Sunday, July 27, 2008

Pulled Pork

The prodigal bbq blogger returns for a report on the annual pulling of the pork.

The summer has been incredibly, but enjoyably, busy with the kids' baseball and softball tournaments filling up just about every weekend. But now softball is over and we have a weekend of no games before the final baseball tournament. Wayne, the baseball coach invited the team and families over to his house Saturday night for a cookout and party, so with the extra time on my hands during the day, I volunteered to smoke a couple of pork shoulders for the event.

At 6:30 in the morning I was out back, setting up the grill for indirect heating of two, 7-lb. pork shoulders. Because they took up so much space in the Weber, I had the coals and chips on only one side of the kettle, with a drip pan taking up the other half.

I used a recipe for the Lexington Pulled Pork Shoulder Rub out of Steven Raichlen's BBQ USA, but doubled the batch because of the amount of meat I was preparing. Here's the single-batch recipe from the book:

4 teaspoons sweet paprika
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon salt

1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon white pepper
1 teaspoon dry mustard
teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 to 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

By 7:15 a.m. I had the meat on the grill. I'm not sure how many neighbors awoke to the aroma of smoking pork, but I received no complaints.

While the meat was cooking, I mixed up the old family recipe for Kentucky BBQ Dip, a perfectly peppery vinegar-based sauce that my dad used to mop on ribs, chicken, pork and mutton when I was growing up.

I checked the kettle about once an hour, adding more charcoal and soaked wood chips as needed, then started checking the temperature of the meat at about four hours in.

The photos above show the shoulders at one and three hours in. And I've discovered that they also repulse the Remarkable Marcy, who is a great fan of pigs in any form but food.

At noon, the meat thermometer in one of the shoulders surpassed 190 degrees and I pulled it from the grill. I brought it inside, covered it with foil for about 30 minutes, then began to pull it apart. By 1 p.m., the second shoulder had cooked to the proper temperature and it also came inside for cooling and pulling. When both shoulders had been pulled, I put the meat on a cutting board and chopped it up.

The pulled, chopped pork went into a foil pan where it was topped and mixed with about two cups of the bbq dip.

A couple of hours later, with the pork, additional dip, buns and a couple of side dishes, we went to the party. There were the standard burgers, dogs and sausages, but the bbq added a bit of southern flavor and class to this bash.


Moira said...

Hey dad, your right it does kinda look like a pig when it's cooking!

Sullicom said...

Thanks, Sweetie.

BBQB said...

You are a culinary genius! That looks absolutely fantastic!

Sullicom said...

Aw, shucks. Thanks, man.

jo said...

What ... no samples? :)

Sullicom said...

Grab a fork and dig in.