I love pork. Bacon, chops, tenderloin, sausage, you name it. If it comes from a pig, chances are I’ll snatch it up and have my way with it. We don’t eat a lot of bbq where I’m from in the upper midwest, but let me tell ya, move yourself down to Texas for six years and your entire perspective on slow cooked meat will change. I guarantee it. There is a whole world out there beyond the slow cooker pot roast my mom used to make us and I’ve got the bbq stained fingers to prove it.
Here in North Carolina, depending on where you’re standing, there’s a difference of opinion as to what true bbq is. The folks on the western side of the state swear by a vinegar sauce where as the mountain folk and beyond prefer a tomato based addition. Personally, I’ll take the tomato based version if given the choice but can muster up an appetite for whatever happens to be put in front of me.
This was my very first attempt at making pulled pork slow cooked in the oven and I can safely say that it was a flavor induced success. I took my time and let the meat marinate for a full 12 hours before placing it in my oven for another 10 hours to slow cook. If you have the patience to do the low and slow method, I guarantee pulled pork perfection.
Start out by putting together a simple yet flavorful wet rub. Add a pile of colorful spices together in a bowl.
Mix in a little honey, oil, molasses and mustard to finish it off.
Next up, grab your thawed pork shoulder; mine was just under 7 pounds of goodness, and slice a few slits into the fatty side. Scoop up your rub and work it into every crevice of the meat. I like to imagine I’m giving Matt Damon a shoulder massage instead of an unlucky pig from the neighborhood farm. I’ve been told that a happy cook produces better tasting food, so I go with it.
Slide your pig into a gallon sized zip lock bag (or two if it won’t fit) or drop it into a large baking dish and cover with plastic wrap. Place in the fridge for about 12 hours. For mine, I marinated it late afternoon on the day before I was planning to eat it and let it sit in the fridge overnight.
The next morning heat your oven to 250 degrees and deposit your shoulder inside to cook. Baste every hour or so as the juices begin to emerge. You want an internal temperature of about 190 degrees for the shoulder to be done. To give you an idea, I started cooking my pork at 9am and it was finished by about 6pm. This will vary slightly depending on the poundage of your pig.
And on a side note, my husband bought me one of these portable thermometers for Christmas this year and I’m in love. You simply enter the gauge into the pork, set the temperature and then grab up your handy portable beeper and let ‘er go. You can watch the temperature go up from anywhere in your house and an alarm will go off when it’s done. It couldn’t be easier.
And…… check out the bark on that baby. Who says you need to smoke meat to get the best results?
After pulling the cooked pork out of the oven, tent it with foil and let it rest for about 15 or so minutes. Then proceed with the shredding.
Oh, and just a side note. Do you see all those lovely juices in the pan above? Put them in a covered jar and set them into the fridge to separate. Reserve a tablespoon or so of the marinade you slathered on the pork. The next day skim all that nasty fat off the top and heat up the remaining juice (I had about a cup’s worth) along with the marinade. Pour it over the shredded pork to elevate the deliciousness one notch higher.
Now you’re free to eat at will. Slather your favorite bbq sauce, be it vinegar or tomato. Slide it into a taco with a little pineapple salsa and some coleslaw (tonight’s dinner), or eat it straight out of the pan (guilty as charged).
To help with your pork cooking endeavors, I’m excited to share the love and offer up a remote thermometer to one lucky reader compliments of Mommie Cooks. I hope you’ll love it half as much as I do!
In order to put your name in the hat, simply leave a comment below. You can also earn extra entries through:
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- Tweeting out the contest to the masses
This contest will be open until Sunday January 15th and I will announce the winner sometime on the 16th. Because this gift is coming straight from me, I’ve opened it up to my friends outside of the US as well. Thanks so much for supporting Mommie Cooks and good luck!
Update: The winner is #78 Christina Smith!
Low and Slow Pulled Pork
Yield: 1 6 Pd Pork, Shredded (Approximately 8-10 Cups)
Total Time: 24 hours
1 6 to 8 Pound Pork Shoulder
1 Tbsp Chile Pepper
1 Tbsp Cumin
1 Tbsp Oregano
1 Tbsp Garlic Powder
1 tsp Celery Salt
1 tsp Coriander
1 tsp Onion Powder
1 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Pepper
2 Tbsp Honey
1 Tbsp Spicy Brown Mustard
1 Tbsp Molasses
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
Mix together all the dry and wet ingredients to form a marinade.
Score the fat side of the pig shoulder with a sharp knife and rub the marinade thoroughly covering the entire piece of meat. Reserve 1 tbsp of the marinade if desired for meat juice instruction below.
Place the meat into either a zip lock bag or into a baking dish covered with plastic wrap.
Set in the fridge for 12 hours or overnight.
Heat the oven to 250 degrees and let the shoulder slow cook until it reaches an internal temperature of 190 degrees. Baste hourly once juices start to emerge from the roast.
Once the pork is finished, pull it from the oven and tent it with aluminum foil for about 15 minutes to rest.
Shred the pork with a fork or your fingers.
Reserve the juices and place in a container in the fridge. Once the fat separates, skim it off and place the remaining juices into a small pan on medium heat. Add in the reserved marinade. Pour juice over shredded pork for added juiciness and flavor.
Remaining pork can be fridged or frozen in air tight containers for up to two months.