Smoked Pulled Pork Recipe

You can make great tasting smoked pulled pork in your charcoal or propane grill. Traditional pulled pork is made by slow smoking pork shoulders for many hours until the meat is fall-apart tender.

Since most home grills aren't big enough to hold a whole pork shoulder, most home bbq'ers cook a pork butt roast, also known as a Boston butt roast. The whole pork shoulder included the butt roast, plus the shoulder picnic roast, which is the upper section of the hog's foreleg.

The pork butt has the required qualities for making great pulled pork - lots of internal fat and a fair amount of connective tissue. When cooked for hours, the fat and connective tissues liquify, making the meat very tender and juicy, and full of great flavor.

Smoked Pulled Pork Recipe


  • One 8-10 pound Boston butt roast
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup garlic powder
  • 1/4 cup onion powder
  • 1/4 cup dry thyme
  • 1/4 cup oregano
  • 1/4 cup chili powder, hot or mild, your choice
  • 1/4 cup kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon celery salt
  • 1 teaspoon rubbed sage
  • 1/2 cup yellow prepared mustard

Combine the dry ingredients. Coat the boston butt with the mixture, rubbing in the first application vigorously. Slather the mustard onto the meat, covering all sides well. Apply a second coat of the pork butt dry rub, patting it into place. Wrap the seasoned pork butt in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

Prepare your grill for smoking. Got a gas grill? Light a burner on one end, leaving a cool zone on the other. Charcoal grill? Place a charcoal chimney full of lit briquettes to one side of the grill.

Make up a few foil packs of smoker wood. Grab a big handful woodchips and wrap it up tightly in foil. Place one packet on top of the charcoal, or directly over the lit burner.

Smoking Pork Butt

Remove the Boston butt from the fridge, unwrap it, and place it in the grill, on the cool side. Cover the grill. Replace the foil pack of smoker wood with a fresh one every 30 minutes. Use up to 6 packs of wood. If using a charcoal grill, add more lit briquettes as needed.

Continue smoking and cooking the pork butt until it tender, approximately one hour per pound. Baste the smoked Boston butt every 30 minutes with a mixture of 1/2 cup cider vinegar, 1/2 cup apple juice, and 1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes.

The internal temperature of the finished pork roast should be at least 190 degrees, up to 205 degrees. You'll know when it's done from doing a fork test. Stick in a fork and rotate. You can feel when the meat is fall apart done.

Remove the slow smoked pork roast from the grill, wrap it lightly in foil, and let it rest for 30 minutes. Separate the meat from bone and fat, then shred it with a pair of forks, or your fingers, or even just chop it up with a really big knife.

Pour some of the basting liquid into the smoked pulled pork, mixing it in well. Serve on hamburger buns, and have plenty of bbq sauce, sliced dill pickles, hot sauce and coleslaw on hand, and have a real, honest to goodness pulled pork feast!