Cooking Stuff

Where Stuff Is Cooked

Smokey Barbecue Pulled Pork in the Oven with a Quick Barbecue Sauce

From the Vault: So busy this week, no time to write. I do however have some good stuff to post about so once I’m done with my doctors appointments and various other non-internet activities I’ll be sharing, I promise. In the meantime, more oven barbecue. I’ve made this particular recipe about a million times, it’s some kind of amazing. The smell it fills my apartment with is like some kind of wonderful pork potpourri, it’s wicked good. I suggest you all make it, eat it and then sit back and smile contentedly.

Pork shoulder
1 tbl liquid smoke

all purpose rub:
3 Tbls brown sugar
1 Tbl ground cumin
1 Tbl paprika
2 Tbls kosher salt
1 Tbl black pepper
1 Tbl chili powder
1/2 tbl mustard powder
½ tsp cayenne pepper
1 tbl garlic powder

For the sauce:
1 cup ketchup
1-2 tbls dry rub
1/2 cup apple cider
2 tsps cider vinegar
1 tsp molasses

For the pork: Mix the spices well. Score skin to allow fat out. Reserve 1 tbl of rub and coat pork with the rest. Cover and roast at 300º for 5-6 hours, until meat shreds easily with a fork. Pull the pork out and allow it to cool enough to handle.

Pour 1/2 cup of water into the roasting pan, bring to a boil and deglaze pan. Pour the liquids off into a heat proof bowl and cool. With two forks (or hands), pull the pork into shreds, discarding excess fat and skin. Skim fat from the liquids and discard. Pour the liquids into a large pot, and bring to a boil. Add the cider vinegar. Stir in the shredded pork, return to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for ten minutes. Or just pour 3/4 of the hot liquid over the shredded pork. Serve hot on a bun. I recommend pickles and coleslaw.

For the sauce: Combine all the ingredients in a small sauce pan. Bring to a simmer and let simmer, stirring occasionally for at least 10 minutes or as long as 30.


Here it is, smoky barbecue pulled pork from the oven. If my calling this barbecue upsets you, please see my comments on it here and here. I certainly don’t want to offend anyone, but even more I don’t want to get involved in any “right name” crap. So, let’s just move on. How do you make pulled pork from the oven smokey? Liquid smoke baby. I really like liquid smoke. It’s not perfect, but it is really good. Since I’ve already done a big post on pulled pork I’m just going to hit the highlights here, then move on to the sauce. Which also might upset people, since apparently there is a “no ketchup in barbecue sauce” camp. Well, that’s for later.

Ok then, first the dry rub.

I changed it up a little bit this time by using garlic powder instead of fresh garlic, it makes it easier to work with. I’ve used this rub on chicken and beef too and it’s been really good. Just so you know. Then I scored the skin and rubbed the rub in.

It’s good to get lots of rub on there, more rub = more flavor. Then you plop it on a rack, cover it with foil and cook it at 300 for many hours. I had a commenter, erin, on the last one say that you should do it 40 minutes a pound, but I found that wasn’t enough time. Even with this shoulder that was only two and a half pounds needed five hours before it was easy to shred. But after five hours it was ready to go.

This folks, is what fork tender looks like.

The meat should just come right off the bones in nice big chunks. Like this.

I wanted to just drop this piece on a bun as is and mow.

But I didn’t, I was good. I put it all in a bowl and shredded it.

Then I poured the juices into a gravy separator.

You would have thought there would have been more fat, but I guess most of it melted into the meat. Which is why it’s so good. Anyway, I poured the juices into a sauce pan, added the liquid smoke

and vinegar.

You could brush the shoulder with liquid smoke before putting on the rub too. That was what I had meant to do, but flaked on it. Ah well. This way worked out just fine. Then I added the water, brought it to a boil and let it go for about 5 minutes. Then I just poured most of it over the pork.

And ate a forkful of it.

Man that stuff is good. Smoky, slightly sweet and spicy. Good times kids.

Ok, now quickie barbecue sauce. I remembered reading in a Cooks Illustrated about a sauce for ribs they made where they used some of the rub to make it. I thought it was a great idea. So I stole it. Now, some people have a problem with using ketchup to make barbecue sauce (and some people think barbecue sauce itself is wrong) and if you are one of those folks then feel free to not use this recipe. But again, please don’t come on here and tell me it’s an abomination. I really just don’t care. I like it. I had wanted to use tomato puree for it, but didn’t have any. So I used ketchup and it came out fine. I just winged it, really.

I put one cup of ketchup,

half a cup of apple cider,

one tablespoon of the dry rub,

about a teaspoon of molasses

and two teaspoons of vinegar.

Then I mixed it up and let it simmer for a while.

The longer it simmers the better it is, but you could just do it for ten minutes if you are in a huge rush. Of course, you just spent five hours cooking the pork, you might as well take a half hour to make the sauce. Heh.


Filed under: barbecue, pork, sauce, slow cooking

4 Responses

  1. Mom says:

    As always, looks so good I want to rush tithe kitchen and make some….

  2. Chris says:

    The initial dry rub ingredients look awesome. I love the assorted spoonfuls of goodness look!

  3. Chris says:

    Oh, and as far as I am concerned, the “I have an opinion” camp of whatever type is more than welcome to make a comment, but if it is in the form “the way I do it is the ONLY right way” they can kiss my pale, hairy….pork butt.

  4. Cooking Stuff says:

    @Mom: can’t blame you, I want to rush in and make it myself!

    @Chris: thanks! It’s one of my favorite pics, I admit.

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