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Old 07-13-2015, 05:03 AM   #1
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Pig roast IS NOT pulled pork!!

hi, im hoping someone on here can feel my pain - up until 10 years ago when i saw a stand advertising hog roast at any event you could be sure it consisted of a fine carving of succulent pork along with the obligatory trace of fat, delicious crackling and stuffing with a option of apple sauce or the like. Nowadays it doesnt matter how reputable the company are, it seems to be pretty dry pulled pork(not a trace of fat) in my opinion , i was at a very well known vendors in Edinburgh and i asked about it, saying it is nothing like roasted meat that i was used to, but they were very reluctant to be drawn on the matter, just saying the meat was prepared off premises and delivered to the shop, sure there is a roasted carcass in the window but im confused, can anyone feel my pain or explain where im going wrong,
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Old 07-13-2015, 05:26 AM   #2
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Well it may be a question of the cooking process. Pulled pork is a method of cooking a tough cut of pork slowly at low temperature until it can be pulled away in strings.

I don't know how long a hog roast takes to cook and not all sections of the animal would be tough in the first place anyway. My guess is that they are using the term pulled pork because it is now more fashionable....shame, a good hog roast is magnificent and needs no false advertising.
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Old 07-13-2015, 06:28 AM   #3
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The meat is more dry because pigs are leaner, because of public demand. Also, the people who cook the pork could be overcooking the hog, which would again decrease the quality of the end product.

So long as the myth that all fat is bad, continues, we will continue to have only lesser quality meat available to us.

Meat departments can't sell well marbled meat anymore. Most people won't buy it. The public wants bright-red, lean meat, thinking that it's fresher, and healthier, and better tasting. But that bright-red color comes from messing with the meat, i.e. dying the meat, or exposing it to carbon monoxide. The color is not an indication of how fresh the meat is. Though I suspect that beef is messed with more than is pork, still, the pigs are raised to be very lean.

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Old 07-13-2015, 06:53 AM   #4
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The meat is more dry because pigs are leaner, because of public demand. Also, the people who cook the pork could be overcooking the hog, which would again decrease the quality of the end product.

So long as the myth that all fat is bad, continues, we will continue to have only lesser quality meat available to us.
That's true in the United States, but the OP is in Northern Ireland. When I was in Ireland in 2004, I found the pork to be much more fatty and succulent than we generally get here. It was delicious.

It was pretty darn good back then, booner. I don't know what's changed. Did they call roast pig pulled pork?

I do feel your pain because the pork I had in Ireland was amazing and I wish I had it available to me. I might have to try some of the heritage pork available at my local farmers market just to see.
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Old 07-13-2015, 07:10 AM   #5
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Welcome to DC booner.

Pulled pork is cooked low and slow in a slow cooker as a rule. It is often a tough cut of pork. So the low and slow method will help make the meat more palatable. It make it more juicy, BBQ sauce is quite often put on it.

A roasted pig is done whole on a spit that constantly turns over the fire. It is often served up with an apple in its mouth for show only. It helps to keep the mouth open so that some of the heat can enter to the head from that direction. All the fat that is under the skin and helps to make the meat really moist. I'll take the roasted pig any day over pulled pork. The closest you can come to a roasted pig would be to take a fresh shoulder and roast it in the oven. Only once in my life was I at a party that had a roasted pig on a spit. My mouth is watering just to think about it.
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Old 07-13-2015, 09:12 AM   #6
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Sad but true. Times change. Not always for the better.
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Old 07-13-2015, 10:18 AM   #7
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Meat departments can't sell well marbled meat anymore. Most people won't buy it. The public wants bright-red, lean meat, thinking that it's fresher, and healthier, and better tasting.
I am happy they feel this way as the marbled cuts seem to sit there just waiting for me to pick them up.
I noticed the last time i was in Costco I was able to get a pack of extremely well marbled NY Strip steaks. It was either good luck, they were prime, or the butcher was going to buy them himself. He cut them after all.
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Old 07-13-2015, 10:27 AM   #8
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Welcome to DC booner.

Pulled pork is cooked low and slow in a slow cooker as a rule. It is often a tough cut of pork. So the low and slow method will help make the meat more palatable. It make it more juicy, BBQ sauce is quite often put on it.

A roasted pig is done whole on a spit that constantly turns over the fire. It is often served up with an apple in its mouth for show only. It helps to keep the mouth open so that some of the heat can enter to the head from that direction. All the fat that is under the skin and helps to make the meat really moist. I'll take the roasted pig any day over pulled pork. The closest you can come to a roasted pig would be to take a fresh shoulder and roast it in the oven. Only once in my life was I at a party that had a roasted pig on a spit. My mouth is watering just to think about it.
Sorry, pulled pork is not done in a slow cooker as a rule. Nor is spit roasting the only method of doing whole hog.
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Old 07-13-2015, 10:27 AM   #9
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Booner - I am also in UK. Perhaps you were just unlucky because I have been to 2 events recently where the hog roast was available and that is what they were called! So perhaps it is just happening in certain regions...maybe where they feel they are not attracting enough customers?
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Old 07-13-2015, 10:45 AM   #10
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I am happy they feel this way as the marbled cuts seem to sit there just waiting for me to pick them up.
I noticed the last time i was in Costco I was able to get a pack of extremely well marbled NY Strip steaks. It was either good luck, they were prime, or the butcher was going to buy them himself. He cut them after all.

We're fortunate that Costco sells both choice and prime grade beef. Talking to the supermarket meat manager not too long ago, I learned that the vast majority of customers buy based on price (Select Grade, not Choice).
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Old 07-13-2015, 10:50 AM   #11
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We're fortunate that Costco sells both choice and prime grade beef. Talking to the supermarket meat manager not too long ago, I learned that the vast majority of customers buy based on price (Select Grade, not Choice).
I come across that often - people who buy based on price. The part that makes me laugh is the complaints about the quality, when the person wasn't willing to pay for quality. E.g., "Strawberries just don't have much flavour nowadays." "I buy the organic ones. They are full of flavour." "Well, I'm not going to pay extra for organic."
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Old 07-13-2015, 06:52 PM   #12
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Welcome to DC booner.

Pulled pork is cooked low and slow in a slow cooker as a rule. It is often a tough cut of pork. So the low and slow method will help make the meat more palatable. It make it more juicy, BBQ sauce is quite often put on it.

A roasted pig is done whole on a spit that constantly turns over the fire. It is often served up with an apple in its mouth for show only. It helps to keep the mouth open so that some of the heat can enter to the head from that direction. All the fat that is under the skin and helps to make the meat really moist. I'll take the roasted pig any day over pulled pork. The closest you can come to a roasted pig would be to take a fresh shoulder and roast it in the oven. Only once in my life was I at a party that had a roasted pig on a spit. My mouth is watering just to think about it.
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Sorry, pulled pork is not done in a slow cooker as a rule. Nor is spit roasting the only method of doing whole hog.
Craig is correct. The best pulled pork is made after properly smoking a pork butt. Without the smoke, the meat usually tastes pretty anemic, and is usually over-sauced to make up the difference.

There is a local family who has been in the hog raising business for about 100 years here, and they have supplied the pig and done the cooking for innumerable local hog roasts. This one was about a month ago, and it was every bit as good as the one I attended at my soon to be father-in-law's 70th birthday party 22 years ago. It's good to be able to get good locally raised pork that hasn't been healthified for political correctness.

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Old 07-13-2015, 10:02 PM   #13
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Sad truth is it's not the pigs fault, but the people cooking it. There are cuts of meat the need to be sliced and cut that need to be pulled, Not the whole pig. It's all about knowing how to roast a whole hog.
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Old 07-14-2015, 01:12 AM   #14
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Mmmm, RP - that looks really good
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Old 07-14-2015, 03:04 AM   #15
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thanks so much for all the replies, most of my experiences are in big cities like edinburgh and london,as you say, pulled pork sounds so fashionable, whichever way you dress it up, the succulent meat im used to from a roasted pig bears no resemblence to this dry lean meat, it almost seems like its been purchased pre-cooked and packaged(i wonder). i shall stick to roasting pork indoors, that seems the best solution :)
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Old 07-14-2015, 05:00 AM   #16
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Mmmm, RP - that looks really good
Yes it sure does!!!
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Old 07-14-2015, 09:10 AM   #17
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Sad truth is it's not the pigs fault, but the people cooking it. There are cuts of meat the need to be sliced and cut that need to be pulled, Not the whole pig. It's all about knowing how to roast a whole hog.
About thirty-five or more years ago my sister and I went to a special event in Salem. It was in an old home with a huge walk in fireplace. They had a mechanical hoist in the fireplace that you wound up and it would turn the spit for hours. then you wound it up again. On it was a whole hog. The folks that cared for the home were dressed in costume and were doing the cooking. There were ten of us that were invited. We sat down to a whole hog dinner. We all sat at a long wooden table with benches. The whole meal was cooked and served like it was in the early 1700's. I was a little hesitant to use the pewter eating service. My sister convinced me otherwise. The two hosts each took a seat on each side of the table and proceeded to cut up the pig from each side. They placed it on platters and when done the whole thing was removed from the table except for the piled high platters of cut up pig. That pig was so succulent. Fat and all was served. I wish every one of you could have that experience. All the food had been cooked in the fireplace. It had that smoky taste. The meat melted in your mouth. Not one word about fat not being healthy for you.
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Old 07-14-2015, 09:40 AM   #18
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That's one way to do it, Addie, and I'm sure it's delicious. It's just not the only way. One year when I was growing up, we lived on a small farm in Michigan. My mom worked for a small company that had an annual summer company picnic. That summer, they bought a whole pig, from one of our neighbors who raised them, to roast for the party. They buried it in a pit in our backyard and roasted it underground for hours (I'm sure they wrapped it in something but I don't remember). Then they took it out and finished it on a spit over a fire. It was great, with crispy skin and juicy meat.

Here in the south, I've had roast pig on a grill like the one RP showed. That's delicious, too, and has that smoky flavor. Whenever there's an oyster roast, there's usually a pig roasting, too, for the non-shellfish eaters.
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Old 07-14-2015, 04:58 PM   #19
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Watching pigs cooking on TV, I've seen them on spits, split open and roasted over coals split side up and split side down and buried underground. So, sort of like skinning a cat, so to speak, there's more than one way.
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Old 07-14-2015, 05:07 PM   #20
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A hobby farmer friend has a pig roast every few years, a huge potluck get-together and lots of fun. They raise a few of a number of different animals. He does his pig on a big covered grill/smoker, and it's always tender and good.
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