Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Weekend Cook: Smoked Pork Shoulder

Pulled pork: moist, smoky, and with a little sauce, sure to please me.

It looks soooo goood! All it takes is a smoker and time - though it can be made in an oven, too.*

(Two 5 lb. pork shoulders coated in Dizzy Pig Dizzy Dust at 6:00 a.m.)

After 15 hours on the Big Green Egg smoker @ 220-250f, (indirect) it looked like these shoulders would be done around midnight - so I decided to pull the roasts off at 187f internal, and finish them in the oven the next day (after spending overnight in the refrigerator). (I normally take them off the smoker at 200f, or until the meat pulls easily from the bones, but I've been up since 4:00 a.m. and I can't stay awake anymore.)

(Cooled, then refrigerated overnight.)

After 2 more hours in the oven at 250f in a covered heavy iron casserole vessel, they are done!

Can you tell the difference between nearly done, and definitely done?

The difference is that the meat pulls apart when twisted with a fork.

Still too hot to pull after a few minutes, even with a pair of food-service gloves on. I always use nitrile gloves - but they don't insulate against heat at all.

(All shredded and ready for cold sammies.)

That's a total of 1/2 weight lost after pulling (and eating some). This amount of smoked meat will make sliders for twenty or more, and all that time and effort is certainly appreciated by true blue barbecue fans.

*I'm going to defer to Guy Fieri on this one, with the oven at 225f, put the rubbed shoulder in a roaster with a rack for 7 hours, then wrap it in aluminum foil for the next 3 hours or until it falls apart. (He claimed 8-10 hours in all, but I haven't tested the truth of that.) My advice is to plan on 15 hours, check it at 10 and be pleasantly surprised if it finishes sooner.