So my friends, I am sharing with you our recipe for Perfect Pulled Pork today, which is just the ticket for all the upcoming Fourth of July festivities and entertaining you'll be doing this summer.
But first, the backstory; cuz you know I'm all about the backstory. We spent 10 years living in a suburb of Nashville, Tennessee. Both of my babies were born there and we have nothing but very fond memories of that town. We were there when Garth Brooks was taking country music by storm and when Keith Urban was just being ‘discovered'. We lived 5 minutes from Waylon Jennings' home and my kids grew up singing ‘Only Daddy That'll Walk the Line' like other kids grow up singing ‘Itsy Bitsy Spider.'
Nashville is a great foodie town and living in Nashville also spoiled us with all the great barbecue offerings available. There was a little, hole in the wall barbecue restaurant 3 miles from our home that we frequented often and always when friends and family were in town. Sadly, that little barbecue restaurant (Herbert's) is no longer there, but then again, neither are we! All this to say, my family loves their baby back ribs and pulled pork AND we have very high standards.
When I worked at Williams-Sonoma several years ago it seems like everyone ended up with a Williams-Sonoma gift under the Christmas tree. One Christmas, Terry was gifted with a smoker box for our gas grill in the hopes that we might be able to replicate Herbert's pulled pork. Ever since then we've been working to perfect our smoked and pulled pork. Our first efforts were ‘eh', but we persevered and now have it down to a science. Making a great pulled pork really isn't difficult, it just takes time. It's not the kind of meal that you can decide in the morning to make for dinner that night. It does take a little forethought, but it is worth every bit of that advance planning. And I'll make a disclaimer right here…if you have a dedicated smoker or are a barbecue purists, you will see no need for finishing in the crock pot. However, after several different tries, we are more than willing to throw bbq traditions to the wind because this is some outstanding pulled pork. Here are our suggestions for perfect pulled pork.
Morning 2 days before you plan to eat your pulled pork…Brine (recipe below) your pork shoulder
Morning 1 day before you plan to eat your pulled pork …Coat pork with Rub(recipe below) and place it on your grill with smoker box
Evening 1 day before you plan to eat your pulled pork…Take pork from grill after 12-15 hours of smoking at 225° and put it in your slow cooker or crock-pot on low (with balls of aluminum foil to prevent pork from resting in liquid) with a can of beer and a tablespoon of liquid smoke.
Your pork will be finished late morning or early afternoon on the day you want to eat it. Pull it apart with forks and put it in a lidded container in your refrigerator, with the defatted liquid from crockpot. I separate the fat from the liquid using one of my fav kitchen gadgets...a fat/grease separator. Your biggest challenge now will be keeping fingers out of the container of deliciousness that is beckoning from your refrigerator.
Heat your pulled pork just before you serve it.
Adapted from Lynn | Nourish and Nestle
Will keep in refrigerator for 3 months.
And, if you are looking for some side dishes or accompaniments for your Perfect Pulled Pork, look to my friend Carols' Potato Salad...the perfect pairing. And if you need a perfect dessert to finish your pulled pork dinner, how about some blueberry hand pies?
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