This Smoked Pulled Pork Recipe is simple yet mouthwatering with succulent tender meat. In this dish we are using pork butt, which isn’t actually from the butt of a pig! This cut of meat actually comes from the shoulder. It has a high fat content making it extremely flavorful as it naturally basted itself as it cooks.
How Can I Serve This Smoked Pulled Pork Recipe?
- Serve it on a soft bun or roll, topped with your favorite barbecue sauce, coleslaw, pickles, and more!
- Use the smoked pulled pork as a filling for tacos or wraps. Add some fresh salsa, guacamole, shredded cheese, and sour cream for a delicious meal.
- Create a flavorful plate of nachos by topping tortilla chips with the pork, melted cheese, jalapenos, black beans, diced tomatoes, etc.
- Serve the smoked pulled pork as the main protein on a BBQ platter.
What Ingredients Do I Need?
- pork butt – 6 lbs from your local butcher.
- yellow mustard – or dijon if you prefer, I love
- this Bornibus Mustard myself.
- coarse salt – we love this gourmet artisan MALDON Sea Salt
- coarse ground black pepper
- garlic powder
- paprika – like this LA DALIA Pimentón De La Vera D.O. (Smoked Spanish Hot Paprika)
- apple cider vinegar
Pork Smoking Tips
Before smoking, trim any excessive fat from the surface of the meat, leaving a thin layer for flavor and moisture retention. Consider applying a dry rub or marinade to enhance the flavor. Let the meat sit in the rub or marinade for a few hours or overnight in the refrigerator to allow the flavors to penetrate.
Keep a close eye on the smoker’s temperature throughout the cooking process. Use a reliable thermometer to monitor the internal temperature of the meat as well. Fluctuations in temperature can affect the cooking time and the tenderness of the pork.
Pulled pork requires a slow and steady cooking process to break down the tough connective tissues and render the fat. Plan for approximately 1.5 to 2 hours of smoking time per pound of meat. This can vary depending on your smoker and the size of the cut.
After a few hours of smoking, you can wrap the pork in foil or butcher paper to help accelerate the cooking process and retain moisture. This method, known as the “Texas crutch,” can help tenderize the meat further.
Once the internal temperature of the pork reaches about 200-205°F (93-96°C), remove it from the smoker and let it rest for 30-60 minutes. Resting allows the juices to redistribute and the meat to become more tender. We used a Masterbuilt electric smoker for this pork.
Smoked Pulled Pork
- 6 lbs pork butt
- 1/4 cup yellow mustard
- 1 tbsp coarse salt
- 1 tbsp coarse ground black pepper
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup water
- Preheat grill or electric smoker according to directions to 225℉.
- Trim the pork. Removing portions of the fat cap, so that it is only approximately 1/4 of an inch thick. Then score the fat, cutting a grid pattern into the fat cap, cutting just enough to get through the fat to the meat.
- Slather the entire pork with mustard, as a binder.
- In a small bowl combine the ingredients for the rub: salt, pepper, garlic powder, and paprika. Stir together.
- Evenly sprinkle the rub over the entire pork shoulder. Press the rub into the mustard before turning the pork over to sprinkle the other side.
- Place the pork in the center of the smoker or the grill on the grate. Insert probe to monitor the temperature.
- In a spray bottle combine the apple cider vinegar and water. Shake to combine.
- Smoke for 2 hours before opening smoker. At this point open and spritz the pork, continue spritzing the pork every hour until the pork reaches an internal temperature of 160℉. This helps with the creation of the smoke ring and keeps humidity in the smoker.
- Once the pork reaches an internal temperature of 160℉ wrap using foil or peach paper. Place back in smoker to continue cooking.
- Cook until pork reaches an internal temperature of 195-205℉. Depending on the texture of pork you prefer will determine when you will want to pull off. At 195 pork is more moist but less tender, more string. At 205 pork is more tender, more chunky than stringy, but less moist. Any temperature in this range will yield great pulled pork!
- Once internal temperature is reached, pull from the smoker, make sure the pork is wrapped nice and tight. Let rest for 1-2 hours before shredding. Store in a clean empty cooler, or in a turned off oven.
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How Do I Store The Leftovers?
Allow the smoked pulled pork to cool down to room temperature before storing it. Use airtight containers or resealable plastic bags. If you plan to consume the leftovers within a few days, keep it in the refrigerator. On the other hand if you want to store your meat for a longer period of time store it in the freezer. Frozen pulled pork can remain safe to eat for around 2-3 months. However, for the best flavor and texture, try to consume it within the first month.