Hand of Pork

001/18: Pulled Hand of Pannage Pork

001/18 – Pulled Hand of Pannage Pork:

Happy New Year, the counter resets to #1! My freezer is full of different cuts of meat so I am going to cook them all before I buy anything else. First up was Pulled Hand of Pannage Pork.

I wrote a fair bit about Pannage Pork in a previous post so I won’t repeat it here:

BBQ74/17: Stuffed and Rolled Loin of Pork

The Meat:

I will write up a butchery post for the Pannage Pork at a later date but I got a delivery of Pannage Pork from Stansted Farm Shop and one part of it was this massive shoulder!

Hand of Pork

I took the hock off then split the remaining meat into a shoulder and a hand. The shoulder was massive, it was hard to get in that vac pack bag!Hand of Pork

You can see from the pictures it looks like a typical shoulder from the shape of the meat, the colour and the fat content.

Hand of Pork

I was going to tunnel the bone out but changed my mind half way which is why it’s a bit of a mess! Hand of Pork

You don’t see hand of pork very often. I think it’s usually used for sausages but you can pick up a 3kg free range hand of pork for under £10 which is a lot cheaper than buying a pork butt!

The Prep:

Because the Pannage Pork is quite special I didn’t want to just do my usual pulled pork recipe as the rub and sauces are quite strong so would have masked the more delicate flavours of this pork. I haven’t run the smoker for a while so I did want to smoke it but I wanted a recipe that was going to compliment the meat rather than overpower it. After an extensive search I found a recipe by Hobbs House Bakery which even uses the hand of pork.

I made the marinade with honey, smoked paprika, garlic, rosemary, pepper, Worcestershire sauce, olive oil, thyme, salt and a can of Punk IPA. This was all mixed together then rubbed over the pork. The pork had been slashed all over so the marinade made it’s way into the meat. I left it in the fridge overnight.

Hand of Pork

The Cook:

1 bag of heat beads, half a bucket of left over heat beads and a bucket of left over charcoal were all dropped in the bottom of the smoker before half a lit chimney of lump was dumped on top. This was left for 30 minutes to light the base layer then the smoker was put together with a full water pan. I left it for another half hour to settle before placing the meat on the top grill.

Hand of Pork

The recipe says about 8 hours at 140C (280F) so I aimed for about 250F and estimated 8 to 9 hours. I placed a lump of cherry and a lump of oak in and checked back after 8 hours. It was around 180F internal so I left it another hour and it was about 193F but probing without resistance so I took it off to rest for 90 minutes. Great colour!Hand of Pork

I have loads of home cured bacon in the freezer some of which was cured with Gran Luchito chilli paste then smoked for 60 hours over cherry and hickory. I used a recipe by Steven Raichlen to do some bacon wrapped onion rings. Simply sliced the onion quite thick, wrapped bacon around it and sprinkled it with some leftover rub I made for another dish. I put this in the smoker for 30 minutes and turned it then left it another 30 minutes.Hand of Pork

Time to Eat:

The meat was still nice and hot but I managed to pull it by hand. As before, I prefer bigger chunks so the meat doesn’t dry out too much. This was very, very juicy. Well cooked or because it’s Pannage Pork? Maybe a bit of both? 😉

Hand of Pork

The skin hadn’t really crisped up and was quite soft/chewy. The recipe does say to give it 20 minutes at a high temperature at the start so maybe that would have made a difference. I would probably take the skin off next time instead.Hand of Pork

I made the Red’s Slaw: Red cabbage, red onion, carrots, red pepper, coriander, sea salt and black pepperHand of Pork

The recipe says to serve the meat in pitta breads with coleslaw. I was going to make my own but ran out of time so used some we already had.Hand of Pork


It was nice to kick the new year off with a cook, good to cook the pannage pork and great to do something a little different. The meat tasted really good, lovely taste to the meat with a slightly sweet note. Really juicy and very tender. Not sure what the cost of this cut was as I bought the meat in bulk but looking online free range hand of pork is about £3 per kg and pannage hand of pork is about £4.50 per kg. I estimate the joint was around 3 kg so a free range hand of pork will cost you under £10 and a pannage one would be £13.50. Absolute bargain for cooking pulled pork, ask you butcher / farmer for hand of pork and give it a go.

The onion rings were really, really tasty. The bacon didn’t crisp up too much but the recipe says to cook them on the grill so that would solve it. I will try that next time.

Cook Difficulty Simple – 2/5
Cook Duration Long – 4/5
Cook Equipment: Weber Smokey Mountain
Cook Method: Smoker
Charcoal: Heat Beads and mixed, leftover Oxford Charcoal
Smoking Wood: Smokewood Shack Oak and Cherry
Cook temperature: 250F
Cook time: 9 hours and 90 minute rest
Internal temperature: 195F
Notes: 1: Take the skin off before marinading / cooking


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