Cheat Smoky Oven Cooked Pulled Pork

11

Cheat Smoky Oven Cooked Pulled Pork

Now we know purists will say pulled pork has to be done outdoors. That it’s just not the same without wood and lots of smoke.

But let’s face it, you really do need the weather on your side to ‘pull’ it off (pardon the pun!)

We get a lot of people emailing us questions on how to 'cheat' at certain things when it comes to cooking, and making pulled pork that tastes as if it has been smoked is one of them!

The secret to silencing the outdoor pulled pork doubters? Using a Dutch oven, and making your own BBQ sauce and charcoal salt!

Here’s our oven cooked pulled pork recipe. Perfect, even if it's all rained out!

 

Preparation time:  1/2 hour
Cooking time: 5 hours
Total time: 5 1/2 hours
Servings: 8

 

 

 

Your ingredients:

1 tablespoon of salt
1 tablespoon of charcoal
1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon of paprika
1 teaspoon of ground cumin
1 teaspoon of ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon of ground fennel seed
5 tablespoons of dark brown sugar
1 whole pork butt (about 5 to 7 pounds, boneless or bone-in)
2 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon of liquid smoke (made of nothing else but water and smoke - avoid smokes that contain molasses or vinegar as they affect flavor)
2 teaspoons of hot sauce
1 tablespoon of brown mustard
1 cup of ketchup
1/2 cup of dark molasses
1/2 cup of cider vinegar
1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
1 large onion
1 cup bourbon 1/2 cup of low sodium chicken stock (or you can just use water)

 

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How to make your Smoky Oven Cooked Pulled Pork:

Preheat your oven to 300°F. Using a grater on fine grate, grate a piece of charcoal, and then combine with salt in a bowl

Add the black pepper, cayenne pepper, paprika, cumin, coriander, fennel seed and sugar to the bowl.

Using about 2 to 3 tablespoons of this spice mixture, season the pork well, rubbing it in to all the sides. Set aside the remaining spice mixture.

Combine Worcestershire sauce, liquid smoke, hot sauce, mustard, ketchup, molasses and 1 /4 cup of cider vinegar in a medium bowl with a whisk. Then whisk in the remaining spice mixture. Set the BBQ sauce aside.

Finely mince the onion (you can use a knife, but it's easier just to use a grater with a coarse grate). Then heat the vegetable oil in a Dutch oven over a medium to high heat until shimmering. Using a Dutch oven allows the pork to develop a bark-like crust on top (normally only seen on pork cooked outdoors).

 

Add the pork butt and cook for about 5 minutes in total, turning every so often, until it is browned on all sides. Keep an eye on this as pork browns very fast and can burn because of the sugar.

Add the grated onion and cook for about 2 minutes until soft. Make sure you scrape up browned bits from the bottom of the pan.

Turn off the burner and add the bourbon. Now, relight the burner and ignite the bourbon CAREFULLY (use a long match or lighter).

It will produce tall flames, so stand back! Make sure there is nothing flammable above it. Allow the bourbon to cook through for 2 minutes until the flames die out.

Add only half of the BBQ sauce you set aside earlier to the Dutch oven, as well as the chicken stock (or water). Adding only half of the barbecue sauce keeps the pork from becoming too wet and mushy. Cover the Dutch oven
 

Transfer the Dutch oven to the preheated oven, and cook for about 4 hours until the pork is becoming tender. Use a kitchen timer so you don't forget!

After 4 hours, remove the lid and continue to cook for another 1 hour. The pork crust should be dark, and you should be able to push a fork into the pork and twist it with very little resistance.

Transfer the pork butt to a bowl. Use a ladle to skim off any excess fat from the remaining liquid in the Dutch oven, and add the remaining half of the sauce mixture you put aside earlier, and the remaining 1/4 cup of cider vinegar. Whisk to combine.

When the pork butt has cooled down enough to touch, shred using two forks. Add the shredded pork to Dutch oven and toss with sauce. Add more salt, sugar, cider vinegar or liquid smoke to taste.

    Comments

    Zahirul Islam#1

    Other than satisfying my nascent pyromania, is there any reason to flame off the alcohol in the bourbon? My thought is that the lower boiling point of alcohol compared to water would seem to take care of getting rid of it naturally over a long cook. What am I missing?

    Amelia Riley#2

    I can not wait to try this! I love pulled pork but for some reason the thought of making it always seems so intimidating. Hopefully I can follow this and successfully make it. Does not seem too complicated!

    Allen Phillips#3

    When you are adding the 1/4 cup of ingredients and the other set aside BBQ sauce, do you have to shreds the pork butt first or before hand? I have tried something like this before and it tasted alright, but for sure could of been better. Did I mess something up?

    Elizabeth Ferguson#4

    Love the article! Is there anything I can substitute the hot sauce with to maintain the flavor without the spicyness?

    Elizabeth Ferguson#5

    Love the article! Is there anything I can substitute the hot sauce with to maintain the flavor without the spicyness?

    Seagull1#6

    I’ve never considered doing pulled pork without the aroma that the wood chips would add to the flavor of the pork. But this post just proved me wrong, and I’ll be sure to try it out some time. This recipe looks like the perfect balance of both sweet and savory. Thanks for sharing!

    AshleyH#7

    The finished product looks great! Adding the charcoal is a great trick that I never would of thought of. Once again, the instructions are very clear and easy to follow with warnings if something is a little more dangerous to do.

    Chris S#8

    I’ve always done pulled pork using a slow cooker because I never found a detailed enough recipe guide to use a dutch oven so I cant wait to try this out. I got most of these ingredients already but what would be a good substitute for "1/2 cup of dark molasses "??

    Crystal#9

    I am not the cook in my house so; it’s not hard to say I had no idea what a Dutch oven was. I was also concerned at first because I was wondering what I would have to do with the charcoal, but this article is truly helpful (being that I just got my oven mitts a few years ago).

    Vickibeecroft#10

    I love the idea of this being done indoors as i like in the UK and the weather is usually not on my side. I never considered adding half of the ingrediants you mentioned especially the cumin ! . Is their any substitute items i can use for the hot sauce ? i have a delicate palet :)

    Kendra#11

    Wow, I had no idea you could make pulled pork in the oven without sacrificing the smoky flavor and wood. My mom is a huge fan of pulled pork and BBQ sandwiches, so she’ll be thrilled to see this recipe. We have actually attempted to do pulled pork using the microwave and oven, but you’re right, it’s absolutely not the same result as you get with a grill (and charcoal.) This recipe will have to go on our to-make list for this week! Oh, and I second the comment above mine about the cumin. I love your flavor style! I’m the kind of person who needs lots of flavor, but never thought of some of the ingredients (like the cumin) you have listed here. I’ll have to remember these. Thanks for another mouth-watering recipe!

    Please note: comments must be approved before they are published.

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