Let’s talk pulled Pork.

Edchad

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Be warned. This is a long post!

I’ve cooked my share of stuff through the years. Different kinds of smokers and cookers. And of course the reason I’m here is trying to master the pellet smoker. And am coming along pretty good I think. Thanks to the help in here I haven’t got a negative remark froym my wife in awhile. Lol. Like Hey! What have you done! This don’t taste right! Where’s the smoke!!
I’ve finally gained some ground on that issue but now I want some help with everybody’s favorite. Pulled Pork. And regardless of which type of cooker.

I have just never been proud of my pulled pork. Kettle smoker. Offset smoker. Gas and electric smoker and now pellet smoker.

There’s just something I’m not getting right. At least to suit me. The wife actually likes it but to me it just ain’t right.

Like most I guess, I use a Boston Butt. I like them not overly fatty. Kinda marbled. I have trimmed and not trimmed the fat cap. Cap up cap down. Rub no rub. There’s something I’m not doing right at least for the taste I’m looking for.

One thing right off the bat. Everything you read talks about the fat and connective tissue turning into savory juices that really helps the overall flavor.

Bull crap! Lol. For me, I hate, despise, can’t stand the taste of fat. Period. Without writing a book on it I’ll kinda tell how I do it in general. I usually keep a fat cap but no more than 1/4” max. Although I’ve never found a real difference I usually cook the cap on top. Like most I cook 200-225 till I get about 160-170 degrees. Spritzing with apple juice usually every once in awhile if it starts to look dry. Anyway after I hit that temp I wrap in alum foil. Usually two layers. Sometimes butcher paper. And put back in at the same cooking temp till it reaches 195-205 internal degrees. Also lately I’ve learned to feel around with my thermapen to feel for tenderness. Pull it and usually let it rest for 1/2 to 1 hour.

When I pull it of course I keep the fatcap out of there. But I always have some connective fat tissue, whatever between the sections of it that’s hard to completely remove. I try and keep the bark evenly mixed thru it as well. And oh yea more often than not I rub with a pepper salt and celery seed mix before cooking.

Occasionally will try a commercial one.

Ok. I’ve just wrote a ton of crap. To get to this. When pulling it I can’t get all the connective tissue out. Or I miss some. And sure as heck when I start taste testing it I’ll taste that ‘savory sweet juice’ from the fat and it almost gags me. Lol.

I know it’s just me probably. My wife and others don’t complain but I just can’t stand it. Sometimes there will be quite a bit of the connective stuff not really broke down as much as I think it should be. And sometimes some of the sections won’t be as tender as the others. I mean some falling apart and some tender but not nearly as much as the other.

My wife doesn’t like me to sauce it a little while pulling. Leave it alone. Just pulled and shredded.

But before I put it on a sandwich or just eat off the plate it gets BBQ sauce.

To sum it up. I don’t get 100% of the connective crap broke down. It usually has a fatty taste I can’t stand.

Anybody know of a better cut than a butt or picnic? Is there something I need to look for before buying one? Do you sauce at all when pulling?

Maybe I need to start smoking pulled flippin’ moose or something??

Oh. I have smoked pork loin and it was to my liking. Was tender but the juices weren’t there. But that’s not practical for this dish.

Any suggestions or advice would be appreciated.
 
I don't really like the fat either but love pulled pork. These days I try to stay away from fatty foods (as I get older). I've done Boston Butts and pork shoulders (is there even a difference? Some are labeled by different names). I've used rub, no rub, done many different things. None of them have turned out bad although one I did was a little mushy when I experimented by injecting the butt. Sometimes I will mix in sauce while pulling it but since there are 4 of us at home each of us have a different favorite sauce so most of the time I don't sauce it while pulling and we use our various sauces when making sandwiches.

Not sure you can find one with less fat and connective tissue. My go to pork these days is thick chops. Those are less fatty and pretty tasty.
 
I don't really like the fat either but love pulled pork. These days I try to stay away from fatty foods (as I get older). I've done Boston Butts and pork shoulders (is there even a difference? Some are labeled by different names). I've used rub, no rub, done many different things. None of them have turned out bad although one I did was a little mushy when I experimented by injecting the butt. Sometimes I will mix in sauce while pulling it but since there are 4 of us at home each of us have a different favorite sauce so most of the time I don't sauce it while pulling and we use our various sauces when making sandwiches.

Not sure you can find one with less fat and connective tissue. My go to pork these days is thick chops. Those are less fatty and pretty tasty.
Thanks for the input. Let me ask ya. Does ALL the connective tissue break down usually for ya? That’s one of the biggies I have. I mean I finish off the cook hot enough, I feel, to break it all down. Sometimes it don’t. I would think 195-205 should be plenty.
And worth mentioning, I pretty much have to take what’s available at the grocery store. I don’t know of a butcher within 75 miles of here that might could point out something I’m missing.
several years ago when I lived elsewhere I did have a butcher. And it was great. But now the closest we got is a guy that calls himself a butcher at the grocery store that was probably doing yard work and landscaping a couple weeks ago. Lol.
 
Same here, no butcher. No, tissue doesn't break down. 205 should be plenty. Maybe it's just the cut of meat.
 
Pork-Quality-Standards
 
Same here, no butcher. No, tissue doesn't break down. 205 should be plenty. Maybe it's just the cut of meat.
I’m thinking I may not be picking the best cuts. I get what’s available but rarely find one that really looks good. And I agree 205 should break down anything.
 
I have had good result with pulled pork by brining it in a butter milk and seasoning ,garlic kosher salt mix over night it help break down and keep moisture in the meat very rarely do I trim my fat just scrape it off before shredding cooking at 225 till it gets to 180 to 190
 
I have had good result with pulled pork by brining it in a butter milk and seasoning ,garlic kosher salt mix over night it help break down and keep moisture in the meat very rarely do I trim my fat just scrape it off before shredding cooking at 225 till it gets to 180 to 190
Thanks for the tip. May give that a try!
 
InkBird

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