Pulled pork overnight?

7,675
842
Joined Apr 3, 2008
I'm serving pulled pork this weekend and want to cook it overnight. I've never done it overnight before, when should I put it in and take it out and at what temp? And then do I pull and sauce it right away and keep it warm or will I have to reheat it to be served around 5 pm?
Also, is one pork butt enough for 20 people?
 
4,686
1,256
Joined Nov 5, 2007
Are you talking oven roasted here? One caveat is that some of today's "smart" ovens figure that if the unit has been on for X number of hours somebody forgot to turn it off.  You could wake to a cold oven filled with uncooked product.

mjb.
 
1,560
440
Joined Oct 23, 2008
I would do it well ahead of time and then just foil wrap it in the fridge to be reheated. Usually you want to target between 1/4th and 1/2 a lb of cooked meat per person (depending on kids/adults/etc. and whether your serving it as sandwiches). You will lose somewhere around 40% of the pre-cooked weight. If I were feeding 20 people I'd probably go with two 9lb butts because I like to have more than is needed. At around 220F you should be fine letting the butt cook for anywhere between 8 and 10 hrs. Then you could keep it warm (covered in foil until serving but it sounds like you are going to have a good long gap in time). I'd reserve the rendered fat to mix back into the meat as needed for moisture.

Out of curiosity why do you want to do it the night before? You have other items to cook in the oven the day of?
 
Last edited:
4,686
1,256
Joined Nov 5, 2007
Also what else will be offered?  You probably want 5 - 6 oz. of pork per sandwich, so you want roughly 7 pounds of finished product. Assuming no one will want two sandwiches, of course.  That could be at least 10 - 12 pounds raw product. Actually it has been a while since I've done this cipherin' fer real, current pros who do this regularly jump in and scold me as needed.

And pulled pork should be done when it gets in the 190 - 200 F range. It exhibits strange behavior.  You put a hunk of shoulder in the smoker ( or oven, I'm assuming ) and the temp climbs somewhat steadily up to 165 - 175 or so, depending on age of meat, fat content, etc. And then the magic happens. It will stay at that plateau temp, maybe going up a few degrees, maybe going down a few, it depends. When the magic is done, temp will start climbing again.

As for saucing I prefer pork that is not swimming in sauce beforehand. You do want something to help keep it moist before it is served. I suggest maybe something like a light drizzle of some sort of "pig sauce" like this:

http://wasatchfoodies.com/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=741
 
7,675
842
Joined Apr 3, 2008
It will be North carolina style pulled pork.  I just want to have it ready ahead of time.  I don't want to be pulling pork as guests are coming.  Otherwise I'd have to wake up in the middle of the night to put it in the oven.

Is it safe to have it at 225 all night? It should go into a hot oven 450 for 30 minutes just to get the cooking started. After it comes out of the oven it will need to rest before it's pulled.  I would like to sauce it and then rewarm it covered in the oven.  I will provide buns and most will make sandwiches but I'm sure some will just eat it as is.  I will definitely keep the rendered liquid/fat for mixing back in!

Other sides are cucumber salad, coleslaw, potato salad, and I'm going to serve hot dogs as well (lots of kids).  
 
4,199
1,089
Joined Dec 18, 2010
225 all night is ok. I like to start with meet that is close to room temp rather that right out of the fridge.
 
2,236
695
Joined Oct 31, 2012
I would agree that room temp to start, then 350 to get it going for about half hour, then 225. I think it will be done somewhere around 6-7 hours but if not, just let it cook. 

 I did it this way at a camp for the past two years. In roasting pan, covered rub and  sauce, add a quart or so of water to keep it hydrated, wrapped the pan in foil tightly then in the oven. 

 As was suggested, I would do extra. It reheats really well, freezes really well if there are any leftovers and you can adapt it to a number of other dishes. So there should not be any waste. 

Once it's done, let it rest only until you can stand touching it. Shreds much better while warm.Two big forks help instead of your fingers. 

A great dish to do ahead of time. You could put it in the oven just before bed or do it entirely the day before. Just make sure when it's done you are the only one in the kitchen. That's another reason you will need extra. 
 
857
76
Joined May 27, 2013
Some Ideas :

Here is something that might be useful in storing finished product - Pit Masters Embrace New Barbecue Truth Rested Meat Is Sublime

They say resting bbq or slow cooked meat is best  - in a cooler with towels and foil for the home cook - before you cut or pull. The moment you start puling it will loose moisture. Leave that until the last minute? If you must pull ahead of time I would do what eastshores says :  Reserve the juices and re hydrate, and probably add the sauce, and then store in a cooler or an ad hoc steam pan table if you can. OR. . . Get some sanitary gloves and invite your guests/ volunteers to participate in the pulling process. 

Also - 
And pulled pork should be done when it gets in the 190 - 200 F range. It exhibits strange behavior.  You put a hunk of shoulder in the smoker ( or oven, I'm assuming ) and the temp climbs somewhat steadily up to 165 - 175 or so, depending on age of meat, fat content, etc. And then the magic happens. It will stay at that plateau temp, maybe going up a few degrees, maybe going down a few, it depends. When the magic is done, temp will start climbing again.
I agree. This is why it would make me nervous to leave it unattended. After it hits 175 I pay close attention to the thermometer and wait for it to reach 190-200. It's unpredictable in reaching the desired temp. I would be afraid of drying it out. You could put a pan with water inside the oven as well? I assume you have a timer that has an alarm when it gets to temp, though. It's all a matter of timing but you know that already. 

Oh, and by the way, I'll be in your neighborhood tomorrow with my partner at around, 1:00 pm. We'll be visiting the Astoria flea. Can I stop by and sample the results? /img/vbsmilies/smilies/licklips.gif  
 
4,474
421
Joined Jun 27, 2012
Have you given the crock pot method any thought?
Assuming you have one that is large enuf.
I did one a while back.
Brined then browned in a cast iron skillet ( I wanna try giving it a short smoking next time) and then into the crockpot on low overnite.

Delicious!
Tender and moist.

mimi
 
4,199
1,089
Joined Dec 18, 2010
Have you given the crock pot method any thought?
Assuming you have one that is large enuf.
I did one a while back.
Brined then browned in a cast iron skillet ( I wanna try giving it a short smoking next time) and then into the crockpot on low overnite.

Delicious!
Tender and moist.

mimi
I've done that too. If crock pot is too small the meat will stew more than roast but if the rub is applied liberally then the flavor will really permeate the meat. The only issue I have with crock pot method is that there isn't a chance of even a faux-bark like one can (sort of) get when oven roasting. But the convenience is a major factor that keeps me doing it on occasion.
 
4,199
1,089
Joined Dec 18, 2010
 
...

I agree. This is why it would make me nervous to leave it unattended. After it hits 175 I pay close attention to the thermometer and wait for it to reach 190-200. It's unpredictable in reaching the desired temp. I would be afraid of drying it out. You could put a pan with water inside the oven as well? I assume you have a timer that has an alarm when it gets to temp, though. It's all a matter of timing but you know that already. 
Regarding timing - plan for 9 to 12 hours.  So putting it in oven at bedtime and checking first thing in the AM works... even for folks like me who need a full night sleep. I open roast rather than cover with foil. Foil will accelerate cooking so my time may not be correct in that situation.

A timer with an alarm... what a great idea; I'll have to get one of those!
 
Last edited:
2,838
644
Joined Jan 4, 2011
WOW.    

I don't really get the idea. I've never been able to wrap my opinion around the big deal of cooking something all that long when it really doesn't need it. My pulled pork rarely sees more than 2 1/2 to 3 hours in the oven. I've never had any complaints. 

I'd love to read some opinions/reasons about this long cooking idea. TIA.
 
4,199
1,089
Joined Dec 18, 2010
 
WOW.    

I don't really get the idea. I've never been able to wrap my opinion around the big deal of cooking something all that long when it really doesn't need it. My pulled pork rarely sees more than 2 1/2 to 3 hours in the oven. I've never had any complaints. 

I'd love to read some opinions/reasons about this long cooking idea. TIA.
Forgive me if I've missed other posts where you explain your shorter method. Do you cover with foil and high temp? If so, how hot?

I know a lot of folks do, but I like the uncovered, longer slow method because it allows some sort of a fake bark. That's about the only real reason.

Plus, maybe, it is also because there is some "brag" value when telling people how long the pork cooked. But I wasn't impressed when Govind told me how long he cooked his short ribs so I'm just as sure that nobody really cares when I tell them how long I cooked the pulled pork.  Ha ha ha.
 
7,675
842
Joined Apr 3, 2008
I guess if I put the pork in then morning and cook it at 325 it will be ready in 4-6 hrs? Then rest and pull before the party?
 
3,355
46
Joined May 29, 2006
315 to 325 for about 4 1/4 hours in a pan covered with foil and water added the last hour. I marinate mine for about 3 hours prior and I use a little  liquid smoke . I then shred it then refrigerate it in the same pan I cooked it in with any water or juices left. Depending on type of crowd and time of day and what else you are serving determines how much you need. I always figure meat of any kind 1/2 lb. raw weight PP =1 cooked portion. poultry 1 lb. raw weigh  PP = 1 cooked portion.  I have used this formula for over 50 years and have never run out or had  much left over.  As far as reheat it can be done dry or sauced. I would do both ways  in case some do not want sauce. . Serve with Cole Slaw OR Vege.Slaw  and home made Baked Beans and Cornbread  or Corn Spoon Bread >   Carolina style here in Georgia means sauce is laced with mustard.   . If I used a smoker I would cook lower temp and a longer time frame  ,but I don't.  GOOD LUCK
 
7,675
842
Joined Apr 3, 2008
 
315 to 325 for about 4 1/4 hours in a pan covered with foil and water added the last hour. I marinate mine for about 3 hours prior and I use a little  liquid smoke . I then shred it then refrigerate it in the same pan I cooked it in with any water or juices left. Depending on type of crowd and time of day and what else you are serving determines how much you need. I always figure meat of any kind 1/2 lb. raw weight PP =1 cooked portion. poultry 1 lb. raw weigh  PP = 1 cooked portion.  I have used this formula for over 50 years and have never run out or had  much left over.  As far as reheat it can be done dry or sauced. I would do both ways  in case some do not want sauce. . Serve with Cole Slaw OR Vege.Slaw  and home made Baked Beans and Cornbread  or Corn Spoon Bread >   Carolina style here in Georgia means sauce is laced with mustard.   . If I used a smoker I would cook lower temp and a longer time frame  ,but I don't.  GOOD LUCK
This sounds doable.  
 
2,619
230
Joined Mar 21, 2008
275 for 6-9 hours, do not foil it until done. Then foil it, drop it into a towel lined small cooler and it will hold 6 hours easy. Heavy coat of rub, totally cover it!
 

Latest posts

Top Bottom