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Old 06-19-2013, 07:13 AM   #9
Lake Dogs
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Join Date: 07-14-09
Location: Lake Sinclair, GA

Guess I'll be the contrarian...

In reverse order:

> Should I pre-sauce or not? any suggestions, comment, or advice is greatly appreciated.

Particularly when cooking for guests, I really prefer to present the meat without sauce and give them sauce options. I usually have 4 or 5 different sauces (at the minimum).

> Should I pre shred or wait til I reheat?

Regarding shredding, I really prefer it not shredded. If it's tender enough, chunks roughly the size of your thumb are more than edible, whether on a bun or on the plate by itself, and they hold moisture and IMHO flavor much better than shredded or heaven forbid chopped. We pull the pork, removing any fats that weren't already rendered, into chunks.

Pre-pull? It really depends on timing. I do a couple of large cooks each year. Frankly, I'm now of the age where staying up all night with no sleep isn't worthwhile because I'm not good for anything the next day. I usually cook the day before. I'll usually start around noon and finish up the cook depending on what I'm cooking around 10 to 11pm. The butts/briskets/chuckies will be wrapped and snug in their beds too (in the cooler used as a warmer) overnight. Get up in the morning, get a nice shower, some coffee, get a few friends over, and THEN we pull the pork, usually 10+- hours after putting them in the warmer. If done correctly they're still hot enough to burn your fingers; moist and fresh.

Which gets me to this:

> How do I store it until the party and what is the best way to reheat?

Wrap in foil (helps to re-hydrate the meat and keeps the heat in), place in a cooler and wrap that in old cotton towels (newspaper helps here too). Fill the empty space in the cooler. You're using it as a warmer. I've had them keep for 12 hours before (unintentional, but worked).

We throw about 3 or 4 good sized parties each year. If it's for lunch, I do like I said above. For dinner servings, I'll just get up at 5am+- and cook all day...
Hance - Lake Dogs Cooking Team - MiM/MBN/GBA CBJ and comp cook
Lake Sinclair, GA (strategically about an hour from darn near anywhere)
Started competing in chili cookoffs back in the 1990's and have competed in more than I care to count. I became a CBJ in MiM in 2005, then MBN and in GBA in 2010. I've probably judged 130+- BBQ comps (sanctioned and unsanctioned) over this time. That said, I really enjoy competing more than I enjoy judging, and hope to get back to doing 4 or 5 a year in the near future.
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