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View Full Version : Pulled Pork Advice Needed



fredrogers
08-06-2008, 11:31 AM
Well I want to try out my new homemade smoker setup this weekend, but I have no idea what kind / how much pork to buy.

I am trying to make pulled pork for 10 people.

I am not sure how much meat to buy, but I know I need to get it soon so I can get a rub on it and in the fridge.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

-=fred=-

Chargrilled
08-06-2008, 12:19 PM
I always figure 1/2 # of raw meat per person. I am cooking for 100 week after next and am figuring that much plus other vittles. Heck with the fatties and ABT's you will have enough plus some for the coffers.

RubiksQ
08-06-2008, 02:40 PM
Normally one would use a whole Boston butt (not to be confused with a butt portion ham) to make pulled pork. With you setup, size might be an issue.

The next thing I would consider if I were you is the amount of drippings that will be rendered. Will you unit allow the a place to go?

A 5# butt would indeed be plenty to feed 10. Especially with a few sides.

Yhe general caterer's rule would be 1/4# of cooked meat per customer and you will lose about 35-40% of you uncooked weight to cooking, so 1/2# precooked weight is a good rule.

Other things to keep in mind are what type of crowd you're having (old ladies, football teams, or just a good average)

Also, what time of day are you serving? People tend to eat more in the evening than midday.

Last, but not least, BE SURE to cook a test run before you do the real deal. Pork is cheap, freezes well, and having the entree go wrong for a party is a real bummer!

JamesB
08-06-2008, 03:38 PM
I agree with the posts above, but I figure 1lb raw per person on pork... If you end up with any leftovers, good!

fredrogers
08-06-2008, 05:31 PM
Normally one would use a whole Boston butt (not to be confused with a butt portion ham) to make pulled pork. With you setup, size might be an issue.

The next thing I would consider if I were you is the amount of drippings that will be rendered. Will you unit allow the a place to go?

A 5# butt would indeed be plenty to feed 10. Especially with a few sides.

Yhe general caterer's rule would be 1/4# of cooked meat per customer and you will lose about 35-40% of you uncooked weight to cooking, so 1/2# precooked weight is a good rule.

Other things to keep in mind are what type of crowd you're having (old ladies, football teams, or just a good average)

Also, what time of day are you serving? People tend to eat more in the evening than midday.

Last, but not least, BE SURE to cook a test run before you do the real deal. Pork is cheap, freezes well, and having the entree go wrong for a party is a real bummer!

First thanks for the sage advise.

As far as catching the drippings I thought the pan with the wood chips in it, but I have another grate that I can put a pan with water and or sand in.

I will be cooking for dinner, but every one (close family) eating knows it will be a test run. The real deal will be next week when the in-laws are over.

But I think I will buy a few Boston butts to "test".:msn-wink:

-=fred=-

RubiksQ
08-06-2008, 07:51 PM
:thumbs up: good luck and share it with us (pix, that is)

flying illini
08-06-2008, 08:54 PM
Test runs are usually pretty good, too, fred. good luck.

BA_LoKo
08-06-2008, 09:30 PM
First thanks for the sage advise.

As far as catching the drippings I thought the pan with the wood chips in it, but I have another grate that I can put a pan with water and or sand in.

I will be cooking for dinner, but every one (close family) eating knows it will be a test run. The real deal will be next week when the in-laws are over.

But I think I will buy a few Boston butts to "test".:msn-wink:

-=fred=-

Fred, Rubiks, as you know, has given you solid advice. As for the catching the drippings. Please don't expect your water/sand tray to catch them. You want to keep those renderings. They are important to the outcome of the meat, especially when it comes serving time. You want to save them, separate the grease from the stock, and use them on the meat. There's a bunch of flavor in there!

fredrogers
08-07-2008, 12:05 AM
So BA_loko,

If I am following you correctly. Your advice is to use some sort of pan to catch the drippings in?

Or are you saying to cook the the butt in a pan?

-=fred=-

peculiarmike
08-07-2008, 08:46 AM
Fred, when I smoke a butt I just put it on the rack and take it to 145F, then double wrap it in HD foil and put it back on. While unwrapped on the rack you need something under it to catch the drippings. I stick a temp. probe through the top of the foil into the center of the butt (be sure to not contact the bone if the butt is not boneless) and take it on up to 190F-200F. You CAN finish it in the oven using a probe. I go 350F oven temp. if I do that.
Remove it from the smoker/oven and allow it to rest an hour. When you open the foil be careful, there will be a bunch of juice in the bottom - save it! Put the juice in a container and put it in the freezer for a while, the fat will solidify on top and be easy to remove. Or use a grease separator. Pour the remaining au jus over the pork after it has been pulled for some fine flavor!
The meat will be ready to pull and should pretty much fall apart.
Good luck!
Smokers eat their mistakes you know. :roflmaoha0:

fredrogers
08-07-2008, 08:58 AM
Nice! thanks Mike. I will give the foil after 145* try. I am excited!

-=fred=-

BBQ Addict
08-07-2008, 10:17 AM
I usually take mine to about 160 then foil...allows for a little more smoke penetration and bark formation. All very solid advice though! Good luck with the maiden smoke!

Willkat98
08-07-2008, 12:04 PM
It appears from the pics that your homemade clay pot smoker will have the meat fairly close to the heat source (general observation based on using a variety of smokers, not a bad thing at all)

It also appears that you may have used Grandma's molasses in your rub (at least, its in the pictures)

Therefore, I would only add to the above that, for me, I would definitely cook this shoulder with the fat cap down, pointed at the heat source.

1. main reason, it to protect the meat from drying out on the bottom, being at a set closer space away from the heat element.

2. to prevent any burning of the sugars in the molasses, giving your first shoulder an acrid taste.

Personally, I cook all my butts, briskets, roasts, etc with the fat cap down, but I primarily use only vertical cookers where I do indeed feel the protecting from the heat source far outweighs any "rendering through the meat"

My process is highly debateable, as there are plenty of cooks that fall into either camp, or both.

Good luck!!!

fredrogers
08-07-2008, 02:06 PM
It appears from the pics that your homemade clay pot smoker will have the meat fairly close to the heat source (general observation based on using a variety of smokers, not a bad thing at all)

It also appears that you may have used Grandma's molasses in your rub (at least, its in the pictures)

Therefore, I would only add to the above that, for me, I would definitely cook this shoulder with the fat cap down, pointed at the heat source.

1. main reason, it to protect the meat from drying out on the bottom, being at a set closer space away from the heat element.

2. to prevent any burning of the sugars in the molasses, giving your first shoulder an acrid taste.

Personally, I cook all my butts, briskets, roasts, etc with the fat cap down, but I primarily use only vertical cookers where I do indeed feel the protecting from the heat source far outweighs any "rendering through the meat"

My process is highly debateable, as there are plenty of cooks that fall into either camp, or both.

Good luck!!!

You are correct, there is not a lot of space from the heat to the meat. I was just thinking about if I wanted the fat cap up to flow down though the meat or on the bottom to protect the meat. So I appreciate your input.

Well the molasses was for the sauce, but I did use some brown sugar in my rub.

-=fred=-

Fatback Joe
08-07-2008, 02:14 PM
You are correct, there is not a lot of space from the heat to the meat. I was just thinking about if I wanted the fat cap up to flow down though the meat or on the bottom to protect the meat. So I appreciate your input.

-=fred=-

Down as Bill said.......plus with it up it doesn't flow through the meat anyhow......just over it.

Good luck with the cook.

1894
08-07-2008, 04:36 PM
Enjoy and take pics :thumbs up: