About Our Pork
At Pit Fiend Barbecue, we proudly smoke heritage-breed Duroc pork for all of our regular barbecue pork offerings - spare ribs, pulled pork, belly, and tenderloin. Not only is Duroc known for its superior flavor and exceptional tenderness, the pork we source from Comfrey Farm is ethically and sustainably raised for unrivaled quality.
Duroc pork is a heritage breed - analogous to heirloom vegetables like tomatoes. The genetics behind USDA-certified Duroc have been carefully tended from generation to generation, allowing farmers to preserve a higher standard than the pale, flavorless commodity pork commonly found in supermarkets and restaurants across the U.S.
The exceptional flavor and vibrant red color of Duroc pork result from lactic acid, which gives the meat an optimal pH leel for both taste and texture. Lactic acid helps the meat retain moisture, resulting in a juicier, more succulent product. By contrast, the low pH level of commodity pork produces pale, dry pork with less vibrant flavor.
USDA-certified Duroc pork also has more intramuscular fat, or "marbling", than its commodity counterpart. The white rivets of fat running through a bright red rack of ribs or perfectly pink pork butt will render out as the meat cooks, boosting the porky flavor and basting the meat in its own juices. Fattier cuts are ideal for the long cook times associated with barbecue, so Duroc pork is the clear choice for any cut that's bound for the smoker.
At Pit Fiend Barbecue, we sustainably source our USDA-certified Duroc pork from Comfrey Farm. CLICK HERE to learn more.
St. Louis Spare Ribs
Our pork spare ribs are butchered St. Louis-style, with the cartilage and breastbone removed from the rack. Spare ribs are cut from the longer, lower bones adjacent to the belly. Unlike babyback ribs which are cut from the shorter, curved section of the rib bones nearer the spine, St. Louis spare ribs lay flat on the smoker.
A staple of southern-style BBQ, pork ribs are one of the classic cuts associated with smoking meats in the U.S. We prepare our ribs with a signature dry rub including Chinese five spice and locally-roasted espresso from Denver's own Novo Coffee. Then we glaze our ribs with our smoked Kobold sauce, modeled after the sweet & spicy sauces of Kansas City barbecue.
The recipe and technique used to produce the pork belly at Pit Fiend was developed by Karl Fallenius of Owlbear Barbecue. While working at Owlbear, our team learned to smoke a uniquely succulent pork belly that melts in your mouth, accented by our coffee-based dry rub with locally-roasted Novo espresso.
We split our pork belly in half lengthwise, remove excess fat for a more balanced bite, and slather both halves with yellow mustard and dry rub. Then we smoke the belly at 275 F until the fat cap is soft and rendered. We wrap the belly in foil and return it to the smoker until it's perfectly juicy, then rest it at room temperature for 30 minutes.
The most overlooked cut of meat on the menu, pork tenderloin nevertheless remains a staff favorite, and our most highly recommended protein. Despite having the same dry rub as our pork belly, these two cuts could not be more different - the tenderloin, unlike the fatty pork belly, is remarkably juicy despite being lean.
We brine our tenderloin overnight with a signature blend of spices and curing salt. It goes on the smoker between 250-300 F for about an hour until the center is medium rare. When it's done right, a lean cut of pork tenderloin can be cut with a fork and will flake apart in your mouth. If you're lucky, you might get to try a sample while you're waiting in line!
Mojo Pulled Pork
Pulled pork has long been a mainstay of southern-style barbecue, especially in the Carolinas. At Pit Fiend, however, we put a caribbean twist on a U.S. tradition. Finishing our pork butts in a citrus & garlic mojo braise provides a different flavor from the vinegar pepper sauces of North Carolina, but no less traditional! Native Americans in Florida and the Carribean have cooked pork this way since it was introduced by the Spanish several centuries ago. The tangy citrus juices combine with the salty, savory pork drippings, creating an explosion of flavor with each bite. Try it on a sandwich with onions and cole slaw, on a rice bowl with our cilantro garlic Wight Sauce, or just eat it by the pound with your two bare hands - we won't judge you.