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Question about using the Egg for pulled pork

edited 10:13PM in EggHead Forum
I am a big fan of pulled pork BBQ, having worked at a BBQ restaurant in high school. We smoked pork shoulders based with a vinegar based sauce over hickory wood for 12-18 hours. We would smoke one side with hot goals until brown, flip over and do the other side. We would then reduce heat, wrap shoulders in foil, and smoke another 10 or so hours.[p]I do not currently own an Egg, but am thinking of purchasing one to attempt to smoke some pork shoulders.[p]My question is: the Egg site seems to recommend against using straight wood in the egg. I don't want to use charcoal, because I am afraid it would result in poor quality. [p]Does anyone here have experience smoking pork on an Egg, using wood or charcoal, and if so, can you recommend what type of wood to use and how long to smoke?[p]Thanks in advance.


  • Wise OneWise One Posts: 2,645
    Potential Eggster, I have used nothing but lump charcoal for the past 2 1/2 years and I certainly don't think it results in poor quality. Lump charcoal is wood and a little bit of added smoking wood gives all the wood-smoke flavor (your choice) I would think you would ever need. I have been thinking about trying to build a fire using only wood chunks but have never gotten around to it. I don't think I can get it as hot (without the flame) but thyat should not matter for a low fire. I do know that I can get one load of charcoal to burn for over 24 hours at 225 and I don't know if wood would last that long or not. [p]Based on your descriptionof your cook, I think you would enjoy a BGE and would encourage you to come to EGGtoberfest if you are anywhere near Atlanta this weekend.

  • KennyGKennyG Posts: 949
    Potential Eggster,[p]The Egg is a very different cooker than the one you remember at the restaurant in High School. It is designed to burn hardwood lump charcoal (not briquets) using chips or chunks of your favorite woods for additional flavor.[p]I would guess that most of us here smoke shoulders or Boston butts for pulled pork on a regular basis. It will still take around 18 hours of indirect cooking at a constant 225* or so shooting for an internal temp of around 200* Foil is not necessary and the end result will equal or better what you did at the BBQ joint.[p]Hickory is a good choice but let your imagination be your guide. I like apple and pecan along with hickory for pulled pork.[p]K~G

  • RhumAndJerkRhumAndJerk Posts: 1,506
    Potential Eggster,
    If I recall correctly, when making a fire out of wood for cooking the first step is to let the wood burn down to coals. Lump Charcoal just speeds up that process. As Bill said Lump charcoal is a natural wood product. The flavor that you get is similar to a campfire and not the petroleum laced charcoal smell link linked to briquette use.[p]It was actually my first taste of meat off of an Egg that immediately sold me.[p]Hope this helps,

  • Wise One,[p]I was not aware of the lump charcoal's benefits until exploring this site a little more. When criticizing charcoal earlier, I was referring to the Kingsford-style briquettes, which can result in an oily taste, especially if dowsed with a quart or so of lighter fluid. [p]I have smoked pork using hickory wood in an old standard smoker, but it was a LOT of work. I am looking into BGE dealers in my area. I think I am going to get a BGE, lump charcoal, and apple wood chips. I've always wanted a BGE, but only recently when I started telling people about the unique experience of pulled pork did I get serious about looking into it.[p]Thanks for the invite - unfortunately I am in the Bay Area, so while I travel to Atlanta often, I won't be there this weekend. Sound like good times.
  • Potential Eggster,
    I suspect if everyone who is on this list who has done pulled pork and loved it were to respond to you it would be the same length as the list of members. Once you have made pulled pork once you will never again question your purchase. A few comments from a relative newbee
    We find that the smokiness from adding an onion to the fire is enough for our Yankee tastes.
    The amount of "work" is directly proportional to the sophistication of your thermometers--and a little practice around fire building and temperature control. If you are talking about a 14 hour cook, you are talking overnight, and without a radiocontrolled thermometer to alert you to a snuffed out fire you wind up staying up all night watching the dome temp. Maybe that is the right of passage as a beginner anyway, but you may want to place your cooker (at least in the beginning) where you can see the dome thermometer and the meat thermometer from inside the house, otherwise you will be restricted to roughing it or only cooking on nice days. Do I sound like a wimp? Darn right, but I now cook tucked in my cozy warm bed where in the beginning I froze to death going outside every hour to check the temp in the rain and snow. However, that pulled pork was worth it. You don't want it TOO close to the house for fire reasons, however...

  • Potential Eggster,[p]Since you like the vinegar sauce I assume you know the 'real' deal around Lexington, Rocky Mount, Wilson and Goldsboro NC. [p]If so, rest assured that lump charcoal and any smoking woods you add early (smoke first 1/2 hour and any afterwards is wasted) will give you the taste you like. [p]I have been told that the egg makes it as good or better than what you get at those restaurants. Your choice(s) will be over the red (vinegar) slaw or regular mayo based cole slaw.[p]tlhrtp

  • WooDoggiesWooDoggies Posts: 2,390
    tlhrtp,[p]I'll have a dollop of creamy slaw on my bbq sandwich, please.[p]WD
    [ul][li]Potential Eggster........... Elder Ward Speaks[/ul]
  • P8210036.JPG
    <p />Potential Eggster,
    If you use a 80% lump charcoal 20% wood mix it'll come out beautiful! With the eggs you don't have to flip the shoulders either. FYI, lumpcharcoal is 100% wood, so it isn't really coal, so you get a nice woody taste with Lump charcoal, there is less mess and ash to clean up and the list continues..... I think the picture speaks for itself.

  • LardLard Posts: 3
    Joel Ferman,[p]Excellent,[p]I just got a Big Green Egg and I'm looking forward to creating a masterpiece like that. Thanks!
  • tlhrtp,[p]I actually use a vinegar based slaw that is not red, but white. It is a simple mixture of cabbage, pepper and a solution made from butter, vinegar and sugar.[p]By itself it is not much, but it is excellent on a sandwich.
  • WooDoggiesWooDoggies Posts: 2,390
    Where in the Bo Diddley have you been and how the heck did that first brisket turn out?
    We missed you at Dolly Sods.
    Esker from prehistory says 'Yo'.
    Return my emails, will ya?

  • Potential Eggster,[p]My father used to make something similar - called it Moravian Slaw.. It was ok to me, but not up to either of the other two.[p]To each his own and there are a boatload of choices!

  • ZekeZeke Posts: 90
    Potential Eggster, Our BBQ tastes are possibly similar. I love shoulder meat that has been basted with a vinegar based sauce. My family is from western KY and TN and most of the Q down that way is (best that I can remember) vinegar based. I live near Wash, D.C, and at least in Maryland, I could not find any q worth eating. I bought the BGE wondering if I could make some BBQ that tasted similar to back home. My first pulled pork on the BGE was some of the best q that I have ever eaten. It took about 18 hours but was worth the wait.

  • BYCBYC Posts: 358
    Potential Eggster,[p]Soak a small amount of oak or hickory chips for a couple of hours. This will apply the smoked flavor you desire. With regards to vinegar based simply marinade or pour over the butts apple cider vinegar before applying the dry rub. I like to marinade in the vinegar for at least 4 hours as it provides a distinctive flavor found only in the best southern BBQ. Also, if you choose not to make your own rub then use Tony's in the green canister. Lastly, half to three quarters of the way to doneness wrap the butts in aluminum foil or place in a disposable aluminum pan and cover with tin foil. If desired pour a small amount of the vinegar and rub mixture back over the meat before wrapping. However, do not use the left over marinade for obvious reasons. This allows all the flavors to be trapped within the meat and the pork will pull more easily, and clean-up is a snap. As a reference point for doneness.... as the butt cooks it releases water thus the weight is reduced. When the butt is roughly half the starting weight you will know the butt is ready. In time, this measure of doneness will become second nature and you'll have no need for a thermometer. [p]Cheers.....BYC.....Back Yard Club[p][p]
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