The Dreaded Potluck

This week we had a progressive potluck at work to celebrate Mardi Gras.  I have been dreading this potluck for the last two weeks.  I could not decide what meat I was going to bring.  After days of contemplating and discussing the topic ad nauseam with Cheryl, I finally decided on pulled pork seasoned with my BBQ Rub and a couple of bottles of sauce.  I have only been at my job a month, but I have been talking up my BBQ so expectations were pretty high. 
Pulled Pork
I always dread potlucks and I believe I’m not alone in my phobia.  There are basically three kinds of potluck people, those who can cook, those who can’t yet think they can, and those who just buy something at Costco.  You all know which one you are.  If you are the cop out and buy something person, I’m talking to you.  Cook something dammit!  Something like a nice pulled pork such as the one I’m about to show you here.  I can’t really help the people who can’t cook but think they can, because they don’t know who they are…at least they are trying.

I started out with brining two Boston butts over night and then seasoned them up with a mixture of my BBQ Seasoning and dark brown sugar; 2 parts rub to 1 part brown sugar.  Brown sugar holds the seasoning and forms a nice smoky crust around the pork.

I really like to use brines for pork and poultry.  This brine was a gallon of apple cider, 1 ½ cups of dark brown sugar, 1 cup of salt, one whole lemon sliced, two mandarin oranges cut up, and some BBQ Rub.  In a saucepan, add 2 cups of apple cider and all the other ingredients, and heat until the sugar and salt has melted.  Allow the mixture to cool and then mix with the remaining cider in a brining bucket or large stockpot. Add the pork and refrigerate overnight.

The BGE in action

The trick to getting pork to the pulled state is cooking it to the right temperature.  To ensure my pork pulls apart I like to cook it to an internal temperature of 190F. You can go all the way up to 200 but I can’t wait that long.  Cooking time is about 10-12 hours depending on the size of the butts, or  1 hour and 15 minutes per pound. 

This is the pork shoulder we had for Sunday dinner.  Nothing leaves the AlbuKirky Kitchens without being tested by our expert tasters.  One of our Taste Team, my sister-in-law Trissi, has started her own blog and cooked up some carnitas with her left overs, check it out Food Network Wannabe.  This was probably the best pulled pork I’ve made to date.  The pork was tender with smoky sweet taste.  The brown sugar worked it’s magic and formed a spicy crunchy crust. All topped with sauce, it was pure BBQ nirvana.
Pulled Pork & Sauce

So fellow pot luckers, next time you have an office potluck make something!  The only thing you should be buying from Costco is pork and apple juice to this delicious pork.  Your coworkers will be impressed and it might help you avoid the budget cutting axe during the next round of lay offs and in today’s economy, you need any edge you can get. Oh, don’t forget the sauce, see my Saucey post for the recipe.  Chow for now.

3 thoughts on “The Dreaded Potluck

  1. I have never tried brining a butt, if anything I use Chris Lilly's injection. Yours is about the most ambitious brines I've seen, I really like the use of oranges.

    I have a 7.5lb butt on my Egg right now, 2 hours in.

  2. I got my brine recipe from Pioneer Woman and tweaked it a little bit. I really like the apple juice, brown sugar and salt as a base then add whatever else I have on hand that I think will make it taste better.
    Look forward to seeing pics of your pork.

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