Time to say goodbye to those savory slow cooked roasts and hello to everyone’s summertime favorite, pulled pork sandwiches. Lucky for you Kettle Club members that receive pork shoulders in your shares, you’re equipped to make everyone’s summer a little more delicious.
Check out our simple tips for perfect pulled pork that will have your BBQ guests putting in special requests for every summer come.
Season that Shoulder!
Don’t be so tense! It’s only dinner. Nothing helps loosen those muscles quite like a massage. Your pork shoulder agrees! A spicy rub down with a salt-based seasoning can help tenderize your shoulder while adding some delicious flavor. Salt is comprised of sodium and chloride ions that denature or unwind the proteins of highly worked muscles. These altered proteins can then retain more water, keeping the meat moist during the cooking process. Check out one of our favorite BBQ rubs, perfect for a smoked pork shoulder.
Fat side up
Let gravity do its thing! Whether your smoking, braising or slow cooking, the fatty cap of the shoulder will add incredible flavor and tenderness to your finished product. Set your shoulder fat side up and let the flavor rain down!
Use your trusty tools!
Dare we say it again? Okay, we will, use your thermometer! Whatever your cooking method, 225 degrees is a solid sweet spot for cooking low and slow. We recommend checking your shoulder often until it reaches 180-185 degrees. This is the temperature in which the fat will begin to render adding flavor and tenderness. For a 2 lb. roast, this will take around 4-5 hours depending on your cooking method.
Let it rest
Resist the urge to jump right into that amazingly cooked roast. Give the shoulder 20 minutes to lock in the juices and flavors. You won’t be sorry!
Get your hands dirty
Okay, so maybe for your guest’s sake, use gloves. But, under no circumstances should you begin cutting up that beautiful roast you just worked so hard on! Use your hands to gently pull the meat apart and separate through any connective tissue. Every bit of your sandwich should melt in your mouth.
Easy on the sauce!
Don’t get us wrong, we love our BBQ sauce, but we love the taste of heritage pork even more! Getting too heavy handed on the sauce can hide the delicious flavor of the pork and your yummy spice rub. Let eaters choose how saucy they get with it.