Pulled pork burgers with homemade BBQ sauce8

Posted on November 17, 2011 by ChristieDinner Time

It started with a request from my brother-in-law to teach him how to make pulled pork and ended with me vowing never to buy bottled BBQ sauce ever again! It was quite a day in the kitchen, I can tell you.

And when I say day, I mean it, because the luscious shredded meat on this burger takes around 5 hours to get that way. 5 long hours while the house smells absolutely scrumptious. It’s excruciating, but then oh-so-worth-it. Just ask my BIL and hubby – they ate two burgers each and then sat back rubbing their tummies with a big smile on their face while I tried to photograph one.

I find it quite annoying that it’s difficult to photograph a burger prettily. In fact, it’s quite hard to eat a burger and remain pretty, so that actually makes it quite apt. But I digress…

Who knew there were so many different types of pulled pork? A little bit of Google research revealed a myriad of recipes using wet marinades, dry rubs, overnight brines, mixed with BBQ sauce, not mixed – the list goes on. Plus, there are different styles in different regions: Texas, South Carolina, Memphis and more. What was a girl to do?

Well, there was only one thing to do – bastardise them all into one. I decided to go down the dry rub route (hang on, that didn’t come out right!?!) and then used about 10 different recipes to come up with this spice combination. I basically just picked all the spices I thought would work and then crossed my fingers and hoped for the best. Very scientific (and a little bit crazy, seeing as I had never made it before).

Three tablespoons of salt sounded like too much, so I used the same amount of super chunky rock salt instead, and let some of it fall off during cooking. That worked a treat, FYI.

I used the same scientific method for finding a good BBQ sauce recipe.

I wasn’t even going to do this to begin with because it seemed like too much effort, but boy am I glad I did! Do you know how fantastic homemade BBQ sauce tastes? Make my recipe and you will find out. Then, like me, you will never buy it in a bottle again. It’s so easy and a billion times better than anything at the supermarket. Did I mention how great it is? OK, I will shut up now.

Here’s a little an insight into my brain (pictured above).

It is the cheat sheet I created for myself to use in the kitchen. It’s also a shopping list. The ingredients with an * next to them mean I need to buy them. The handwriting is shocking as I excitedly scribbled down my thoughts with my hand going just that little bit slower than my brain. Don’t you hate that feeling?

If you think the paper looks a bit crinkled, then good observation. Poppy got her little hands on it and gave it a good scrunch. I’m just glad she didn’t drool and smudge it because it was my only copy. Hence why I took a quick photo of it – to baby-proof it. Thank goodness for the 21st Century.

Have you tried pulled pork before? What about homemade BBQ sauce?

Christie x

Pulled pork recipe

serves 6

1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
3 tablespoons brown sugar
3 tablespoons salt (rock or ground, your choice)
2 tablespoons ground black pepper
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
2 teaspoons chilli powder
2 teaspoons dry mustard powder
1 teaspoon ground star anise
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1.5kg pork shoulder

To serve
Soft burger buns
Coleslaw or salad

1. Pre-heat the oven to 200C/390F. Place all the spices in a large mixing bowl and stir until thoroughly combined.

2. Rub the vegetable oil all over the pork shoulder then massage with the spice mix, pressing as much on as possible.

3. Place on a rack in a roasting tray, fat side up, and pour 500ml (2 cups) of water into the tray. Cover tightly with foil and cook at 200C/390F for 30 mins.

4. Turn the heat down to 150C/300F and cook for 4.5 hours or until the meat flakes easily. Check on it every 45 mins and top up the water as necessary.

5. Remove the layer of fat in one piece and discard. Use two forks to shred the pork then mix with some BBQ sauce (recipe below) and serve on soft buns with coleslaw.

Home made BBQ sauce recipe

makes about 1 cup

250ml (1 cup) cold tap water
250ml (1 cup) tomato sauce (you can use ketchup, passata or tomato puree)
145g (1 cup) brown sugar
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons molasses

1. Place all ingredients into a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to the boil, stirring constantly, then turn the heat down to low and simmer for 5 mins until thickened slightly.

  • Ali

    Wow Wow Wow so trying this at Christmas!! My mouth is watering! :)

  • I’ve never liked shop bought BBQ sauce, hate it. Wonder if I’d like the real version.
    thanks for your take on the pulled pork – might try this when all the family are together at Christmas.

  • Mmmmmm……. it looks so good! We make BBQ pork ribs that start with a dry rub, cryovak down, then braised, then bbq’d with the braisisng liquid boiled down for 3 hours into an amazing sauce. Hours of effort, but oh so worth it. I’ll give these burgers a try my next long weekend, yumm…

  • These look awesome! Lol at the men finishing two each while you take photos. Ahhh the joys of blogging – by the time we get to the food, its usually luke warm lol. Def trying this recipe for xmas!!!

  • Katarina

    Wow, I’m definately with you all on this one – fabulous looking burger! Shredded tender meat couple with the tang of that gorgeous homemade condiment..not forgetting the crunch from the coleslaw – mmmm…

    Well done! I shall definately be attempting this one.

  • Dakota

    Hi there.
    Just wanted to know whether you had the pork shoulder boned before hand or was the bone left in??
    Thanks Dakota.

    • Hi Dakota – this particular one was with a boneless shoulder. But you could also use one with the bone in – there will just be less meat for the final result. Hope that helps, Christie

  • Dakota

    Thanks Christie
    My butcher has put aside a 2kg boned pork scotch roast for me to make this. I’ve got 8 friends for lunch tomorrow so ‘hopefully’ this will feed them all. Doing a few side dishes like the coleslaw, roasted smashed spuds, maple/ginger corn cobs and of course the squishy white bread rolls. Thanks for such a tasty looking recipe.

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