Recipe for Slow-Smoked Pulled Pork with a Tender and Savory Twist

Low smoking temperatures melt connective tissues and fat to create tender meat that retains its juices for delicious flavors and textures. An overnight dry brine seasoning the meat helps it retain moisture as does an aromatic dry rub that adds depth of flavor without overshadowing its original taste.
Boston butts are an exceptional cut of meat that become exceptionally juicy and succulent when slowly simmered over low heat, such as using a smoker for authentic American barbecue pulled pork.

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Once your smoker is set up, this recipe can be prepared relatively effortlessly and yield stunning results even for novice barbecue chefs. Pork shoulder is forgiving. Serve the pork piled onto potato buns topped with coleslaw for an unforgettable sandwich!

Real Pulled Pork for Novices and Crowds alike: Easy Enough for Beginners but Capable Enough of Feeding an Enormous Group

Recipe Facts (Recipe Facts for this Video: 3 hours active and 24 total time required, serving 6-8 portions. Rate and Comment here!
For ingredients needed: One 10-pound skinless bone-in pork butt (4.5kg), or alternatively one 6-pound skinless and boneless pork butt (2.7 kg ). (see Note below for ingredient changes )

Kosher salt for seasoning food; brown or yellow mustard to spread across surfaces (to be used slathering purposes only);

Hot sauce such as Texas Pete may be used for slathering (optional).

Dry Rub for Pulled Pork –

Southeast North Carolina Vinegar-and-Pepper Barbecue Sauce.

Potato buns for serving Coleslaw for serving
Directions To Start Smoking: On the day before beginning smoking, place a wire rack atop an ungreased baking sheet, season pork shoulder all over generously with salt, and place on wire rack in fridge at least overnight (8-24).

Lift pork shoulder, remove wire rack and set directly on rimmed baking sheet fat cap side down with fatcap side exposed for all exposed sides to receive generous and even coating of mustard and hot sauce (if desired) coating to cover exposed surface of shoulder.

Scatter dry rub evenly all over the sides of the shoulder that were previously lathered with paste, creating an even and not too heavy coating of dry rub. Flip pork shoulder fat cap side up, and repeat slathering and sprinkling process on its final side before repeating this entire process on this final side as well.

Preheat smoker to 225degF (107degC). Select and prepare hardwood of choice (this may differ depending on the smoker used; some burn logs of wood while others burn charcoal with chunks or chips of wood scattered atop, others use pellets, some are electric while some utilize gas). Throughout cooking time, aim for maintaining an even temperature at around 225degF with clean smoke (think wisps instead of clouds!). You should maintain this constant supply for maximum results!

Place pork loin on smoker with fat cap facing upwards. Fill a disposable aluminum roasting pan with one or two inches of water and set it inside your smoker; if your smoker lacks an oil drip tray, set up this tray below where your pork sits if possible; otherwise use whatever space there may be available to locate the water pan below your pork for easy disposal of grease-coated drip trays if available.

Smoke the pork shoulder until a leave-in probe thermometer registers 195degF (90degC) at its center; make sure this thermometer doesn’t touch any bones. This should take between 12-15 hours; exact timing depends on several variables such as smoker temperature regulation, size/thickness/size of shoulder being cooked etc. A boneless shoulder may cook faster; either way it should be monitored regularly as you approach its target temperature goal before being removed from smoker for resting 20 minutes prior to serving.

Shred the pork using two forks or bear claws into thin stringy strands while breaking apart any unrendered fat into small pieces. As you discover bones or butcher’s twine used to truss a deboned shoulder (see note), discard as you find them and break up bark (the dark crust on pork) into pieces for addition into pulled pork mix – be sure to mix thoroughly after breaking up bark pieces to distribute evenly with fat content and chop more finely as desired.

As desired, sprinkle barbecue sauce onto pork to your preference and mix thoroughly to distribute evenly throughout. Season as needed with additional salt as needed.

Pile pulled pork onto potato buns and top each one with coleslaw before closing and serving – be sure to pass more BBQ sauce around at your table as an optional extra.

Special Equipment
Smoker, forks/bear claws (optional), wire rack with rimmed baking sheet and disposable aluminum roasting tray to hold water (or another vessel to store liquids inside your smoker) as well as an internal probe thermometer are necessary to make smoking successful.

Boston butt (pork butt), is part of the shoulder, commonly known as Boston butt. To ensure even cooking results we suggest getting hold of bone-in butt for this recipe; otherwise if using boneless, make sure it has an even shape by tying or asking your butcher to tie up before beginning this recipe (ideally with butcher twine tied around it to keep its form uniform and with its fat cap attached), otherwise look out for shoulders without one!

Make-Ahead and Storage Leftover pulled pork freezes well; to do this, place in a zipper-lock bag, push out excess air, then freeze for up to three months. Defrost in the fridge overnight before heating in a skillet with just enough liquid (e.g. broth) until heated through and heated thoroughly before eating!