Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Canning Pulled Pork Barbecue

I am from Western North Carolina... lived there all my life... and then I moved... to the Midlands of South Carolina three years ago. I love my job here, the people are so wonderful. Winters are mild here. Spring is beautiful, the flowers are gorgeous. It's really a nice place... and my life is better than ever...

But...

There are a few things I REALLY miss about my former lifelong home... it's flat here, sometimes I really miss my mountains... it's HOT here in the summer, and humid... and the barbecue here is... well... to put it politely... it's not to my liking... (*whispers* it's yucky)

Where I come from barbecue is almost a religion... and it's red... and slightly sweet, with a little vinegary flavor...

Here barbecue is eaten, loved by many... and it's yellow... mustard based... they think that's normal... they actually like it that way! THEY don't know any better...

I recently bought two nice Boston Pork Butts on sale at my local grocery store... it was time to make some REAL barbecue!

Boston butt is a cut of pork that comes from the upper part of the shoulder from the front leg and may contain the blade bone. In the US, smoked or barbecued Boston butt is southern tradition. In pre-revolutionary New England and into the American Revolutionary War, some pork cuts (not those highly valued, or "high on the hog," like loin and ham) were packed into casks or barrels (also known as "butts") for storage and shipments. The way the hog shoulder was cut in the Boston area became known in other regions as "Boston butt." In the UK it is known as "pork hand and spring," or simply "pork hand."

There are many ways to cook pork butt... it can be slow roasted in the oven, wrapped in aluminum foil and baked, put in the slow cooker... we decided to smoke ours this time... Mmmm!



After cooking, I pulled the pork (hence the name, "pulled pork") from the bone, removed all the fat and gristle, chopped, and shredded it. (Smokey Dog enjoyed the fat, gristle, and bone... over a period of several meals)





Then I made my homemade barbecue sauce with...

1-3/4 cups ketchup
1/4 cup prepared mustard
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 Tbsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. black pepper
1/2 oz. liquid smoke
1 oz. Worcestershire sauce
1 oz. hot sauce (I used Louisiana brand)
1/2 Tbsp. lemon juice

Since I was barbecuing two butts... I doubled the above recipe, except for the liquid smoke... since the meat was already smoked AND liquid smoke tends to intensify when canned, I left it at 1/2 ounce.

Any good barbecue sauce would work with this process, bottled, your own recipe, someone else's recipe... it's all a matter of taste.


I mixed my sauce in with the pulled pork... it seemed a little dry for canning... I wanted my pork to be completely submerged in the sauce... so I added some water until I got the consistency I was looking for (I added about 2-3 cups of water).

I brought the meat/sauce mixture to a simmer... meanwhile I prepared my pint canning jars by boiling them in water... and I put my lids in simmering water to sterilize and kept them all hot until I was ready for them.

Again, a matter of taste... the pulled pork could be canned without sauce, adding the sauce after opening or used in other pork recipes... broth or water could be added to the jars of pork instead of the BBQ sauce.


I ladled the hot barbecue into the hot jars...


I wiped the jar rims with a damp cloth to remove any residue... dipping the cloth in a little vinegar helps to remove any grease that might have been left on the jar rim.


I removed the lids from the simmering water using my handy dandy magnetic lid wand, tightening them onto the jars to a fingertip tightness.

I processed the jars in my pressure canner at 10 pounds of pressure for 70 minutes (90 minutes for quart jars).

After processing, I removed the canner from the heat and let it cool, and allowing the pressure to drop naturally (don't hurry it or it might result in broken jars and ruined barbecue!)... then I removed the canner lid...


...and removed the jars from the canner using my jar lifter... and set them on a folded dish towel on the counter to cool... and to listen for the PING of each successfully sealed jar.


Ahhh... real barbecue any time I want it... RED... like barbecue is supposed to be!


56 comments:

  1. I'll be over in about 8 hours... save me some :)

    Susan@ Cooking in the Florida Heat

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    1. It's here... waiting on you ;-) ~~Granny

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    2. Love this recipe totally stealing this thanks

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    3. Love this recipe totally stealing this thanks

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  2. Ahhh....I've been looking for a WNC sauce recipe. I lived in Hendersonville and fell in love with the way they made their sauce! Especially at a small barbq rest. In Mountain Home..yummy!! Moved to South Ga and they do the mustard sauce as well!!! (they also look at me funny when I put slaw on my sandwich! LOL)

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    1. Kim, I lived not far from Hendersonville all my life... until recently... most of my family still lives in the area... best BBQ EVER! ~~ Granny

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  3. Oh Granny, I love this. I will try it because I love pork barbeque any time and how nice to be able to open a jar and have it without all the fuss. Thanks for another great post. Hugs from West Virginia

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  4. Do you freeze them too?

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    1. After canning? No, there's no need to freeze them. ~~Granny

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  5. new to your site here, also pretty new to canning in general (done it 2xs - pumpkin 'butter' and spiced peaches). I did them in a pot of boiling water (I'm sure that's not the right technique or technical term) and haven't heard about the 'pressure canning' method you've mentioned here. Can I still can the BBQ using the method I'm familiar with and comfortable with?

    Can you also explain the difference for this newbie? TIA

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    1. MEATS MUST BE PRESSURE CANNED!

      There are two safe ways of processing food, the boiling water bath method and the pressure canner method:

      The boiling water bath method is safe for tomatoes, fruits, jams, jellies, pickles and other preserves. In this method, jars of food are heated completely covered with boiling water (212°F at sea level) and cooked for a specified amount of time

      Pressure canning is the only safe method of preserving vegetables, meats, poultry and seafood. Jars of food are placed in 2 to 3 inches of water in a special pressure cooker which is heated to a temperature of at least 240° F. This temperature can only be reached using the pressure method. A microorganism called Clostridium botulinum is the main reason why pressure processing is necessary. Though the bacterial cells are killed at boiling temperatures, they can form spores that can withstand these temperatures. The spores grow well in low acid foods, in the absence of air, such as in canned low acidic foods like meats and vegetables. When the spores begin to grow, they produce the deadly botulinum toxins(poisons).

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  6. Loved finding this site. I am presently sitting here listening to the wiggle jiggle of the pressure weights...canning the pulled pork! Thank you for the inspiration!

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  7. What a fantastic idea, especially for a household of one! I was wondering if you cook the meat to full tenderness so it doesn't become mushy during canning or does it hold up well?

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  8. Did this recipe just tonight had a great sale here on pork butt, cooked mine up in the pressure cooker til falling apart then mixed it up with the bbq recipe (and yes I like my sauce red too) and it was fantastic! I mixed about a quarter cup more br. sugar in mine because I like the taste of it a little sweeter but the perfect amount of heat, hubby and son just loved it. I will do this again for sure when we get another pork sale here and I also think it would be great with my canned venison. thanks so much. Danijo

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  9. Oh Granny, I tried doing 1/2 pints, so I could have enough for one sandwich.. they burned upon canning for 70 minutes. I'm trying again, but with pints. Just thought I'd post my failure so no one tries 1/2 pints. That was a whole day's work.

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    1. Oh, my. I was thinking of doing the same thing. Have you tried reducing the amount of time under pressure?

      If the quarts are 90 minutes and the pints are 70 minutes, it seems the half pints would be 60 minutes.

      I'm going to give it a try with a small batch and let you know...

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  10. Thank you so much Granny for some true Carolina BQQ. You make this former Carolina girl very happy up here in New England.

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  11. I loved your recipe. I am for sure going to be canning this one. My husband loves Barbeque and he will love this recipe. Thanks from another NC girl

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  12. I am new to this site and to canning. Do you have a list of how long each item will last?

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    1. It's hard to say exactly how long... there are so many variables. If stored in a cool, dry, dark place canned foods should last AT LEAST 2-5 years and probably much longer. ~~Granny

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  13. I live in Blythewood, SC! We are neighbors! Love your blog.. New to canning and have LOTS to learn!!

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    1. Well, Howdy neighbor!!!! Small world huh? Go for it... it's great fun and very satisfying! ~~Granny

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  14. Letting the pork cool now so I can pull it. Put up 30 pounds of cherries this morning so I'll be glad for the 70 minute break! And my boys will be glad for a quick and easy meal at the hunting cabin this winter!

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    1. Woo Hoo!!!! It's SOOOO good! ~~Granny

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  15. I'm from NC too and this looks AMAZING!! I should try it!

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  16. Granny i love this idea I am going to try it as soon as I can, I am new to canning soups and meats other than I use to can venison, but haven't done that in a few year's, so far i have canned Chicken pot pie filling, beef stew, vegtable beef soup, chilli,chichen soup base and chicken stock, i usally just can my garden veggie's and stuff, but this year I wanted to make alot of my own stuff,without perservatives added like you buy from the store, I think I have a pretty good start, I took my Daughter a quart of the veggie beef soup and a quart of the beef stew, she was going to have a medical procedure done and I knew she would'nt feel like cooking afterwards, she said her and her husband ate the beef stew that night for supper and LOVED it and wanted me to can them a dozen jars more,lol.

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    1. Yay Emma!!!! That's what it's all about! Thank you for sharing, it makes me smile! ~~Granny

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  17. Canned this tonight. (Made tons for dinner and canned most of the leftovers). I improvised a BBQ sauce to my liking. I think I'll go a little saucier next time...I guess I underestimated the amount of meat I had. :P Super excited to have it as convenience food for my husband, who is less handy in the kitchen and isn't a fan of the convenience soups I've canned up till now. (Well, he's not a fan of soup in general...but what can you do :P) Love the blog (and the facebook!). Keep up the good work, Granny!

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  18. I was so inspired that I put up a canner full of pulled pork and barbeque sauce (used bottled)BUT I am so disappointed w/results.
    The pork was tender and juicy and wonderful before I canned it, and the sauce was yummy, too. But after processing, the meat tastes dry and the sauce is very very tangy, kind of vinegar-ry YUK. I processed 10 pints as book instructs, at 11 pounds pressure w/gauge, for 75 minutes, but the product almost looks/tastes burned or over processed(I watched very carefully and pressure never went above 12 pounds). I have searched the internet to see if anyone else has had this problem, but I haven't found anything. I am so sad.

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    1. I had the exact same thing happen to me last night. First time using my pressure canner. Maybe not enough sauce? Did you figure out what went wrong? I would like to try again as soon as possible, I might try more sauce to meat.

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  19. Wonderful! Made a successful batch....I think. Tastes great, but when canning it about 50% of the liquid leached out. I cleaned the bottles up and all but one have stayed sealed. Luckily 3 days later I was in the area and heard the 'ping' as one popped up. I I put it in the fridge and it looks and tastes fine. My question is if 1/2 the pork is not in liquid - is that going to go bad? Any thoughts on why I 'leached' so much. Had about 1" headroom to start, 70-80 min at about 12 lb pressure, qt jars. Thanks!

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    1. It's normal to sometimes lose some liquid and won't hurt the product. The reason for liquid loss is varied... sometimes not letting the pressure drop slowly enough after processing... sometimes lids on too tight... sometimes inferior lids... sometimes none of the above, it just happens. ~~Granny

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  20. Love your blog!!! Mine's in the canner now!!! :)

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  21. I am from Western NC too !!!! Macon County !! I do LOVE these mountains !! I have a pressure canner on my wish list and can't wait try canning this !! In the meantime I will still enjoy the recipe !!!

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  22. Have you tried this with Pulled Chicken?

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    1. I haven't Brian, but it would be really good, I'm sure. ~~Granny

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  23. Made this for dinner to try before canning it..What a great recipe..Can you also just can the sauce in quart or pint jars ?? Thank You for sharing this ~~ :)

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  24. I too am interested in a processing type/time for canning just the sauce.
    We had this for dinner last night and it was FANTASTIC! Kids loved it and normally they won't eat BBQ.
    Thanks!

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    1. For just the sauce, it can be processed in a boiling water bath for 20 minutes. ~~Granny

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  25. Thank you! We pressure canned a few jars of the BBQ pork last night after dinner and we are going to make some jars of just sauce now for other needs now we have the process time.

    Thanks for super quick response :-)

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  26. Thank you for your blog!!! I'm going to try this recipe on venison this fall, I'm new to pressure cooking and would have thought that pre-cooking the meat would not be needed since it cooks in the pressure cooker. I don't want it to be so tender that it won't have texture (Too mushy). How does your pork hold up? I'm planning to try slices.

    J. Michael

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    1. It holds up very well... you wouldn't have to cook it beforehand, I do because it makes it easier to shred, if you're wanting to do slices, you could certainly raw pack. ~~Granny

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  28. I live in Georgia so I am not to far from you. I want to try your sauce as well. Looks good, Where are you able to find that "Hot Sauce". What about "liquid smoke"? Who sales that? Walmart??
    I have several packs of cooked pulled pork in the freezer. Can I thaw that out (to free up some freezer space) and can it too?

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    1. Hot sauce is pretty much in every grocery store and WalMart as well, as is liquid smoke. ~~Granny

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  29. Hey Pamela
    got a question for you. Today I pressure canned some BBQ, whenever it came out of the canner, the Meat was kind of for lack of better words, the meat was almost compacted in the jars. I made sure I added enough liquid to the jars and some of the liquid was in the bottom of the jars and the meat was more compacted at the top, almost in a loaf kind of form.
    Question is this, will it be OK? I tried not to pack the BBQ to tightly because I didn't want it to be an issue because of the thickness.
    Will they still be safe to eat?

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    1. They'll be perfectly safe to eat Linda... sometimes it happens, I can't explain why. ~Granny

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  30. I was looking for instructions on how to can pulled pork BBQ. Glad I came across you. Very good explanation. I was worried about the pork being too dry. The only problem was that the BBQ is red! I am an eastern Carolina BBQ fan! I DO like the BBQ at Cash Smokehouse in Franklin, NC

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  31. Just came across your directions for canning pulled pork, I know this is an old post but thank goodness its still here. I live in New York but my parents in Virginia, my mothers likes the non red pulled pork...ick. Up here we put slaw on pulled pork as well, best way to eat it!

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  32. Could this be done in a regular water bath canner for a loner period of time?? Say 2 hrs??

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  33. am I seeing right? you are water bath canning meats and on a flat top ceramic stove top?

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