Roasted Pulled Pork
Hello everybody! How was your Father's Day weekend?? Did you do or make anything fun/exciting?? Let me know in the comments below! I was in the mood for pulled pork and lately whenever I do any sort of barbecue I have been doing it sous vide just because it takes a lot of the guess work out. This time I decided to take a different a approach and since I don't have a smoker or grill of any kind right now :( I decided to roast it in the oven. It turned out really really well, but honestly I wish I would have let it cooked for a little longer. I was doing really well and then right around 150 F I hit it...the inevitable aggravating stall....NO NOT THE STALL!!! (you say)...ummm what the hell is a stall (some of you say). Time to learn people, knowledge is power!
"Here's the logic: The fuel in your cooker (oxygen plus charcoal, gas, or pellets) burns and produces energy that enters the cooking chamber in the form of heat. Some of it escapes through the metal sides and some goes up the chimneys, but some is absorbed by the cold meat. When the meat heats, some of the energy is used up raising the temp of the entire hunk, some of it is used in changing the chemistry and physical structure of the molecules in the meat, and some is used to melt fat and evaporate moisture. Pork shoulders and brisket have relatively high connective tissue content. These connective tissues form a sheath around muscle cells that connect them to each other, it encloses bunches of muscles into fibers, it encases fibers into whole muscles, and it connects muscles to bone in the form of tendons and ligaments. Some are made of really tough stuff called elastin. But some are made of collagen. But the math didn't add up. There's just not enough collagen to suck up all the energy necessary to prevent the meat from increasing in temp."
"The conclusion was inescapable: "Since there was a deep, glistening pool of melted fat in the smoker, the rendering fat hypothesis is busted. The barbecue stall is a simple consequence of evaporative cooling by the meat's own moisture slowly released over hours from within it's pores and cells. As the temperature of cold meat rises, the evaporation rate increases until the cooling effect balances the heat input. Then it stalls, until the last drop of available moisture is gone." (Amazing Ribs, Understanding And Beating The Barbecue Stall)
So there you have it, in very simple terms...the meat is sweating which causes the meat to cook slower or even cool down. The main recommendation to beat the stall is to roast, smoke, or grill until you reach the stall and then wrap the meat in tin foil. The reason?? So that you get the smokey flavor and you still develop that much needed "bark" on your barbecue.
Another advantage to doing pulled pork like this was that I finally got a chance to demo my Thermoworks Chef Alarm! The ChefAlarm has a lot of bells and whistles packed into a little form, that ordinary cooking alarms don't have. It has a large digital screen that is extremely easy to read, packed with tons of readings to monitor whatever you're cooking. It features a large real time temperature so you monitor exactly what temp you're at. It also has min and max temperature so it shows where you started and where you ended. Another function I love is a low alarm and high alarm. I set the low alarm to let me know when I was getting close to stall temperatures so I could start thinking about wrapping and basting the roast. It also has a timer feature that will sound at the end of the time. The thing I love about ThermoWorks is their attention to details and the quality they put into all of their products. Of course they didn't leave any stone un-turned when designing the ChefAlarm. It is made out of extremely strong plastic and features a splash-proof design for commercial kitchens. The most important part is they use Pro-Series temperature probes that without calibration is accurate to ±2°F and if calibrated can be as accurate as ±1°F and we all know accuracy is one of the most important elements in the kitchen. The ThermoWorks ChefAlarm retials for $59 on their website which is money well spent for such a fantastic kitchen thermometer. Now lets get to the recipe!
Roasted Pulled Pork
Prep time: 30 min | Cook time: 7 Hours | Total time: 7.5 Hours | Yield: 8-12 servings
- 2 cups Dark brown sugar
- 5 Tbsp Salt
- 1 Tbsp + 1 tsp Smoked paprika
- 1 Tbsp Cayenne
- 2 Tbsp Garlic Powder
- 2 Tbsp + 1 tsp Ground allspice
- 2 Tbsp Chili flakes
- 3 Tbsp Ancho chili powder
- 8-10 Lbs Boston butt or pork shoulder
- As needed Worcestershire sauce
- As needed Liquid smoke
- In a mixing bowl, combine the first 8 ingredients to make the dry rub.
- Wash the pork under cold running water and then pat dry with paper towels.
- Remove any excess fat or loose pieces. Do not remove the bottom "fat cap" or skin layer.
- Add a few splashes of Worcestershire sauce and liquid smoke. Rub the liquids into the meat and under any visible flaps of meat as well.
- Sprinkle a layer of dry rub all over the meat and skin. Massage into the meat with your fingers.
- Place dry rubbed meat in a large bowl and cover with a lid or plastic wrap. Let refrigerate over night.
- Preheat the oven to 300ºF
- Remove the pork from the fridge and uncover. Place on a rack in a roasting pan, skin side up.
- After 4 hours, start moping on some of your favorite barbecue sauce and repeat every hour until meat is done.
- Meat should reach an internal temperature of at least 190ºF and up to 200ºF to be done. About 1 hour per pound of meat.
- Remove the pork from the oven, carefully cover with tin foil, and let rest for at least 30 min and up to 1 hour.
- Pull the meat off the bone, shred and/or chop, then mix in about 1/4 cup of your favorite barbecue sauce. (Note: You don't want your pulled pork drenched in sauce, set some on the side if your guests would like more they can add).
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Since this post is all about pork I thought I would share with you my brand new logo for Happy Valley Chow! I am so happy with it I figured I would make t-shirts...you know you want to rock the town with your own Happy Valley Chow Gear!