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Reconstituting pulled pork from the drippings


Joined Jan 26, 2011
I don't know how many others have tried this but the rave reviews from my last pulled pork have convinced me that re-adding the drippings - MINUS THE FAT - into the pulled pork is the way to go with pulled pork (and beef for that matter).

The simple method is to put a drip pan under the pork butts during the smoking phase (60% - 70% of the total cook time).  When the meat is around 160 (and smoke absorption is finished), remove the drip pan and wrap up the butt(s) in tin foil for the final push up to the ending temperature (190 to 205 - whatever your preference).

Meanwhile, pour the drippings from the pan into a container and put in the fridge.  By the time the pork is completed, the fat and bad parts will render to the top and can be easily scooped out and discarded.  Then put the remaining sauce into a sauce pan and heat it up - get it hot but not boiling.

The juice is amazing - kind of like a burgundy broth and full of flavor with the spices from the rub.

If you are one to add a finishing sauce after the meat is pulled, you can add this sauce in there as well.


Smoking Fanatic
Joined May 7, 2008
I agree with you completely. When I do a big smoke I save these drippings frozen and then use them as well on top of a steak, or if I froze some to the meat will thaw the meat and heat in a pan with some of the drippings. Fantastic every time.


Smoking Fanatic
OTBS Member
Joined Jun 1, 2012
It sounds like you two are having a great time.

For pulled pork I usually do about 5 butts.  I smoke them at 200 target temp (225 max) to around 160 internal then move them to a big roasting pan in the oven at 210 or so.  My avatar is two butts about to go into the oven.  When they get to pulling temp they go on a rack over a sheet pan to cool.  The juices get put in a large line pan so they cool quickly and go first to the fridge, then to the freezer if needed.

Pull the pork and hit it with enough mustard based sauce to coat lightly.  Get the congealed fat off the pork juice (it may be pork gelatin) and and warm it up if needed.  Pour small amounts into the warm pulled pork and throughly fold it in.  When the pork won't take any more it gets vacuum packed and is off to the freezers.  The smaller the shreds of pork and the longer you work it, the more juice it will hold and the bigger the flavor punch.

Our experience is that this gives terrific layers of flavor and a great mouth feel from the dissolved connective tissue in the juice.  Most folks don't add any additional sauce.  We use a sauce as our 6 kids raid the pantry, fridges and freezers when they come and it is ready to serve.   We use a mustard sauce as our experience is that it covers gracefully with other sauces.  We haven't had good luck with tomato based sauces.

We generally just toss the vacuum bags in hot water to cook and save washing another pot or bowl.

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