Let’s talk about one of America’s favorite dishes of all time. People clamor for some pulled pork barbecue whenever they can get their hands on it.
In fact, some cities are made famous by their ability to produce incredible barbecue that people from all walks of life greatly enjoy.
Think about Kansas City and the first thing that pops into your mind is likely their famous barbecue. Therefore, we must stop and ask ourselves what we can do to prepare some amazing-tasting dry pulled pork for sandwiches and other dishes.
We have the answers for you on this.
What If Your Pulled Pork Is Already Cooked?
There’s a few ways to quickly fix pulled pork that turned out too dry.
- Turn to a sauce! A good BBQ sauce or liquid is a match made in heaven with pulled pork. Now, if you can let your pork rest with a sauce, all the better.
- Let the pork rest in a closed container. It might get a bit “mushy” but it will tender up in its own humidity and moisture.
- Serve with toppings on a buttered bun or by itself with great sides. Pickle slices work really well. The moisture of the bun and pickle juice can moisten the meat without taking away from the flavor.
- Shred the meat even more to make chewing easier. The smaller threads of meat will disguise the toughness while still relaying taste and texture.
- Put it in the refrigerator for a few hours, preferably wrapped in tin foil to quickly cause condensation and add moisture.
Now, of course, the best way to have perfect pulled pork is to cook it right from the start. Here’s how.
Start By Getting The Right Type Of Meat
How many servings of barbecue are you going to make? You need to make some rough estimations of how many people you believe that you will serve when you prepare it.
The rough estimate that one can use to get an idea of how many they can serve is about 10 servings for every 4 lbs. of Boston Butt that they purchase (try from FarmFoods!).
That gives each serving just under half a pound of meat on it, which is the ideal size for serving a single individual.
The meat is incredibly tender which is ideal for serving it as leftovers for days to come after you are done making the initial batch (especially if it’s smoked).
Before you get to that point, understand that you will need to put a lot of prep work into the meat that you purchase. It takes a specific set of processes that must be followed to the letter if you want them to work out as intended.
Brine The Meat
You want to make a dry pulled pork (or just a ham) in this scenario, and that means extracting all of the moisture that you possibly can out of the meat.
To do so, you will need to brine the meat. What that means is that you add brine, which is mostly salt, to the meat in order to get the excess moisture out of it.
Brining the meat also works away at some of the connective tissues that the meat is made up of (rather than meat tenderizing with a tenderizer or mallet or baking soda).
This helps to make the meat even more tender, which is what is desired when serving this delicious dish. People tend to prefer to eat their pork when it is at its most tender.
You will need to let the meat brine for some time to get the effect that you are looking for. While it is busy doing that, you might want to add something to it such as apple cider to pump up the flavor even more.
Apple cider will give it that crisp apple flavor that so many people like with pork. Maybe this is something that you desire for your pulled pork dishes as well. If it sounds appealing to you, then you need to add this element in at this time.
The brining process is when the meat is most able to get extra flavors added to it (like a good rub), so don’t take this time for granted.
Add Even More Flavor
Have you ever wondered what makes the pulled pork served at one location better than others? It often comes down to the types of flavors that are added to the meat.
Additionally, the amount of flavor that one is able to pump into the pork is a huge factor in these cases. Therefore, you need to work on getting more flavors layered into the pulled pork dish that you have come up with.
There are a huge number of different flavors that you can choose from at this stage. You can add in some spicy flavors, some garlic flavors, or even some vinegar-based flavors.
Whatever types of flavors make the most sense to you, or whichever will sell best with your customers is what you want to focus on at this time.
You might even find that you are able to develop a specific flavor that becomes your signature flavor. That is a great way to help set yourself apart from the competition and perhaps earn you a reputation for some of the best barbeque with that particular type of flavor.
After the pulled pork is done with the brining process and you have added your seasonings to it, you will want to put it on the roasting pan to get it ready to be cooked.
You need to try to get the entire surface of the cooking pan covered with meat if possible. Not only is this good from an efficiency point of view, but it also matters because it will help cook the meat more evenly throughout.
You deserve to do that for yourself and your customers, and it is the only way to make the best barbecue out there.
Cook It VERY Slowly
The best things in life take time, and this is certainly true of the best pulled pork on the market. When you cook it, you should set the oven to a very low setting in order to allow it to cook all the way through as it needs to.
Remember, you are wanting to get it set up this way because you want to make sure the cooking process doesn’t drain too many of the flavors that you have worked so hard to get into the pulled pork.
You shouldn’t waste all of that time that you just put into the pulled pork by not taking the basic steps to protect what you have created.
The cooking time on dry pulled pork is about 8 to 12 hours, so don’t have any plans to serve or eat it before then.
Most restaurants that make it for sale prepare the meals for the next day overnight. It is the only way that they can guarantee that it will all be ready in time for people when they come to eat it at lunchtime.
Serve And Enjoy
The final part is to serve the pulled pork that you have worked so hard on and enjoy. You may be selling it, or you may be preparing it for yourself and your family.
Either way, you need to be sure that you savor the moment when you finally get to this point. You have worked hard to accomplish what you have accomplished, and it is time to soak it all in.
People who make the best pulled pork always take at least some time to enjoy their creations. Make sure you do the same.
FAQs About Dry Pulled Pork
Here are a few FAQs about dry pulled pork.
How do you salvage overcooked pulled pork?
To save overcooked pulled pork, you can put it in the refrigerator for a few hours, preferably wrapped in tin foil. This process will help reabsorb some of the moisture and pull the pork back to a more desirable texture. You can also turn to a good sauce or moist toppings.
Can you overcook pulled pork in slow cooker?
Yes, you can overcook pork in a slow cooker. The pork will be dry and tough if it is overcooked. Even though pressure cookers retain a lot of moisture, excess heat for too long will eventually affect the pork meat – especially if it’s a lean cut with little marbled fat