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
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.