Smoked Pulled Pork
Cooked low and slow, this Smoked Pulled Pork is a delicious tried-and-true recipe that is tender and juicy!
THE BEST SMOKED PORK
I absolutely love my smoker. Wood pellet smokers have made smoking so much easier and accessible to more people. This recipe was created using my Traeger pellet smoker. Smoked Pulled Pork has become one of my new favorite recipes. The intense flavors you get from smoking just can’t be beat. Although it is a long process, it is well worth it in the end! You get tender and juicy pork that is absolutely mouthwatering. If you want a guaranteed tried-and-true smoked pulled pork recipe, then you need to try my Smoked Pulled Pork!
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
I smoke pork at 250 degrees F. Cooking at a low temperature for a long amount of time is what creates the most tender pork.
The finished internal temperature should be around 205F degrees.
Absolutely! If you have your favorite homemade rub or a store-bought rub that you like to use then by all means use it. I use this particular rub recipe for all of my Pulled Pork Recipes. Just make sure that all sides are covered well and rub it in really good. It’s called a rub for a reason!
For this recipe I went with Hickory but I find that applewood and cherrywood also produce great flavor with pork.
Nope. Sorry. You won’t be able to shred it if you cook it too fast. Pork shoulder is a tough cut of meat so it needs a long time to break down the cartilage in the meat. You definitely need to start this very early in the morning if you want it done for dinner or start it at night for it to be ready the next day. If you want a more “hands-off” recipe, try my Instant Pot Pulled Pork recipe.
Absolutely! The main key is keeping a consistent temperature throughout the cooking process. I would also keep a tray of water or apple cider to keep it nice and moist in the smoker.
Traditionally it is served with cole slaw, cornbread and baked beans and perhaps some Mac and Cheese (depending on how much work you want to put into it!)
We like to store leftovers in a ziptop bag with as much air pushed out as possible. This will last in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. You can also freeze pulled pork. To do this: store in freezer bags with air squeezed out and it should keep for up to 6 months. Let defrost in the refrigerator.
INGREDIENTS NEEDED: (SEE RECIPE CARD BELOW FOR THE FULL RECIPE)
- bone-in pork shoulder
- garlic powder
- red pepper flakes
- black pepper
- mustard powder
- brown sugar
- apple juice
HOW TO MAKE SMOKED PULLED PORK:
Fill the smoker auger with pellets. Set the Traeger to 250F degrees and preheat for 15 minutes with the lid closed. In a small bowl, combine garlic powder, red pepper flakes, paprika, black pepper, mustard powder, salt and brown sugar. Generously rub all sides of the pork shoulder with the rub.
Place pork onto the grill grates with the fat side up. This helps the rendered fat to seep back into the pork as it slowly smokes. Close the lid, and smoke for 3 hours.
Check the internal temp of the pork. If it has reached 160F degrees, move onto the next step. The time can vary so it is important to start checking after 3 hours. For an 8 pound pork shoulder, it came to 160F degrees after 4 hours. This particular step in the process step can take anywhere from 3-5 hours.
Remove pork from the grill. Lay 3 large sheets of foil onto a flat surface and place pork onto the center. Wrap foil around the pork, but do not seal. Leave an opening in the top. Pour apple juice into this opening. Then tightly seal the foil and gently place back into the smoker. Smoke pork in the foil for an additional 6-8 hours or until the internal temp has reached 205F degrees. Again, keep in mind, depending on the size you use and how often you’ve opened your smoker, it can take less or longer. The temperature is the key to doneness. Remove pork from the grill and let sit in the foil for 30 minutes.
Place pork into a large bowl. Remove the bone and excess fat. The bone should slide right out. Shred the pork.
Serve pulled pork with your favorite bbq sauce and coleslaw between a bun or enjoy on its own.
WANT MORE DELICIOUS RECIPES?
Smoked Pulled Pork
- 1 garlic powder garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon mustard powder
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 3 Tablespoons brown sugar
- 8 pound bone-in pork shoulder
- 3 cups apple juice
- Fill the smoker auger with pellets. Set the Traeger to 250F degrees and preheat for 15 minutes with the lid closed.
- In a small bowl, combine 1 garlic powder garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, 1 teaspoon paprika, 1 teaspoon black pepper, 1 teaspoon mustard powder, 2 teaspoons salt and 3 Tablespoons brown sugar. Generously rub all sides of the 8 pound bone-in pork shoulder with the rub.
- Place pork onto the grill grates with the fat side up. This helps the rendered fat to seep back into the pork as it slowly smokes.
- Close the lid, and smoke for 3 hours. After 3 hours, check the internal temperature. If it has reached 160F degrees then it's time to move onto the next step.
- Note: For an 8 pound pork shoulder, it came to 160F degrees after about 4 hours in my smoker. This step can take anywhere from 3-5 hours. The time can vary so it is important to check after 3 hours.
- Remove pork from the smoker. Lay 3 large sheets of foil onto a flat surface (like a large baking sheet) and place pork onto the center.
- Wrap foil around the pork, but do not seal. Leave an opening in the top. Pour 3 cups apple juice into this opening. Tightly seal the foil and place back into the smoker.
- Smoke pork in the foil for an additional 6-8 hours or until the internal temp has reached 205F degrees. Remove pork from the grill and let sit in the foil for 30 minutes.
- Note: Again, keep in mind, depending on the size of your pork shoulder and how often you've opened your smoker, it can take less or longer.
- Place pork into a large bowl. Remove the bone and excess fat. The bone should slide right out. Shred the pork.
- Serve pulled pork with bbq sauce and coleslaw between a bun or enjoy on its own.
- Nutritional value does not include buns.
- I used hickory pellets here but cherrywood or applewood also work nicely.
- Make sure the internal temperature of the pork is 205F degrees. This can take anywhere from 10-15 hours so plan your time accordingly.
- If your pork shoulder is larger, you may want to double the rub recipe.
“The Country Cook” is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories can vary quite a bit depending on which brands were used.
Can you make it in the oven on 250 wrapped in foil in a baking dish???
Hi Anne! Do you have a slow cooker? I have a recipe for slow cooker for pulled pork (link above.) It is super flavorful and you’ll use much less electricity than using your oven. However you could do this in your oven at that temperature all day. Just keep the oven door closed the entire time. Hope that helps!
If you don’t have a smoker(which I don’t) could I use this recipe and cook it In a slow cooker? And If so for how long?
Yes! I share the links above to my slow cooker and instant pot version!
I don’t know a lot about the cuts of pork, would a pork sirloin (great price today) be okay to use instead of pork shoulder?
Absolutely! I have a smoked tenderloin recipe here on the blog. It doesn’t shred like a pork butt/shoulder but the flavor is phenomenal. If you scroll up from here you’ll see the link! 🙂