Welcome to my Ultimate Guide To Pulled Pork. If you love pulled pork then you will love this post and it also includes the best ever pulled pork recipes!
Have you ever really thought about the pulled pork sandwich or dish you’re eating? The dish has a long history, dating back to the days of George Washington. It’s easier to make than you might think. It’s also incredibly versatile.
It’s believed that Taino Indians from the Caribbean brought the process of smoking meats to America. They would create a frame known as a barbacoa from thick green branches and position that frame over hot coals. The coals were used to smoke fish and other meats to preserve it and keep away insects. Spanish explorers stumbled onto this process.
As the Spanish introduced hogs to some southern states as early as the mid-1500s and Jamestown settlers had pigs in the 1600s, it’s not surprising that pigs were a popular choice for smoking. In 1769, George Washington left a diary entry about attending a “barbicue” in Virginia.
It’s time to stop and savour this dish that’s taken the world by storm. It’s found at weddings, 4th of July parties, and restaurants everywhere. You can also make it at home with ease and we have the information you need to get started.
What is Pulled Pork?
Pulled pork is a tougher cut of pork that’s slowly cooked until the meat fibers can be shredded using two forks or meat claws. Pork shoulder, also known as Boston butt, is the most common cut used for pulled pork.
The meat is brined to add moisture. After rinsing off the bring, a spice rub will add flavour additional to the smoke. Make your own spice rub, it’s cheaper. Common spices include salt, brown sugar, smoked paprika, black pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder.
The pork roast is then cooked at a low temperature on a grill with wood chips adding smoke. Smokers, slow cookers, and ovens are also useful in cooking the pork at a low temperature for hours. You want the pork to be fork tender. It can take up to 10 hours to reach this point.
Once cooked and pulled, sauces are added for flavor and additional moisture. It can be served on its own, in a roll for a pulled pork sandwich, or on a plate of tortilla chips for pulled pork nachos. People serve pulled pork over rice and in baked potatoes, too. The tasty meat is incredibly versatile, so you do with it what most appeals to you.
Top Tips for Cooking Pulled Pork
#1 – Aim for 200 to 300 Degrees F
Pulled pork needs to cook at a low temperature to break down the fibers and cook off fat. It’s best to keep the temperature under 300 degrees F.
#2 – Start Early in the Morning
If you’re cooking pulled pork in a slow cooker or in the oven, place it on a bed of sliced onions. Cover the pot to trap moisture. At 300 degrees, a pork shoulder weighing 6 to 8 pounds will need about 10 hours of cooking time. If you’re smoking the pork at just over 200 degrees, plan on it taking 12 hours.
#3 – Let the Meat Rest Before Pulling
Give the meat time to rest before you shred it. It will be cooler and easier to handle. It also allows any residual cooking to complete.
#4 – Use Meat Claws for Quick and Easy Pulling
Meat claws are a must. They’ll help you remove the meat from the pan or grill. You don’t have to grab forks when you have the meat on a tray or large bowl. The claws make it easy to shred the entire roast in minutes. These are the claws we use from Cave Tools.
#5 – Pulled Pork Freezes Well
One Boston butt will feed around 10 people. It’s a great food for a gathering. If there’s just two of you, don’t feel that you have to get a smaller roast. Leftovers freeze well and can be quickly reheated in a pan or microwave.
Pulled Pork Nutritional Facts
Before you start adding seasonings and sauces, pork shoulder offers some beneficial nutrients. A 3-ounce serving of pork shoulder has:
- Calories – 228
- Protein – 20 g
- Potassium – 282 mg
- Sodium – 57 mg
It also has 11 percent of your daily requirement of both vitamin B-12 and vitamin D. It has 10 percent of your daily requirement of vitamin B-6 and almost that much iron as well. There’s 3 percent of your daily requirement of magnesium, and two percent of your calcium requirement.The Ultimate Guide To Pulled Pork via recipe_thisClick To Tweet
Top 10 Ultimate Pulled Pork Recipes
I have loved pulled pork for a long, long time. I have tried many varieties of it and I always end up craving it when I want some comfort food.
Here are 10 of my favourite pulled pork recipes for you to try out:
This was the first ever pulled pork recipe that I created. After months and months of testing my pulled pork in the slow cooker this became the signature dish.
Or if the Instant Pot is more your thing, then how about making pulled pork sandwiches in the Instant Pot instead?
I love apples and pork, they just go so well together. In this recipe I have made a delicious apple butter variety that is perfect for a date night.
If you’re looking for a healthy pulled pork, then we have a Whole30 version that is served with potatoes and oh…so.good.
If you want to enjoy a Mexican take on pulled pork then nothing beats pork carnitas. I love them and can never have a small portion!
I love this option as its one quick seasoning and you’re done. Perfect for if you have a hangover or the flu and want something effortless.
Or for a taste of Cuba, check out their Caribbean version of pulled pork.
Anybody that knows me well, will know that I always have a big stash of honey in my fridge. I love cooking with it and have had a soft spot for it for about a 3 years. I need to make it like this on pulled pork!
If you love barbecued food, then this is for you. My one stop pulled pork favourite for the summer months and a guarantee that there will be none left.
And to finish off our top 10 we have pulled pork street tacos. Take these down the beach this summer, to your 4th of July barbecue or just have them for a yummy supper.
Cave Tools Meat Shredding Claw Put To The Test
I have always been fascinated with meat shredding claws and have never owned one until now. I have done it the old school tiresome way of shredding your meat with your hands or with forks. But now I get to try it out the professional way!
The Cave Tools Meat Shredding Claw is fantastic because:
- Attractive box is perfect for giving as a gift
- Comes with a link to recipes and instructional videos
- Dishwasher safe
- Handles are extra-wide for bigger hands
- Lifetime money-back guarantee
- Lift meats from grill with ease using the claws
- Meat claws double as forks to hold meats while carving
- Non-slip plastic handles do not get hot while using
- Sturdy design
- Thick claws pull meats efficiently
Is The Meat Shredding Claw Worth It?
I have to admit that I laughed while skimming the product guide for Cave Tools Stainless Steel Meat Claws. The first thing that went through my head when I saw them was Wolverine. The instructions do say that while you may feel like Wolverine with these in hand, they’re a tool and should be handled with care. I laughed.
The stainless steel meat claws are so handy. Use them to place meat on your grill. Wash them and set them aside. When your meat has cooked, use them to remove it. The claws act as fork tines and hold meat in place for slicing. The sharp claws pull pork in record time. You spend less time washing multiple utensils and more time enjoying a meal with family and friends. If you have a dishwasher, clean up is a breeze as these are dishwasher safe.
The handle is comfortable enough. And, there’s extra space if you have larger hands and hate rubbing your knuckles when grasping an object such as this.
At 6 inches wide and 6.7 inches tall, these meat claws do take up a little space. I recommend saving the box for easy storage. The box will fit into a cupboard or drawer with ease and helps keep the claws together. You won’t have to search through a messy drawer when you keep them together in the box. I store ours in the cupboard that is located under our grill. All of our grilling tools are handy and in one spot for convenience.
Overall – The tough design allows you to use the Cave Tools Meat Claws for transporting meats from the cooker, oven, or grill right to a platter or cutting board. The plastic handles never get hot, so there’s no need to grab bulky potholders. You can then use the sharp claws to hold the meat still while you cut it or use the claws to pull the strands of smoked meat apart. With so many possible uses from one tool, these are a must-have.
You can buy the Cave Tools Meat Shredding Claw below by clicking on the banner or by clicking here. We wholeheartedly recommend it for providing you with the best solution for pulling your pork.
Or even better Save 15% off any purchase on their website by using the coupon code MEDIUMRARE (all caps).