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Pulled pork and brisket
Ellen;I'm planning on cooking 4 Beef Briskets, each weighting 8Lbs.I have four oven cookers available..I want to cook them slow and long.. I have a special 24 hour dry rub I'm using to marinade..What is the best temp for my madness, and how long should I go???. Can I take them out and put them between two racks over coals and brown them after they are done in the oven cooker???.Will they fall apart if I cook them to long???....I'm also cooking 4 Boston Pork Butts, each weighting 7-8 Lbs. to make the perfect pulled pork..I'm using a dry rub to marinade for 24 hours also.Once again; what temp do you recommend and for how long should I cook them??.Please give me any of your secrets that might make these two MEATS a hit..I'll probably cook the Pork first and let it cool a bit before pulling, then I'll tackle the Briskets..Thank You..
Brisket is a coarse-grained, fatty meat. I would not try to brown over coals after, if I wanted to do that, I would do it first, before putting them in the roasters. You could do two in a standard 18 quart roaster. Put a big layer of sliced onions on the bottom of the roaster pan, which you have previously sprayed heavily with Pam, and a rack on the bottom, so they stand above their juices, you don't want boiled. After browning, which you could also do in a preheated oven at 425 for 20 minutes or so, bake at 200-225 about 50 minutes per pound. Internal temp wise, what you want to do is to get them to 150-160 and hold there for many hours as they get more and more tender.

As for pulled pork, here is a recipe for 8 pounds from a Carolina cook that is about as good as you can find. Note that this amount of sauce is only for 8 pounds meat, you will need 4 times as much for your 32 pounds.

2 pork butts, 3 to 4 pounds each, untrimmed (can sub shoulders)

1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup molasses
1 head garlic, broken into unpeeled cloves
2 Tb. whole cumin seeds
3 Tb. whole coriander seeds
1 Tb. whole black peppercorns
8 small dried red chiles
2 bay leaves
3 Tb. tomato paste
3 15-oz. cans diced tomatoes, with juice
1 quart distilled white vinegar
4 cups water
1/4 cup salt

Combine the honey, molasses, garlic, cumin, coriander, peppercorns, chiles and bay leaves in a large stockpot, over medium-low heat. Cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. The garlic will darken, and the mixture will be very thick and fragrant. Add the tomato paste and tomatoes; cook for 15 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in the vinegar, water and salt. The sauce should be thin. Simmer, uncovered, for at least 2 hours, stirring occasionally.

Set aside half the sauce for marinating the pork. Let the remaining sauce cool and fish out any large pieces of garlic peel. Puree the remaining sauce in a blender (some spices will remain whole). The sauce should be rather watery and look like a brothy tomato soup.

One or two days before cooking (much preferably two), put the pork in a container just large enough to hold it and deep enough for the reserved sauce to cover it. Cover the container and refrigerate, turning the pork half-way through the marinating period.

At this point, you're finally ready to cook the pork. I have tried this in a number of methods and variations, but have settled on a two-step process that works great. I cook half-way in the oven (before basting is necessary and saving propane) and half-way on a grill using indirect heat (making it easier to baste and adding the barbecue flavor you need). The formula is 2 hours per pound (or cooked to an internal temperature between 150 to 160 degrees).

Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees. Put the pork, fat side up, on a rack in a roasting pan. Leave in oven three hours (for six pounds) or four hours (for eight pounds). Remove to pre-heated grill, but with low, indirect heat (should be about the same 200 degrees as your oven). Baste with the pureed sauce every 30 minutes, until done, turning once (this second half of cooking will take as long as the first, if your grill is correctly regulated). Let the pork cool.

Chop and shred the pork. You can either slice it or pull it apart with your fingers (thus the name, "pulled pork"). For slicing, cut the pork across the grain, in half-inch slices. For pulling, start pulling at the meat with a fork, then attack with your fingers. Discard any unrendered fat.

With a large knife, roughly chop the pork coarse. Put the chopped pork in a large bowl with some more of the pureed sauce; the amount is up to you (I'd go a little at a time, and test along the way). Serve the pork warm (no problem with a microwave; it's plenty juicy -- if you cooked it right) with a little more sauce on the side, for your bolder eaters.

It's a lot of work and that's why I usually go 8 pounds, so I can freeze half and eat it a few months from now. I figure if I'm going to this much trouble, I might as well make as much as the sauce can handle (8 pounds being the top end). Enjoy and tell any friends in Asheville or Memphis that you've got 'em beat.

1 cup cider vinegar
6 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons maple syrup or honey
4 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon hot red pepper sauce
1 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons salt
ground black pepper

And...Here's a great spicy chili rub to use before cooking...

1 tablespoon ground black pepper
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons ground cumin
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground oregano
4 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons salt
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 tablespoon white pepper


Ellen, I read in the oven recipe book that you should rap the beef brisket in foil before cooking it in the oven.Is that a better way to keep it moist while cooking? Are the onions in the bottom of the oven for flavor while cooking? Will the brisket brown much at 425 for 20+ minutes? With the pork sauce is there a need for the dried red chiles, or could you use something else? And if you did not want to put the pork on the grill, could you leave it cooking in the oven? Same temperature and same amount of time? Can you cook this pork ahead of time, shred it, sauce it, and then freeze it until your party?
If you use an electric roaster, and don't keep lifting the lid, brisket stays very moist with the onion layer in there. If you are going to foil wrap it, put the onions in the foil. You can add to the browning time, but basically, you just leave it in only until the fat begins to brown and sizzle, just like a prime rib, and if you preheated the oven, 20 minutes is usually enough.
You can skip the red chilis or reduce amounts to taste. Yes you can cook the pork in the oven the whole time- just double the time- not quite as perfect, but still very good. Yes, you can cook the pork ahead and freeze it. If I were doing this, I might make up a fresh batch of sauce for the side at the time of serving...
By the way, a vinegar slaw is the classic side dish for the pork. It is called Lexington slaw. There is a recipe on this website.
How many does that eight pound pork recipe feed (sandwiches)?
It makes about 20 great sandwiches.
Need to make pulled beef and pulled pork for 50 how much meat should I cook? Have never catered that much BBQ.