Smoked Pulled Pork Sandwiches Forever
Today: A smoky, fuss-free pulled pork sandwich — just in time for barbecue season.
The barbecue we know today is a far cry from that of years past, when you were simply handed a platter of meat and sent outside to a grill.
We have made barbecue complicated. We act as though it can only be great if you have a huge smoker attached to a trailer pulled by a souped-up, four-wheel drive — I call it over-compensating for something. We’ve taken barbecue to the extreme, and made it feel out of reach for the average Joe or Jane.
But it doesn’t have to be. There are the fundamental barbecue rules, and once you understand these, it’s more about your method than your equipment. After all, 200 degrees is 200 degrees, no matter if it’s inside your smoker, your oven, or your crockpot.
More: We might be all about method, but don’t forget your essential grilling tools.
Don’t get me wrong: If you barbecue, enjoy smoked foods, and find yourself cooking outside through the winter, then by all means, invest in a high-end smoker or grill. It’s no different than spending money on a muscle car, or woodworking, or refurbishing a sailboat. It’s an edible hobby for some — there’s nothing wrong with that. But for those of us that don’t want (or need) another hobby, a grill will suffice.
Generally speaking, the goal of good barbecue is to take a fatty, tough cut of meat and cook it at a low enough temperature that you break down and tenderize the muscle, without rendering the fat away. In some ways, the cooking process is similar to sous vide — but where sous vide is largely unattended time, barbecue takes some tending.
Be it pulled pork or brisket, what I don’t want — and what you don’t want either — is to get to the end of a long process, only to take a bite and need a swig of beer to get it down. There’s nothing worse than getting the hiccups every time you attempt to swallow some dry brisket. No amount of sauce is going to make it go down any easier; dry is dry, and it will stay that way.