The ribs I posted last week (Wicked Good Ribs) from the Wicked Good Barbecue were so good I could wait to try the Wicked Pulled Pork recipe and the 4th coming up marked the perfect time to do it. Like the ribs, this recipe took First Place for the iQUE BBQ team in the 2009 Jack Daniels World Championship and this is supposedly the exact recipe. Another reason for doing it was the two recipes used the same rub, pork marinade and BBQ sauce and I had leftovers from the ribs. I've included a few pictures from when I made the sauce last week, but for more you can use the link above.
This marks the first time I've made pulled pork using the Egg, and I gotta tell you it was such a joy compared to my old CG Smokin' Pro Offset Smoker. It was wicked humid and wicked hot and I only had to go outside to the Egg one time to make a temp. tweak. All other trips were to baste or foil or remove the pork butt. The Maverick ET-732 with it's longer range worked anywhere within my house and I worked a regular work day on July 3rd while monitoring the cook.I fired up the Egg at 5:00 and took it to 250 degrees grate temp. I mixed apple chunks throughout the WGWW charcoal for the smoke. The cook took 13 hours for the 7 pound Boston Butt.
After that I rested the meat and then pulled it, sauced it and put it in FoodSaver bags. On the 4th i heated a pan of water to 170 degrees and tossed in two 1 pound bags of the sauced pulled pork. You heat them for 45 minutes and at that temp you are not drying it out, just gently heating the meat. If your dinner time is delayed you just keep the bags at 170 and your food still comes out great. This method has several advantages:
1) You can smoke the meat several days or even a week ahead of time when it is most convenient for you.
2} You are not trying to figure out how to get the pork shoulder to finish up at X:00 PM for you to eat it at Y:00 PM.
3) You don't have to pull all-nighters to get the pork to finish the next day for your supper time. You can start it early in the morning and it finishes in the evening and you just pull it and store it.
4) Saucing the pulled pork before it is vacuum sealed acts like a super marinade injector, infusing the pork with the sauce and flavor.
5) Because you have a 45 minute reheat time on the day you wish to eat, dinner or suppertime is very predictable. 45 minutes, plus the time it takes to heat the large pan of water on your stove. It used to take 45 minutes to heat the water on my old electric cooktop so I'd start getting ready about 95 minutes before I wanted to eat. With my new cooktop and it's TurboBoil (rapid boil) burner it took under 3 minutes to bring a very large pan of water to 170 degrees.
For those of you who are interested I took some pictures of the FoodSaver part of the operation, and they are included here too. OK onto the pictures.
The IQUE dry rub used: Turbinado sugar, kosher salt, paprika, chili powder, chipotle chili powder, 5 peppercorn blend, cumin seed, granulated onion and granulated garlic.
The iQUE Rub had all of the larger spices ground in a spice grinder to make a fine powder which was mixed with the powdered spices in a large bowl. The finished iQUE rub was stored in the fridge. I used some for the ribs last week and more for the pulled pork on the 4th.
The iQUE BBQ Sauce I made for the ribs was also used for the Wicked Pulled Pork. It used brown sugar, vinegar, ketchup, corn syrup, Worcestershire sauce, IQUE rub, chipotle powder, cumin powder, tomato powder, hickory powder, mustard powder, Szechuan peppercorns, mixed peppercorns, garlic powder and thyme.
The finished BBQ sauce after being coked down on the stove. It too was used for last week's ribs and this week's pulled pork.
The iQUE Pork Marinade sauce from ribs last week. It uses some of the IQUE BBQ sauce, white grape juice, vinegar, brown sugar and Worcestershire sauce. The sauce is brought to a simmer and gets used or stored.
Here some of the stored iQUE Pork Marinade is injected into the Boston Butt on the night of July 2nd.
The meat is rubbed with the iQUE Rub and then is wrapped in plastic wrap and refrigerated overnight for 8 hours.
It is 4:45AM and I am firing the Egg up. The plate setter is installed legs up. There is a foil drip pan on the plate setter and the s/s grid on top of the legs. I have mixed some apple wood chunks throughout the WGWW lump. The smoking temp today is 250 degrees grate temp and I have the Maverick ET-732 grate probe installed to monitor the grate temp.
The Boston Butt is out of the fridge after it's overnight stay and the plastic wrap has been removed.
The Boston Butt is on the Egg, together with the food probe from the Maverick ET-732. It will be taken to 165 degrees before the next step.
About 7 hours later and the Boston Butt has hit 165 degrees. It returns to the Kitchen to get sauced.
The iQUE BBQ Sauce is applied to the meat and it is back on the Egg for 2 more hours.
The freshly sauced Boston Butt going back on the Egg and the 2 hours later when it comes off and returns to the Kitchen to be wrapped in foil.
The foiled Boston Butt is back on the Egg until it reaches 198 degrees (not 200 but 198??)
The pork shoulder has a wonderful dark bark.
The pork shoulder is placed in a baking pan and some of the Savory Pork Marinade is poured into the pan. The pan is covered in foil for 1 hour. This is just like the ribs which were foiled to finish instead of being returned to the smoker.
The pork is being pulled. I tried using bear claws for the first time and frankly I quit using them in frustration about 1/3 of the way along. I need to see if there is a video showing how to use these. It is possible my frustration was due to user error. I finished pulling the pork by hand.
The pork is pulled, it has been doused with the reserved liquid from the glass baking pan and I have added in some iQUE BBQ Sauce.
The sauced pulled pork is being stored in FoodSave bags. I use the Kitchen scale to weigh out 1 pound portions which I then vacuum seal.
Five of the 1 pound bags (shown here) went into the freezer for use in two weeks and two went into the fridge for use in the freezer.