Introduction: Smoked Pulled Pork Shoulder
Here's a simple recipe I made a while back for smoking and slow cooking a large chunk of pork shoulder.
Everyone enjoyed it so far so I thought I should share it!
Step 1: Choose Your Meat
I ordered a piece of on-the-bone pork shoulder from the butcher shop, which weighed about 2.5 kg (5 pounds).
It's important to leave the main bone, skin and fat.
Step 2: Rub
Using what spices I had on hand, I made a simple rub (change proportions and ingredients according to taste and quantity according to meat weight). Here's what I used :
1 part salt
3 part brown muscovado sugar
1 part powdered ginger
1/2 part black pepper
1/2 part dried chili flakes
I thoroughly rubbed the meat, then wrapped it back in its original paper and left it overnight in the fridge.
Step 3: Cheap-o-smoker
With an angle grinder, I hollowed the bottom of an old trash can. I put over a roaring fire for a half hour to make sure that heating it when smoking would not release further dangerous chemicals. You may hire (1) little brother, see Fig. 2, to prepare the fire and criticize every step of your project.
Then, I drilled holes on the side about halfway up to accommodate the attachment of a metal grid (DO NOT USED GALVANIZED STEEL which will release toxic Zn fumes) onto which the meat will rest. The metal grid is also subjected to the heat treatment above-mentioned.
Finally, I installed a resistor (such as one from a portable electric heat plate) under the upside-down trash can onto which I set some oak chips from our own firewood that will smoke without burning when the resistor is turned on.
It took a while to tune everything but eventually I got thick nice smoke and I put the lid back on the hole in the top.
I smoked the meat for 3 hours.
During this process, the meat does not heat very much nor does it cook. However, it will dry a little bit. I didn't find it necessary to have a dish to collect dripping juices from the meat, which was probably helped in part by the rub.
Step 4: Preparing for Slow Cooking
Using long pieces of aluminum foil, I wrapped the smoked meat with skin and all onto a grid onto a dish. This architecture allows the juice to drip from the meat into the dish as it cooks, therefore efficiently preventing the meat from boiling in its own water (not good!) while keeping a moist atmosphere (crucial!) within the aluminium foil through the evaporation of said juices. The juices neatly reduce and caramelize in the dish and will be used later on...
I set the oven at 75°C (about 170°F) and cooked the meat for 12 hours.
Step 5: Last Preparations!
Finally, after two days, the meat is almost ready to be eaten!
With a sharp knife, I removed the skin (but nothing else!). It should fall apart very easily.
Then I pulled the bone out of the meat, pulled the meat with my hands and mixed it with the caramelized juices in the dish.
I set the oven to grilling, popped some hamburger buns in there as well as the meat (on the bottom, just to keep it hot).
Put the meat in the toasted buns with your sauce of choice, add some coleslaw and beer and enjoy!
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