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Catering, Vending and Cooking For The Masses. this forum is OnTopic. A resource to help with catering, vending and just cooking for large parties. Topics to include Getting Started, Ethics, Marketing, Catering resources, Formulas and recipes for cooking for large groups.

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Old 04-04-2009, 04:15 PM   #1
Knows what a fatty is.
Join Date: 09-08-08
Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Default Pulling Pork for a crowd

I will selling pulled pork at the local farmers market and wanted to get opinions on the easiest and fastest way of pulling the pork.

I will be cooking 50 to 100 pounds of shoulders for every weekend. When I have cooked up large batches of butts in the past the hardest and time consuming job is hand pulling the pork. I find that it takes me over 1/2 to pull a 6-8# butt. I know I am slow at it but I am trying my best to get all the pieces of fat out of it. I pull using my hands, a fork and maybe bear claws. I use a knife to chop up the bark.

Can any one share any techniques that I can use to speed up the process?

I have eaten pork sammies that have a lot of very fine pieces of meat in it that almost look like that were quickly put through a food processor. I have heard about this on chicken but I have not seen it done.

Any advice at all is greatly appreciated.

Thank you,

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Old 04-04-2009, 04:32 PM   #2
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I'm not a caterer or vendor but have pulled pork for a crowd in mass qty on a few occassions.. Pulling out the fat is less than ideal in high volume. Westex and I did about 20 of them wearing hi temp food grade neoprene gloves.. a big squeeze and then a bunch of little squeezes and pulls... Very quick.. Maybe 3-4 minutes per butt. You'll catch a few large pieces of fat by default.

Even better... When I assisted Chris Lilly at the Big Apple Block Party it was somewhat similar.. A big crush with our hands but then a different approach.. A samurai knife is used to chops the large chunks. Here's his brother Owen doing the same technique .. It's a real crowd pleaser especially when Chris puts on the show.

Check it out the starting at 1:24 seconds
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Old 04-04-2009, 04:47 PM   #3
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I pulled 4 cases of butts in 2 days last fall at our local fair.

I used high temp rubber gloves, pulled a but in about 4 minutes like Vinny said.

I then picked out what little fat was left, mixed the bark with the inner meat and into the roaster pans it went.

Tip......After doing about 10 butts stop and remove your gloves as your hands are pretty warm.
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Old 04-04-2009, 06:02 PM   #4
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If you are going to do this often, in the amount mentioned, I would consider a buffalo chopper. It will chop the fat up as well. They work nice, CountryHB and I borrowed one at a comp once. They are pricey, so I suggest you find one used.

Gloves, try these:
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Old 04-05-2009, 11:10 AM   #5
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When I had my kitchen, I would cook a case at a time (8-10 butts). Used 2 carving forks to do it. Never took longer than 1/2 hour. I guess it was easier fer me 'cause I would put them (one at a time) into a large stainless mixing bowl and have at it. Makes it real easy.
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Old 04-05-2009, 11:17 AM   #6
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Bear claws, mere minutes, pull the fat off by hand. Some get's mixed into the food, small bite of great flavor. Scott
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Old 04-05-2009, 01:51 PM   #7
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heres an idea if you have a drill handy
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Old 04-05-2009, 05:45 PM   #8
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Bear Claws and glove covered hands... If you have good gloves it doesnt take long...
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Old 04-05-2009, 06:55 PM   #9
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Default Pulling Pork

If cooked to the proper temp they should practically fall apart for you, I just cooked a case of butts and did most of the pulling with a pair of tongs all in about 40 mins or less.
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Old 04-05-2009, 08:42 PM   #10
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If the butts sit in a cooler or cambro for a while, they pull easy. We cooler them for an hour or 2, throw on a cadaver tray, let cool for 30 minutes and pull by hand with good gloves. We did pork for 1600 last fall. we do 3 cases most weekends.
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Old 04-05-2009, 10:46 PM   #11
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Pull the bone then whack 'em with the flat of a heavy cleaver. Most of it should fall apart on its own. Use the cleaver to quickly chop any big chunks that are left. Much faster than tongs. Visually scan for large chunks of fat. Yer done - three butts, three minutes, one 4 inch pan full of pulled pork.
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Old 04-06-2009, 09:42 PM   #12
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Thank you all for the help. There is lots of good advice.
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Old 04-06-2009, 10:41 PM   #13
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Funny that Steph beat me to it...if you're serious, check out a Hobart Buffalo Chopper. Not only is it quick, but it mixes the fat in perfectly...higher yield. And they are great for all your other chopping needs.
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Old 04-07-2009, 10:00 PM   #14
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They all work bear claws, forks, choppers I like to let it cool a little bite and throw on some gloves and pull
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Old 04-07-2009, 10:17 PM   #15
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This is what the Cali guys use.
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