Wednesday, December 2, 2009

"Oven Smoked" Pulled Pork Shoulder: Featuring SFQ – The Original San Francisco-Style Barbecue Sauce

Pulled pork shoulder is such an easy recipe, and a great item to enjoy with your sample of SFQ, that I wanted to get this video up before I left for New York. As some of you know I'm headed out to help my mom for a little while and won't have an opportunity to post much from there.

The conventional method for cooking pork shoulder is low and slow, but this recipe is really low and slow – like 210 degrees F. low and 12 hours slow. The result is an incredibly soft and succulent piece of pork, perfect for pulling.

Since I don't have a smoker (at the time of this posting), and most of you don't either, I thought I would show you a little trick I would have learned in the Army had I enlisted. As you'll see, I cook the pork in a covered Dutch oven with a couple of ramekins of water into which I've added a small amount of liquid smoke.

I've never been a big liquid smoke guy, but this method seems to scent the meat with a nice subtle smokiness without getting in the way. The extra moisture also allows for a very humid cooking environment, always a good things when doing pork shoulder. Enjoy!



Ingredients:
3 1/2 lb pork shoulder roast
3-4 tbsp dry rub
1/2 tsp liquid smoke
barbecue sauce as needed

63 comments:

Wendy B. said...

MMMmmmmmmmm....pulled pork. It looks amazing. Too bad I will never get to try the real deal since I live in Canada and there is no cross border barbecue sauce deal! It makes me sad, but I will definitely try this one with my own (far inferior I am sure) sauce. Thanks John!

PrimeBrit said...

I didn't roll my eyes, but I did lean back in my chair, exhale and smile! Thanks... Pork looks as awesome as the HD image does!

Anonymous said...

Is there any cut of beef I can do this with?

JimmerSD said...

Funny you should mention that. I've been playing with the same techniques lately. KC Ribs, Dry Rubbed low and really slow 6~7hrs @ 210F on a cookie sheet with a cooling rack and an aluminum tent. Falls off the bone! Yummy.

Kerri said...

Chef John, I love your site. Thanks for all the great recipes. A question on this one: Might one be able to do this with brisket? Maybe in a 9x13 pan, tightly sealed with aluminum foil? What do you think? (mouth watering at the thought...)

connieemeraldeyes said...

This looks great. I will try in when I get my new convection oven in January.

Chef John said...

yes, should work with brisket, but maybe not so long

Kerri said...

so maybe 6-7 hours for brisket?

Chef John said...

maybe. i would check some bbq site for times before though

Anonymous said...

Where would I find liquid smoke?

This looks so delicious, I want it right now! Haha.

Chef John said...

any supermarket has it.

Asian Malaysian said...

Chef John, this is like that chicken wing eating thing all over again! I cant believe Ive been trying to apply a sort of watered down liquid smoke spray directly to my barbequing meat! Always left a bit of an unwanted bitter aftertaste on the meat. Ramekins!Doh!!

skuffen said...

Looks awesome - will have to try this!

Jason said...

i'm so rockin this recipe this weekend... looks soooo good... great vid chef!!

Anonymous said...

Dearest Chef John,
I truly think you should be severely punished for not shipping this yummy treat overseas! And such punishment should come in the form of a recipe for yummy lemon bars... :-p
Just thought i'd try my luck....
Luv luv luv the site and think you truly rock! Too bad I can't make a donation!
Kisses from Portugal!
PatrĂ­cia

Chris K. said...

What about substituting the water with another liquid, like stock or wine? Do you think the results would be negligible?

Lucia said...

The only thing i can find in france of there is the pork should,er, but believe me im doing this recipe. I sort of already did it ,but it was om nom no m so happy to try aoghin

the awyfl tyhping has nothing to do with me being in xmas party and being smashed :P

Have fun and asl awlays, enjoy!

likestocook said...

Mmmm... I love pulled pork and I just purchased a dutch oven. I'll have to try that in my new one when I get it.

Jamie said...

That looks really tasty. I only wish we had Liquid Smoke here in Ukraine. :-( Yea, its a bummer.

KrisD said...

Yay, I will use my brand-new SFQ in this recipe. I will disagree with you on one point--this must be served on a Martin's Famous Potato Roll.

(the packaging of the SFQ is gorgeous, and I can't WAIT to use my freakishly small wooden spoon!!!)

Mr. H said...

Another beef substitute idea: chuck roast. Pulls apart much like pork butt. Comes in all sizes... my first was a 20lb behemoth that took nearly 18 hours on the smoker.
Chef John, do you have a kettle grill? I might be worthwhile to try your recipe outside using higher heat... indirect, but with temps closer to 300. Cuts the cooking time in half too.
I know your le creuset is a versatile, desirous object in the kitchen, but a weber smoker wouldn't run much more. You took the classes... time to up your game!

Patrick said...

Thanks for the recipe - I just bought Liquid Smoke.
I wonder if I can make it in a slow cooker too?
-patrick

connieemeraldeyes said...

I made this, a little different than yours, but not much. It came out great. I put a picture of it on my blog. Here is the link.
http://connieemeraldeyes.wordpress.com/2009/12/08/slow-cooked-pork/

ThaiGrocer said...

I combined your pulled pork cooking method with the garlic studded pork recipe you did earlier. I'm happy to report that it was fantastic. The only difference was that I raised the temperature a bit and reduced the cooking time to 9 hours.

Lucia said...

I was wondering what was the internal temperature the pork reached or shouldn't exceed. I was reading some websites but they were not very specific so I just went for Alton Brown's braising method.

Chef John said...

Most pit masters say 190

Mr. H said...

I would say 190 as a baseline to begin checking for doneness... meaning stick a fork or probe in it, give a little twist, and if there's no resistance, you are done. I accidentally took a butt to almost 210 degrees last weekend (it was the smaller of 2 on the smoker, the other was at 195), and it was, perhaps miraculously, still tender and delicious.

King To said...

John:

I don't have a dutch oven, but I do have a slow cooker. Would that work? Or do you have other suggestion?

Chef John said...

I've never tried a slowcooker but I know there are tons of recipes for pork shoulder using them. Should be fine as long as it falls apart.

Balu said...

Now it sucks even more that I can't order your SFQ from Germany :-(

Even worse, I was not able to find a really good bbq-sauce in the shops here. Not speaking of liquid smoke...

Carolyn said...

I did try this technique with a larger pork butt..and it was extremely tender..

Healthy and Homemade said...

Yum! That looks so delicious, I've never been a big pork fan but maybe this would be good with beef! Love how the sandwich looks, and *love* that you said use a fluffy white bun. I totally agree, sometimes doing the healthier option just doesn't work! It's like using whole wheat pasta, it's gross and doesn't taste the same and it's bad for you either way so just go with the traditional white pasta =D Same goes for butter vs. margarine.

Liam said...

I am in Hungary and I am having a friend bring back some Liquid Smoke. Can't wait to try this. Just need to find out what Shoulder Cut is called here, they butcher differently. Whats in the dry rub.. if its not a secret?

Chef John said...

Well, a shoulder is a shoulder no matter where you are, so I'm sure the butcher can tell you. Here's a rub http://americanfood.about.com/od/barbecuesaucerecipes/r/texdryrub.htm

Lisa said...

I've just stumbled across your site while searching for a pulled pork recipe. (Must have had my head under a rock) I LOVE YOUR RECIPES!! I'll be a regular follower. Will try the pulled pork this week!
Thanks!

Justin said...

This recipe is great! I made it this past weekend, and was so pleased with the results. Pulled pork is just one of those things that always eluded me. Never really thought to make it on my own, but I always order it at pubs and such. Anyway that rub recipe is great, and I decided to make my own Maple Bourbon BBQ sauce which turned out fantastic.

Here's how I made the sauce: Saute garlic and onions until soft. Add Ketchup, Brown Sugar, and Cider Vinegar. Cook for 20 mins at a simmer. One dash of liquid smoke. Add a decent helping of maple syrup to taste. Let stand and cool down to a warm temperature. Add two tablespoons (or more) of Bourbon of your choice (I used a local variety called Forty Creek, which is very oaky and flavourful). Turned out great. Sorry no measurements..I'm about as precise as Chef John is. :)

Gary said...

I used this technique yesterday with great results. My past experience with cooking meats beyond the temperature when they are done is that they get tougher, not more tenderer (is that a word?). With this technique the pork was just as tender as in your video.

Since I was feeding kids I opted for the sweet Hawaiian dinner rolls - a perfect size for sliders. I've never put cole slaw in the sandwich before but I tried it this time - nice crunchy addition!

The bonus in this recipe is pork shoulder is about the cheapest cut of meat you can buy short of scraps for making soup - it was $1.99 per pound at two different stores here in the SF bay area. And wait - there's more! The other bonus is that I have enough leftovers for dinner the next day!

Thanks Chef for another wonderful meal!

Marie said...

I tried this recently, but had to "fast cook" it (due to problems with my oven) at 350 degrees for about 4 hours.
Still delicious! Best pulled pork sandwich I've ever had.
Thanks for sharing!

Ryan said...

Can you do the same with a slow cooker and if so, should you add water to the bottom?

Ryan said...

Hey Chef John,
I was wondering if you can do this in a slow cooker and if so do you need to do anything different. I'm planning on making this for my girlfriend's mother's birthday. You are awesome and you have inspire me to cook a lot more.

Duncan said...

how can i make this if i don't have a dutch oven?

Anonymous said...

Hiya Chef John

@Duncan you can use any 8qt or larger pot with a lid that is oven safe.

To all the "Crock Pots" out there just Google it.

I have made this several times using anywhere from a 4lb. to a 10lb. pork shoulder/butt and it stills comes out great.

Anonymous said...

Made this following Chef Johns steps, it was amazing! Tho mine had much more liquid in the bottom when it was done, prob a good idea to check on it eveer 3-4hrs and maybe drain of the access liquid fro the bottom, tho it was still wonderful! Good work chef!

Paul said...

Chef John! You were doing so well but you crashed and burned at the end. If you chop the pork it is not pulled pork but chopped BBQ!
Pull the pork apart by hand. Have lots of strands and pieces of meat, let the meat dictate the way it comes apart. It's the zen of barbeque! Chopping the meat makes it dry out faster and chopped BBQ is not as good as pulled. The chopping makes the pork roll off the sandwich and it makes for a tough time eating. You must have used some computer animation to have the chopped sandwich look that good. With chopped BBQ you usually can't see the bottom bun because of all the pork rolling off the pile.
I'm in North Carolina and have had BBQ from all over the Carolinas. I'm always dissapointed in the chopped BBQ over pulled and I don't know why chopped stays on the menus. The owners of the BBQ joints around here must not eat their own food or they never tried a true pulled pork sandwich.
Great blog, keep up the good work. You need to get to the Carolias sometime. You've been spending too much time on the left coast.

Anonymous said...

Thank you. White bread is the only way to go. Wheat bread is for hipsters and vegans.

Mette said...

It's impossible to get liquid smoke in Denmark. Have you got any suggestions?

Anonymous said...

I tried this without liquid smoke and it was still amazing.

Rob Pitingolo said...

I loved pulled pork but don't cook it very often due to a few challenges:
1) I'm a single guy and a 5-6 lb shoulder is way more fatty food than I can eat in a short period of time.
2) I'm rarely home for a whole day, and don't feel comfortable leaving the oven on while I'm asleep or at work.

Anyway... I finally got to try this on a recent holiday. I chose to forego the SFQ (not even sure what it is to be frank) and made my own dry rub and BBQ sauce. I woke up at 7am to put this in the oven, and by evening it was so tender and so delicious.

The nice thing about pulled pork is that it freezes well and defrosts easily, even after it's cooked. So I didn't feel pressured to eat a ton of pork in the week after I made it.

1Bigg_ER said...

Chef John, can I get away with using silicon muffin thingies instead of the ramekins?

Chef John said...

sure!

1Bigg_ER said...

I'm going to come out and say it. 3.5 lbs is not enough!!!
If my math is right it comes out to 3.429 hours per pound in the oven.

off topic, Chef John, I know you don't do recommendations but can you do a kitchen basics video please?
I pretty much threw away all my old "non shtick" stuff since finding this blog (just last month).

Bob Walters said...

Paul is correct. You showed chopped pork, not true "pulled" pork. However, unlike Paul, I prefer the chopped version which I learned to love in Memphis. Their version of this sandwich is often finished off with a blob of finely chopped, vinegar based coleslaw right on top of the meat, although some prefer mayonnaise based slaw.

Accompanied by a cold beer, all the food groups are covered. Try it some time.

cookinmom said...

ahh nuts...I have a shoulder but boneless. Will wait until I get one with a bone. You have the best recipes ever!! Made your Bechemel and my3 teenage kids were rolling their eyes asking why haven't I made before and I said because I don't want them to get fat! Our little secret!

cookinmom said...

I went ahead and did this recipe with my boneless pork in the crockpot and "oh my". I placed a piece of foil over the top so that no air could escape and then put the top on. It worked...it fell apart. Cooked on low for 6 hrs for a 1-2 lb. shoulder. Chalk one up for the inexperienced!!!

Vincent said...

People usually go by this many hours per pound. By that logic, does a 7-8 lbs shoulder go in a full day?

Corinne Rowe said...

Does anyone know how many servings this will make??? I plan to try it out for a party but I want to be sure there will be enough for everyone (>__ <; );
I am also wondering; if i need to double the recipe, can I make the other part in a crock pot? If so, would it be for the same amount of time? (If you dont know, I understand)
Btw, I found you from Allrecipes.com and have been HOOKED on your blog ever since!!!
I spent the better part of today going through youtube and creating playlists for all my favorite recipes that you have submitted :D

Chef John said...

This will serve 4-6 people. I usually do a pound of meat person so I have leftovers.

Anonymous said...

URGENT: Hi Chef John, I have an 8 pound shoulder that I want to do this for a part tomorrow. I just checked my oven and the minimum temperature is 260 F. What should I do?? 1. does an 8 pound shoulder require more time than your 3.5? and 2) can i do it at 260 and tweek the time or should I shift gears to a slow cooker?

Corinne Rowe said...

Thank you so much Chef John!!!!

m* said...

Thank you for this great recipe!
My boyfriend prepared it for BBQ last summer in combination with spare ribs and coleslaw. It was amazing!

I also created a blogpost of this (german language):

http://mstarlikes.blogspot.de/search/label/BBQ

Here are my photos of this great BBQ with pulled pork:

http://mstarlikespictures.blogspot.de/2012/09/bbq.html

Keep it up!

Greetz from Germany
m*

Dee Lite said...

can you do this in a slow cooker?

Chef John said...

Sure! Google and you'll see hundreds of SC pulled pork recipes!

Peter Sices said...

What size dutch oven is this?