Smoked Pulled Pork: A Deliciously Tender and Juicy BBQ Delight

Who can resist the mouthwatering allure of perfectly smoked pulled pork? This timeless barbecue classic is a surefire crowd-pleaser that never fails to impress. In this article, we’ll explore the art of creating tender and succulent pulled pork that will leave your taste buds dancing with delight. From selecting the right cut of meat to mastering the smoking process, we’ll guide you through each step, ensuring a juicy and flavorful masterpiece every time.

Selecting the Perfect Roast

To achieve the ultimate pulled pork experience, start with the right cut of meat. Look no further than the pork shoulder, also known as a Boston butt, which can be found boneless or bone-in at your local market. Opt for a roast with the bone-in for added flavor and easy removal once cooked. A 6 to 8-pound roast is ideal for creating delicious smoked pulled pork.

Preparing the Pork Butt

Before we dive into the smoking process, it’s important to prepare the pork butt correctly. Some roasts may have a thick layer of fat on one side. It’s best to trim down any thick or hard fat to about a quarter of an inch thick, as these won’t render out during the cooking process. Next, score the remaining fat with a long knife in a crisscross pattern about an inch apart, just enough to penetrate the meat.

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Give the entire roast a light coat of olive oil, followed by a liberal sprinkling of dry rub. Be sure to press the dry rub into place with your hands. Pro tip: wearing gloves will prevent paprika from staining your hands.

Dry Rub

Setting Up the Smoker for Success

Now it’s time to prepare the smoker for the magic to happen. If you’re using a Big Green Egg or Kamado Joe style ceramic cooker, opt for high-quality lump charcoal that provides a long, slow burn. Add 4 to 5 chunks of apple or cherry wood for that signature smoky flavor.

For offset smokers, kiln-dried oak is your primary fuel, complemented by a couple of chunks of apple or cherry wood for additional smoke flavor. This combination prevents overpowering the roast and strikes the perfect balance.

Apple Chunks and Charcoal

Smoking the Pork Shoulder to Perfection

Place the roast in the smoker with the fat side up if using a ceramic cooker. The deflection plate in these cookers ensures heat circulates throughout the dome, resulting in an evenly-cooked roast. However, when using an offset smoker, place the roast fat side down since the heat primarily comes from the bottom. This positioning helps protect the meat from direct heat exposure.

To keep the roast moist throughout the smoking process, place a shallow pan beneath the cooking grate and add 1 to 2 quarts of water.

In the Smoker

Now it’s time to let the smoker work its magic. Insert a temperature probe into the center of the roast and smoke it at a low and slow temperature of 250°F for approximately three hours or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F. Spray the roast with a mixture of apple cider vinegar and water every 30 minutes to maintain moisture and enhance the smoke ring — a desirable characteristic.

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Ready to be Wrapped

To break through the stall, wrap the roast tightly in heavy-duty foil and return it to the smoker. Allow the internal temperature to reach 195°F, which ensures the collagen breaks down and the meat becomes tender. This process, known as the Texas crutch, creates a succulent and juicy result as the roast braises in its own juices.

Once cooked to perfection, remove the roast from the smoker and wrap it in an old towel. Place it in a cooler for approximately 30 minutes to allow the juices to reabsorb, preventing dry pulled pork. Unwrap the foil carefully and shred the pork using a fork.

Ready to Serve
The Bone Comes Right Out
Pull it With a Fork
Smoked Pulled Pork

Side Dishes That Perfectly Complement Pulled Pork

What’s pulled pork without some delicious side dishes? Here are a few of our favorites to serve alongside your mouthwatering creation:

  • Corn Ribs
  • Texas Style Creamed Corn with Poblano Peppers
  • Creamed Corn Without Cream
  • Barbecue Baked Beans
  • Kosher Dill Pickles
  • Bourbon BBQ Sauce
  • Easy Pork Recipes

Smoked Pulled Pork: A BBQ Masterpiece in Every Bite

With these expert tips and techniques, you’re well on your way to creating an unforgettable smoked pulled pork experience. Remember, the key lies in selecting the right cut of meat, seasoning it perfectly, and embracing the slow and steady smoking process. So fire up your smoker, grab your apron, and get ready to delight friends and family with a tender, juicy, and oh-so-flavorful pulled pork masterpiece.

For more inspiration and detailed guidance, check out this Rowdy Hog Smokin BBQ link to watch the video on YouTube. Happy smoking!