Sous Vide Pulled Pork Recipe with Chili Pepper BBQ Sauce
I love a great smoked pork shoulder, but when I don't have the patience to actually smoke one (or if it is raining, which is way to common this week!) I turn to my sous vide machine. I also share my recipe for a favorite chili pepper BBQ sauce of mine that is full of smoky flavorful without being too spicy.
Pulled pork is usually made using the pork butt, sometimes called the pork shoulder or Boston Butt, and is cooked over low heat, often in a smoker, for several hours. Using sous vide takes longer but you don't have to manage a fire or look in on the meat. My favorite combination is probably 156°F (68.8°C) for around 18 to 24 hours, it's shreddable but not over-tender. Curious abut more information on pork? Check out my how to sous vide pork shoulder guide.
For a more traditional flavor, you can either pre- or post-smoke the pork shoulder, just make sure it is cold when you are smoking it. I like to serve it with traditional BBQ sides such as corn on the cob, coleslaw, or macaroni and cheese.
When I want a special piece of meat there are a few good butchers in my area, but I've also been enjoying the super flavorful pork from Snake River Farms. I also enjoy trying the different ranchers that Crowd Cow has available.
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Ingredients for Sous Vide Pulled Pork with Chili Pepper BBQ Sauce
- 2 to 3 pounds pork shoulder (900 to 1360 grams) (I personally love Snake River Farms and Crowd Cow)
- 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon ancho chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 4 to 7 dried chili peppers
- Olive oil
- 1/3 cup tomato paste
- 1/4 cup sherry vinegar
- 1 tablespoon Worcester sauce
- 1/4 cup dark rum
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 3/4 cup water
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon coriander
- BBQ Sides
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Cooking Instructions for Sous Vide Pulled Pork with Chili Pepper BBQ Sauce
Preheat a water bath to 156°F (68.8°C).
If the pork shoulder is too large to fit into a bag, cut it into multiple pieces. Mix the spices together in a bowl then coat the pork with them. Place the pork in a sous vide bag then seal. Cook the pork for 18 to 24 hours.
For more information on the cooking times you can read my detailed article which addresses why is there a range in sous vide cooking times.
Take the chili peppers and soak them in water for 30 minutes. Remove the stems and seeds.
Heat some olive oil in a pan over medium heat, add the tomato paste then cook until just starting to darken. Add the chili peppers and remaining ingredients and blend well. Bring the mixture to a simmer and let cook for at least 5 minutes for the flavors to meld, or up to 30 minutes if you want it thicker. If you prefer a thinner sauce, add more water until it is the desired consistency.
Remove the pork from the sous vide bag and shred it with a fork and tongs.
On a plate, make a pile of the pulled pork and top with the chili pepper BBQ sauce. Serve with your favorite BBQ sides.
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This article is by me, Jason Logsdon. I'm an adventurous home cook and professional blogger who loves to try new things, especially when it comes to cooking. I've explored everything from sous vide and whipping siphons to pressure cookers and blow torches; created foams, gels and spheres; made barrel aged cocktails and brewed beer. I have also written 10 cookbooks on modernist cooking and sous vide and I run the AmazingFoodMadeEasy.com website.
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