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Barbecues are bloody brilliant Part 3

Wahreo

Distinguished Member
Welcome to the BBQ thread!

The question of 'Pulled Pork' often arises on this forum so I have tried to jot down a few pointers. I hope this guide helps someone out .

First of all, what is Pulled Pork?

Pulled Pork is Pork Shoulder that has been cooked for many hours to create a succulent piece of meat that is 'pulled' to create your juicy strands of pork.

Pork Shoulder comes from the upper part of the Pig's shoulder. It's a fairly tough piece of meat and has a lot of connective tissue.








Why does the meat need to be cooked slowly?

The meat has an nice amount of fat marbling through it along with connective tissues. The meat isn't considered a nice piece of meat but when cooked low and slow, the meat is tenderised, the fat melts and you are left with a beautiful piece of succulent meat.

Preparing the meat

Pork shoulder doesn't need an awful lot of preparation. I tend to cut as much of the fat off as possible, leaving just a thin layer on the outside. A rub can also be added if desired, to create a crispy bark. It's not essential though. As a bare minimum, you will need a healthy amount of salt.


Cooking

Cooking Pulled Pork on your BBQ is by means of indirect cooking. By this I mean that the meat must not be placed directly above the coals, the meat is positioned to one side of the coals, above a drip Pan and the lid is placed on the BBQ to create an oven.

Indirect Set Up.




The best way to cook your meat is by using 'The Minion Method'
This means that you need to have a large amount of unlit coals in your BBQ that will burn slowly after you've added a small amount of lit coals on top of them. The method is perfect for long cooks because once set up, the BBQ can be left for long periods of time.



It's also important to have a water vessel positioned on the cooking grate above the coals, this not only absorbs some of the heats from your coals but also adds moisture into the atmosphere if you BBQ 'Oven'

Adding wood to your cook is important for a nice flavour but beware, too much smoke can ruin a good piece of meat. It's best to add just a small handful of wood of to begin with and build up on subsequent cooks.

Your cooking temperature wants to be around 120 degrees C (Around 250 degrees F) but remember that the temperature at your thermometer (if on the top of your BBQ's lid) will always be a little higher than the temperature at your cooking area.

The temperature can fluctuate throughout the cook but don't worry, Pork Shoulder is a forgiving meat that can accommodate the fluctuations.

When your meat temperature reaches 90 Degrees C then it's time to check to see if it's ready. The meat can be checked by inserting a skewer to see how succulent it is in the centre. It wants to glide in effortlessly.

Once cooked, the meat should be wrapped in foil and left to rest for a minimum of 30 minutes. If you want to keep the meat warm for several hours before eating then after you've foiled the meat, wrap it in tea towels and pop it in an insulated container, like a cool box.

When you're ready to eat, the meat should be 'Pulled' with a couple of forks.


Enjoy!


An excellent Tutorial, well worth a read:-

Perfect Pulled Pork From Pork Butt Recipe
 
Last edited:

IronGiant

Moderator
I've decided against the baskets as why spend £20.00 when I realised the charcoal holders supplied do exactly the same thing.....the thing is I cannot get the to sit in the bottom grate properly..

They look like this and came with the bbq

http://www.philipmorrisdirect.co.uk/images/db/weber-charcoal-barbecue-rails-i4843fe5ccc5b4.jpg
Where the two horizontal cross pieces stop on the charcoal grill are two small verticals. Hook the hooks over these and swivel the holders into the middle where they will be held in place by another bar.

Edit: beaten to it.
 

KyleS1

Distinguished Member
I use them and they work really well. Just use another brain cell and you'll work out how they attach :D
 

Pecker

Distinguished Member
right, beer-can chicken is back on, i am going to use my dads wood burner/smoker, so will see how that goes :D
I'm going to guess from that you're wanting to go low and slow - please ignore the following comments if that's incorrect.

I'm not sure about beer can chicken done low and slow.

One of the benefits of the technique is that the steam helps it cook from the inside as well as the outside, thus decreasing the cooking time.

Another is that the evaporating liquid can help keep the chicken moist, and add flavour (though this is disputed). Cooking at a lower temperature will mean less evaporation and less cooking from the inside.

Other than that, the nature of the structure if a chicken means its very easy to add smoke right through the chicken in a very short time. I've smoked a chicken too heavily using the beer can method in an hour - slow cooking not necessary.

Finally you can cook chicken to 'falling to pieces/falls off the bone' standards relatively quickly - once again, slow (by barbecue standards) absolutely not necessary.

Steve W
 

sheriffwoody

Distinguished Member
so how long do you think i need to cook it for then on a smoker?

some sites are saying cook until internal temp at the thickest part is 170-180c, some say cook for 1 1/4- 1 1/2 hours etc
 

sheriffwoody

Distinguished Member
i was just going to chuck the lumpwood on, burn that until whiteish, then chuck the wood chips on top and put the chicken above it all at the same time as putting the chips on, then leave it for an hour or so and test it
 

HotblackDesiato

Well-known Member
so how long do you think i need to cook it for then on a smoker?

some sites are saying cook until internal temp at the thickest part is 170-180c, some say cook for 1 1/4- 1 1/2 hours etc
That's surely degree fahrenheit? If so i work to around 165F ?

If you get the grill to around 350F the chicken should take ~75mins.

I would just use the lumpwood and skip the chips, chicken soaks up smoke like a sponge and is very easy to over smoke.
 

Pecker

Distinguished Member
so how long do you think i need to cook it for then on a smoker?

some sites are saying cook until internal temp at the thickest part is 170-180c, some say cook for 1 1/4- 1 1/2 hours etc
I'm guessing you mean an internal temperature of 170-180 F !

Normal chicken cooking is at 190c for 20 minutes per pound + 20 minutes

Cooking a 2kg beer can style usually takes me about 1hr-1hr15 at 170-190c-ish.

BTW, I'll disclose a taste prejudice here, I'm not big on most smoked chicken (jerk is an exception).

Steve W
 

sheriffwoody

Distinguished Member
i have never tried it, so will just give it a go and see what happens. at the worst, i lose a £5 chicken which is unedable.

will give it an hour, uncover and test the internal temp and go from there
 

Noggin1980

Well-known Member
I'm going to guess from that you're wanting to go low and slow - please ignore the following comments if that's incorrect.

I'm not sure about beer can chicken done low and slow.

One of the benefits of the technique is that the steam helps it cook from the inside as well as the outside, thus decreasing the cooking time.

Another is that the evaporating liquid can help keep the chicken moist, and add flavour (though this is disputed). Cooking at a lower temperature will mean less evaporation and less cooking from the inside.

Other than that, the nature of the structure if a chicken means its very easy to add smoke right through the chicken in a very short time. I've smoked a chicken too heavily using the beer can method in an hour - slow cooking not necessary.

Finally you can cook chicken to 'falling to pieces/falls off the bone' standards relatively quickly - once again, slow (by barbecue standards) absolutely not necessary.

Steve W
Thats what I thought this morning, but the amazing ribs website says the opposite is true and prove it with experimental data (link is a page or 2 back). I've decided to go ahead with the beer can chicken this weekend but might not do it again in the future after reading that article.
 

rousetafarian

Moderator
Looks like it's Beer Butt Chicken weekend.....I've managed to attach the rails to split the coals, (props to ODB_69), got the Weber drip tray in place and the bird is marinating in a Jamie Oliver rub overnight.

Quick question, coals on both sides with bottom vents open or just one side with a bottom vent open for indirect cooking?

Also the top vents, I'm guessing open but I'm new to this.....let me know before tomorrow afternoon please chaps
 

Pecker

Distinguished Member
Thats what I thought this morning, but the amazing ribs website says the opposite is true and prove it with experimental data (link is a page or 2 back). I've decided to go ahead with the beer can chicken this weekend but might not do it again in the future after reading that article.
I seem to remember reading that article a while ago and thinking there were 100 holes in it, but I'll have to check it out again.

What I can say for sure is that chicken on my Weber Poultry Roaster cooks far more quickly than it would if roasted normally.

And that's as measured with a thermapen, in several different occasions.

Steve W

Steve W
 

cram

Novice Member
I seem to remember reading that article a while ago and thinking there were 100 holes in it, but I'll have to check it out again.

What I can say for sure is that chicken on my Weber Poultry Roaster cooks far more quickly than it would if roasted normally.

And that's as measured with a thermapen, in several different occasions.

Steve W

Steve W

But the poultry roaster isn't a beer can... There are some major differences, the article is literally about using a can. If you are using the weber poultry roaster it only takes a small amount of liquid anyway. The steam from that is going to have a minimal cooking effect, and even with the small amount of liquid it doesn't all get boiled away in the time it takes to cook a chicken. I've used the weber poultry roaster with and without liquid and its made no appreciable difference to cooking time or flavour. Granted that's anecdotal not scientific but it was enough for me to stop wasting beer in that manner
 

rousetafarian

Moderator
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Anthony-Howard

Well-known Member
Well if you believe that there are no benefits in terms of flavour then why not just use water?

I however cooked a similar thing last week with cider, onions and bouquet garni and there was definitely more than a trace of added flavour. So if you believe that there are benefits in flavour I would suggest that the actual beer does matter greatly.

In lieu of choosing a beer that you personally like I can recommend speckled hen for starters.

Cheers,

Tony.
 

rousetafarian

Moderator
Well if you believe that there are no benefits in terms of flavour then why not just use water?

I however cooked a similar thing last week with cider, onions and bouquet garni and there was definitely more than a trace of added flavour. So if you believe that there are benefits in flavour I would suggest that the actual beer does matter greatly.

In lieu of choosing a beer that you personally like I can recommend speckled hen for starters.

Cheers,

Tony.

I am undecided as to which beer makes a difference, I wasn't stating that using beer made no difference, as tomorrow is my first attempt. Tomorrow I will be using Becks, as Speckled Hen deserves to be in my glass not a chicken.
 

Anthony-Howard

Well-known Member
I didn't mean to imply that you were. Just positing questions in general.

However I have never subscribed to the idea that some things are too good to be used for cooking if cooked the right way. I was often told that some cuts of meat are too good for a curry but having had so many curries with poor quality meat I tend to disagree.

I respectfully must therefore disagree with your assertion that Speckled Hen is too good to use. Whilst I am not a great fan of Becks anyway I would rather drink it than use it to spoil a chicken. Likewise Speckled Hen deserves to not only be in my glass but also in my chicken. I can understand your choice if on a tight budget but otherwise why not both? I am willing to suggest that if you were to taste a Becks chicken and a Speckled Hen chicken in a blind taste test challenge supreme thingy that you would prefer the latter and agree with my position.

I would be very interested in your results!

Cheers,

Tony.
 

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