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pulled pork noob

Discussion in 'Pork' started by duggy, Aug 16, 2010.

  1. So I've been thinking of trying to make my first pulled pork with a pork butt and I would be lying if I did not admit that it is freaking me out. I have been looking at countless videos on youtube and searching for what to do but it is becoming a bit overwhelming. I don't think that I'm skilled enough yet to keep a steady temperature overnight so I would have to make the pulled pork a day before but if I did that  how would I keep it stored and how would I reheat it? Just any useful tip for pulled pork would be appreciated. 
  2. rbranstner

    rbranstner Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Don't be afraid of pork butt/pulled pork. If you want to eat it the next day that is not a problem. Just smoke the meat and rest it in foil in a cooler with towels and it will be very tender. Then pull it that night and wrap in foil. You can either reheat in the oven the next day or put it in the microwave or crock pot. Pork butt is pretty forgiving so you don't need to keep it at an exact temp as long as you are around the 225-275 mark you will be just fine. I like to inject mine then rest over night. Then throw on the smoker and bring it up to 170 then wrap in foil and go back on the smoke until it reaches 200-205 then I put it in the cooler with towels to rest for around 2 hours. Once you pull it out it will be very juicy and the bone will pull right out and the meat should pull like a dream.
  3. tlzimmerman

    tlzimmerman Meat Mopper

    Yes...don't be afraid of pulled pork.  To me the only mistake you can make is not allotting enough time for the meat when it stalls, and not getting it done in time.  Pulled pork reheats very well.  I make huge batches and vacuum seal it in pouches, then boil the pouch to reheat it.  Crock pot works too, microwave works for small batches, in the oven wrapped in foil would work too.  Only thing to worry about reheating is losing too much moisture....as part of the appeal of pulled pork IMO is how juicy it is. 

    If you are cooking for a group, and are nervous, buy a small butt and cook one ahead of time.  It will be a real confidence booster, you can get your sauces and rubs tested and see what you may want to change in your method.  Pull it, bag it, and freeze it, trust me it won't go to waste. 
  4. bmudd14474

    bmudd14474 Legendary Pitmaster Staff Member Administrator Group Lead OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Dont be scared. PP is very forgiving to temp spikes. What smoker do you have? You should check to see if there are any mods to do to your smoker because that will make a huge difference.
  5. mythmaster

    mythmaster Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Just in case you haven't found this thread yet: http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/forum/thread/57139/basic-pulled-pork-smoke

    I agree with everyone else that PP is very forgiving.  It was the first thing that I tried to smoke -- I was a bit nervous, too,  but it came out beautifully and it built up quite a bit of confidence in me.  You really can't go wrong following the basic instructions given in the thread that I just linked.

    As for reheating, I've kept it pulled in a tray in the fridge for a couple of days then added back in some juices, covered the top with foil, and reheated it in a 325* oven for however long it took to get warm.  I think that the leftovers were actually better.
  6. scarbelly

    scarbelly Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member

    I just did a PP smoke yesterday and 15 # took 17 hours so be sure to give yourself plenty of time - the rest is just following the basics

    Good luck and don't forget the qview
  7. thanks everyone for your replies! your words have relieved some of the fear and i especially like that link, thanks for that. I will maybe attempt this next week and if I do I'll be sure to post a qview
  8. what kind of juices did you add back in??
  9. john-z

    john-z Fire Starter

    Being a newbie, i have yet to do the pulled pork myself. But i am anxious to give it a try, and this thread helped me too. Thanks.
  10. meateater

    meateater Legendary Pitmaster SMF Premier Member

    Pork Butt is a very forgiving chunk of meat, even a caveman can do it.
  11. scarbelly

    scarbelly Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member

    When you foil it you will add some liquid - I did some Captain Morgan and apple juice with some of my rub this weekend - After resting for several hours in the cooler wrapped in towels you will open the package and find a fair amount of liquid - take that liquid and seperate it from the fat and chill it and defat it a second time and add it back into your meat 

    this wee
  12. ooo thanks~ 

    also, would using the minion method be effective in keeping the temp steady for 10 or so hours?
  13. stl-rich

    stl-rich Fire Starter

    at about 8 AM I took a pork butt, sprinkled it with rub and put it in this http://www.lowes.com/pd_276307-82210-08101480_0_?productId=3029998  guy at about 11:30 I pulled the butt out of the cooker, put it on a plate, covered with foil, wrapped it in a towel and put it in a cooled to rest.  Temp was about 180F and the bone was protruding nicely.  At about 6:30 I grabbed the butt out of the cooler, it wouldn't' pull so I chopped up including lots of Mr Brown, sprinkled with peppered vinegar and it was great.  Especially considering I ignored it most of the day.
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2010
  14. Hey Duggy, I just did four 10# Boston Butts this weekend for a "benefit" function involving an unknown number of guests.  How the roasts held their temps when wrapped in towels and inside a cooler might've been aided by having four of them keeping each other cozy in there.  I kept a thermometer probe in one with a remote meter to read internal temp.  I kept the cooler lid shut until first two butts came out to be served. 

    To give you an idea, here was my timeline and temps:

    11:30 pm Friday - removed butts from the refrigerator into a preheated gas smoker.  I replenished wood chips to sustain smoke about every 1/2 hour until 1:30 am. 

    5:30 am Saturday - with smoker @ 200* through those early morning hours, each had butt reached 165* by 6 am so I double-foiled them and returned to the smoker (oven could've been used for this last part).  Increased smoker temp to 240-250*

    10:30 am - each butt had reached 205* so removed, left the foil on and wrapped in towels and into a cooler

    3:30 pm - (5 hrs out of smoker) internal temp STILL @ 185* in that one butt.  I removed two others for pulling.  They practically fell apart on their own.  The bones easily pulled out clean.  Still two whole ones in the cooler.

    10:30 pm - never needed those other two.  Internal temp STILL 160* and by midnight and at home, still @ 155*, I removed the towels and put into the refrigerator.

    This evening they came out of their foil & went to the oven just long enough to melt the jelled fat (about an hour @ 250*).  Finally pulled those two butts and mixed the fat back in.  I vacuum sealed approximately 1# portions and put into the freezer. Each can be reheated by dropping the unopened bag of frozen pork into boiling water for about 15-20 minutes.  
  15. mythmaster

    mythmaster Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    I use a drip pan to catch the juices as it cooks, and I put a little water (or w/e) in the pan at the beginning so it doesn't burn.  Also, what scar said. [​IMG]
  16. scarbelly

    scarbelly Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member

    If you want to pull it you need to take it to at least 200 or ideally to 205 to pull

    I bet it still tasted real good
  17. carson627

    carson627 Smoke Blower

    I did 2 butts this weekend, about 11 pounds total.  I started about 11:00 am.  Took 'em to around 200 to 205.  I had them both pulled and in the fridge by 11:30 pm.  They are yummy!

    I spritzed 'em with orange juice.  The bark was not so good.  I'll stick with AJ from here on.

    Good luck and happy smoking!
  18. mballi3011

    mballi3011 Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member SMF Premier Member


    Now pulled pork has to be one of the easiest meats that we here smoke. It takes a long time and thats one of the reasons it is so easy. Now I would smoke it all the way and then pull it when it cools down. Then re-heat it but I would use a streamer pot. To me it's the easiest and best way to re-heat the meat. It wouldn't let it dry out at all and to me it brings out the smokey flavor even more.