My Simple Smoked Pulled Pork Recipe is a go-to any time I am looking to feed a hungry crowd and don’t want too much fuss.
The reason I call this pulled pork recipe “simple” is because of how little effort it really takes. This recipe doesn’t require any fancy injections, tools, spritzing concoctions, wrapping, or dancing the wambo jambo with your shoes on the wrong feet to have it come out absolutely perfect every. single. time. All you really need is a good pork shoulder (AKA Boston Butt), my famous homemade sweet BBQ rub, good smoke and plenty of time. Once the meat is on the smoker, all you need to do is grab a cool drink and kick your feet up.
The BEST Pulled Pork Recipe:
Most pulled pork recipes call for a bone-in pork shoulder, sometimes also labeled a Boston butt roast. That is because this cut of pork is perfectly suited for transforming into luscious smoked pulled pork. It has many overlapping and hard working muscle groups that are bound together with tight connective tissue. It would be very difficult to simply slice and serve a pork shoulder roast that wasn’t cooked low and slow to break down some of those fibers. You’d end up chewing for a long time and not getting anywhere. By using the low and slow process of cooking the meat over a wood fire for a long time, those tissues begins to break down, tenderize, and create amazing strands of super succulent pulled pork.
This Simple Smoked Pulled Pork is made using true BBQ techniques and flavors to give you super authentic and extra tasty pulled pork. After seasoning liberally with my BBQ rub, which is a brown sugar base seasoned with smoked paprika, onion, garlic, and a little cayenne, the pork shoulder is set into a smoker with an indirect heat source and plenty of thin blue wood smoke. My favorite woods for making smoked pulled pork has got to be either hickory or apple, both are mild enough to complement the pork without overwhelming you with smoke. I shoot to maintain my smoker temperature at 225 degrees F and can typically plan about 90 minutes of cook time per pound of pork. For example, an 8 pound pork shoulder will take about 12 hours from start to finish. Every cut of meat is a little bit different though, so if you want real control over how your meat is cooking, I recommend a good thermometer (I love an instant read probe thermometer) to keep track of the internal temperature of the meat. Those tight tissues start to break down at 195 degrees F internal temperature, and I like to push my pulled pork all the way to 201 degrees F to ensure it is super tender and easy to shred. Then all you need to do is let is rest for an hour or so while you prep your favorite side dishes and you’re all set!
More Pulled Pork Recipes:
Once you’ve mastered this simple pulled pork recipe, you may want to start branching out and trying your hands at fun new flavors and grilling techniques. Below, I’ve linked some of my absolute favorite pulled pork recipes from the past few years. If you give any of these a try, please leave a comment and let me know how it worked for you!!
If you want any more information about pulled pork, please feel free to watch my Facebook Live video all about achieving pulled pork perfection! I take you through everything we talked about in the post, plus so much more!! Also, follow my Facebook page and stay tuned for new FB Live episodes every week.