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Pulled pork

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

When making pulled pork, my friend and I were discussing what the internal temperature should be.

 

I said that when making this dish, you should go more with a time rather than temperature because you want to be able to pull apart the meat. A long slow cooking process would render the results required. Cooking to an internal temperature of 140 would not allow the collagen to loosen up enough to allow pulling apart of the meat. He insisted it would.

 

It seems to me, from most of the recipes I have read, that the meat is basically overcooked to allow the breakdown of the collagen, which in turn allows the meat to be pulled apart.

 

What is the truth here regarding this?

 

Red.

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post #2 of 9

You're more right than he is, but I would say you're both wrong. The meat needs to hit about 190-210*. But, it's not only about time. It's about temp too. For example, the idea is Low and Slow but you can't go too low or it will never cook. I try to keep my smoker at 225-250* for a majority of the cooking process. Anything lower than that and it won't cook. Once it hits it's "plateau" stage, I may even back off on the heat a little and let it sit at that stage as long as possible and may even increase heat near the end to stimulate it to get out of "plateau" if I feel it's been long enough. Once the temp hits about 170-180 (after it's plateau), I make sure the heat is very stable at about 250*. Let the internal temp hit at least 190*. Keep in mind it will continue to cook after it sits a while when you pull it out so I don't really feel like it needs to quite hit that 205-210* mark like some BBQ guys insist on. 195-200* works good for me.  

 

I smoke with hickory BTW.      


Edited by Vic Cardenas - 1/11/13 at 2:00pm
post #3 of 9

195-200 is my temp mark, generally 200 to get things tender. I use hickory pellets in my Traeger. 250 is my set temp, there will be swings above and below as the cooker feeds the fire.

post #4 of 9

collagen breaks down into gelatin at 180F.  If you don't hit that mark you will not obtain that nice "slipperiness" in your meats.

post #5 of 9

Time and temp are both factors here,  as you require x amount of time to achieve x internal temp.  Should be well done and pull while semi hot or warm as it is easier.and pulls better

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post #6 of 9

Going to 140 would definitely not result in pulled pork, in fact it would be undercooked.

 

I also stay away from reading temperatures, not because it's wrong to do so but because 9 times out of 10 I can't make it work for me.  I cook it low and slow until it passes the fork test (stick a fork in it and spin it around like spaghetti - if it spins easily it's done OR take 2 forks and pull it apart)

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 

VINDICATED...!

 

Tthank you all.

 

Red,

When it's smoking, it's smoking!
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post #8 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Koukouvagia View Post

Going to 140 would definitely not result in pulled pork, in fact it would be undercooked.

 

I also stay away from reading temperatures, not because it's wrong to do so but because 9 times out of 10 I can't make it work for me.  I cook it low and slow until it passes the fork test (stick a fork in it and spin it around like spaghetti - if it spins easily it's done OR take 2 forks and pull it apart)

You are correct for general cooking methods.  But having just started playing around with sous vide cooking I found out that collagen does break down at lower temperatures than I had been told previously, it just takes longer.

 

I recently did short ribs at 136*f for 72 hrs and they melted in your mouth while still being pink in color. 

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post #9 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scubadoo97 View Post

You are correct for general cooking methods.  But having just started playing around with sous vide cooking I found out that collagen does break down at lower temperatures than I had been told previously, it just takes longer.

 

I recently did short ribs at 136*f for 72 hrs and they melted in your mouth while still being pink in color. 

 

Well put me in a bag and boil me, that's crazy!

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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