If you’re a food enthusiast from the South, you’ve probably had your fair share of pulled pork dishes. From Louisiana, Tennessee, to North Carolina and Arizona, pulled pork reigns supreme. They can be found in most restaurants up and down the South.
What Is Pulled Pork?
Pulled pork is flavorful, tender, and fatty meat made with pork shoulder. Pork shoulder is a relatively inexpensive cut, so you can yield a large amount of meat for smoking and barbecuing. The meat is usually soaked in brine to provide extra moisture and flavor before the cooking process begins.
The process of making pulled pork involves low and slow smoking of pork shoulder. Applying low heat for an extended period (up to 12 hours) softens the connective tissue and makes the meat incredibly tender. In many barbecue restaurants in the South, they use an electric pressure cooker for more than an hour to achieve the same tenderness. For the pork to achieve the best “pull” its internal temperature needs to reach 205F.
Once the pork is tender and falling apart, the pulling process can begin. Pulling can be done by hand or by forks and meat claws. Pork is separated from the bone, skin, and fat. Pulled pork is then mixed with special barbecue sauce for that one-of-a-kind flavor.
Where Did Pulled Pork Come From?
Native Americans discovered that the smoking process preserves the meat and keeps insects away. The barbecue process continued to evolve as Europeans and Africans moved to the Southern United States. Pork was the most inexpensive meat, so it was what Southerners barbecued for decades.
Today, barbecue is one of the most popular delicacies in the South. Combining smoked pork with barbecue sauce just made perfect sense, so now you can find pulled pork dishes in most barbecue restaurants.
Pulled pork makes for a fantastic sandwich, and it’s one of the most beloved barbecue dishes in the South. In Mexico, pulled pork (carnitas) is paired with guacamole, onions, cilantro, and beans, making a delicious taco.
Pulled Pork Trivia
1. Pulled pork is incredibly healthy. It’s rich in protein, iron, zinc, vitamin B, amino acids, and antioxidants. However, pulled pork should be ingested in moderation for a balanced diet.
2. By far, pork is the most popular type of meat eaten around the world. The United States is the world’s largest pork exporter ($6 billion annually) and the third-largest pork consumer (over 9,000 metric tons annually).
3. On average, every pig yields 371 servings of pork.
4. Before the Civil War, Southerners ate an average of 5 pounds of pork for every pound of beef. This is because pigs are easier and much less expensive to raise.
5. The world’s largest barbecue pit originated in Texas. It can cook and serve up to 8,000 lbs of meat. Texas also leads the barbecue charge with over 2,000 barbecue restaurants and over 1,000 independent locations to buy meat.
The first step to making pulled pork is a low and slow smoking process that makes the meat incredibly tender. After the meat is pulled, you can mix it with barbecue sauce for a unique punch of flavor. You can find pulled pork dishes at most restaurants in the Southern United States.
If you are looking for healthy places to eat in downtown Phoenix, Sexy Chef is the best choice for you. We offer South Pacific comfort food and a special curry sauce that will keep you craving for more. We also offer vegetarian options. Order from us today!