Combining pulled pork with the Ninja Woodfire enables you to effortlessly cook up a range of affordable and impressive dishes that are sure to be a hit with family and friends.
Today I’m going to keep things simple and just show you how I prepare and cook the pulled pork . . . what you do with it after is up to you . . . loaded fries, jacket potatoes, rolls . . . the options are endless!
Let’s do this . . .
Taking into account the size of the Woodfire grill I didn’t want to risk an entire Boston butt, however, I still wanted the results I was used to on my other grills. After having a word with Village Butchers I ordered myself a 3kg pork collar which is technically described as a “centre cut boneless pork butt”.
First you’ll want to pat that pork down a little to remove the moisture. Next have a look and trim off any areas of hard / excess fat . . . to be honest I didn’t need to do much at all . . . there was just a small area that was a little heavy for my liking.
Once you are happy take a sharp knife and cut lines (about 1cm deep) into the fat side of the pork to create a criss-cross style pattern, this provides more surface area for the rub to work it’s magic and get some EXTRA flavour into that meat.
Next cover the pork in your binder of choice . . . I went for Lesley’s Pineapple Sweet-Chilli Sauce but you could use mustard, hot sauce . . . even water . . . you be you!
Pork all coated? Next cover in your chosen rub . . . today I went for Norfolk Smoke Pit – Good ol’ Rub. Make sure you work that sauce / rub into all the lines you cut . . . we want this pulled pork bursting with flavour.
Finally, and as an optional step, I inject (at around 5cm intervals) with a mixture of BBQ sauce / Apple Cider Vinegar / Water (25% / 50% / 25% ratio).
That’s the prep done . . . now wrap in cling film and place in the fridge for 2-4 hours to give those flavours a chance to work their magic.
This couldn’t be any easier . . .
Fill the Woodfire smoker box up with all-purpose blend pellets, place the pork directly on the grill plate, insert your probe to monitor temperatures (today I used my MEATER Plus) and close the lid.
Select the ‘SMOKER’ option and leave at the default temperature of 120°c (250°f). Set the time for 4 hours and hit START.
Why 4 hours? I can’t say exactly how long the initial element of the cook will take, but I aim for around 70°c (160°f) before I wrap and the last time I did this in the Woodfire it took 2 hours and 40 minutes.
IMPORTANT: Please don’t open that lid and take a look during the smoking phase . . . monitor temperatures remotely and trust the process! Just leave things ticking along until you reach 70°c (160°f) and head on to the next step.
Once you’ve hit the above temperatures (and you’re happy with that bark) then it’s time to wrap tightly in foil for the remainder of the cook.
Lay a sheet of heavy duty foil down and place the pork in the centre. Lift up the edges a little so that any juices don’t escape and add a splash of apple cider vinegar and sauce before wrapping tightly.
Note: I rely on Kirkland Signature Food Service Foil which is strong enough to fix a car, but still, always double wrap your pulled pork as that moisture is like liquid gold.
Second Note: Experiment by adding different liquids to your wrap . . . Dr Pepper or Cola works a treat . . . just don’t use the diet variety!
Once you’ve wrapped tightly, insert your wireless thermometer again and place back in the Woodfire. Select the ‘BAKE’ function and set the temperature to 150°c (300°f) for a total of 4 hours.
Note: The 4 hours is just an estimate which should cover this final stage, every cook will be a little different. The last time I cooked this in the Woodfire the wrapped stage took 1.5 hours.
Anyway, once the internal temperature hits 95°c (203°f) it’s time to go outside and use your instant read thermometer to check for tenderness. As the saying goes . . . you want to feel little / no resistance (apart from the foil) . . . like a warm knife going into butter (oh I do hate that saying).
Once you are happy with the tenderness it’s time to remove from the Woodfire and let the pork rest for an hour or so . . . let those juices relax and redistribute.
Finally . . . it’s time to open up that foil and see what you’ve got! Pull / shred that pork in the remaining juices and take a mouthful . . . you’ve earnt it!