Sunday, July 19, 2015

Notes: Smoky Pulled Pork

 12 July 2015

  • I made this last August and wrote about it in a blog post describing the smoking process in more detail.
  • I started around 2 PM except for applying a dry rub to the meat the previous evening.
  • I bought "Pork shoulder blade roast boneless", 4.44lbs, at the supermarket. The recipe is for a 5 lb roast, trimmed. I didn't trim it but I did note a lot of fat while applying the dry rub.
  • The instructions call for 2 cups of wood chips that are soaked and 2 cups that are dry. In the recipe notes it recommends weighing the chips. Doing this, I found the volume is more like 4 cups rather than 2 to get 4.75 oz.
  • Instead of two aluminum pie plates with 3 cups water each, I used one aluminum roasting pan, which fit perfectly on one side of our grill, with 4 cups water. I should have added more water as around 6 PM it dried out and I needed to refill it.
  • To maintain a temperature of 300°: left burner on high, middle burner on high, right burner off ... with this setup the temperature was a steady 260° using a thermometer at the level of the meat (i.e. I ignored the built-in thermometer in the lid of the grill).
  • In the last half hour of the initial smoking the propane ran out; fortunately we had a full tank standing by. The new tank generated more heat than the old one. It took some fiddling with the settings, but High - Low - Off led to a temperature around 300°, it fluctuated between 290° and 310°.
  • I removed the meat from grill at 8 PM, the internal temperature was a little under the recommended 200°.
  • I halved the recipe for the sauce and then halved again the amount of red pepper flakes.

  • The pork was served on sesame seed dinner rolls with supermarket "summer slaw", white corn, Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, and Vella Cabernet Sauvignon.
  • The sauce was not at all spicy, its primary flavor was the vinegar which was its main ingredient.
  • Much of the meat was tender but some was a little dry and tough. Is this because it is a blade cut and includes some leaner muscles?
  • All in all, though, it is good. The quantity is not overwhelming, especially since we plan to serve some to company one day this week. 
  • I should have started earlier than 2 PM.
  • I like this pulled pork with its North Carolina style vinegar sauce. However, I think I would like it better with a smoky, sweet Kansas City style tomato sauce.

Eat leftovers
  • The time and effort and investment in this dish are not wasted as it keeps very well, both refrigerated or even longer in the freezer. To serve it just needs to be reheated in the microwave oven.

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