Friday, September 10, 2010

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Pulled Pork Two Ways

We had a little bit of a cook off here. It wasn't a cook off in the sense of seeing whose dish was better, it was a cook off in the sense that we both made the same dish but in our own styles. The dish was pulled pork. I made mine in the crock pot while Alex smoked his. Needless to say, there was a lot of pork in the house. So much pork that it was probably more pork than we've eaten since we've been together as a couple. Both recipes were a success and you honestly can't go wrong with either one. It all depends on your cooking preference and style!

{His Way} Smoked Pulled Pork
Alex's pulled pork hit a bit of a snag. It was cooked all the way through but it needed more time on the grill so it didn't pull as easily as it should have. The problem was his pork shoulder: it was one big piece of 8 lb meat instead of two smaller pieces. Instead of pulled pork sandwiches we had pork chunks with sauce.  While this recipe was quite involved (smoking is hard, who would have thought?), it was worth all the effort. On its own, the pork had such a nice smoky flavor. The rub held together nicely and tasted so mellow. With the sauce the pork was transformed into a tangy dish with a bit of spice. I was told the sauce tasted exactly like the Arby's sauce.

His & Her Pulled Pork

Source: Weber's Way to Grill

2 Tbsp pure chili powder
2 Tbsp kosher salt
4 tsp granulated garlic
2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp dry mustard
2 bone-in pork shoulder roasts, 5-6 lb each
3 large handfuls hickory wood chips, soaked in water for at least 30 min

1 cup ketchup
3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 lightly packed light brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp Worcerstshire sauce
1 tsp hot sauce, or to taste
1/2 tsp dry mustard
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

12 hamburger buns

Prepare your smoker, following manufacturer's instructions for indirect cooking over low heat.

In a small bowl, mix the rub ingredients. Season the pork shoulder all over with the rub and press the spices into the meat.

Smoke the pork over indirect low heat, with the lid closed, adding a handful of drained wood chips to the coals every hour for the first 3 hours, until the internal temperature of the meat reaches 190 degrees F. At this point the bone should easily slip out of the meat, and the meat should be falling apart in some areas. The total cooking time will be 8 to 10 hours. Maintain the heat of the smoker between 225-250 degrees F.

In a large heavy bottomed saucepan whisk the sauce ingredients. Bring to a simmer over low heat and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Taste and adjust the seasonings, if necessary. It should be spicy and tangy.

Transfer the pork roasts to a sheet pan and tightly cover them with aluminum foil. Let the pork rest for 30 minutes.

Pull the warm meat apart with your fingers or two forks. Discard any large pieces of fat or sinew. In a large bowl moisten the pork with as much sauce as you like. Pile the pork on hamburger buns. Serve warm.

{Her Way} Slow Cooker Pulled Pork
My recipe was the complete opposite. It was so easy. I dumped all the ingredients in the crock pot and walked away. After 5 hours, the pork pulled easily. Because the recipe called for root beer I used a brown sugar flavored bbq sauce (trying to pull together flavors). My pulled pork had a sweeter bbq taste. I even added more root beer after adding the bbq sauce because I wanted my pulled pork to be on the sweet side as opposed to Alex's tangy pork. 

His & Her Pulled Pork

Source: (here)

1 (2 pound) pork tenderloin (I used pork shoulder)
1 (12 fluid ounce) can or bottle root beer
1 (18 ounce) bottle your favorite barbecue sauce
8 hamburger buns, split and lightly toasted

Place the pork tenderloin in a slow cooker; pour the root beer over the meat. Cover and cook on low until well cooked and the pork shreds easily, 6 to 7 hours. Note: the actual length of time may vary according to individual slow cooker. Drain well. Stir in barbecue sauce. Serve over hamburger buns. 


1 comment:

Megan said...

Um, the next time you two have a cook off, can I come over? Because both versions look and sound amazing. I'm determined to attempt smoking food this year (boy, did that sound weird) - and I love love love pulled pork. With extra sauce. And buns. And coleslaw. Yummy yum yum.