Pork is fantastic meat for gatherings because it isn’t overly expensive and you can create all manner of flavor profiles with a little creativity. Pork belly burnt ends? Check! Crispy grilled pork belly? Check! Today I want to introduce you to my pineapple pulled pork recipe, made in a way most people have never seen or considered. Namely, I use the pineapple and a cooking vessel for part of the grilling process (pretty cool, right?). But before getting to that technique, you need to know how much pork butt (shoulder) to buy per person.
I prefer to make more than the basic amount because inevitably people come back for seconds. If they don’t, I have yummy leftovers for lunch! During the cooking process, pork loses about ½ of its raw weight. So 5 pounds equates to 2.5 pounds of finished product. This will serve 2-3 people. Bear in mind that if this is the main dish, you’ll need extra, or hardy sides to round it out.
The sauce I’m sharing is a rich bourbon-brown sugar creation. It goes well on chicken, too! You want to make this 2 days ahead so the flavor blossoms.
Pineapple Pulled Pork Sandwich Ingredients
- ½ pound Pork but/shoulder per person
- Spicy mayo
- Barbecue rub (your favorite)
- Large ripe pineapple (whole)
- Pineapple sparkling water
- Trim the fat off the pork shoulder using a Chef’s Knife. Leave a little for moisture.
- Set up your smoker to 225 degrees F.
- Rub the pork all over with the spicy mayo
- Follow with a sprinkling of rub (the mayo keeps it in place).
- Cook the pork until it reaches 170 degrees F internally.
- Meanwhile cut the top off three inches of the pineapple top (retain whole). If you have a quality Stainless Steel blade, they work great!
- Core the pineapple, leaving ½ inch of fruit at the internal edge.
- Remove the pork.
- Transfer it to the cored pineapple. If you need to trim the pork at the top so it fits, do so. You can always use this in another dish (finish cooking it along with the pineapple to save time).
- Fill the pineapple with flavored sparkling water.
- Return it to smoke, standing, until the meat reaches 200 degrees F.
- Cool and shred the pork. Mix it with barbecue sauce.
- Slice the smoked pineapple, removing the skin, to make thin rings for your sandwich.
- Lightly toast your buns
- Stack with consecutive layers of pork, pineapple slices, prosciutto, brie, and repeat.
Bourbon-Brown Sugar Barbecue Sauce Ingredients
Reminder: Make this 2 days before your cookout
- 2 cups ketchup
- ¼ cup tomato paste
- ⅓ cup vinegar
- ¼ Worcestershire
- ½ cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
- ⅓ tsp red pepper powder (optional)
- ½ cup white onion, finely minced
- 4 cloves garlic, finely minced
- ½ cup pineapple, minced (from your reserved core)
- ¾ cup bourbon
- 1 Tbs smoky paprika
- ¼ tsp ground ginger
- ¼ cup molasses
- ½ tsp cracked pepper
- ½ Tbs sea salt
- Simmer the onion, garlic, pineapple, and vinegar over a low flame until the onion is soft.
- Add all the remaining ingredients.
- Bring to a rolling boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low
- Simmer for 20 minutes.
- Store in the refrigerator.
Pineapple Pulled Pork Sandwich Tips
You can adjust the flavor profile of the sauce by deleting brown sugar and replacing it with honey or using liquid smoke in place of paprika.
Other uses for pineapple pulled pork include adding it to tacos, burritos, quesadillas, salads, and as an addition to slow-cooked baked beans.
Pit Master’s Memo
Store your leftover pulled pork in an airtight refrigerator container for up to 3 days. Or freeze it for 3 months, thawing overnight in the refrigerator before using.
To reheat the pineapple pulled pork, set your oven to 250 degrees F. Put the pork in an oven-safe container. If it seems a little dry you can add pineapple juice or more barbecue sauce. Cover and heat for 30 minutes. Check to make sure the pork reaches 165 F. before serving.
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