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Pulled Pork

What's cheap and tasty and able to feed an army? Pulled pork. So.. here are 3 different ways to make pulled pork and some ideas on what else you can do with it.

BLOG POSTINGS > Everyday Meals

Pulled Pork

by zirbirt

One thing we often overlook in the meat department are pork roasts, particularly the picnic roast. This odd lump of meat is usually very cheap, often times under $2 a pound. The problem is, many people have no clue what to do with it. A sad fact, since this strange looking meat is actually just waiting to become delicious pulled pork, and at about fifty cent per serving it is super affordable and worth trying.

One problem I think people may have is that they assume this meat has to be cooked in a smoker or BBQ. Since many people own neither, I am actually going to go ahead and explain 3 different methods for preparing this fine lump of meat.


Smoker Method (as in the picture above)

Simple stuff.. salt the roast all around, the apply a rub (I used applewood rub).

Next heat your smoker to 230 degrees and get let it prime with some wood chips (applewood for me)

Then, add about 1/2 cup of apple cider vinegar to your drip pan, and place your meat in the smoker.

Let it cook for about 8-10 hours (depending on the size of the meat) adding wood about every hour or so for the first 4-5 hours.


Oven Method

Very similar to the smoker method, but with some modifications.

First we sprinkle a little liquid smoke on there.. to get our smoke flavor into the pork.

Next, salt it, and apply a rub all over the meat.

Set the pork in a roasting pan (or a baking pan with a wire rack to keep the meat off the bottom of the pan).

Add 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar to the bottom of the roasting pan.

Heat oven to 300 degrees and roast for about 6 hours.

If the meat pulls apart when you pinch it, it is ready, if not, give it another 30 minutes.


SlowSlow Cooker Method

I do this one very different... I put 2 medium onions, 3 chopped garlic cloves and 1 cup of chicken stock into the bottom of the slow cooker.

I then prepare my meat by sprinkling it with liquid smoke then salting and rubbing it... but also adding 1 Tbs brown sugar to my rub.

Now I put this into my slow cooker.. and let it cook for about 10 hours on low.


What you will notice about each method is, I didn't need to write a lot about it.. That is because all three methods are put it in the heat and let it do it's thing. So, yeah, I suppose a 8 hour cook seems like a lot of work, but really.. you just let it cook. The slow cooker method, for me.. feels safest for prepping in the morning, and going out for whatever, and coming home to delicious cooked pulled pork.

Now we have a lump of tender cooked meat, but not.. pulled pork. I take the pork roast (no matter how it was cooked) and put it in a baking pan.

Ok, you see those 2 black things in the above picture? Those are my meat claws. I love those things. You don't need them. You can easily do this with 2 forks, or even just your hands (if you let it cool a little bit)... but seriously, I get to cook and pretend to be wolverine at the same time, so its a win-win. Oh and they make it very easy to shred this lump... which is exactly what we do now.

First I cut off the excess fat, and set it aside. Then, I just start pulling and shredding. The meat will be so tender it will fall apart, so this will actually be quite easy. Remember to take the bones out.. there will usually be a 2 pieces of bone, which make a joint. Leave a little meat on this joint, as well as any remaining cartilage... and set it aside with the fat layer you set aside.

I made a very small roast... but still it ended up with enough meat for quite a few sandwiches. From here you just slap these on a bun, put on a little BBQ sauce (and, if you want some of my smoked onion sauce explained below).. and you have a pulled pork sandwich.


So, I gave you 3 easy methods for making pulled pork and that is a great deal for one blog posting. However, that's not all.. If you act now, you will also receive, my bonus recipes!

Ok, you really don't have to do anything, just read on.


STORING

Ok, so most of us cannot eat an entire roast's worth of pulled pork in one night.. and the idea of having it 2 days in a row doesn't appeal to me. So, we need to do something with this remaining pork. Good news, Pulled pork freezes very well.

When you make your sandwiches do not mix BBQ sauce into the pork.. just pour it onto the pork when it's on the actual sandwich. When you have had your fill, just take the remaining pork and separate it into zip-lock bags, push out the air, and zip it shut nice and tight. Then pop it into the freezer to store for up to a couple of weeks.

When you want another sandwich, pull out a zip-lock and either microwave it, or toss it in boiling water for a couple of minutes (I do the latter and you wouldn't even know it wasn't freshly made).



SMOKED ONION SAUCE

I had this idea one day, to smoke onions.. Why? I don't know.. my wife loves onions and I thought they might be good smoked. The thing is.. a smoke onion is an ugly brown mushy lump that does not look good on a plate... So, I mixed it with some stuff and invented a smoked onion sauce that simply changed the way I think of pulled pork sandwiches.. Yes this stuff is really good.

In the smoker, I put 3 onions, skinned and cut in half on the rack above the meat for about the first 3 hours of cooking.

In the oven, I cut and skin 3 onions and sprinkle liquid smoke on the cut part of the onion. Then put them on an oven rack right above the meat.

In both instances I want the onions right above the meat so the onion drips onto the meat for a little extra flavor.

If using the slow cooker.. well.. your onions and garlic are in the bottom of the cooker when your done.. so use that... it will taste very different than the versions above, but it is still very good.

Next up, I throw those onions into a food processor. Then I toss in about 1 cup of mayonnaise. About 1/4 cup of milk.. some salt.. and some cayenne pepper. Then, I just blend it till it is a sauce, and put it into a squeeze bottle.


Using the Fat and bone...

This one is simple. I soak 1 package of pinto beans overnight. (If I had not done this beforehand, I would store the fat and bone in a ziplock in the fridge until I was ready for it.) Do not forget to rinse the beans and check them before soaking.

In a slow cooker, I put my soaked beans.. some salt.. the fat and the bone, and a handful or so of the pulled pork meat. Then I pour in water until everything is fully covered in water. (why not stock? well the fat and bone will make this water into stock, so why use stock?)

Then let that cook on high for about 6 hours... and I have some really good pinto beans. I usually eat it with the broth as a soup with chopped onions on top.

the best part of this is.. it's about $1 for the beans, and the rest was stuff you might have just thrown away. Definitely worth doing.


That's it for today's post. I hope you enjoyed it!

zirbirt
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