How To Make Ham Cured Pulled Pork


Ham Cured Pulled Pork?  Yes Please!  I ran across this recipe online the other day from a fellow smoker, and knew I HAD to try it.   Pulled Pork with a Ham cure and flavor – sign me up!  I’m a big-time ham lover, and pulled pork is so easy and satisfying – who wouldn’t want to try this out?  I’ll be sharing the recipe and page below, as well as my process and results with you.

To make this amazing Ham Cured Pulled Pork you will need:

  • Pork Butt or Pork Shoulder – mine was a 7.75 lb butt
  • 1/2 cup Kosher Salt
  • 2/3 cups dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup Maple Syrup (I recommend using the good stuff – Grade A, but you can use any maple syrup if that’s what you have)
  • 2 tbsp. Pink Curing Salt
  • 6 cups water
  • Yellow mustard
  • Your favorite Rub (I used Weber KC BBQ Rub this time)
  • Meat thermometer
  • Disposable tray (optional)
  • Bear Claws (optional)

Brine ingredients – Mix ’em up!

Once you have all your Ingredients for the Ham Cured Pulled Pork, you’ll want to throw your brine ingredients into the bowl/container and mix them up:  Kosher Salt, Dark Brown Sugar, Maple Syrup, Curing Salt & Water.  Be sure to only use plastic or glass non-reactive containers, no metals as it could affect the cure.  Once your brine is mixed up, put in your pork (fully submerged in brine) into the fridge (or cooler with ice) for 48 hours.

 

Add water if brine doesn’t cover meat

Be sure your pork is fully submerged!

A few things came up for me while I was getting this together that I’d like to share:

  1. Make sure you have a bowl/container big enough to hold your pork, but also fits in your fridge.  You can use a cooler and keep ice in it if necessary, just make sure it says cold for the 48 hours!
  2. I recommend the good Grade A Maple… I only had pancake syrup so I used what I had available, but will be sure to get the good stuff when I make this again!
  3. When I put my pork in the giant bowl, there wasn’t enough brine to cover it – if this is the case, you can just add water to the brine
  4. Be sure the pork is completely submerged in the brine – I had to put a plate on top of my bowl and wedge it in the fridge to keep it submerged as best I could
  5. Because pork floats – I made sure to roll it over in the brine after the first 24 hours

After brining for 48 hours, your next step is to pat the pork dry with paper

towels – I gave it a quick rinse with cold water before

After 48 hour cure

patting down.  Then cover with a thin layer of yellow mustard and rub with your favorite rub.  Now your ready to get it in the smoker!  Your smoker temperature is 225-275, I set mine for 250 and after about 7 hours my temp “stalled” at 181 for two hours, so I turned the temp up to 270 to get things moving along.

 

Pat dry with paper towels

Thin layer of yellow mustard

Covered with favorite rub

Keep in mind, we’re making Ham Cured Pulled Pork – so I always put it in a disposable tray.  I’m going for meat that falls apart, and I don’t want anything falling off into the bottom of my smoker.  I also prefer to keep the juices in with my meat.  You can opt to put your pork butt/shoulder on the rack but I do recommend a tray to catch any drippings below, otherwise you’ll be doing a lot of cleaning up afterwards!  You can choose to pour the drippings out before you “pull” your pork, but most reserve it to incorporate back in.  You can also refrigerate the juice/drippings for a short period and the fat will harden and you can scoop it off and use just the juice – it’s your pile of meat, eat it the way you like it!

Get it in the Smoker!

4 hours in the smoker

6 hours in smoker – internal temperature 165

I’ve made pulled pork before, and it has taken up to 18 hours to get it up to temperature.  This one only took 10 hours… it’s not about how long it takes, but the internal temperature of the meat.  You’re looking for 195-205 internal temperature before you’ll want to take it out of the smoker.  A few hours in I put my meat thermometer in to monitor – watching for that 195-205 temp.

Once you’ve reached that internal temperature – take your Ham Cured Pulled Pork out of the smoker, cover it with tin foil, and let it rest a bit – it doesn’t have to be long, maybe 30 minutes or so.  You can certainly pull and eat right away, but it will be juicer if you give it that rest first.

When you can’t wait any longer… get in there with your bear claws, and start shredding!  Hopefully it will just fall apart for you like ours did.  If you don’t have some kind of meat claws, you can easily use forks instead to do your shredding.

We’re having ours tonight on potato buns with some homemade BBQ sauce (that’s another blog!), and I’ll be sending out a special THANK YOU to my fellow smoker for sharing his wonderful recipe and instructions!  You can view the original recipe by clicking on:  Smokin’ with My Masterbuilt Electric Smoker – I hope you’ll take a moment to check it out!

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