Pulled pork is the master class of American BBQ and takes more than patience. However, you can also prepare the tender meat in the oven.
Pulled Pork – BBQ vs. Oven
With pulled pork, you only get to the meat with plenty of slack. The original recipe envisages cooking around 2.5 kilos of pork (pork) for at least 14 hours in a so-called smoker. Smokers are grills that do not use direct or indirect heat to cook grilled goods but instead use hot smoke.
Pulled pork can also be made in the oven, and that is insignificantly faster because the cooking process “only” takes about 10 hours. Preparations for pulled pork begin the day before. Don’t be put off, it’s worth the effort! Join us on the way to pulled pork. We will show you the individual steps to enjoyment.
The meat for pulled pork
Neck (boneless) or shoulder (bone-in) pork is best for pulled pork. Beginners should reach for the neckpiece, as this can be processed more easily and evenly. Advanced users can also grab the shoulder, here the bone is considered a special flavor carrier. You should have the rind removed at the meat counter. In any case, take a piece of meat that weighs at least two kilos and is well-marbled – after all, fat is a flavor carrier.
Rubs are spice mixtures for rubbing into meat products, i.e. basically dry marinades. It is advisable to drizzle the meat with a little cooking oil beforehand or, if you like it spicy, to spread it very finely with mustard so that the spice mixture sticks well. The “Rub” can either be bought commercially or you can make your own.
Recipes for the ideal pulled pork rub could fill entire books – classic ingredients that run through all variants are a tenth each of sea salt and cane sugar. The remaining 8 parts can be composed of different types of pepper, paprika, onion, or garlic powder or dried herbs such as oregano, bay leaf, or cumin.
Whatever recipe you choose, the meat should be rubbed very lavishly and dry to the touch afterward. Wrap it tightly and airtight in cling film and let it sit in the fridge for at least 12, preferably 24 hours or longer and allow the rub to soak in.
If you have to think of a mop now, you are not so wrong. Mop sauces are regularly applied during cooking time to keep the meat nice and juicy and give it a special touch.
Use about 12 ounces of apple or pineapple juice mixed with 12 ounces of beef stock as a base for the mop sauce, add 1 tablespoon of maple syrup or brown sugar, and salt and pepper. Gone, can spice up the mop with a little whiskey.
Prepare meat – heat up the oven – hard work
About an hour before you start, take the meat out of the fridge and let it come to room temperature. Preheat the oven to 110°C (top/bottom heat) and insert the meat thermometer into the meat.
Place the mop sauce in a casserole dish larger than the piece of meat. Put this shape on a baking tray and place it on the bottom shelf of the oven. Place the meat on a rack on the middle shelf. Now the hard work begins!
After about 3 hours, the meat has a core temperature of over 65 °C. Mix the leaked meat juices with the mop sauce and start brushing the meat regularly, every 45 minutes, with the sauce. A heat-resistant silicone brush is ideal for this. Repeat the process until the meat has a core temperature of just under 90 °C.
Rest – pluck – mix – done!
Now switch off the oven, take the meat out of it, cover it if necessary, and put it back in the oven. This resting phase ensures an even distribution of the liquid in the meat. After an hour, the meat can now be plucked apart (to pull) on a large wooden board using two forks. Now mix the meat with the mop sauce until desired consistency. The effort was worth it – your pulled pork is now ready!
For the right pulled pork burger, you only need a few things: buns, coleslaw, and BBQ sauce.