9 Tips for Pulled Pork

Sadly, we can’t all be gifted the talents of a barbecue owner from Tennessee. Luckily, we can still borrow some ideas and perfect our own pulled pork. From cooking the meat to choosing a sauce, a lot goes into making a delicious pulled pork sandwich. Here are some tips to keep in mind when you decide to cook out this summer:

  1. Choose the right cut: When visiting the butcher, make sure you get the most meat for your money by choosing the upper portion of a pork shoulder. This is known as the Boston butt. The picnic shoulder is tasty as well, but there is more bone, so you’re not getting the best deal if you’re only buying a portion of the shoulder.
  2. How about the skin: While your pork shoulder shouldn’t be completely covered in skin – it won’t be as flavorful after smoking – leaving a little bit on to get crispy is a good choice. Roast the rest of the skin and serve it as a crunchy side.
  3. Season before you cook: A simple seasoning of salt and pepper is all it really takes to bring the flavor of pork shoulder out. If you want it to be a little spicy, you can throw some red pepper flakes in too or some brown sugar if you prefer a sweeter taste. No need to get fancy, though!
  4. Overcooked is better than undercooked: While you don’t want to overcook most cuts of pork out of fear of them getting too tough, pork shoulder is the exception. According to Barbecue Bible, pork shoulder needs to reach an internal temperature of 195 degrees Fahrenheit in order to be properly “pulled.”
  5. Let it sit: Chances are, your mouth is watering by this point. However, you should let your pork sit for about 15 minutes when it’s done cooking to allow the flavors to really permeate. Don’t rush the process – it’ll be worth it!
  6. Pulling isn’t the only option: While shredded pork shoulder is one of the most popular ways to serve it, especially on a sandwich, you can also chop or slice pork shoulder. How you prepare it just depends on your own personal tastes.
  7. Choose your sauce: The barbecue sauce on a pulled pork sandwich can make or break it. Whether you’re using a bottled sauce or making your own, be sure you’ve had it before and know you love it. So close to the end result of pulled pork is no time to experiment!
  8. Add some coleslaw: Even if you’re not a fan of the shredded salad, you should still try topping your sandwich with it. The tanginess of the coleslaw mixes great with the sweetness of the barbecue sauce.
  9. Toast the bun: This isn’t a rule, per se, but we can all agree that a toasted bun is infinitely more satisfying than an untoasted bun. The crunch of the bread perfectly complements the chewiness of the pork. Just trust us – toast the bun.
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