Smoked Pulled pork is delicious cooked low and slow until it melts in our mouth. The Pit Barrel Smoker makes this classic BBQ dish quicker and easier than a traditional smoker. A great beginner smoking dish for anyone!
What should I look for in a cut of meat?
The meat for pulled pork comes from one of the four primal cuts of the hog at the upper shoulder and front leg. The shoulder cut is made up of two main cuts the upper portion or the Boston Butt, and the lower portion often referred to as the Picnic cut.
Either cut will work for this but most of the the Boston Butt portion is used as it has less bone and more marbled fat in the meat. The picnic is more like an uncured ham, has more bone, and the meat has a bit of different texture when smoked.
Look for a 6-8 pound Boston Butt roast with the bone-in. The bone will provide additional flavor, but you can smoke one without the bone that will be delicious. Look for one that has a nice even fat cap of at least ¼-inch on top. This will melt during cooking to infuse moistness and flavor to the pulled pork.
Keep in mind that the meat will lose about 40% of weight during cooking due to fat and bone. An 8-pound roast will yield roughly 5 cooked pounds of meat but will still generously feed at least 10-12 people.
Once you've picked out your meat you just need your favorite rub. I use Bad Byron's Butt Rub, but we are not being compensated by them for this post. Once we move to wrap the pork you can use either our delicous Eastern North Carolina Vinegar BBQ Sauce, apple juice, or beer for that step.
Start by completely covering your butt roast in rub. I mean the every nook and cranny! You can do this a couple hours ahead if you want or right before you take it to the smoker.
Get your smoker ready, I like to add a little oak to my fire for flavor. The ambient temperature of the smoker should be at least around 225- to 250-degrees.
You can either hang your pork from the hooks or place fat cap up on the rack. Smoke until the pork reaches an internal temperature of 160-degrees. This will be around the 3-4 hour mark. If your meat stalls at around 145-degrees don't worry and just continue to cook until it reaches 160-degrees.
Remove from the smoker to wrap the Boston Butt in foil, again fat side up. Add in a cup or two of our vinegar based BBQ sauce, apple juice, or beer. Return to the smoker, and place on the rack. Continue to smoke until the meat reaches an internal temperature of 195-degrees. Expect this to take at least 1-2 hours.
When done remove to rest on counter in foil for about 30 minutes. Remove from foil, take out the bone, and shred meat. Serve immediately or store in an airtight container for up to one week.
Pit Barrel Cooker Smoked Pulled Pork
- 8 pound Boston Butt Roast
- ½ cup BBQ rub
- 2 cups Carolina Sauce can substitute Apple juice or beer
- Prepare smoker for cooking. General guideline for ambient temperature of the smoker is 225- to 250-degrees. Use oak or hickory wood for flavor.
- Coat the pork with the dry rub.
- Place in the smoker either by hanging with hooks or on rack with fat side up. Cook until the internal temperature reaches 160-degrees.
- Remove and wrap in foil. Add Carolina sauce, apple juice, or beer to Boston Butt. Be sure to leave the fat cap up.
- Return to smoker, and place on rack. Cook until it reaches an internal temperature of 195-degrees. Remove to rest in foil on counter.
- Allow the meat to rest for about thirty minutes. Remove from foil, remove the bone, and shred the meat.
- Serve immediately or store in an airtight container for up to one week.