and so on.

                                              i mean, this is chow *hound*, right?

                                    2. I definitely recommend a place in Falls Church, VA called Bubba's. It's located off Lee Highway in a small shopping center across from Fairfiew Park. I've had the BBQ for the past 5 years and have also had it at catered parties. They sell both minced and pulled. Their sauces are also homemade.

                                      1. Make it yourself.....my own is much better than any pulled pork I've bought out.....tonight I bought a few Boston Butts at Bloom.....87 cents a pound.......cant beat that........