Kamis, 15 September 2016

Smoked Pulled Pork Shoulder

It's a bit strange to buy 16 lbs of pork for a household with two people in it.
Yep, that is a BUNCH of meat!
However, you can really make a lot of people very excited by bringing smoked pulled pork to a party or picnic.  It's really our "go to" meal to do for a crowd.  

In addition, you can easily freeze some of the cooked meat so that you can make this for dinner at a future time.  Once I had about 5 containers of shredded pork in the freezer.  It made life very easy for weeks.

In addition to the sandwich below, we also use leftovers for the following ideas- tacos, enchiladas, "hash" with eggs, add to chili, epic fried rice, taco salads, and Loco Moco.

See below for an example dinner below...  I use Spicy Slaw on our sandwiches.

Brant's famous pulled pork

***for 2 pork butts, approx 16lbs in a 5 gallon covered bucket***
2 qts water in saucepan
1 cup sea salt
2 Tbsp rosemary (i use a sprig of fresh, but either works)
6 Tbsp light brown sugar
1/2 Tbsp cumin
2 Tbsp chili powder
2 Tbsp cayenne pepper
2 tsp thyme
1 tsp fennel seed
1 tsp sage (i use a sprig of fresh, but either works)
1 gallon (4 qts) ice water (mix into brine solution after removed from heat and partially cooled)

Brine 24 hours, drain, pat dry and let dry (uncovered) in the fridge over night.
Depending on when you want to serve it, count ahead 12-14 hours.
Want to eat at 5pm on Saturday? Better put your pork on to smoke about 3pm on Friday to be safe.

Two choices... you can rub with a seasoning powder, here's my go-to recipe.
Or, you can skip the rub all togther as the brine has seasoned the pork very well.  
We still go back on forth on this one... to do, or to do not?  That is the question.

Set your Traeger (or other smoker) at 185 degrees for the first couple hours to get some good smoky action going on.  Then turn it up to 225 degrees and leave it for another 10-12 hours. We use a remote thermometer that has a probe in the smoker, and a reader/monitor inside, and watch it carefully until it reaches 200 degrees.  

Take off and let it cool, then pull it with a couple of forks, or the "bear claw" forks made for pulling pork.

You know it's tender when the bones fall out clean!

Here's the meat, getting ready to start shredding!

Here's the claws we use, it makes short work of it, but forks work too.

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