LOOKING for: how do you make pulled pork?

loraleeMay 14, 2009

I would really like to find out how to make this for sandwiches.

Thank you for sharing.

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Here's the recipe I always use:


1 (4 to 5 lb.) Boston butt roast, trimmed
1 large onion, chopped
1-1/2 cups water
1 cup vinegar
1/2 cup ketchup
1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce
3 Tblsp. brown sugar
2 Tblsp. dry mustard
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground red pepper
1/4 tsp. black pepper

Place roast in roasting pan after trimming fat and discarding. Combine remaining ingredients in a medium bowl; stir well. Pour mixture over roast. Cover and bake at 325 F. for 5 to 6 hours or until meat is very tender. Remove from oven; let cool.
Remove roast from sauce. Place sauce in refrigerator until fat congeals. Skim fat and discard. Remove meat from bone, and chop meat. Return chopped meat to sauce in pan, and stir well. Cover and bake at 325° F. for 15 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Yield: 8 servings.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2009 at 12:24AM
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I do a similar thing to what Pat does....but I put the meat in a covered roaster, I don't bother trimming the fat, I pour over about 1 1/2 cups of water and top with a sliced onion....or a can of beer or some apple juice, cover and cook as Pat does.
Remove the meat from the pan, pour the juice into a dish ( I use a pyrex 4 cup measure and refrigerate to allow the grease to rise)
When the meat cools enough to handle, pull it apart, cut it up and add the juice with the grease skimmed off and mix in catsup, mustard etc etc ( I use more brown sugar...like 1/2 a cup and more ground red pepper....lots more!)
Put meat and sauce back into the roaster and cover and roast at 250 for another hour....adding chicken broth as moisture as it absorbs the sauce.
I did 60 pounds of pork like that a couple of weeks ago for a grad party.
Linda C

    Bookmark   May 15, 2009 at 7:01PM
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Do you buy a certain type of pork roast for this meat to cook up in shreds? Mine always needs cut with a knife.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2009 at 9:58PM
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Hi, Loralee - I usually buy the LEAST expensive boneless pork roast I can find since it's going to be cooked for a long time to get tender. Look for one that's got the elastic grid thingy holding the big meat chunks together, usually a butt roast, I think.

All I do is take off the elastic holder and brown the meat for a few minutes in a heavy frying pan in about 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Then transfer the meat to a slow cooker with a couple cups of water. (Beer or apple juice sounds great, too!) Turn the slow cooker to High and let it cook ALL DAY. Add a little more water if it gets dry. Turn the meat every couple of hours and you'll notice that after a while, it'll get very tight and kind of rubbery. Don't worry - it still needs to cook A LOT longer!

When you put a fork into it and it falls apart, take it out of the slow cooker and put it on a big cutting board to cool a bit. Using 2 forks, remove any excess fat and shred the pork. Wipe out the slow cooker with a couple of paper towels and put the meat back in on Low. Add barbecue sauce that you've made or just add a big bottle of commercially-prepared sauce and warm it through. Super easy!

    Bookmark   May 16, 2009 at 7:00AM
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thank you so much, I hadn't thought about my crock pot and I use it alot and the meat always just falls apart. tHANKS for the tip.

I am traveling and today was in Tennessee at a strawberry festival and had the best pulled pork sandwich although I had a great one last week to made by some Amish ladies and it was to die for too. See talking about it is making me very hungry.I can't wait to get home to try it.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2009 at 8:41PM
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I put about 1/2 a cup water in a crock pot. Add the pork roast (I used a butt roast when I can find it). I then add half a bottle of barbeque sauce (currently using Bulls Eye). I cook it on high for awhile and then switch it to low, it takes several hours (I usually let it cook all day or all night depending on when I need it to be ready). It shreds with 2 forks. I add more sauce depending on how "saucy" it is and end up using about a full bottle.

I cut any fat off before I put the roast in. DH loves this, he'll get several meals from it (I can't eat that much sugar, so I only eat a bite or two). It's very easy.

Basically, water, pork, sauce, time, shred.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2009 at 3:05PM
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Follow the pros: use a pork shoulder. Either the shoulder or the whole hog is what is used in pulled pork in NC. A boneless pork roast is too lean and dry in my opinion. You need a cut of meat with a little more fat on it. That's why pork shoulders are THE cut to use for BBQ.

Me? I make pulled pork by stopping by the nearest really good BBQ joint and picking up a few pounds of BBQ, slaw, and buns. Don't forget the hush puppies!

    Bookmark   May 18, 2009 at 9:47PM
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i always use a bone in pork shoulder

    Bookmark   May 21, 2009 at 8:14AM
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I am SO far from NC, I have to make my own;))

Intensive but worth it...well, I get so sick of this project by the time I'm pulling the pork that I really don't like eating it, but my family DEMANDS this over and over!! I usually make it two or three times per year and freeze the left overs.

12-16 pound pork shoulder (from Costco or Sams Club)
Brine: adjust quantity to cover pork
27c hot water
2T vanilla
1.5c kosher salt
1.5c sugar
6T cracked black peppercorns
Add pork to brine and chill for 12-72 hours (0.5 to 3 days).

DAY 1 Traditional BBQ Sauce: makes way more then enough for this pulled pork recipe
3 medium onions, minced
12 garlic cloves, minced
2 1/4c Small Batch Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey
simmer 10-60 min or until whiskey cooks off

3/4t ground black pepper
3/4T salt
48oz ketchup
3/4c tom paste
1c cider vinegar
6T liquid smoke
3/4c Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2c packed brown sugar (half dark and half light)
1t hot sauce
add, boil and reduce heat to simmer at least 2 hours until desired thickness is achieved

8 onions - sliced
20 garlic cloves - sliced
below batch size Carolina BBQ Sauce
above Traditional BBQ Sauce
smoke chips

DAYs 2 and 3
Smoke pork at 200-250 degrees for 5 hours. Cover the bottom of 2 large crock pots (for 16 pound roast) with onion. Place meat chunks on onion and cover with sliced onion and garlic. Add water to reach half-2/3 full liquid in each crock pot. Cover and cook on low at least 12 hours, or until pork easily pulls with a fork. Cooking 12-16 hours almost completely dissolves the fat. Remove pork from crock pots. Discard everything in crock pots except pork. Shred meat with 2 forks, removing any excess fat. Return meat and "Carolina BBQ Sauce" to crock pots. Heat on high for 1 hour. Serve with favorite (either traditional or Carolina )BBQ sauce and slaw (recipe below) on buns.

Carolina BBQ Sauce:
4c ea white and cider vinegar
4T brown sugar (half dark and half light)
2T cayenne
4T hot pepper sauce
4t each salt and black pepper
mix well

DAY 3 Carolina Slaw
1 head cabbage finely shredded
1/2c yellow mustard or to taste
3T white vinegar or to taste
1.5t sugar or to taste
1/2t salt
3T mayo or to taste

Bourbon that is smooth (can be sipped without mix) will give a smooth sauce. Bourbon with a bite, will give a bite to the sauce.

Bourbons I have used to make BBQ sauces:
Labrot & Graham Woodford Reserve Distillers Select excellent, smooth flavor
1792 Ridgemont Reserve - "rich and velvety" smooth, very good
Knob Creek - has a bite - my (read DH) choice for BBQ sauce

Once I could not smoke the pork because it was too windy outside. I placed brined pork in crock pots. After a few hours, there was way too much liquid and it overflowed from the crock pots. Smoking must drain some of the juice from the pork. Also, used pork shoulder from Sams Club bones in.

Another, quicker, option is, after smoking, to simmer on the stove for 7-8 hours, in the onions, garlic and water, instead of cooking in the crock pot for 24 hours. Then pull apart and heat in Carolina BBQ sauce for 1 hour and serve.

I always do the stove top method, in a large stainless steel kettle, now so I don't worry about crock pots cooking overnight.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2009 at 4:43PM
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Wow!!! austinnhanasmom - Thanks so much for taking the time to share your recipe and method. I have never been to NC and have no plans to get there anytime soon so I may just have to give yours a try :-)


    Bookmark   May 23, 2009 at 11:23AM
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I've never heard of smoking pork for several hours and then simmering it for several more hours. Pit cooked bbq pork in North Carolina is cooked long and slow over coals (or over gas briquets) until the meat is falling off the bone and can be easily pulled apart into a soft heap of meat.

I don't doubt that your recipe produces delicious pulled pork, it's just in my part of the South that is not the usual method of producing pulled pork.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2009 at 12:19PM
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I am so glad to get the recipe I was thinking it would be so much better if I could smoke it or bbq it a bit and then cook it.

Can't wait to get home to try some recipes. thanks

    Bookmark   May 24, 2009 at 11:24PM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

I only make it on the gas grill and I smoke it. I put soaked hickory chips in tin foil on the flavorizer bars (I have a small weber) then put the racks back on. Set the grill to 250 and cook the pork butts all day until they are falling apart. About 8-10 hours.
It did not require much hands on time at all and I didn't apply the mop much.

Some people use a mop, others use a rub, some a sauce.
I used this mop and rub from Epicurious last time I made it and had many people tell me it was as good as the bbq joints around the area.
And it freezes great.
After cooking, I pulled it apart with two forks then chopped it with a cleaver.
And it will get a red smoke ring- that's desirable and not red from uncooked meat.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2009 at 9:48AM
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Thank you austinnhannasmom and everyone who contributed recipes. I am almost home and will be trying one of these wonderful recipes next week I can hardly wait. The sauce sounds really yummy too.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2009 at 10:35PM
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what is a mop and where do you buy epicourious at?

sounds good.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2009 at 1:08AM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

Epicurus is a website that has cooking ideas and recipes. The link I posted will take you to the recipe I've used and the site. A mop is a wet, thin sauce applied to the meat during cooking as an additional flavor enhancer. It is usually applied with big grilling basting brushes.
While crock pot bbq is tasty, it does not compare to the real thing which is long and slow over some sort of fire.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2009 at 9:59PM
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If you want a really, really lazy way-- pork shoulder or butt, equal parts prepared bbq sauce and vinegar, throw it in a slow cooker.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2009 at 4:51PM
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Oh boy this is the easiest one yet. I will be making the pulled pork next week.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2009 at 7:47PM
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The only thing I miss about Williamston, NC is the pig pickin's. OMG, best stuff in the world!

    Bookmark   July 27, 2009 at 9:26PM
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I love it (boston butt) cooked slow on the grill... but I don't do that much anymore. I use the crockpot method-- You MUST have a Boston Butt--- or maybe a shoulder. Other cuts are too LEAN and will be dry (like Teresa said) The Carolina sauce (austinnhannasmom) sounds just like what I use after it has been cooked. I also use a package of McCormick's pulled pork seasoning (in the packet) with some vinegar and pour over the pork before cooking in the crockpot.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2009 at 2:01PM
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My hubby is from NC...and there are clearly different ways to eat/serve pulled pork.

His favorite is how he was raised. Pork roasted or smoked with only a dry rub, then pulled apart when cool, then chopped with a bit of vinegar sauce (watered down/seasoned cider vinegar)...with yellow coleslaw on top. (I just mince the cabbage real fine, make a buttermilk/sugar/mayo with enough yellow mustard to yellow it up.)

I rub the pork with my Smokey BBQ Rub, then let it cook uncovered and dry in my oven at 250 overnight.
Yes use pork shoulder sometimes called butt..yes make sure it has that fat layer on top while baking...

Now his most favorite is his buddy who is also from NC that does a whole pig on his big wood/propane BBQ pit.

He does like beef with a red sauce, put prefers pork with only the vinegar sauce.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2009 at 9:12PM
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Terri, I was in NC in May and I had the best pulled pork sandwich there and that is what got me started on the kick to find out how to make it.

I made it last week. I BBQ over a wood fire for a couple of hours with some hickory wood and other kinds of wood. It was smelling mighty good when I took it off. Then I put the roast in my crock pot and cook it the rest of the way. Then I added some BBQ sauce and served it.
I must say the meat was very very good.
Now for the BBQ sauce it was a recipe I got in NC but it sure did not taste like a BBQ sauce. Too much ketchup and not enough other ingredients. I ended up using a bottle of BBQ to serve with the rest of the meat.

Thank you everyone for all your ideas.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2009 at 8:21PM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

Terri, I always put the coleslaw on my sandwich and never on the side, too.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2009 at 9:20PM
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Does anyone make the southern hush puppies using a pastry bag and tip? Some of the catfish places on the lakes here in East Texas fry them in long strips, some with japenos and some with out. They are so much better than the round ones. Would appreciate any help; having a fish fry in 3 weeks for 30 people.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2010 at 11:51AM
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You don't need to use a pastry bag and tip - just spoon some of the hushpuppy batter into the hot fat by pushing it off a soup spoon with another spoon. Makes sort of oval or finger shapes as it falls into the fat. I don't know of any home cooks that make perfectly round hushpuppies. How would you get them round? by using a small disher/ice cream scoop? And we don't use pastry bags either! LOL! That is way too fancy for most Southern cooks.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2010 at 1:34PM
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Thanks for the answer teresa. I make them now by dropping them from a small ice cream scoop into hot oil and they come out round. I want to make some that look like mexican churros, but savory instead of sweet.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2010 at 1:52PM
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"The surface of a churro is ridged due to having been piped from a churrera, a syringe with a star-shaped nozzle." ....Wikipedia

If you can force the hushpuppy batter through a pastry bag with a star tip, you might be able to make what you are seeking.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2010 at 2:17PM
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Here is the recipe I use...if I'm in a hurry I don't pan fry first..Southern Pulled Pork from allrecipes.com


* 1 tablespoon butter
* 2 pounds boneless pork roast
* 1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning..I make my own and use lots
* 1 medium onion, chopped
* 4 cloves garlic, crushed
* 4 cups water...I use chicken broth instead
* 1 tablespoon liquid smoke flavoring


  1. Cut the pork roast into large chunks. Season generously with the Cajun seasoning. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add pork, and brown on all sides. Remove from the skillet, and transfer to a slow cooker.
  2. Add the onion and garlic to the skillet, and cook for a few minutes until tender. Stir in the water scraping the bottom to include all of the browned pork bits from the bottom of the pan, then pour the whole mixture into the slow cooker with the pork. Stir in liquid smoke flavoring.
  3. Cover, and cook on High for 6 hours, or until meat is falling apart when pierced with a fork. Remove pieces of pork from the slow cooker, and shred. Return to the slow cooker to keep warm while serving.
    Bookmark   June 26, 2010 at 5:06PM
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