Who can resist the allure of smoked pulled pork that’s so tender, juicy, and melt-in-your-mouth?

smoked pulled pork

Smoked Pulled Pork

Smoked pulled pork is a barbecue classic, showcasing slow cooking and smoke art. It begins with a big pork cut, often the pork butt, seasoned with spices. This cut is then smoked over hours at low heat, around 225°F to 250°F. Thanks to the smart meat thermometer‘s careful monitoring of the smoker and the internal temperature of the meat, we can achieve perfectly tender, juicy, and melt-in-your-mouth pulled pork.

In the smoker, the pork absorbs wood smoke flavors, from sweet applewood to intense hickory. This process tenderizes the meat, creating a moist interior and a flavorful “bark” exterior. This bark offers a texture contrast to the tender meat inside.

The essence of smoked pulled pork lies in its flavor and texture. After long hours, the meat becomes so tender it can be “pulled” apart. This gives it its name. It can be seasoned or sauced further to enhance taste.

Smoked pulled pork is versatile. Enjoy it alone, with barbecue sauce, or in a sandwich with pickles or coleslaw. Each bite celebrates the slow, careful smoking process, blending flavor and texture uniquely.

Smoking Pork Butt

What Cut is Best for Pulled Pork?

When it comes to crafting the perfect smoked pulled pork, the cut of meat you choose is paramount. The consensus among barbecue aficionados is clear: the pork butt, also known as the Boston butt, reigns supreme in the realm of pulled pork.

The pork butt is a cut from the upper part of the pig’s shoulder, above the foreleg. It is imbued with a generous amount of fat marbling and connective tissue. This composition is the secret to its success in slow-cooking methods, such as smoking. As it cooks, the fat renders down and the connective tissue melts into gelatin, infusing the meat with moisture and flavor, and resulting in tender, pull-apart pork that’s full of character.

The pork butt’s rich fat content not only contributes to a moist and tender end product but also forgives longer cooking times, making it less prone to drying out compared to leaner cuts. This attribute is particularly beneficial for the long, slow process of smoking, where maintaining juiciness and flavor is the goal.

pork butt vs. pork shoulder

While other cuts like the pork shoulder (or picnic shoulder) can also be used for pulled pork, the pork butt is preferred for its superior texture and flavor after being subjected to the low and slow smoking process. The pork shoulder is a bit leaner and extends down to the pig’s foreleg, containing more bone and skin, which can affect the cooking time and the ease of pulling the meat apart.

How Long to Smoke a Pork Butt

Smoking a pork butt is a journey into the heart of barbecue, an experience that melds patience with culinary craft. Typically, you’re looking at about 1 to 1.5 hours of smoking time per pound of meat when maintaining a smoker temperature around 225°F to 250°F. This means a hefty 8-pound pork butt could require 8 to 12 hours in the smoker. However, these are guidelines, the exact timing can vary based on factors like the specific cut of meat, your smoker’s idiosyncrasies, and even the weather.

The most reliable indicator that your pork butt is ready to be pulled from the smoker is an internal temperature of 195°F to 205°F. For this, a smart wireless meat thermometer, such as the Typhur Sync, becomes an indispensable tool for the job. Thanks to the latest Bluetooth 5.4 tech, the dual Typhur Sync meat probes offer the most reliable wireless thermometer on the market with an extended range (up to 400 ft in open spaces with light obstacles, and up to 65 ft in enclosed spaces).

The Stall

When you monitor the pulled pork temp by using the wireless meat thermometer, you may observe a phenomenon: the internal temperature of the meat can seem to plateau or stall at around 160°F (71°C)—it can even drop slightly. This interval is known as the “Stall”.

The Stall phenomenon is a unique twist in the BBQ saga. Picture this: You’re cruising along, meat’s temperature climbing steadily, then bam! You hit a wall. Despite the heat, your pork’s internal temp stalls around 160°F, creeping at a snail’s pace towards 195°F. This isn’t a sign to panic or crank up the heat. It’s a natural part of the smoking process, where moisture evaporation cools the meat, kinda like how we sweat to cool down. Some pitmasters wrap their pork in foil or butcher paper to hustle through the stall, but for this recipe, we embrace the slow roll. It rewards us with a rich, bark-covered masterpiece that’s the stuff of BBQ legend.

Printable Smoked Pulled Pork

smoked pulled pork

Smoked Pulled Pork Recipe

Succulent and tender pork plum meat, enhanced by the smoky flavor from hours of smoking, effortlessly melts in your mouth. This delectable meat is an ideal complement to burgers or sandwiches, elevating them to a culinary masterpiece.
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Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 12 hours 30 minutes
Total Time 13 hours
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 6
Calories 1129 kcal



Barbecue Rub

  • 36 g kosher salt
  • 40 g black pepper
  • 8 g garlic powder
  • 8 g onion powder
  • 20 g paprika powder

For the Pork shoulder

  • 5 pounds pork butt or pork shoulder
  • yellow mustard as needed
  • barbecue sauce as needed



Calories: 1129kcalCarbohydrates: 24gProtein: 140gFat: 51gSaturated Fat: 18gPolyunsaturated Fat: 6gMonounsaturated Fat: 23gCholesterol: 463mgSodium: 7518mgPotassium: 2941mgFiber: 10gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 5076IUVitamin C: 7mgCalcium: 231mgIron: 13mg

(Nutrition information is calculated automatically by Spoonacular API and should be considered an estimate.)