Cooking pulled pork. Everyone loves pulled pork (me included!). Pulled pork burgers are a summertime must. Slow cooker, oven, Dutch oven, smoker… the choice is yours! We have the ways to cook pulled pork and of course their respective cooking time and temperature! Translation in French: porc effiloché.
How do I cook pulled pork?
- Preparing pulled pork
- How do I know pulled pork is cooked?
- Cooking pulled pork in a slow cooker
- Cooking pulled pork in a Dutch oven (cast iron casserole)
- Cooking pulled pork in an oven
- Cooking pulled pork in a smoker
- Shredding pulled pork
What to pair pulled pork with?
Pulled pork pairs well with coleslaw, baked beans, cornbread, or BBQ sauce! Serve pulled pork with steamed corn, corn on the cob, French fries, onion rings or collard greens. Oh, and you should try eating pulled pork on a baked potato (it’s delicious).
Preparing pulled pork
Pulled pork is made from pork shoulder or pork butt (they are both relatively inexpensive cuts of meat that are perfect for slow cooking).
To prepare pulled pork, season the meat with your favorite rub or marinade. I love using a mixture of pimenton de la Vera (take paprika if you don’t have any), cumin and brown sugar. If you have liquid smoke, use 1 tsp for a 5-7 lbs cut. Please, do not remove the fat from the cut of meat you have chosen… It brings out flavor! Once the meat is seasoned, it’s time to start cooking. The best way to cook pulled pork is low and slow, which means using a slow cooker or a Dutch oven to cook the meat at a low temperature for several hours.
How do I know pulled pork is cooked?
To make pulled pork, the internal temperature of the pork should reach between 195-205°F (90-96°C). This temperature range is important because it ensures that the meat has reached a temperature that is high enough to break down the connective tissue and collagen in the meat, making it tender and easy to pull apart with a fork. If you can, get a meat thermometer and check the internal temperature in your meat. Stop cooking at 200°F (93°C) because pork will continue to cook on its own even once you’ve removed it from your slow cooker/Dutch oven/oven/smoker… The collagen in the meat begins to break down at around 160-170°F (71-77°C), which is why low and slow cooking methods are ideal for making pulled pork. As the meat cooks at a low temperature over a long period of time, the collagen breaks down into gelatin, which helps to keep the meat moist and tender.
Cooking pulled pork in a slow cooker
Cooking pulled pork in a slow cooker. Slow cooking is the key to a juicy and tender meat.
1. Prepare your pulled pork as explained earlier in the page. Add liquid. I cover the meat with lemonade (think no-diet Sprite) and BBQ sauce with a ratio of 3:1
2. Cook the meat on LOW for 8-10 hours if you kept the meat whole. The cooking time is reduced to 6-7 hours if you cut it in halves. If unsure, check the internal temperature (see above: stop cooking at 200°F or 93°C)
Cooking pulled pork in a Dutch oven
Cooking pulled pork in a Dutch oven. Use your Dutch oven or cast iron casserole to cook pulled pork.
1. Prepare your pulled pork as explained earlier in the page.
2. Add oil to your Dutch oven and sear the meat on all sides over medium high heat: 1-2 minutes max!
3. Lower the heat, add beer (yes, beer. Alternatively a mixture of cider vinegar and water works fine). Cook with the lid on for 3 hours, then remove the lid. At that step, you should definitely check the internal temperature. Usually it can take an extra 30 minutes to 1 hour.
Cooking pulled pork in an oven
If you prefer, you can cook pulled pork in an oven.
1. Preheat your oven to 300°F (150°C)
2. Prepare your pulled pork as explained earlier in the page. Put it in a roasting pan.
3. Add water in dish at the bottom of your oven to keep the environment moist.
4. Roast for 6 hours, checking the internal temperature (see above: stop cooking at 200°F or 93°C)
5. Once cooked, shred and add BBQ sauce. Enjoy!
Smoking pulled pork
Smoking pulled pork. If you have a smoker, this is the best way to cook pulled pork.
1. Prepare your pulled pork as explained earlier in the page. Add cider (1 quart for a 5-7 lbs cut of meat) Marinate overnight (in the fridge).
2. Preheat your smoker at 210°F (100°C).
3. Pour the cider (with spices in it) in the water pan of the smoker and place the pork at the center of the smoker.
4. Smoke for 7-8 hours until the internal temperature has reached 200°F (93°C).
5. Once cooked, le the meat sit for 10-15 minutes then start shredding!
Shredding pulled pork
Shredding pulled pork. Once your pork is cooked, it’s time to pull and shred the meat! If cooked properly (not overcooked… that’s when it’s tough), the meat should be falling apart. Use 2 forks to shredd the pulled pork and get strands of meat. Next, you can add your favorite sauce (yes, BBQ sauce!)