How to Pull Pulled Pork
There are several elements that you must take into account if you want your pulled pork supper to turn out perfectly. Naturally, you must ensure that your pig is in excellent shape and that you have the tools necessary to prepare it exactly as you want.
However, it would be best if you also considered how you would quickly and effectively cook the pork. It should be evident that this will vary depending on the dish you prepare.
Pulled pork is one of the most well-known pig recipes, and although many other dishes employ shredded pork as a key component, none are as famous as this one.
However, you may not be aware of the optimum method for finely shredding the piece of meat you are working with while just staring at it. You may approach this scenario in a few different ways.
What is Pulled Pork?
Everywhere barbecue is available, pulled pork is a standard. It begins as a (typically) bone-in pork butt (or shoulder) that is dry-rubbed before being smoked slowly until it is fall-apart tender.
It may be prepared indoors in a Dutch oven on a stovetop, a conventional oven, or a large slow cooker. Although, of course, we advise utilizing your barbecue with a few bits of smoking wood for pulled pork to raise the taste to something you cannot get by cooking indoors.
The meat is extracted or shredded after the butt has finished cooking but before it cools. Similar to cole slaw, but browner, warmer, and oh-so-delicious.
It is often piled inside a bun and served with pickles or coleslaw on the side.
What Does "Pull Meat" Mean?
Machines shred things, whereas humans tear things apart. It is pulled because muscle fiber bundles were traditionally separated from the flesh by hand.
When being pulled, (heat-protected) hands or equipment separate the meat into long strands.
The meat-of-honor is often pork, although almost any meat or poultry may be cooked in this manner. Because the meat shouldn't drop considerably below the cooking temperature, gloves are a necessary piece of equipment for extracting the meat. The congealing and hardening of fat and connective tissue will make pulling more difficult as the temperature drops.
Pulling while the meat is still hot allows you to serve it with the least amount of fat that drains away and the meat that has been neatly separated from fat, tissue, and skin.
The meat will spontaneously separate into little string bundles since you're working with the grain. And while pulling, you should work with the grain for the most outstanding results.
How to Pull Pork
In its most basic form, shredding pork is similar to shredding other forms of meat. Nothing particularly remarkable in equipment is required since the consistency will typically be the same as shredding chicken.
Additionally, you must prepare the pork so it can be readily shredded without requiring much power.
There are four options for cooking the meat once it has been prepped. The most popular approach is to shred the pork using two dinner forks, thus the term "pulled pork," but you may also use a mixer to do the grunt work.
Some individuals employ a device known as a "bear claw," which resembles a hairpin somewhat. If you don't know how to shred your pork, you may use a potato masher as a last resort.
Fine Shreds of Pork or Chunky?
You must first choose the texture of the pulled pork you desire. Do you like chunky pieces or thin meat strands mixed?
The kind of meat you're smoking will influence the texture of your shreds. Pork shoulder and butt contain tons of fat that keeps the meat juicy and soft when cooking. Your meat could not shred properly if you attempted to smoke a leaner cut, such as tenderloin.
The issue of the meat bark is another issue. The peel on the exterior of your smoked meat is quite popular! You may want to set aside a mound of bark for guests to gnaw on if you're serving pulled pork at a party or gathering.
Otherwise, you may include the bark into your shred pile of delicious pork and savor the flavorful, crispy pieces.
Warm and Rested
When the pork is still warm from the smoker but has had a full 20 to 30 minutes to rest, it is the ideal time to remove it.
This enables the pig to absorb the fluids and gives the meat enough time to achieve its final temperature. Additionally, it cools the meat down enough so that handling it won't burn you.
Remove the Bones and Gristle
Remove any bones and gristle from the slab of pork before beginning the shredding process. These components may end up in your pulled pork shreds, leaving behind unappealing chunks for your visitors.
You must carefully remove the flesh from the bones and set them aside when the pork has rested. Add whatever gristle you find to the trash heap as well. You may start shredding the pork after you have a mound of bone-free meat.
I look for large pieces of fat or gristle and any tiny bones I may have missed while I shred the pork. You may also put them in your trash. When you're through, you'll have a gorgeous pile of pulled pork ready for sauce and sides!
How to Pull Pork — Five Different Ways
Use Your Hands
You may always use your hands to separate the meat fibers. However, using your fingers to shred the flesh finely is not possible.
The hands-on technique is ideal for swiftly shredding or chopping a lump of pork into chunkier pieces. When shredding pulled pork, I often start by using my hands and end with a set of forks or bear claws. It can be easier to start with your hands if you want to cut or mince your shredded pork.
Simply push the forks in close together and then pull them apart. Alternately, use one fork to keep the meat steady while using the other to shred it.
So that the meat doesn't seem to have been frantically chopped, take one chunk at a time, shred it, and then take another piece. As a result, the flesh doesn't seem to have been hacked up by someone venting their displeasure.
You may go over the shreds with your forks until they have the texture you like or if they are still chunkier than you would like.
The main drawback to shredding the meat with a pair of forks is that you can't do it all at once. The average dinner fork is about an inch broad, restricting how much meat you can shred in one motion.
Pork Clawed to Shreds
Although it seems like a terrible fate, pulling is quickly accomplished by flesh claws. When extracting flesh using meat claws, which are essentially giant metal combs with a hand grip, you can notice that you start to resemble Wolverine.
Some have thin metal tines kept in place by a padded hand grip. Then there are bear claws, which can withstand heat up to 475 °F and are composed of BPA-free nylon or titanium.
Bear claws can lift and transport heavy roasts because of their tough construction and weight. They have more than one application since they may also be used to keep a roast in position during carving. Bear paws are the most incredible instrument for physically removing the meat.
Using a Stand Mixer
If you have delicate hands or want to save time, you might bring out your powerful stand mixer to do the tugging for you.
The meat should be shredded using a flat beater attached to a stainless steel mixer bowl to contain the meat. You can get a bowlful of machine-pulled pork after a few slow seconds. Just be sure to take out the bones before you begin!
Monster Meat Drill Bit
Try the pork puller, a circular metal disc at the end of a long shaft hooked to a drill, for even faster results, mainly if you're serving a big event and have multiple butts.
Five or six tines descend from the disc, the shaft is fitted into a drill, the tines are applied to the roast, and the butt is torn to pieces in a matter of seconds.
What Comes Next After You Pull Your Pork?
It's ready to serve after shredding your smoked pork! The meat may be prepared any way you choose, and a sauce or some meat liquid can be added to keep it moist. Even while pulled pork is delicious and makes an excellent sandwich filler, don't stop there!
Your leftover pulled pork may be used in a stew or tacos. I like using the meat to make morning omelets or pulled pork salad rolls wrapped in rice paper. There are many options.