Saturday, February 25, 2012

Pulled Pork

BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich
I had President's Day off. What better way to spend a day off than slow roasting a whole pork shoulder for hours and hours?

I absolutely love pulled pork because it's so cheap and easy to make! I got a 5.5 lb pork shoulder from my local grocery store for about $6!

You can't get any easier than seasoning a shoulder and then literally placing it into a low oven and walking away.

I decided to go a little more complicated with my seasoning though. I made my own rub using salt, sugar and various spices such as paprika, cumin and garlic powder.

Pulled Pork

1 whole Pork shoulder

Dry Rub
1/4 cup kosher salt
1/2 cup white granulated sugar
1 tbsp paprika
1 tbsp black pepper
1 tbsp cumin
1 tbsp onion powder
1 tbsp garlic powder
1 tbsp cayenne pepper

Mix well and store in an air tight container.

Pork shoulder preparation:

Rinse the pork shoulder and place in a baking pan that is bigger than the shoulder by at least a inch in length and width and at least 3 inches deep. Sprinkle dry rub onto the surface of the shoulder and massage in such that it adheres to the surface. Coat all sides. Store leftover rub for future use. Make sure the fat layer on the shoulder is facing up before cooking.

Place baking pan uncovered in a 225 degree oven on the middle rack. Insert a probe thermometer into the center or thickest part of the shoulder, but not touching the bone. Monitor the temperature throughout cooking (a digital thermometer with an alarm function is the easiest way to do this). Do not remove from the oven until the center of the shoulder reaches 200 degrees.

Pork Shoulder seasoned and ready to go into the oven.
Starting internal temperature of the Pork Shoulder. Please ignore the fact that I have my thermometer set on chicken :-p

Half way through the roasting process.
Internal temperature at 158 aka "The Stall." The temperature stayed here for about 4-5 hours while all the connective tissue in the pork breaks down. This is why slow roasting pork takes an obscenely long time. Turning up the heat won't help.

When the shoulder has reached 200 degrees, shut off the oven and let the roast cool for a couple of hours before removing from the oven. If the bottom of the pan is dry (or crusted with dried spices) then cover the pan with foil to retain internal moisture of the meat during the cooling period.

All done! This bad boy took me 13 hours.
When the temperature drops to 170 degrees or slightly lower, remove from oven. Place on a large, clean work surface such as a cutting board, and remove the large sheet of crusted fat on the top. Pull apart with two forks, it will pull apart very easily. Mix in your favorite BBQ sauce. Serve.

The bone slides out really easily
Pulled and dressed in a BBQ sauce

Piled high on a potato bun, ready to be enjoyed.
This made a lot of pulled pork! It fed me and boyfriend lunch and dinner for 3 days!

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