Living in the South I think that it is a crime to not like barbecue. Yes, there you go, I said it! I couldn't imagine denying my palate roasted meat slathered in my favorite barbeque sauce. Since it is the height of summer, many who reside in the north associate this time of year as "barbecue season", which for Southerners doesn't exist. It's barbecue season year round here. But since I know that there are readers from all across varying parts of the country, I'm going to take some time today to share with you how you can make your own pulled pork year round.
I don't think that many people think of using their oven when preparing to cook barbecue. I can assure you that your oven happens to be your most reliable tool. Don't be confused by this statement and think that just because I use my oven to make pulled pork that I don't appreciate the smoker box on my back patio. It is by far a wonderful tool, but it's also rather needy. Using your smoker means that you have committed yourself to a full day of checking the temperature and prepping charcoal to keep the heat at the optimum temperature. How many home cooks have that kind of time? Additionally, you are committed to larger cuts of meat when utilizing your smoker, as opposed to your oven where you can prepare enough for your family to have for dinner with a small amount of leftovers that you are guaranteed won't go to waste.
I challenge readers to engage in this experiment and see for yourself how easy it is to make delicious barbecue with very little fuss and lots of great flavor.
OVEN ROASTED PULLED PORK
4-5lb boneless pork butt roast
2 Tbsp. red rub
1 Tbsp. oil
1 cup soaked hickory wood chips (optional)
Pre-heat your oven to 250*. Prepare your roast by rinsing thoroughly and patting dry. On a cutting board, sprinkle the red rub onto the roast coating evenly (if you do not have your own red rub recipe, you can combine 4 Tbsp. kosher salt, 2 Tbsp. dark brown sugar, 1 Tbsp. sweet paprika, 1/2 Tbsp. granulated onion powder and 1/2 Tbsp. black pepper).
In a large dutch oven, heat your oil, place the roast into the hot oil. Sear roughly 3 minutes on each side.
Transfer the seared roast into a roasting pan with 1 cup of water in the bottom. Place a meat thermometer into the roast through the foil. Cover the pan with foil and place into your pre-heated oven with the top rack in the middle of the oven. If using soaked wood chips, place them in a disposable aluminum pan and place the pan onto the bottom rack of the oven (the bottom rack should be at the lowest level).
Cook your roast slow and low for approximately 5-6 hours or until your thermometer reads 175*. Remove your roast from the oven, allow to stand at room temperature for at least 20 minutes. Using a sharp knife and fork, shred the roast into pieces. Serve with your favorite barbecue sauce.
About Valerie McGann
Valerie is a contributing writer for The Mill Magazine and our foodie reviewer. When she's not cooking for her family, she's blogging about cooking, or you'll find her on local TV as a guest chef.