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Sep 6, 2011 04:08 AM

Cooking Pulled Pork in London in Oven. HELP! [moved from UK board]

Right! I've got a 4kg bone in pork butt coming on Thursday to do pulled pork (first timer). Ive looked online seen that its better not to brine as the meat wont need it & its better not to for pulled pork. I dont have a smoker or bbq so I was going to put it in the oven, in a roasting tin on a rack before I go to bed & do it very low & slow overnight. I need to get the meat to 200-205 degrees internal temperature, yes? What oven temp overnight & for how long to get it right?

Found this recipe for the rub & an injection to put into the meat but Im having hard trouble finding a meat injector or syringe by thursday! Is the injection needed & does it make that much difference?

Also, I have acquired some liquid smoke. Where would I put this? In the sauce or in the bottom of the pan? (I know I only need to use a tiny bit, but how much would you suggest?)

Do I need to put a pan of water in the bottom of the oven to help keep it moist? What is better, a vinegar sauce or bbq sauce (which type of bbq sauce)? I dont want it too spicy as the kids wont be able to hack it. Which is the best recipe?

I dont mop, do I?

Do I spray? Found this for a spray recipe 1 cup apple juice, 1 cup water, 1/4 cup cider vinegar.

How long can I leave the pork before pulling? I'll have ribs to cook afterwards so can I pull the pork before serving if I keep it foil covered or do I need to do it after 40 mins or so?

Want to do the best possible pulled pork I can (high standards to attain as I recently had pulled pork at the Pitt Cue Co & was astounded!), all help appreciated muchly! Cheers folks!

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  1. I do something along these lines (rub, low/slow oven until you can shred with a fork and this type of vinegar based sauce--I don't follow a recipe but this is close). I cook it at 250-275, though, not 300 and it takes about 7-8 hours. I roast w/ fat side up, no basting.

    2 Replies
    1. re: chowser

      Thank you, I'll take a look. What about the liquid smoke? Where do I put & How much?

      1. re: psycho_fluff

        I don't use liquid smoke but you could add a little to the barbecue sauce.

    2. My advice is to give the pork a dry rub. Ideas include cumin, paprika, smoked paprika, oregano, garlic powder, brown sugar, salt and pepper.
      Cook in a very low oven and finish with a bbq sauce of your choice, even if it's bottled and you have to "doctor" it up a bit. It's all up to you what kind of sauce.
      I don't spray my pork in the oven, although I do baste with the pan juices.
      Love the idea of apple juice.

      1. Basically all the above ideas are great. You don't need to inject but you could baste or spray, and if you do either you could add a little -- like a teaspoon -- liquid smoke to that liquid. But neither is necessary and you could add the liquid smoke to the sauce as suggested above.

        With pulled pork I recommend a vinegar based sauce but tastes will vary. If I recall correctly, Eastern North Carolina likes vinegar based, Western North Carolina likes tomato based, and South Carolina likes mustard based. All are good. People get into fistfights over this.

        You being in the UK and all, just be sure we are all talking about F temps here, not C.

        Once the pork is done, it can be held, covered, almost indefinitely, before or after pulling, at 150F.

        A good vinegar-sauce recipe can be found by Googling. Usually they consist of a cup or two of cider or white vinegar, or a blend, with anywhere from a tbsp to a cup of white or brown sugar, to taste, and a tbsp of hot red pepper flakes added and allowed to steep for a few hours. Mix some in when you pull the pork and add some more when you build the sandwich, which is usually built on plain white bread and served with coleslaw. But as usual, regional tastes and your own preferences should dictate.

        2 Replies
        1. re: acgold7

          Thanks peeps! I think Ill go with a sweeter sauce rather than vinegar & see how it goes. Im not over keen on the vinegar based ones (I think us brits have a sweeter palate) I might try this one only cook seperate not in it like this recipe suggests & see how it goes. If its too sweet I will add a little cider vinegar. Would you suggest adding the dripping juices to the pork once pulled?

          1. re: psycho_fluff

            Oh, yes, please, Dear God, add the drippings... they'll have huge flavor and I will cry if you throw them out.

            I know you Brits love the chutneys and mangoes and all that. I'd never do this to pork but you'll probably dig it so I'd say go for it. You can make a straight vinegar sauce quite sweet (as I've indicated in my revised recipe above) but if you want to make it all fruity, then cheers. ;-)

        2. 275 is a good cooking temp. I agree there's no need to inject or mop if it's a well marbled roast. 200 is the average done temp. The test is a bone that pulls out easily and probing with a skewer should feel like butter. I'd use a remote thermo for roast temp. Every time you open the oven door you lose a significant amount of heat and extend cooking time. There are loads of good rub recipes on line. Most contain paprika, granulated garlic, salt, brown sugar, and other spices. Apply it liberally. Rub = bark. Bark = flavor. Good luck.

          10 Replies
          1. re: Cameraman

            Do I need to wrap it in foil or leave it uncovered or half & half?

            1. re: psycho_fluff

              You could cover it loosely with foil until the last hour, when you want the outer meat to brown. You can even crank the heat up a bit at the very end to brown it, say 400 degrees for 30 minutes.

              1. re: psycho_fluff

                Foiling is optional. It helps preserve moisture but it can soften the bark. I wouldn't foil until the meat is 160. When you're done defat the pan juices and mix back in the pulled meat. I like to add a little cider vinegar heated with brown sugar and pepper flakes. I know you don't like vinegar but cider vinegar is mellow and it balances the richness of the pork.

                1. re: Cameraman

                  Cheers for the tips. I have cider vinegar, so I'll be doing that Cameraman, thanks. I will foil it before I go to bed & remove when I get up. I have the fat cap on so Im going to take that off & make pork scratchings! How much fat (in inches) should I leave on. 1/2"? 1'?

                  1. re: psycho_fluff

                    be careful you don't over cook. It can get very mushy. I'm sure you'll do fine. Next get yourself a Weber Smokey Mountain and embrace the smoke. 8)

                    1. re: Cameraman

                      lol, Ill have to save up for that, I think. How long per lb would you say?

                      1. re: psycho_fluff

                        As a long time smoker and cooker of pork and ribs, the guidelines for cooking/smoking meat for pulling is not driven by time but by internal temp of the meat.

                        For pork butt/shoulder, I cook to a 200 degree F internal temp when measured with a probe or insta-read meat thermometer.

                        Pork is very forgiving, but not using a thermometer is like driving your car with no petrol gauge. Sure, you can do it, but a slight mis-caluclation can lead to drastic results that are easily avoidable with the cheap dial indicator. :-) Haha.

                        There are some base calculating cook time charts over in the BBQ forums that base on time and temp and lb or kg. wwight of meat, but believe me, they are just guidelines.
                        For cook temp, I do 250 F when smoking outdoors, and do 250 or 275F for the kitchen oven due to schedule.

                        1. re: psycho_fluff

                          Time per lb. doesn't work and internal temperature is iffy. There is a saying among smokers -- it's done when it's done. The tests are these. A skewer should go in like it's going into butter and not just in one spot but numerous. Butt is a multi-muscle roast and one muscle (the money muscle) gets tender before the others. The other test is the bone will pull clean and easy when it's done. I smoked two 8 lb butts this weekend. One was perfect at 10 hrs at 250-275. I lost patience and pulled the second at 12 hours and it was disappointing. I chopped it and put it up separately and will use it in chile. BE PATIENT.

                          1. re: Cameraman

                            "Time per lb. doesn't work and internal temperature is iffy. "

                            YOUR internal temp. may be iffy (how much depends on the device you use to measure it with) , but mine (both remote probe and insta-read) have measured consistantly for years. Measure the pork in various ares to measure overall average and go from there.

                            Again, a little over 200F yields no problems for me , but 195F or 190F and under can yield and unedible undercooked product, or it has for me.

                            Your time and your money and often the no bone in butts I buy are no help with the wiggle test. You must be an absolute cooking genius to know the difference between 180 and 200F by poking in only with a skewer. I wish I possessed your innate and supreme zen-like cooking feel for slow cooked meat. For me, I'll stick with my calibrated and highly accurate cooking tools.

                            1. re: jjjrfoodie

                              "I wish I possessed your innate and supreme zen-like cooking feel for slow cooked meat."

                              Thanks for giving me the credit but in fact it's the teachings of the top competitive smokers. I refer you to where the doneness tests I offered up are considered as reliable as the sun rising in the east. It is also my experience that a butt can be tender between 190 and 205. The probe doesn't lie. I'm happy your method works for you.

              2. I'm a Londoner too, and have made pulled pork twice in the oven to great acclaim. Both times I rubbed the meat, and left it in the oven on a very low temperature overnight. Maybe 120C or so, and it went for at least 12 hours (bigger piece of meat though). No liquid smoke. Pull when it gets to 190 or so. And make your own BBQ sauce. The crackling was amazing, btw!