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My Favorite Pulled Pork, Meatheadified!

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  • cdevito
    Charter Member
    • Apr 2015
    • 20

    My Favorite Pulled Pork, Meatheadified!

    For about 13 years I have had a favorite go-to pulled pork recipe. Over the years I have tweaked around with it applying different techniques that I read in various places. On May 29th, 2016, I hit absolute perfection by "Meatheadifying" the process. I think I will be submitting "Meatheadify" to the Miriam-Webster for addition to the dictionary, defined as "applying Meatheads techniques and advice to create perfect BBQ".

    The go-to recipe is from the June 2003 issue of 'Cuisine at Home' magazine. It is a very rich dry rub, a vinegar based sauce that starts with a cup of root beer syrup. The cole slaw is made with green and red cabbage, spinach and a vinegar/mayo dressing. I can post the recipes if anyone's interested. Their method in the magazine calls for cooking on a grill three hours with some smoke in the beginning, then finishing it wrapped in foil, which I never understood that until a few later when I read about the stall and the Crutch on this website. After a couple of years I had acquired a WSM and this whole recipe got kicked up a few notches by just plowing through the stall.

    As I said, over the years I have tried a few tricks here an there with varying success and a few failures. Once or twice it came out too mushy after wet brining overnight. Several times I finished it in the oven wrapped in foil and ruined the bark. Once it was so salty that I didn't serve it.

    So, how did I Meatheadify the process and reach Nirvana? Simple. I followed your "Perfect Pulled Pork" method with a couple of substitutions:

    1. Dry brined the meat overnight
    2. I replaced the Memphis Dust with the rub recipe mentioned above, leaving out the salt. Brining took care of the salt.
    3. Fired up the WSM, started using Soo's Donut variant of the Minion Method. The temperature ran up to 260 but I was able to quickly correct it and it ran between 230 and 250 the rest of the day.
    4. In step 3, I replaced the beer, cigar and mint julep ingredients with straight bourbon
    5. Also in step 3, I substituted mowing the lawn and washing windows with planting tomatoes, zucchini, eggplant, etc.
    6. Thankfully, my wife agreed the remainder of step 3 should be followed to the letter to ensure the success of the meal.
    7. No Crutch. After about 10 hours the meat hit 198 internal temperature.
    8. I let it rest 30 minutes then started pulling. The bone slipped right out and it had a wonderful crunchy bark. It pulled beautifully.
    9. For the first time since I have been using this recipe, it went on the table completely nekkid. I didn't mix in any sauce, just the juices form the meat made the whole thing deliciously moist.

    Aside from the expert advice from Meathead and the crew here, I also think that there were higher powers at work. We had perfect weather with just enough breeze to keep the edge off and the bugs away. I even think the breeze kicked up a bit anytime the WSM started getting a little too hot. We invited a bunch of people over for an impromptu BBQ and just a few showed up so it was nicely low key. A mound of pork, anointed with a small scoop of sauce and accompanied with a pile of cole slaw was absolute perfection. I had three. I do have a couple of pics to share that I will post later on.

    ...thanks for reading.
    Last edited by cdevito; May 30, 2016, 08:28 AM.
  • fzxdoc
    Founding Member
    • Jul 2014
    • 5329
    • My toys:
      Weber Summit Charcoal Grilling Center (WSCGC) aka Mr. Fancypants
      Pit Barrel Cooker (which rocks)
      Weber Summit S650 Gas Grill
      Weber Kettle Premium 22"
      Weber Jumbo Joe Premium 22" (a weird little 22" kettle mutant on 22"-long legs) (donated to local battered women's shelter.)
      Camp Chef Somerset IV 4-burner outdoor gas range


      Adrenaline BBQ Company's SnS, DnG and Large Charcoal Basket for WSCGC
      Adrenaline BBQ Company's Elevated SS Rack for WSCGC
      Adrenaline BBQ Company's SS Rack for DnG
      Grill Grate for SnS
      Grill Grates: five 17.375 sections (retired to storage)
      Grill Grates: six 19.25 panels for exact fit for Summit S650 gasser
      2 Grill Grate Griddles
      Steelmade Griddle for Summit gas grill

      Fireboard Extreme BBQ Thermometer Package
      Fireboard control unit in addition to that in the Extreme BBQ Package
      Additional Fireboard probes: Competition Probes 1" (3) and 4" (1), 3 additional Ambient Probes. 1 additional Food Probe
      2 Fireboard Driver Cables
      Pit Viper Fan (to pair with Fireboard Fan Driver Cable)
      Pit Viper Fan new design (to pair with Fireboard Fan Driver Cable)
      Thermoworks Thermapen MK5 (pink)
      Thermoworks Thermapen MK4 (pink too)
      Thermoworks Temp Test 2 Smart Thermometer
      Thermoworks Extra Big and Loud Timer
      Thermoworks Timestick Trio
      Maverick ET 73 a little workhorse with limited range
      Maverick ET 733
      Maverick (Ivation) ET 732

      Grill Pinz
      Vortex (two of them)

      Two Joule Sous Vide devices
      VacMaster Pro 350 Vacuum Sealer
      Instant Pot 6 Quart Electric Pressure Cooker
      Instant Pot 10 Quart Electric Pressure Cooker
      Charcoal Companion TurboQue
      A-Maze-N tube 12 inch tube smoker accessory for use with pellets

      BBQ Dragon and Dragon Chimney

      Shun Classic 8" Chef's Knife
      Shun Classic 6" Chef's Knife
      Shun Classic Gokujo Boning and Fillet Knife
      Shun Classic 3 1/2 inch Paring Knife

    #2
    Wow, it sounds as though the cook couldn't have been any better, cdevito . Hearty congrats on that. I'd love to see the recipes you used for the rub and slaw. They sound really yummy.

    I agree, any recipe, "Meatheadified" kicks it up a notch. I'm pretty sold on MMR with any pork product in my smoker, but should branch out a bit I guess.

    Thanks for the nice writeup. I particularly enjoyed reading steps 4 and 5.

    Kathryn

    Comment


    • cdevito
      cdevito commented
      Editing a comment
      Thanks! I'll post the recipes below...
  • cdevito
    Charter Member
    • Apr 2015
    • 20

    #3
    Rub:
    ¼ cup Kosher salt (omit if brining the meat)
    ¼ cup Black pepper, freshly ground
    ¼ cup Chili powder (I use McCormick Dark Chili Powder)
    1 Tbsp. Dried oregano
    1 Tbsp. Dried thyme
    1 tsp. Cayenne

    I find freshly grinding the black pepper gives a much more intense flavor. Also, I recommend pulverizing the dried herbs to a powder, they mix into the rub better that way.

    Sauce:
    1 cup Root beer syrup
    1 ½ cup Apple cider vinegar
    ½ cup Ketchup
    ¼ cup Yellow mustard
    2 Tbsp. Lemon juice
    1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
    1 Tbsp. Tabasco
    1 tsp. Kosher salt
    1 tsp. Black pepper
    2 Tbsp. Butter

    To make the root beer syrup, reduce a 2L bottle of root beer (NOT DIET) to 1 cup. I found a good craft root beer syrup which I prefer because it has no coloring or other weird ingredients. Also, sometimes reducing the root beer brings in a slightly charred flavor. However, if done slowly to avoid burning, you end up with a great sauce. If you have the syrup, put in a medium saucepan and start with step 2.
    1. If you start with a 2L bottle of soda, reduce it to 1 cup in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
    2. Add the rest of the ingredients EXCEPT the butter.
    3. Stir well to combine and simmer 20 minutes.
    4. Add the butter and simmer a few minutes. This gives the sauce a little extra body and a nice sheen.

    Coleslaw:
    ½ cup Mayonnaise
    ½ cup Vegetable oil
    ½ cup White wine vinegar
    ¼ cup Sugar
    1 ½ tsp. Dry mustard
    1 tsp. Kosher salt
    ½ tsp. Cayenne

    Whisk together and toss with:

    1 lb. Green cabbage, shredded, or cole slaw mix
    10 oz. Red cabbage, shredded
    6 oz. Fresh spinach, thinly sliced

    Let the coleslaw stand at least 30 minutes before serving

    Comment

    • fzxdoc
      Founding Member
      • Jul 2014
      • 5329
      • My toys:
        Weber Summit Charcoal Grilling Center (WSCGC) aka Mr. Fancypants
        Pit Barrel Cooker (which rocks)
        Weber Summit S650 Gas Grill
        Weber Kettle Premium 22"
        Weber Jumbo Joe Premium 22" (a weird little 22" kettle mutant on 22"-long legs) (donated to local battered women's shelter.)
        Camp Chef Somerset IV 4-burner outdoor gas range


        Adrenaline BBQ Company's SnS, DnG and Large Charcoal Basket for WSCGC
        Adrenaline BBQ Company's Elevated SS Rack for WSCGC
        Adrenaline BBQ Company's SS Rack for DnG
        Grill Grate for SnS
        Grill Grates: five 17.375 sections (retired to storage)
        Grill Grates: six 19.25 panels for exact fit for Summit S650 gasser
        2 Grill Grate Griddles
        Steelmade Griddle for Summit gas grill

        Fireboard Extreme BBQ Thermometer Package
        Fireboard control unit in addition to that in the Extreme BBQ Package
        Additional Fireboard probes: Competition Probes 1" (3) and 4" (1), 3 additional Ambient Probes. 1 additional Food Probe
        2 Fireboard Driver Cables
        Pit Viper Fan (to pair with Fireboard Fan Driver Cable)
        Pit Viper Fan new design (to pair with Fireboard Fan Driver Cable)
        Thermoworks Thermapen MK5 (pink)
        Thermoworks Thermapen MK4 (pink too)
        Thermoworks Temp Test 2 Smart Thermometer
        Thermoworks Extra Big and Loud Timer
        Thermoworks Timestick Trio
        Maverick ET 73 a little workhorse with limited range
        Maverick ET 733
        Maverick (Ivation) ET 732

        Grill Pinz
        Vortex (two of them)

        Two Joule Sous Vide devices
        VacMaster Pro 350 Vacuum Sealer
        Instant Pot 6 Quart Electric Pressure Cooker
        Instant Pot 10 Quart Electric Pressure Cooker
        Charcoal Companion TurboQue
        A-Maze-N tube 12 inch tube smoker accessory for use with pellets

        BBQ Dragon and Dragon Chimney

        Shun Classic 8" Chef's Knife
        Shun Classic 6" Chef's Knife
        Shun Classic Gokujo Boning and Fillet Knife
        Shun Classic 3 1/2 inch Paring Knife

      #4
      Thanks so much, cdevito !

      Kathryn

      Comment

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      Meat-Up in Memphis 2021

      2 seats left! Secure yours now, first-come, first-served. We will put all others on the waitlist.
      Click here for details. (https://amazingribs.com/memphis)
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