Smoked Pulled Pork is one of the most popular food items served at a summertime cookout. Fall apart, tender shreds of pork served on a bun with your favorite barbecue sauce.
And if you are really lucky, there will be a bowl of cabbage slaw on the table just waiting to be placed on top of the meat.
However, before you go and pick out your pork roast, you must first understand which one makes the best pulled pork.
For moist and juicy, shredded pork it is best to use a Pork Shoulder. This type of roast has a higher fat content than a traditional pork roast that you make for good luck on New Year’s Day.
Luckily, pork shoulder roasts are easy to find at your local grocery store and are fairly economical. However, keep your eye out because you may find them labeled as a Boston Butt, Pork Butt, picnic shoulder or picnic roast instead.
Once you get it home, all that is left to do is to season it with a dry rub and put it in the smoker!
Smoked Pulled Pork Recipe
Pork shoulder roast, bone-in or boneless
Dry Rub Ingredients
Preheat smoker to 225°F. You can use a propane, electric or even a charcoal smoker. I have used all three smokers to make pulled pork and find more consistency in the cooking process with our Masterbuilt 40 inch Electric Smoker.
Remove the pork roast from the refrigerator and pat it dry with paper towels. Coat the entire pork shoulder in the yellow mustard.
Make the dry rub by mixing together the brown sugar, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper and cayenne pepper in a small bowl. Then season the entire mustard coated roast with the spice mixture.
After you have sprinkled on the dry rub, pat the seasoning lightly so that it sticks to the mustard. Then place your seasoned roast on the middle rack of a preheated smoker, fat side up.
Close the lid and smoke the pulled pork until it reaches an internal temperature of at least 201° F. The amount of time that it will take to come to this temperature will vary.
As a general rule of thumb, plan for 1.5-2 hours per pound of meat. Use a digital meat thermometer to check the internal temperature at the thickest part of the roast.
The Stall Period
You will notice that there is a ‘stall’ period when the meat reaches between 150-160°F. The internal temperature will sit at this mark for several hours before it begins to climb again.
This is perfectly normal, and there is no need to panic. This is the point where the meat begins to sweat and cools down the cooking process.
Once enough moisture has been released out of the meat, the roast will begin to cook again.
How To Know When The Smoked Pork Shoulder Is Done
Although you can remove the pork shoulder from the smoker once it reaches 195°F, I prefer to let it cook just a little longer.
Because I like my smoked pulled pork to be super tender, I let it cook to an internal temperature of 201°F. I find that if I take it off any sooner, the meat can still be tough in spots.
Once it comes to the desired internal temperature, remove the shoulder from the smoker and wrap it in foil. Then let it rest for at least an hour.
To keep it nice and warm, I will wrap a towel around the foil and place it in an insulated cooler. Then I simply remove the smoke pork from the wrapping and begin to shred it.
You can use two forks to shred the meat because it will be fall apart tender. However, there are also special shredding claws that make easy work of the task as well.
While you are shredding, be sure to discard any excessive fat or hard gristle pieces.
Serve or toss with barbecue sauce if desired and store any leftovers in the refrigerator or freezer.
Different Ways to Eat Smoked Pulled Pork
- Pulled Pork Sandwiches with barbecue sauce and coleslaw (optional)
- Taco, Burrito, Quesadilla, Enchilada
- Pulled Pork Nachos
- Mac and Cheese Pulled Pork
- Loaded Baked Potato
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- 8-10 pound pork shoulder roast
- 3 Tablespoons yellow mustard
- 1 Tablespoon brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons onion powder
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 2 teaspoons sea salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Preheat smoker to 225°F.
- Remove the roast from the refrigerator and pat it dry with paper towels.
Coat the entire pork shoulder in the yellow mustard.
- Make the dry rub by mixing together the brown sugar, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper and cayenne pepper in a small bowl. Then season the entire mustard coated roast with the dry rub. Pat the seasonings so that it sticks to the mustard.
- Place your seasoned roast on the middle rack of the preheated smoker, fat side up. Close the lid and smoke the pork until it reaches an internal temperature of at least 201° F.
- Remove the shoulder from the smoker and wrap it in foil and let it rest for at least an hour.
- Shred with two forks, discarding any excessive fat.
- Serve with barbecue sauce if desired.
Wood chip recommendation: apple or hickory.
Smoke time will vary depending on many factors, including the brand of smoker, the environment, the size of your pork shoulder and if you use a boneless or bone in roast. Roughly plan on 1.5 - 2 hours of smoking per pound of pork.
Recipe provided by Make Your Meals
Nutrition Information:Yield: 16 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 836Total Fat: 61gSaturated Fat: 22gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 33gCholesterol: 255mgSodium: 490mgCarbohydrates: 2gFiber: 0gSugar: 1gProtein: 66g
Nutritional Information is to be used as a general guideline only . Nutritional calculations will vary from the types and brands of the products used.