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Pulled pork--more authentic and better

GretchenTHE FIRST's picture

I read one person's list of favorites from FC for the Cook the Issue, and pulled pork turned up. I was browsing the Super Bowl recipes, and finally saw the FC version.  Coming from the part of the country where pulled pork is a competition for "best", and sauces are even more hotly contended, I will say that braising a pork butt in a crockpot for 8 hours will give you a pulled pork, but it is a pale comparison to the crusty version you coulld get in the exact same time if done uncovered in the oven. You might as well just simmer it on the stove. You can even leave the "sauce" the same if you want. But that is NOT Carolia pulled pork. Of course, it didn't pretend to be either.  ;o)

Pielove's picture

so true! (post #70932, reply #1 of 8)

That is true-- I vastly prefer Gretchen's pulled pork to any crockpot version!  kitchengoddess, have you tried the oven version?  It is super-easy, just roasting a pork butt at 250-275 for about 8 hours.  You can rub the meat (I am trying to avoid jokes about butt-rubbing) with some spices, or just a little salt and pepper.  After roasting, just pull the meat and add BBQ sauce.  Yum.  Gretchen has complete instructions somewhere!


kitchengoddess's picture

Not yet (post #70932, reply #4 of 8)

I haven't tried Gretchen's recipe.  I would love to try it out.  What I liked about the pulled pork in the crock pot was that it was not too smoky.  I also like that the way I made the sauce (with extra juices) made for a sauce lighter than BBQ sauce and I much preferred that.

Maybe I'll give Gretchen's a try...and rub the butt...HA - couldn't resist

GretchenTHE FIRST's picture

Made in the oven it isn't at (post #70932, reply #5 of 8)

Made in the oven it isn't at all smoky==what would make it so? It develops a real crust, known as "burnt ends" in some BBQ milieus. which people literally fight over. There is more juice than you can ever use, and it isn't diluted because you have simmered the meat in liquid. I degrease it and concentrate it, although it would NEVER sub for my BBQ sauce. There isn't anything "heavy" about BBQ sauce, in my opinion. It is fat free and all flavor.

DS doesn't like it smoky. I don't either so when I DO do it in a smoker, I only add smoke (chips) for perhaps 15 minutes of the usual 4 hours I do it in the smoker (finishing it in the oven). If you don't add anything "smoky" to your rub, you will have NO smoke flavor.

kitchengoddess's picture

Smoky (post #70932, reply #6 of 8)

what I meant is that the flavourings were not smoky.  I meant that the sauce was lighter, not in calories but rather thinner.  

I should look for your recipe.  On a nice cold day it is a nice thing to have for dinner.

GretchenTHE FIRST's picture

I know. I hate the thick (post #70932, reply #7 of 8)

I know. I hate the thick nasty sauces. Western NC sauce is thinnish and tomatoey and vinegary.  That is why I recommend if you don't make your sauce to take a commercial sauce and dilute it with vinegar half and half. Just leave the smoky stuff out of it.  KC masterpiece is the worst in my opinion.

Pielove's picture

pork (post #70932, reply #8 of 8)

kitchengoddess, do try Gretchen's-- I might make some too, as having the oven on all day would be perfect for this cold weather!  Plus then I can make butt jokes all day, hee hee!


ICDOCEAN1's picture

Pulled pork (post #70932, reply #2 of 8)

I never did make that recipe for the challenge, I knew better.  I have done it in the oven, 4 hours on the grill/rotisserie and then in the oven, but my favorite way is 4 hours in the smoker (a little oak,apple wood, and hickory) and then finish in the oven.  Once we did the pork in the oven overnight and no one got any sleep.

The recipe should be renamed "Gretchen's Never Fail Pulled Pork",  you can't screw it up if you have a good meat thermometer.

I am seriously considering pulled pork this weekend, normally too much for us, but my friend (a true anti-cook) is having eye surgery so I can share a lot of it as I am not too fond of frozen pulled pork. 

If anyone likes to bake bread, try Moomie's buns or King Arthur's onion buns are both good to have with the pork.  A side of cole slaw, dinner/football food done. 

GretchenTHE FIRST's picture

Thanks for the accolades, but (post #70932, reply #3 of 8)

Thanks for the accolades, but a secret is you don't need the thermometer. I made it for 30 years before I knew the end temp should be 190*!! Just did it for the time I say.  It freezes ever so well, either in the chunk or pulled.  I see you say you don't like it frozen, but the secret to reheating is to never reheat above 300*. If I freeze it in a chunk, I reheat it a bit to pull it easier.

I also always recommend my homemade BBQ sauce because it is so vinegary, yet tomatoey--a perfect western NC sauce. But if not that, then get a commercial sauce and dilute it half with vinegar. NEVER KC Masterpiece. Ugh.

Yes, you have to close the kitchen doors if you do it overnight!!  LOL

I think it will be the Super Bowl offering this weekend. It's just too easy, and you KNOW everyone will love it. Some wings too, probably.