Hey guys it's John the Midwest Flatlander here with another idea to inspire you to get outside, fire up the smoker and enjoy sharing life with your family and friends. So we are continuing on from my last post discussing BBQ--one of my favorite topics. This time we are going hog wild at the pit. With so many options for BBQ, it really is difficult to pick the type of BBQ to make. Add to that the many different methods to cook the meat, and you've got yourself a real dilemma. The pain is real people. We need some good old fashion grilling therapy, so let's fire up the grill or smoker and make it happen! Here we go!
So one of my favorite BBQ meats has to be pulled pork. Whether it's in a sandwich, wrapped in a tortilla, or just plain, pulled pork is a BBQ staple and somewhat intimidating to make especially since there are lots of ways to make it. I decided to go with slow and simple, and as you will see the results were exactly what I was hoping for. Let's get started.
I purchased a 16 pound double pack of boneless pork shoulders at Costco for around $25/pack. I could totally live in the meat department at Costco. So many different choice cuts to choose from, it's amazing. Just saying. Anyway, both shoulders were very close to equal weight, so cooking time would be about the same for both. To prep the shoulders for the smoker, I rubbed on a light coating of peanut oil. Use whatever cooking oil you have, however if you use coconut oil be sure to heat it up until it becomes liquid before using it. Next I dusted both shoulders with the All Purpose Rub from Pit Barrel Cooker's website. That's all there is to it. Simple. Easy. Now let's setup the Pit Barrel Cooker.
I used the same setup for the Pit Barrel as I used for the turkey, however this time I used apple wood instead of hickory. I did not use a blend on this smoke, but I plan to try a blend of apple and hickory the next time I do pulled pork--and there WILL be a next time. Setup on the Pit Barrel is easy. First, fill the coal basket to the top with Kingsford Original briquettes. Then remove about 1/4 of the briquettes, and put them into a starter chimney--no need to use lighter fluid. I used a folded newspaper with a little sunflower oil stuffed into the bottom of the chimney. Light the chimney.
Place the coal basket into the Pit Barrel. Once the coals in the chimney are ready, dump them on top of the coal basket and you are ready to cook. Be sure to place the two pieces of re-bar into the holes on top of the Pit Barrel, as they help control the heat inside the Pit Barrel. Time to get the pork shoulders!!!
I placed two of the meat hooks that come with the Pit Barrel into each shoulder making sure there was room for the re-bar to fit through. Then, I hung them as evenly spaced as I could to ensure even cooking. Next I put the lid on and let the magic begin.
I started checking temperature about 2-3 hours into the cook. The smell was amazing! Just a quick check with my thermometer and back to the smoke. Cooking time was approximately 4-5 hours up to a temperature of 160F.
Once we got to 160F, it was time to take them off the smoker and wrap the shoulders in tin foil with a wrapping juice. I used wide heavy duty tin foil to wrap each shoulder. Before I close up the foil wrap, I poured about a half cup of apple cider over each shoulder and put them back into the smoker. The Pit Barrel comes with a grill grate that I set the shoulders onto. Once the temp got to approximately 195F, I took them off and let them sit for about 30-45 minutes. Finally, I peeled back the foil, and beheld the joy!
As you can see, the shoulders are still sitting in the apple cider which is exactly what you want. The next step is to pull the meat apart. I used two forks to do this. Use whatever tool you want. As you shred the pork, the apple cider bastes the meat even more adding more flavor to the final product. Here is what it looked like after the shred. Amazing!
All that's left is to grab a bun, some Curley's BBQ sauce, some beans and a tall glass of your favorite beverage! I hope you found some inspiration for your next cook out. If you want to please your family or friends or if you are looking for something great to cook for a large crowd or even a Super Bowl party, give pulled pork a try.
That's all for this session. I'll see you next time for more outdoor cooking and adventures. Be sure to get out and enjoy your own adventures with your family or friends. And remember, leave no trace...leave a legacy.