Sunday, March 1, 2009

Smokey Barbecue Pulled Pork, Oven Style with a Quick Barbecue Sauce

Pork shoulder
1 tsp liquid smoke

all purpose rub:
3 Tbls brown sugar
1 Tbl ground cumin
1 Tbl paprika
2 Tbls kosher salt
1 Tbl black pepper
1 Tbl chili powder
1/2 tbl mustard powder
½ tsp cayenne pepper
1 tbl garlic powder

For the sauce:
1 cup ketchup
1-2 tbls dry rub
1/2 cup apple cider
2 tsps cider vinegar
1 tsp molasses

For the pork: Mix the spices well. Score skin to allow fat out. Reserve 1 tbl of rub and coat pork with the rest. Cover and roast at 300º for 5-6 hours, until meat shreds easily with a fork. Pull the pork out and allow it to cool enough to handle.

Pour 1/2 cup of water into the roasting pan, bring to a boil and deglaze pan. Pour the liquids off into a heat proof bowl and cool. With two forks (or hands), pull the pork into shreds, discarding excess fat and skin. Skim fat from the liquids and discard. Pour the liquids into a large pot, and bring to a boil. Add the cider vinegar. Stir in the shredded pork, return to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for ten minutes. Or just pour 3/4 of the hot liquid over the shredded pork. Serve hot on a bun. I recommend pickles and coleslaw.

For the sauce: Combine all the ingredients in a small sauce pan. Bring to a simmer and let simmer, stirring occasionally for at least 10 minutes or as long as 30.


Here it is, smoky barbecue pulled pork from the oven. If my calling this barbecue upsets you, please see my comments on it here and here. I certainly don't want to offend anyone, but even more I don't want to get involved in any "right name" crap. So, let's just move on. How do you make pulled pork from the oven smokey? Liquid smoke baby. I really like liquid smoke. It's not perfect, but it is really good. Since I've already done a big post on pulled pork I'm just going to hit the highlights here, then move on to the sauce. Which also might upset people, since apparently there is a "no ketchup in barbecue sauce" camp. Well, that's for later.

Ok then, first the dry rub. I changed it up a little bit this time by using garlic powder instead of fresh garlic. It makes it easier to work with. I've used this rub on chicken and beef too and it's been really good. Just so you know. Then I scored the skin and rubbed the rub in. It's good to get lots of rub on there, more rub = more flavor. Then you plop it on a rack, cover it with foil and cook it at 300 for many hours. I had a commenter, erin, on the last one say that you should do it 40 minutes a pound, but I found that wasn't enough time. Even with this shoulder that was only two and a half pounds needed five hours before it was easy to shred. But after five hours it was ready to go. This folks, is what fork tender looks like. The meat should just come right off the bones in nice big chunks. Like this. I wanted to just drop this piece on a bun as is and mow. But I didn't. I put it all in a bowl and shredded it. Then I poured the juices into a gravy separator. You would have thought there would have been more fat, but I guess most of it melted into the meat. Which is why it's so good. Anyway, I poured the juices into a sauce pan, added the liquid smoke and vinegar. You could brush the shoulder with liquid smoke before putting on the rub too. That was what I had meant to do, but flaked on it. Ah well. This way worked out just fine. Then I added the water, brought it to a boil and let it go for about 5 minutes. Then I just poured most of it over the pork. And ate a forkful of it. Man that stuff is good. Smoky, slightly sweet and spicy. Good times kids.

Ok, now quickie barbecue sauce. I remembered reading in a Cooks Illustrated about a sauce for ribs they made where they used some of the rub to make it. I thought it was a great idea. So I stole it. Now, some people have a problem with using ketchup to make barbecue sauce (and some people think barbecue sauce itself is wrong) and if you are one of those folks then feel free to not use this recipe. But again, please don't come on here and tell me it's an abomination. I really just don't care. I like it. I had wanted to use tomato puree for it, but didn't have any. So I used ketchup and it came out fine. I just winged it, really. I put one cup of ketchup, half a cup of apple cider, one tablespoon of the dry rub, about a teaspoon of molasses and two teaspoons of vinegar. Then I mixed it up and let it simmer for a while. The longer it simmers the better it is, but you could just do it for ten minutes if you are in a huge rush. Of course, you just spent five hours cooking the pork, you might as well take a half hour to make the sauce. Heh.


Shane T. Wingerd said...

Lookin Good!!!!! Thank you for ending my torment... Now at least I can sleep tonight.. :) Of course NOW I know what I will be dreaming of...

pigpigscorner said...

ahh finally! Looks really yummy! I've heard of liquid smoke but I can't seem to find any here!

tamilyn said...

Fricky frac that looks awesome. I love pulled pork. Ya know, I don't care if it is 'real smoked' or 'sauce or no sauce', I say if it good eat the darn thing and shut up. Yum!

vanillasugarblog said...

oh yes, the longer it sits the better indeed! I would be tasting this all day long as it cooked; dipping bread in, etc... oh yeah

Anonymous said...

This looks awesome! I love the picture with all the spices for the dry rub. Where do you get your liquid smoke?

Reeni said...

Five Star Foodie stole my comment! I like the picture of the spices too. This looks so tasty, I bet it just kind of melts in your mouth!

Karen said...

Great post... that meat just looks so good I want to make it today!

Bob said...

Culinary Alchemist: Hope you slept well. ;)

pigpig: Thanks! I had a hard time finding it here too. I finally found it in the barbecue sauce section of my supermarket.

tamilyn: Thanks! That's what I say too. Only usually a little less politely. Heh.

Dawn: Hard to resist isn't it? I didn't even bother with bread, I just stuck my finger in every five minutes or so.

5 Star Foodie: Thanks! I got my liquid smoke at Stop & Shop, in with all the bbq sauces. I kept looking for it in the with the spices for the longest time...

Reeni: Thanks! It totally does. Heh.

Karen: Thanks! It's become one of my favorite recipes. Heh, in a way it's a good thing it takes so long since it's really pretty high in fat.

Anonymous said...

Love that dry rub bowl! That is fun, fun, fun. Wish we could eat this for lunch right now.

Anonymous said...

Oh finally! It looks really good. I adore pulled pork in a big messy sandwich and this looks like the perfect recipe!

Kiezie said...

I love love love pulled pork, thanks for a great tutorial!

Spryte said...


Leslie said...

I am such a slacker in the sauce department. I always reach for the nasty pre made bottled junk! But THIS sounds delightful!

Bob said...

duo: thanks! I'd share... well, if there was any left. Heh.

noble pig: thanks! It is a good one. Not that that will stop me from more tinkering. ;)

Chefbliss: You're welcome!

Spryte: ;)

Leslie: I usually do too, but I really wanted to make my own. I was quite pleased with the way it came out.

skr said...

looks so good, pulled pork should be a religion. =)

Tangled Noodle said...

Don't care about the name - I just want a bite of its deliciousness!

Vicki said...

Liquid smoke? Ketchup? Oh, the horror! Oh, the abomination! Oh,...can I come over? :)

Kiezie said...

I have an award for you (hee hee hee!) @ and my name is not really ChefBliss but I like it anyway!

Jennifer said...

Hubby is a huge pulled pork fan. I will make without liquid smoke (I know, I know). I also have a fab. dry run in a post that I love. Photo of rub fantastic.

Thistlemoon said...

Oh my goodness, this looks awesome! I love BBQ pulled pork!

Bob said...

bcgw: Heh, in some places it is.

Tangled Noodle: That's what I'm saying! :D

Vicki: Heh, course you can. Just bring some hush puppies. ;)

Chefbliss: Thanks! :)

Jennifer: It's mad good without the smoke too. I just like it smoky.

JennDZ: Thanks! You can do great things with the leftovers too. ;)

Sara said...

I love pulled pork! This recipe looks delicious!

Dazy said...

It is looking fab! I like pork - we have it almost as much as we have chicken, which is a lot. It should keep me busy in the kitchen.

Lucy said...

I just found this recipe and tried it this evening with pork shoulder steaks. It was SO delicious, I ate the toddler's leftovers off of her highchair tray. That's saying a lot. I even took the lazy way out -- no liquid smoke, no garlic, and bottled BBQ sauce -- and it was awesome. Thank you!

sangeee said...

Oh how can you do this to me? That looks amazing! AMAZING!

Smoking Oven


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