Best Smoked Pulled Pork Recipe


Smoked pulled pork, with its tender and flavorful meat, is a quintessential American BBQ dish that has captured the hearts and taste buds of people all over the world. The perfect balance of smokiness, succulence, and seasoning can turn a simple cut of pork into a masterpiece of culinary delight. In this article, we will delve into the secrets of crafting the best smoked pulled pork that is guaranteed to leave you and your guests craving for more.


  • 8-10 pounds pork shoulder (also known as pork butt)
  • 1/4 cup yellow mustard
  • 1/4 cup your favorite dry rub
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons onion powder
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1-2 tablespoons cayenne pepper (adjust to your spice preference)
  • 1-2 tablespoons black pepper
  • 1-2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • Applewood or hickory wood chips or chunks
  • Coleslaw and buns for serving


  • Smoker
  • Meat thermometer
  • Aluminum foil
  • Spray bottle filled with apple juice or apple cider vinegar


Step 1: Prepare the Pork

Start by trimming the excess fat from the pork shoulder, leaving about a 1/4-inch layer to keep the meat moist during the smoking process. Next, slather the entire surface with yellow mustard. The mustard acts as a binder for the dry rub and imparts a subtle tangy flavor to the meat.

Step 2: Apply the Dry Rub

In a bowl, mix the dry rub, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, brown sugar, cayenne pepper, black pepper, and kosher salt. Generously coat the pork shoulder with the dry rub mixture, ensuring that every nook and cranny is covered.

Step 3: Let It Rest

Allow the seasoned pork shoulder to rest for at least an hour or overnight in the refrigerator, wrapped in plastic wrap. This step allows the flavors to penetrate the meat.

Step 4: Fire Up the Smoker

Preheat your smoker to a temperature of 225-250°F (107-121°C). Add applewood or hickory wood chips or chunks to the coals for that classic smoky flavor.

Step 5: Smoking the Pork

Place the pork shoulder in the smoker, fat side up. Insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the meat, being careful not to touch the bone. Maintain the smoker temperature throughout the cooking process. Plan on smoking the pork for about 1.5 hours per pound or until the internal temperature reaches 195-203°F (90-95°C). This typically takes 12-16 hours.

Step 6: Spritz and Rest

Every hour or so, spritz the pork shoulder with apple juice or apple cider vinegar using a spray bottle. This helps keep the meat moist and enhances the bark, the flavorful crust that forms on the outside. When the meat reaches the desired temperature, remove it from the smoker, wrap it tightly in aluminum foil, and let it rest for at least an hour.

Step 7: Pull and Serve

Once rested, use two forks or meat claws to pull the meat apart into tender, flavorful shreds. Serve your smoked pulled pork on buns with coleslaw for that classic sandwich experience.


Mastering the art of smoking pulled pork is a labor of love that rewards you with the incredible taste of perfectly smoked, tender meat. With the right combination of seasonings, patience, and the magic of the smoker, you can create a dish that captures the essence of authentic barbecue. Whether you're hosting a backyard cookout or just craving a mouthwatering meal, this smoked pulled pork recipe is sure to become a family favorite. So, roll up your sleeves, embrace the smoky aroma, and savor the satisfaction of creating the best smoked pulled pork you've ever tasted.

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