Want to Smoke Melt in Your Mouth Pulled Pork?
It doesn’t matter what time of year it is. Summer, Winter, Spring, or Fall; there is nothing like Pulled Pork to satisfy your innermost desires. It just plain rocks.
When smoking a Boston Butt (or any good pork butt roast for that matter) there are a few key tips you need to follow in order to get the perfect melt in your mouth effect from your smoking.
Remember, you can use this for a long time and it freezes very well, so don’t worry about making too much. Pulled Pork is built to last when its done in your smoker just right.
Are you ready?
How to Make Smoked Pulled Pork
Smoked pulled pork is extremely easy to make with only a few steps required for getting the pork ready for the smoker. The hard part is in the keeping the smoker going for 14+ hours while it slowly smoke cooks to perfection.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 14-16 hours
- Smoker Temp: 225°F
- Meat Finish Temp: 195-205°F
- Recommended Wood: Cherry
I prefer the Boston butt over the picnic roast but if you do find yourself with a picnic, here’s how to remove the skin.
Lay the roast on the cutting board skin side up.
Make a cut through the skin right down the center.
While pulling up and away from the center, run the blade of a sharp knife along the attached skin.
Turn the roast over to finish removing the skin.
A little work but the skin will come off pretty good this way.
Whether you use a skinless picnic roast or a Boston butt is up to you but I personally think the butt is not only easier but has better flavor and texture.
As with most pork, I use yellow mustard to create a binder or base for the rub to stick to.
Spread the mustard all over the meat.
Sprinkle about ¼ cup of rub all over the top of the roast then rub it in so that it mixes with the mustard.
Flip the roast over and get the bottom side the same way.
Set up the smoker for cooking at 225 °F and make sure you have plenty of smoking wood for the long haul. If you are using an electric, charcoal or gas smoker, I recommend having enough wood chips, chunks or splits for about 6-8 hours of smoke.
Once the smoker is running steady at the prescribed temperature, it is time to put the meat on the smoker grate.
At 225 °F, you can expect this 6 to 8 lb roast to take up to, and exceeding, 14 hours.
The last one I did, took more than 20 hours for some reason. With large pieces of meat like this, odd things can happen and you just don’t take it from the smoker grate until it reaches the correct temperature or the correct amount of tenderness.
Some folks use a thermometer while others just feel of it, poke it, etc. and either method is fine when making smoked pulled pork.
Place the pork butt directly on the smoker grate fat side down.
The reason I suggest placing the meat fat side down is that the bottom of the roast tends to stick to the grate. When it’s time to remove it, I’d rather lose the fat cap than a big slice of the meat.
Regardless of what kind of smoker you are using, keep the cherry wood smoke going for 6-8 hours if possible.
I recommend using a meat thermometer for the most failsafe way to tell when the meat is done. Once you’ve cooked a few and you want to start experimenting with the guesswork, go for it.
I like to leave the pork butt open and on the smoker grate for the entire time but if you want to speed things up somewhat, you can wrap it in foil once it reaches 160°F. Once you wrap it, no more smoke is required and it can even be moved to the kitchen oven at 225°F if you want to.
When the pork butt reaches 200-205 in the very center, it is done.
Once the pork butt is done cooking, it can be pulled immediately or it can be held up to 4 hours or more by wrapping it in a double layer of foil, then in a thick towel or two. Place the wrapped bundle into an empty ice cooler and fill in any remaining space with more towels, small blankets or pillows.
Many people take the pork butt out of the smoker too early and have a tough time pulling the meat. Using my method, it will fall apart very easily with very little effort on your part.
Use a couple of forks to pull or shred the meat removing any clumps of fat that you find.
- One of the most important parts of the pork butt is the crust which is created by adding a lot of rub to the outside before it goes into the smoker.
- Smoked pulled pork can be used almost anywhere that ground beef is used such as on tacos, in burritos, on taco salad, on pizza, mixed with cream cheese as a dip, piled on top of baked potatoes, with eggs and potatoes for breakfast and almost anything else you can imagine.
Did you get all that? Good, now go enjoy your Smoked Pulled Pork!