The Best Smoked Pulled Pork Ever – foolproof never-dry method for delicious smoked pork shoulder with a crunchy bark and tons of flavor!
This weekend is the official high point of grilling season.
Can you smell the charcoal in the air?? Everyone’s getting ready for big summer parties, fireworks, and long hot nights outside.
And today I’m bringing my husband’s method for a delicious summertime staple – The Best Smoked Pulled Pork Ever!
Pulled pork is such a perfect summer staple, in part because there is so much you can do with it. Pulled pork is great in tacos, salads, quesadillas, and classic pulled pork sandwiches. It’s so easy to add to a ton of different meals for a big, smoky, meaty flavor!
This pulled pork is epic. Friends always beg my husband to make it for cookouts and parties – it’s his signature recipe!
Check out Luke’s must- have grilling essentials for the best pork you’ll ever eat:
- Pulled Pork
- One pork shoulder or boston butt
- lum charcoal
- wood for smoking, oak, pecan, fruit wood, or mesquite
- 2 TBSP garlic powder
- 2 TBSP onion powder
- 2 TBSP season salt
- 2 TBSP ground pepper
- 3 TBSP paprika
- 3 TBSP chili powder
- 2 TBSP cumin
- 2 TBSP celery salt
- 2 TBSP cinnamon
- 2 TBSP cardamom
- One half a beer
- 2 cups apple cider vinegar
- remaining rub
- Mix ingredients for rub together in a bowl.
- Remove pork from packaging, pat dry with paper towels and allow to come to room temperature. I like to trim off excess fat and silver skin at this point. You do want to keep about 1/4” of fat on the top called the fat cap. As your meat slowly cooks, this melts and keeps the meat moist.
- Apply rub, and refrigerate over night. Soak wood chips or blocks over night in water.
- Remove meat from refrigerator and let come to room temperature.
- Next morning, prepare lump charcoal in smoker using newspaper and charcoal chimney. I do not use lighter fluid or compressed charcoal briquettes because I believe the leave a petroleum taste on the meat.
- While the coals come to temperature, combine the ingredients for the mop and put in a spray bottle on plastic container.
- When coals are glowing and grey, add the brisket to the smoker. Keep the meat as far from the fire as possible. If you have a barrel smoker with a fire box, keep on the opposite side of the grill surface from the fire box. If you have a conventional smoker or Weber-style kettle grill, build small fire on one side of kettle and keep meat on the other side.
- Add handful of wet wood chips/block to fire. Cover and let cook. You’ll want to keep your temperature between 200-225 degrees F. That should take approximately 12-14 hours to smoke a 7-10 pound butt.
- You’ll likely need to check the fire every 30-45 minutes. After an hour of smoking you should start mopping your meat every time you check the fire. I like to use a silicone basting brush for this. The inexpensive fibre brushes that are commonly sold at big-box stores begin to come apart quickly and in my experience often shed bristles on the meat.
- I also rotate my meat every hour to ensure that all sides get even exposure to the heat and smoke. This is particularly important if you’re using a conventional kettle grill for your smoking.
- If you have an outdoor temperature probe, use it to track the internal temperature of you meat. After several hours, your meat may “stall” around 150oF. I usually keep smoking mine. In Texas, they wrap them in foil with a cup of mop to finish.
- You’re shooting for your meat to get to 185oF. Once you hit that mark, remove your meat from the smoker, double wrap in foil and let sit in an unheated over for an hour to hour and a half depending on fat content of the meat.