It’s the most delicious debate out there. Is barbecue cooked low and slow using indirect heat or is it pulled pork? It’s no secret that these two terms are often confused, but they actually refer to two different styles of cooking. While pulled pork is cooked low and slow, barbecue is roasted using direct heat.
The great news is, you don’t have to choose between these two delicious options. By using a few tricks, you can have your pulled pork and barbecue too. This ultimate guide will teach you how to cook both pulled pork and barbecue, so read on to learn more.
What is pulled pork?
Pork is a typical muscle meat, and when it is pulled, the fat is usually left on the bone. This is because fat has a higher melting point than the lean muscle tissue and is needed to keep the meat juicy. However, some vendors will trim their pork to reduce the fat.
At its most basic level, pulled pork is made by slow roasting chunks of pork shoulder or butt on a meat smoker until the meat is very tender and falls apart when you dig into it.
There are many ways to make pulled pork, but the most common is by using a pork shoulder. A pork shoulder is the cuts that you would normally use for roasting or a whole pork butt.
There are many cuts of pork that can be used for pulled pork, but these are two of the most common.
What is barbecue?
Barbecue is the American term for the cooking method used to make pulled pork. The word itself comes from the French word barbacoa, which means a wooden framework used for meat and other food to be cooked under smoke, or in this case, under the heat of a grill.
In its simplest form, barbecue is the cooking of meat with only salt, spices, and herb flavors, and any smoke flavor that is added is from wood.
More complicated forms of barbecue will add in sugar and other sweet flavors, as well as other ingredients such as tomatoes and fruit.
Barbecue is often associated with Southern cuisine, but it is also found in other parts of the United States, and countries around the world.
Differences between pulled pork and barbecue
The biggest difference between pulled pork and barbecue is that while barbecue takes a very simple approach to flavoring the meat, pulled pork adds in other ingredients such as sugar and tomatoes to add additional complexity and flavor.
In addition to using different ingredients, the cooking method of these meats is also different. While pulled pork is cooked on a smoker, barbecue is cooked using direct heat.
This means that while smoking is used to cook both types of meat, the indirect method is used to cook barbecue.
Barbecue can be cooked on a grill, in a smoker, or under a broiler, but there are differences in the way the meat is cooked based on the type of barbecue it is.
For example, in the case of North Carolina-style barbecue, the meat is cooked in a pit for many hours over low heat, whereas in Texas-style barbecue, the pork is smoked using mesquite wood.
Which is better, pulled pork or barbecue?
It’s a tough question to answer, as both pulled pork and barbecue are excellent options.
The thing to keep in mind is that while both are delicious, there are subtle differences between the two.
For example, while both types of meat use the same cuts of pork, the way they are cooked is what sets them apart.
As you can see in the following chart, pulled pork is typically cooked at a lower temperature for a longer period of time, which allows the fat to render out of the meat and the Maillard browning to occur.
In addition to being less fatty, the meat from barbecue is typically more tender and juicy.
However, one thing that is for certain is that the two are definitely not the same thing!
If you’re looking to impress guests, or just need to prepare a quick meal, you can’t go wrong with either pulled pork or barbecue.
The only difference is in the type of smoker or grill you use to cook the meat.
As you can see in the chart above, both types of pork are typically smoked or grilled using indirect heat.
So, the only real difference is how you cook the meat.
If you’re looking for a delicious, hearty, and filling meal, you can’t go wrong with either pulled pork or barbecue.