Cook outs are an American staple. There’s no denying that, especially when it comes to pulled pork. The only downside to all the delicious food, beer, and good company usually found near the grill is the fact that you can’t be a distracted griller, or your pulled pork will quickly turn to just burnt pork. This is where the beauty of a sous vide machine comes in. Yes we said it, sous vide pulled pork.
We want you to vacuum seal that pork shoulder, cook it low and slow, and forget about it until you’re ready to give it just a bit more time on the grill to give it that smoky goodness. 8 hours of attention on the grill turns into just a little over an hour. How many beers can you drink in those 7 extra hours? Probably better not to find out, because then you’ll most likely still end up with burnt pork, something we wanted to avoid in the first place! So, whatever you do with your extra time gained because you were smart enough to make sous vide pulled pork is not my business, but I’d be willing to bet you’re happy you have it. Here’s what you’ll need for to impress all your friends and family with pulled pork so tasty everyone will be saying you need to go on Chopped or some other Food Network show.
Thanks to serious eats and Kenji Lopez-alt for creating the base of this sous vide pulled pork recipe. Cooking times and sous vide temperatures were adapted from the master himself, but I put my own flair on the dry rub. Use the ingredients you like!
- -Pork shoulder around 6 pounds (you can use however big you want)
- -.5 teaspoon of your favorite brand of liquid smoke (if you want)
- -Salt & pepper
- Dry rub
- -¼ cup paprika
- -¼ cup brown sugar (light or brown, you choose!)
- -3 tbsp salt
- -1 tbsp mustard powder (toast and grind your own mustard seeds if you feel like it)
- -1 tsp black pepper
- -2 tbsp garlic powder
- -2 tsp orange zest
- -1 tbsp dried cilantro
- -1 tsp cayenne
- -1 tsp coriander
- If you’re grinding your own whole spices (which is a cool thing to do) then grind them in a spice grinder. If not, then combine all dry rub ingredients together and separate in half.
- Rub down the pork shoulder with half of the spice mixture, making sure you get it in every nook and cranny. Show it some love!
- Put the pork shoulder in a vacuum seal bag and seal.
- Set the sous vide machine to 165F and let the water get to temperature. Place the bag when water reaches 165F and cover pot with tinfoil or plastic wrap.
- Cook the shoulder for 18 – 24 hours. You can do this up to a week in advance, storing in the fridge after cooking.
- Now that the shoulder is cooked through, we’re going to finish it on the grill. If using charcoal grill, light charcoals and arrange them all on one side. Put in grilling grate and let it get hot. If using gas grill, light half of the burners and let it get hot.
- Take pork out of bag and pat dry. Save the juices from the bag and add them to barbeque sauce to make it extra delicious.
- Take the other half of the dry rub and give your cooked pork shoulder a little extra loving. Cook on side of grill that does not have indirect heat and keep between 275F and 300F for about an hour and a half.
- Take pork off heat and place on cutting board or bowl. Shred pork (should come apart super easy) and serve with BBQ sauce!