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BBQ Tips

All the secrets for a perfect pulled pork

Pulled pork: the undisputed king of American BBQ

Pulled Pork, or "pulled pork" in Italian style, is the classic dish that is the protagonist of every self-respecting American barbecue, but which has now also entered the menus of typical food trucks on the road. Thanks to its particular taste, given by the spices of the marinade and the ease of preparation both on the grill and in the oven, pulled pork lends itself to different types of cooking, even if the sacred BBQ cooking is always the best.

If, at your next barbecue, you want to try your hand at preparing this super tasty sandwich, there are a series of small tricks to transform the dish from normal to fantastic. The cooking technique consists of simple steps that require a little attention from aspiring grillers, but the real challenge is to eat just one sandwich once the pulled pork is ready. The intoxicating aroma and delicious flavor will make the task quite difficult!

Pulled pork sandwiches

Pulled pork: the right cut of meat

The most important thing is the cut of pork that we will use for the pulled pork. In theory, any cut with a good amount of meat can lend itself; however there are some particularities to keep in mind: fat, collagen and bone. The cut of meat to prepare Pulled Pork must be quite fatty, so shoulder (less fatty but with more collagen) or pork shoulder (less collagen but more fat) are perfect.

In fact, choosing the cut of pork with the right amount of fat is very important because it makes the flavor stronger and at the same time makes the meat juicier, softer and tastier on the palate. This is why it is better to use cuts such as the shoulder or pork butt, but in our online butcher's shop you can also find the equivalent in American cuts: the " Boston butt ".

Pulled pork: the marinade

Another secret to learn is the calibrated choice of spices for marinating. In fact, pulled pork owes part of its popularity to the tasty "crust" which blends perfectly with the tenderness of the cut of meat. Our butcher's shop comes to the rescue with RUB, a mix of spices calibrated for every occasion: try the Pork Rub 18 . Furthermore, during cooking we will have to make injections with the marinade, to further increase the flavor and juiciness of the meat for Pulled Pork.

Person cooking pulled pork

Cooking: slow, very slow indeed

We could write a book on the different currents of thought regarding the cooking of grilled meat. As regards cooking pulled pork, remember that the components Time and stable temperature must be taken into great consideration. In fact, self-respecting Pulled Pork cooking lasts around 6/7 hours, with a constant temperature between 90°C and 95°C!

The high and thick crust!

Remember that marinating is the main component, together with prolonged cooking at low temperatures, to create that tasty crust on the meat which in BBQ jargon is called "bark" - aka "bark". So how can you replicate that fantastic crust by cooking Pulled Pork on the BBQ? Very easy! Just use spicy seasonings such as RUB which give the meat particularly delicious aromas and flavours.

Smoky pork

Let's also remember the Smoky component, the smoked note of our meat, it must always be an enrichment and not a forcing, but if we find the balance, so much the better. Typically, equilibrium is found with a lid and around 54-55°C.

Pulled pork hooks while cutting meat

The warrior's rest

Pay attention to a very important phase of our preparation: resting the meat. Once properly cooked, the cut of meat for Pulled Pork must rest in order to fix all the flavors, convert the collagen into gelatin and create the appropriate firmness of the meat. We can wrap it in foil or in a foil tray so that it remains at a stable temperature around 98°C.

The pulled baby: the fraying

A detail that is often overlooked is also the fraying technique; on the other hand, from the English pull means to pull/tear, “Pulled Pork” precisely. The perfect frayed meat is made with forks or pulled claws, it is homogeneous, composed of the right amount of moist and tender pulp and maintains a good part of crust in each bite.

BBQ sauce for pulled pork

The last fundamental step is the barbecue sauce bath, well, we don't mean a real bath, but the appropriate quantity so that each shred has a spicy and acidic note that will compensate for the fat of the cut of meat. But, if during the composition of the sandwich, you want to exaggerate... who are we to stop it?

Pulled pork dish with sauces

What if I need a recipe?

Don't worry, here are some of our articles dedicated to BBQ and this riot of taste: recipes for cooking pulled pork and dedicated sauces.

Pulled Pork in short

  • The perfect meat is pork, Boston Butt for Pulled Pork , 100% Italian meat that you can find in our online butcher shop.
  • The Pulled Pork recipe requires some preliminary steps and a barbecue with a lid that allows indirect cooking; however there are also recipes for baked pulled pork or grilled pulled pork.
  • The marinade: try the Pork Rub: a mixture of spices and salt perfect for massaging pork shoulder.
  • Cooking must be slow whether you use the oven or the BBQ, for at least 7 hours, remembering to wrap the pork shoulder in aluminum at the end of cooking.
  • Rest: let your pulled pork rest for about 30 minutes, before shredding the meat with forks or pulled pork claws, adding barbecue sauce.

Here it is! All you have to do is light the grill or oven, open a craft beer and start the party.