Pulled pork is a South-American dish that uses the pork shoulder, more or less 4 pounds at least, to make this delicacy. The best part about this cuisine is, it can be made from an inexpensive part of the meat and can be cooked in large quantities, perfect for serving at BBQ dinner parties, gatherings, or any big occasions such as Thanksgiving.
Steps to Cook Pulled Pork
It’s very easy to cook and here we’ll show you how to make the pulled pork using 4 different methods: oven, stovetop, smoker, and slow-cooker. However, one downfall to preparing this dish is it takes time as the heat is set on low to break down the pork shoulder, making it juicy and tender so that it can be easily shredded.
And afterward, if there are leftovers, it can be frozen and reheated whenever you don’t feel like cooking and looking for a shortcut to lunch or dinner. However, there’s a question of the taste being the same after the meat has been reheated. You can check out how to reheat pulled pork and try out the different suggestions recommended there.
Before making pulled pork, we must first know how to prepare the meat so that it is soft and tender. For that, you need to make sure you’re using pork shoulder, because of ample marbling and connective tissue present in that section of the meat it is soft making it easier to be pulled apart.
This shouldn’t be confused with pork butt because even though pork butts are also good for roasting, pork shoulders are easy to slice and shred.
However, if you’re looking for a low-fat version of pulled pork, you can use the leaner cut of the meat called pork loin.
Now, let’s take a look at how to make juicy and tender pork using 4 different appliances:
If you are a pro at barbecuing, and you own a smoker, then a perfect, juicy pulled pork sandwich can be your thing. Just follow the instructions given on your manual that came with the smoker and stock up on wood chips and coal. Choose wisely on the kind of wood you’ll use as each kind of wood have a different flavor, so make sure which one you’d prefer for your meat.
Prepping the grill takes around 15 minutes but make sure you have enough coal, dry and soaked wood chunks, and a water pan ready for the grill. Season your meat beforehand and let it soak in all those spices while you prepare your smoker. After all the preparations are done, place your meat on the grill rack over the water pan, cover it, and let it cook for about 4 – 6 hours or till the meat is tender. You can keep adding coals and water as needed but it is recommended not to put in a lot of wood chunks during the first 2 hours of cooking as it makes the meat bitter in taste.
This method is not recommended for beginners as it is a bit tricky especially when there’s an occasion. You can experiment it when the dish is just for you and your family and then when you feel you got the hang of it, can go and cook for a small gathering.
You have a dinner party at home but you also can’t miss your job, your appointment, or a deadline during the day. You can use this appliance to cook your meat at a low temperature for about 10 – 11 hours or in high heat for 4 – 5 hours. Depending on how much time you’ll need to finish up your tasks, and then come straight home to find your meat already cooked and tender. This type of method works well for busy people, who have a lot on their plate (cooking not being one of them).
All you need here is to cut up the meat in small pieces so they can fit into the slow-cooker, pour some well-seasoned broth or sauce on top, and set the timer to start cooking.
You can use a tight-lidded pot or a roasting pan to cook meat in the oven, whatever the recipe calls for. The system is the same with all other roasting techniques, but the temperature is to be kept low (350 F) to yield juicy and tender meat.
Season the pork before inserting it into the oven and then turn it over to season again now and then. With a temperature of 350 F, it’ll take about 4 – 6 hours for the meat to fully cook.
You’ll need a large tight-lidded pot to cook the meat. Cooking on the stovetop will take a little time than the others. The reason? Because first, you’ll need to fry your meat in oil. After that pour the meat in the pot, along with the oil, and a well-seasoned broth or stew till the meat is almost covered and close the lid to cook for at least 2 hours or until the meat is tender.
How to Shred Pulled Pork
Up until now, you have learned how to make the pork juicy and tender. Now it’s time to shred that meat into bite-sized pieces, that is how it got the name “pulled pork”.
First, place the meat on a chopping board and cut them up with a knife. Then grab a couple of forks and start pulling the meat in opposite directions to shred it. And voila! You have on your hands, a perfectly, juicy and tender pulled pork, ready to be used.
You can make sandwiches, tacos, stews, casseroles, barbecued pork, enchiladas, and lots of other dishes with pulled pork. You can put the leftovers in containers and refrigerate for 3 days or freeze them for 3 months only to bring them out whenever it’s party time or on various occasions or just whenever you feel down on cooking and just need an easy supper after a long, hard day.