This smoked pulled pork is pork shoulder coated in a homemade spice rub, then smoked until tender. Serve your pulled pork butt as-is, or pile it into a roll to make pulled pork sandwiches!
There’s nothing better than a super tender pulled pork sandwich, and in my opinion, the best way to accomplish this is to smoke your pork at low temperature. This smoked pulled pork is actually quite easy to make, and it’s perfect for feeding a large crowd.
Smoked pulled pork ingredients
The ingredients in this recipe are simple and easy to find. You’ll need pork shoulder, mustard, BBQ rub, apple juice and BBQ sauce.
How do you make smoked pulled pork?
This recipe starts with a BBQ spice rub, which gets spread all over your pork roast. I like to use my homemade BBQ rub, but you can use your favorite store bought rub if you prefer. The pork goes into the smoker and cooks for 4-5 hours until it reaches an internal temperature of 160 degrees F. Baste the meat occasionally with apple juice. At that point, the pork is wrapped and left to cook for another 3-4 hours or until tender. Shred your meat, stir in some BBQ sauce, then enjoy!
Tips for the perfect dish
- You can wrap your pork in either foil or butcher paper. Foil will work just fine, but the best pork is smoked with peach butcher paper. Wrapping the pork in peach butcher paper allows the meat to hold in its juices while allowing the smoke to permeate. You’ll also get nicer, more flavorful bark with the butcher paper.
- This recipe calls for a 4 pound pork roast. You can double or triple the recipe to feed a larger crowd, just be aware that the smoking time may increase by up to 2 hours for each additional pound of pork used.
- I prefer to smoke my pork in a disposable aluminum pan as it makes for easy clean up!
The best cut of meat for pulled pork is a pork shoulder roast, which is also sometimes referred to as pork butt or Boston butt. The shoulder is well marbled, and all of that fat will melt down during the smoking process and make your pulled pork extra juicy and tender.
You can smoke your pulled pork up to 3 days before you plan to serve it. Shred the meat, then store it in a covered container in the refrigerator. When you’re ready to eat, transfer your meat to a baking dish and cover the dish with foil. Bake the meat at 300 degrees F for about 20-25 minutes or until pork is warmed through.
Pulled pork should reach a minimum internal temperature of 195 degrees F before you take it off the smoker. If you prefer softer pulled pork, you can cook your pork until the internal temperature reaches 205 degrees F. It’s a matter of personal preference; the pork cooked at the lower temperature will have more texture to it. I like to use a probe thermometer with a remote so that I can continually monitor the progress of the meat from inside the house.
Ways to use smoked pork shoulder
There are so many different ways to enjoy pulled pork! You can eat it plain, make sandwiches, and use the leftovers in a variety of dishes.
- Eggs Benedict
This is the best pulled pork I’ve ever had; that rich, smoky flavor just cannot be beat!
More great smoker recipes
Smoked Pulled Pork
- Preheat an electric smoker to 235 degrees F. Load the smoker with apple wood, cherry wood or hickory chips.
- Evenly apply a thin layer of yellow mustard to the pork. Then sprinkle the rub all over the meat.
- Place the roast in a disposable foil pan or directly on the smoker rack.
- Cook for 2 hours. After 2 hours, brush the apple juice over the pork once per hour.
- At the 4 hour mark, check the temperature of the meat. When the internal temperature is at 160 degrees F, brush with remaining apple juice or any drippings that have accumulated if you’re cooking your meat in a pan. It can take around 5 hours to reach this temperature.
- Wrap the meat in peach butcher paper or foil. Increase the smoker temperature to 250 degrees F.
- Smoke the meat for another 3-4 hours or until the internal temperature registers at least 195 degrees F. Cook the meat to 205 degrees F if you prefer softer pulled pork.
- Remove the meat from the smoker and let stand wrapped for 10 minutes and unwrapped for 5 minutes.
- Shred the meat. Toss with BBQ sauce, then serve.
- You can wrap your pork in either foil or butcher paper. Foil will work just fine, but the best pork is smoked with peach butcher paper. Wrapping the pork in peach butcher paper allows the meat to hold in its juices while allowing the smoke to permeate. You’ll also get nicer, more flavorful bark.
- This recipe calls for a 4 pound pork roast. You can double or triple the recipe to feed a larger crowd, just be aware that the smoking time may increase by up to 2 hours for each additional pound of meat used.