Friday, November 11, 2011

Pulled Pork for my Mothers 90th

We are having a 90th birthday party for my Mother this Sunday. I did up a 9.5 lb. pork butt today for the party. I have done a lot of pork butts over the years. On the pelletheads forum there are a lot of discussions on the best method. If you have done pork butts for pulled pork you probably know about the stall at about 170 deg, it sometimes takes a long time to get above this IT temp. Foiling helps get you through this stall faster & up to the ideal IT temp of 190 to 210 deg. Some do not foil, not foiling I think results in a crustier bark for those that prefer this. I like a good color but prefer my bark to be softer, since I include all the bark in my pulled pork.

I have settled on doing mine at the 180 deg setting on my Traeger, then 4 to 6 hours later go to 225 deg. until I get an IT temp of 170 deg. I then wrap the butt in a double layer of foil, adding ½ cup more or less liquid. I use apple juice, 1 Tbs. red wine vinegar, and 1 Tbs. of Worcestershire sauce. Then back on the smoker, still at 225 deg. until I get an IT of 205 deg. I place it in a preheated 200 deg oven, turn the oven off & let rest for one hour before pulling. I pour off what liquid is left into a gravy separator to get rid of the fat then add it to the pulled pork.

Wednesday morning I got the pork butt ready to marinade with some glue and rub. I have been using just red wine vinegar for the glue. I think most prefer yellow mustard; I read somewhere lately that someone used mustard and cider vinegar so I decided to try this. I wet the butt down with some red wine vinegar, just enough to get it wet, then slathered on some yellow mustard. I then coated it well with some Bone Suckin rub. I have used it on ribs so know I like it. I don’t pay much attention to getting any rub on the fat side, since it won’t penetrate anyway. I then placed in a plastic bag & in the fridge where it would be for about 14 hours.

Doing pork butts and beef briskets fat side down is getting to be some cooks preferred method. We all used to think doing fat side up helped baste the meat. It was proven the fat just runs down the side & does not penetrated the meat. Doing fat side down insulates the meat from direct heat and helps keep the meat juices in for a moister & better tasting meat. I do mine fat side down all the way through. I also do not trim the fat cap any, it comes off easily after cooking.

I got up at 1:00 am Thursday morning, at 1:30 fired up my Traeger in smoke mode at P3 setting & it settled to about 175 deg. I then set to 180 deg and got my pork butt on at 2:00 am. I then went back to bed. I usually use Traeger oak pellets but this time I was trying some Absolute pellets, 50/50 blend hickory oak.

I got up at 7:00 am Thursday, the smoker was doing fine. I got my first cup of coffee and at 8:00 I inserted a temp probe in the butt & set the smoker to 225 deg. It was about 12:00 when it hit 170 deg. I double wrapped it with my apple juice mix. It was 2:30 when it finally hit 205 deg. a total cook time of 12 ½ hours. I pulled it & into my preheated oven to rest for an hour. I opened the foil; the bone pulled clean, this was fall apart tender and moist. I pull it by hand into shreds no larger than my thumb. After pulling and it was cooler I cut the long shreds into about ½ inch pieces. This gives me good texture & easier to eat on a sandwich. It looked like I got more smoke ring with the Absolute pellets.

I ended up with enough pork for a Crockpot full for my Mothers party and enough for the wife & I to have a sandwich for supper. I had a recipe for Cheesy Potato soup, from Mary at Deep South Dish, to have with the sandwich. I served the sandwiches as usual, with a COWB, cheap ole white bun. My wife had hers plain & I had mustard & some of my canned green tomatoes. I know most have their pulled pork with BBQ sauce & maybe coleslaw, I like to be different! My wife & I thought the sandwiches were about my best & Mary’s soup topped with some bacon hit the spot!

9.5 lb. Pork Butt

Ready to Marinate

At 170 deg. IT

Ready to Pull

Bone Pulled Clean

Pulled POrk

All ready

My Soup

My Sandwich

Smokin Don

1 comment:

  1. Great run down on time & temps for the pork butt.
    The pulled meat looks superb!