Vinegar-Based Sauce Is Key For Balancing Pulled Pork That's Too Salty

To say that making pulled pork is a labor of love would be an understatement. To slow-cook a thick pork butt until it becomes so tender that you can effortlessly shred it with a fork, you'll need to invest anywhere between six to eight hours. There's more to it than just time, though. Crafting perfect pulled pork with excellent texture and a nice flavor balance also demands skill.

One common mistake for beginners is going overboard with the seasoning rub, which can lead to overly salty meat. The good news is, you don't have to start from scratch if this happens. There are clever tricks to rescue your pulled pork, like giving it a water bath. But here's a fantastic idea that not only fixes the flavor but also adds a whole new dimension: Use a vinegar-based sauce.

The point is to leverage the tanginess of vinegar to counteract the saltiness of the pork. You only need to add a dash of your chosen sauce to your pulled pork and rub it in, tasting all the while until the acidity from the sauce blends just right with the savoriness of the pork. Many barbecue sauces already contain vinegar and are widely sold at grocery stores around the country. But for the best results, we highly recommend making your own at home.

Homemade sauce is the best solution to overtly salty pulled pork

Sure, you can easily find a variety of barbecue sauces at the grocery store, which is convenient. But the issue with them is that they don't allow you to adjust the flavor. Remember, to rescue overly salty pork, you want just the right amount of sauce to balance out the excess salt. If the sauce is too strong, it can easily drown out the natural flavors of the pork. That's why making your own at home is the best choice. When you make it yourself, you can tweak the ingredients to your liking.

Making homemade barbecue sauces is surprisingly easy. Take, for example, the East North Carolina-style vinegar and pepper sauce. It's just cider vinegar, salt, black pepper, and chili flakes mixed together. You can add a bit of sugar for sweetness or some hot sauce for extra heat. It's a great starting point for a simple sauce if you don't have a lot of cooking experience yet.

If you're feeling more adventurous, you can try your hand at crafting a more complex sauce like Alabama White Sauce or Kansas City Barbecue Sauce. Any of these will do a great job at masking the saltiness, in addition to giving your pulled pork a unique, flavorful twist.