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Pulled vs Chopped Barbecue

Carolina QCarolina Q Posts: 12,878
edited June 2014 in EggHead Forum
Just came across this comment in an article about NC Q. Never really thought about it.

"To pull pork you need to cook it until 185 to 195 degrees.  But to chop it the internal temp need only reach about 165 to 180, leading to juicier hunks and also more fat.  "

Chopped beats pulled, hands down. Even at 195-200°. Just never thought about the lower temp required if you're gonna chop it anyway. Done sooner? Even better flavor? Count me in! Next time.....

Yet another article about NC Q. The REAL barbecue! 
:))

I hate it when I go to the kitchen for food and all I find are ingredients!

                                                            …Unknown

Michael 
Central Connecticut 

«1

Comments

  • badinfluencebadinfluence Posts: 1,774
    I don't know....I'm not sold
    1 XXL BGE,  1 LG BGE, 2 MED. BGE, 1 MINI BGE, 1 Peoria custom cooker Meat Monster.


    Clinton, Iowa

  • Most BBQ places in NC serve chopped, and I aways assumed it was so that they could mix parts of the pig, and get more consistency in the product. But less cooking time is also a benefit to the restaurant. And more pork fat can only make it taste better.

    Given the recent thread on re-heating Q, it would also make sense that chopped would fare better re-heated, as it has more fat and natural moisture.
    1 LBGE in Chapel Hill, NC
  • Carolina QCarolina Q Posts: 12,878
    I don't know....I'm not sold
    Neither am I. Yet. But it makes sense. Why do you slice London Broil or Flank steak into thin cross grain slices? Because they are tough cuts and slicing them that way helps make them tender. Why not the same for pork? Chopping it is like slicing against the grain... in SPADES!!

    I hate it when I go to the kitchen for food and all I find are ingredients!

                                                                …Unknown

    Michael 
    Central Connecticut 

  • RaleighGuyRaleighGuy Posts: 207
    The reason you can chop at that temp is because it is whole hog. You chop and mix all parts, making for a juicy and tender finished product. If you just cook butts, it will be tough if chopped at that temp.

    Eddie

    Raleigh, NC

  • badinfluencebadinfluence Posts: 1,774
    Are we talking a whole hog here or what cut?
    1 XXL BGE,  1 LG BGE, 2 MED. BGE, 1 MINI BGE, 1 Peoria custom cooker Meat Monster.


    Clinton, Iowa
  • Carolina QCarolina Q Posts: 12,878
    Are we talking a whole hog here or what cut?
    The article was written, at least in part, about Q joints that cook whole hog. I do not, though I may do a picnic and a butt next time. I'm still gonna cook my next whatever to 170-175-ish and see what happens when I chop it.

    I hate it when I go to the kitchen for food and all I find are ingredients!

                                                                …Unknown

    Michael 
    Central Connecticut 

  • badinfluencebadinfluence Posts: 1,774
    Ok now it makes a lot more sense. When I do whole hogs I pull them at 160 also or the hams and loin are toast. Then everything is mixed and chopped. I rarely do whole hogs except for large family functions as it really is cheaper to do shoulders which is what most everyone likes anyways.
    1 XXL BGE,  1 LG BGE, 2 MED. BGE, 1 MINI BGE, 1 Peoria custom cooker Meat Monster.


    Clinton, Iowa
  • SmokinpigSmokinpig Posts: 739
    I have cooked and chopped at home. Also I have dined at most of the infamous carolina joints East and Lexington. I think when I pull butts and picnics at 195 my texture and consistency matches theirs.

    LBGE Atlanta, GA


  • DMWDMW Posts: 12,331
    I did this whole hog to pulling temps and pulled last year. Was the best pulled pork I've ever had. I'm doing it again a week from now and plan to do the same, as I want to reproduce the same results if possible. Now, I'm not from NC, nor have I ever eaten BBQ from NC, so I might be completely off base.


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    Morgantown, PA

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  • SkinnyVSkinnyV Posts: 3,394
    +1 for pulled its more moist IMO. I've screwed up and done chopped plenty of times.
    Seattle, WA
  • badinfluencebadinfluence Posts: 1,774
    DMW said:

    I did this whole hog to pulling temps and pulled last year. Was the best pulled pork I've ever had. I'm doing it again a week from now and plan to do the same, as I want to reproduce the same results if possible. Now, I'm not from NC, nor have I ever eaten BBQ from NC, so I might be completely off base.



    image
    Looking at that hog I would say you are right on the money....dang it looks good
    1 XXL BGE,  1 LG BGE, 2 MED. BGE, 1 MINI BGE, 1 Peoria custom cooker Meat Monster.


    Clinton, Iowa
  • Carolina QCarolina Q Posts: 12,878
    Don't you just love controversy?  =))

    There is no question on pulled vs chopped. Chopped wins hands down. The only question is temp.

    I hate it when I go to the kitchen for food and all I find are ingredients!

                                                                …Unknown

    Michael 
    Central Connecticut 

  • Ladeback69Ladeback69 Posts: 4,422
    I've never done a big, yet, but when I've taken pork butts to 195 the money muscle could either be sluiced or chopped from the firmness that I have found. I will be doing a few pork butts on the 4th so I can use my new bare claw shreading tools. I've never really had Carolina BBQ before. I would like to travel around the country and try some different BBQ from KC. I've had some East Texas BBQ and wasn't that impressed..
    XL, WSM, Little Kahuna, Coleman RoadTrip Gas Grill

    Kansas City, Mo.
  • Photo EggPhoto Egg Posts: 7,819
    I don't know....I'm not sold
    Neither am I. Yet. But it makes sense. Why do you slice London Broil or Flank steak into thin cross grain slices? Because they are tough cuts and slicing them that way helps make them tender. Why not the same for pork? Chopping it is like slicing against the grain... in SPADES!!

    I don't know....I'm not sold
    Neither am I. Yet. But it makes sense. Why do you slice London Broil or Flank steak into thin cross grain slices? Because they are tough cuts and slicing them that way helps make them tender. Why not the same for pork? Chopping it is like slicing against the grain... in SPADES!!

    I don't think the comparison is the same. To me, the chopped pork has a mushy texture. Pulled pork has the bite through texture I prefer. Chopped pork seems more like eating sandwich spread.
    Thank you,
    Darian

    Galveston Texas
  • Carolina QCarolina Q Posts: 12,878
    Photo Egg said:
    I don't think the comparison is the same. To me, the chopped pork has a mushy texture. Pulled pork has the bite through texture I prefer. Chopped pork seems more like eating sandwich spread.
    But Darian... we're talkin' PORK here. You are from Texas!  :))

    I hate it when I go to the kitchen for food and all I find are ingredients!

                                                                …Unknown

    Michael 
    Central Connecticut 

  • yzziyzzi Posts: 1,793
    chopped is pretty good, though I prefer pulled. Sometimes when I'm rushed and have to pull (remove) the butt early the center hasn't reached pullability and I end up choping some. Still ends up great either way.
    Dunedin, FL
  • SGHSGH Posts: 24,014
    Just for the record I have pulled shoulders at 140 internal temp when going to chop instead of pull. These are always for personal consumption not the public. That being said I have also pulled them at 155 internal temp when chopping and serving to the public. Nothing wrong with it my opinion.

    Location- Just "this side" of Biloxi, Ms.

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    Arsenal-Just a small wore out and broken down Weber kettle. No other means to cook at all.
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  • tcampbelltcampbell Posts: 646
    To me pulled is so much better.
  • Hawg FanHawg Fan Posts: 1,459
    I think it depends on the size of the butt roast. A 4 lb butt has a higher percentage of bark compared to a 8 lb butt and I prefer it chopped. The larger butts are more moist and I prefer them pulled.

    Any road will take you there if you don't know where you're going.

    Terry

    Tulsa, OK
  • Judy MayberryJudy Mayberry Posts: 1,990
    I tried a butt cooked to about 170° or so, and SLICED...not pulled or chopped. It was really good.

    In fact I'm doing that again on Saturday just to make sure I remembered it right.
    Judy in San Diego
  • NPHuskerFLNPHuskerFL Posts: 16,898
    @DMW‌ :-bd I'd tear that up! So Purdy.
    LBGE 2013 & MM 2014
    Die Hard HUSKER & BRONCO FAN
    Flying Low & Slow in "Da Burg" FL
  • buzd504buzd504 Posts: 2,524
    I prefer pulled.  I want my fat liquified.  It's not like it goes away.
    NOLA
  • badinfluencebadinfluence Posts: 1,774
    Well I'm right and everyone else is wrong so i say ....wait for it....wait for it....BOTH. If either are done correctly I love both. So there you have it.
    1 XXL BGE,  1 LG BGE, 2 MED. BGE, 1 MINI BGE, 1 Peoria custom cooker Meat Monster.


    Clinton, Iowa
  • Hi54puttyHi54putty Posts: 1,872
    I prefer pulled or coarse chop. It sometimes gets too mushy when chopped.
    XL,L,S 
    Winston-Salem, NC 
  • JRWhiteeJRWhitee Posts: 4,451
    I have done both and prefer pulled.
                                                                        
    _________________________________________________

    Large BGE 2006, Mini Max 2014, 36" Blackstone, Anova Sous Vide
    Green Man Group 
    Johns Creek, Georgia
  • LitLit Posts: 6,860
    I realized whoever wrote it had no clue what they were talking about when they said pulled at 185. Ever tried to pull a shoulder at 185 degrees? Good luck. I never chop it not a fan at all. I do slice sometimes but I usually aim for 180-185 to slice and 195-200 to pull.
  • EggcelsiorEggcelsior Posts: 13,986
    Chopped is BBQ. Everything else is just pulled pork. North Carolina represent.
  • pasoeggpasoegg Posts: 410

    I don't care what u call it - just call me when it's ready!!!!  We are spoiled by the Lexington NC style BBQ here in the piedmont of NC.  Habits are hard to break...

    "it is never too early to drink, but it may be too early to be seen drinking"

    Winston-Salem, NC

  • FATC1TYFATC1TY Posts: 821
    Pulled wins hands down. I can't get into chopped. It's always seemed drier to me in fact, despite what they say.

    There's a reason they have to add a thin vinegar sauce to it, to rehydrate it like an MRE! HAH! ;)

    I prefer pulled though, little less work, slower pace, and I don't like eating it in a sammich much anymore.
    -FATC1TY
    Grillin' and Brewing in Atlanta
    LBGE
    MiniMax
  • badinfluencebadinfluence Posts: 1,774
    I understand doing chopped for a whole hog only as you will never temp each part to be done at the same time.

    that being said pulled is better imo
    1 XXL BGE,  1 LG BGE, 2 MED. BGE, 1 MINI BGE, 1 Peoria custom cooker Meat Monster.


    Clinton, Iowa
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