Smoked pulled pork is the absolute best way to enjoy melt in your mouth slow cooked meat. This dish will become your go to for entertaining and is perfect for barbecues, parties, tailgating and more!
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If you have never had smoked pulled pork before, you are missing out my friends.
This dish is one of our very favorites to make and eat.
The boys go crazy for it and for good reason!
It’s got a caramelized charred exterior, deep smoky flavor and tender, moist meat.
The result is perfect for sandwiches piled high with juicy goodness, nachos, tacos or stuffing baked potatoes.
No matter how you choose to serve it, I guarantee you’ll love it!
What’s the best cut of pork for fall apart smoked pulled pork?
Some people are all about pork shoulder for pulled pork, but I highly recommend a pork butt.
Pork butt comes from the area above the leg, higher up than the shoulder cut.
It has more fat marbled throughout the meat so it will get incredibly tender and flavorful when you cook it low and slow.
To make this, you’ll need:
- Pork– You’ll need a large pork butt for this recipe. You may also find pork butt labeled as Boston butt.
- Barbecue rub– Use your favorite dry rub. I recommend Paul Prudhomme’s Magic Barbecue Seasoning.
- Other seasoning– Minced garlic and rosemary add even more flavor.
Other tools you’ll need to make the absolute best smoked pork include:
- Smoker– This is the one we use. It creates perfectly smoked food each time we use it.
- Peach butcher paper– To create a nice char.
- Aluminum foil – To hold in steam and keep moisture in.
- Aluminum baking tray – To smoke the pork in.
How to Make
To make this, start by patting the pork dry.
Then, rub it generously all over with barbecue rub and press half of the garlic and rosemary evenly over the top half of the meat.
Flip the meat and repeat with the remainder for the bottom.
Once the meat is seasoned on both sides, wrap it in a layer of peach butcher paper, and place the prepared pork butt in a disposable aluminum pan, fat side up.
Add the pork to a smoker set at 190° for 18-20 hours.
Halfway through the cooking time, pull the pork butt out and wrap the pan tightly but carefully in aluminum foil.
When the pork’s done, carefully remove it from the smoker using heavy duty potholders.
Let it rest for 30 minutes to an hour before you remove the foil and discard any visible chunks of fat.
After it has rested, carefully remove the pork from the juice filled pan, and transfer it to an XL cutting board. You may have to do this in sections if the pork is so tender that it falls apart while picking the whole thing up.
Using a pair of meat claws or two forks, shred the pork and remove any excess fat as you go.
Transfer the shredded pork to a serving dish, and reserve the juices.
When all the pork’s shredded, mix in some of the juices to add some moisture to the meat.
Once it’s to your liking, discard the remaining juices.
Serve on buns or as is, pair it with your favorite barbecue sauce, and enjoy!
What kind of wood chips should I use?
Use your favorite wood chips for smoking pork. You really can’t go wrong!
I particularly like:
Pulled pork is delicious as is or you could make killer pulled pork sandwiches by piling it high on a homemade bun.
You could also use it for:
- stuffing baked potatoes
- mixing into macaroni and cheese
- grilled cheese
The sky is the limit!
If you don’t think you’ll use all your pork when you initially serve it, you may want to forgo shredding some of the butt to help keep it moist for longer storage.
But, if you’ve already shredded it all no worries!
Just wrap it very tightly with some of its juices and place the wrapped pouch in an airtight container.
To reheat it, I recommend heating it in a covered oven safe dish with extra liquid (like barbecue sauce or leftover juices that you’ve saved) on low until it’s warmed through.
Refrigerated leftovers should keep for 3 to 4 days.
Can I freeze pulled pork?
Yes! Store equal sized leftover pulled pork portions into vacuum sealed freezer bags. It should last up to 6 months.
Tips and Tricks
- Before covering the pork with foil, make sure you’ve established a nice char. That is key. The foil helps hold in the steam and cook it through keeping the moisture in. If you cover it too early, you will never get the charred crust. Since you won’t actually be able to see this (hidden under the butcher paper), it’s important to adhere to temperatures and times as best as possible.
- I start mine the night before around 5pm, and then stay up late to cover it before going to bed (1-2am), so that it’s ready for a late lunch or early dinner the next day
- You can discard some of the juices that cook off, but not all of them. You’re going to want to stir some of them into the shredded meat for flavor and moisture. I like my meat to be a little over moistened, because as it sits it will dry out some and soak up the excess moisture. If in doubt, instead of discarding the remaining juices (save them in a covered dish) and you can stir some into the pork as needed during your meal, and before storing any leftovers.
- Disposable pans make for easy cleanup when smoking meat. However, the pork is heavy and a lot of juices and rendered fat fill up the pan when cooking. To make the pan more sturdy for safe handling when removing it from the smoker, I recommend stacking 3-4 trays together. You’ll still only end up with one dirty pan to discard and the rest can be put back to use again another time.
- The juices will be HOT, and if spilled will BURN. Please be careful when handling the smoked pork and when removing it from the smoker.
Other Pork Recipes You’ll Love
This smoked pulled pork recipe is something everyone will rave about whenever you make it. It’s perfect for any barbecue, party, or tailgate. Make it for your next gathering and enjoy!
Looking for other pork recipes? Try these:
- Grilled Chipotle Pork Tenderloin with Cherry Salsa
- Farmer’s Pork Chops & Potatoes
- Crockpot Smothered Pork Chops
- Thai Peanut Pork Tenderloin
- Ranch Pork Chop & Potato Sheet Pan Supper
If you’ve tried this SMOKED PULLED PORK RECIPE or any other recipe on the site, let me know in the comment section how it turned out, we love hearing from our readers! You can also follow along with me on PINTEREST, FACEBOOK, and INSTAGRAM to see more amazing recipes and whatever else we’ve got going on!
Smoked Pulled Pork Recipe
- peach butcher paper
- aluminum foil
- aluminum baking tray
- 10 lb pork butt
- barbecue rub
- 2 tbsp minced garlic divided
- 2 tsp dried rosemary divided
- Pat your pork dry. Rub it generously all over with barbecue rub.
- Spread half of the garlic and rosemary evenly over the top half of the meat, pressing in. Then flip the meat and repeat with the remainder for the bottom.
- Wrap the prepared meat in a layer of peach butcher paper, and place the prepared pork butt in a disposable aluminum pan, fat side up.
- Add the pork to a smoker set at 190° for 18-20 hours.
- Half way through the cooking time, pull the pork butt out and wrap the pan tightly but carefully in aluminum foil. The juices will be HOT.
- When the pork's done, CAREFULLY remove it from the smoker using potholders. Juices will be HOT and can cause burns and the pan will be full. Let it rest for 30 minutes to an hour.
- Remove the foil, and remove/discard any visible chunks of fat.
- Carefully remove the pork from the juice filled pan, and transfer it to an XL cutting board. You may have to do this in sections if the pork is so tender that it falls apart while picking the whole thing up.
- Using a pair of meat claws, or two forks, shred the pork- removing any fat as you go. Transfer the shredded pork to a serving dish, and reserve the juices.
- When all the pork's shredded, mix in some of the juices (as desired) so add some moisture to the meat. Once it's to your liking, discard the remaining juices.
- Serve on buns or as is, pair it with your favorite barbecue sauce, and enjoy!
This post may contain affiliate links. As an amazon associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. See my full Disclosure Policy for details. As always, all opinions are my own.