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Smoked Pulled Pork Recipe: Easy Steps for Juicy BBQ

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Scrumptious homemade Smoked Pulled Pork

Smoking pulled pork is easier than you might think. All you need is a good pork shoulder, some mustard, and a sweet BBQ rub for a mouthwatering result.

You’ll also find helpful tips on choosing the best pork, making your own spice rub, and smoking techniques to ensure your pork is tender and juicy. This guide will walk you through everything step by step, so you can impress your friends and family with your BBQ skills.

Ready to make some amazing smoked pulled pork? Dive in and discover how you can master this classic BBQ dish right in your backyard.

Exact Ingredients (+ Possible Substitutes)


  • Pork Shoulder (8-10 pounds): Also known as Boston butt. You need a bone-in roast for the best flavor.
  • Yellow Mustard (2-3 Tablespoons): Acts as a binder to help the seasoning stick. You can use Dijon or even hot sauce as a substitute.
  • Signature Sweet Rub (1/4 cup + 1 Tablespoon): This rub is essential for flavor. If you don’t have it, you can make a simple mix with brown sugar, paprika, salt, pepper, and garlic powder.


  • Wood for Smoking: You can use apple, cherry, or hickory wood. Each type of wood gives a different flavor profile.
  • Mop Sauce: Keeps the meat moist. Use apple cider vinegar mixed with a bit of the rub for a tangy alternative.

Essential Tools

  • Smoker: Preheat to 225°F to 250°F. Ensure it’s well-stocked with wood.
  • Meat Thermometer: Check internal temperature, aiming for 195°F-205°F for perfect tenderness.
  • Aluminum Foil: Use this to wrap the pork during the smoking process to maintain moisture.

With these ingredients and a few handy substitutes, you’re ready to make delicious smoked pulled pork. Enjoy!


  1. Preheat your smoker to 225°F (107°C).

  2. Prepare the pork shoulder. Remove it from the refrigerator and pat it dry with paper towels.

  3. Coat the pork with yellow mustard. This helps the rub stick better.

  4. Mix the dry rub. Combine:

    • 1/4 cup brown sugar
    • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
    • 1 tablespoon onion powder
    • 2 teaspoons salt
    • 1 teaspoon pepper
    • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

  5. Rub the mixture all over the pork shoulder.

  6. Place the pork in the smoker, fat side up.

  7. Smoke the pork for about 6-8 hours. The internal temperature should reach 160°F (71°C).

  8. Wrap the pork in butcher paper or foil.

  9. Continue smoking the wrapped pork. Increase the smoker temperature to 250°F (121°C).

  10. Monitor the internal temperature. It should reach 200°F (93°C). This usually takes an additional 4 hours.

  11. Remove the pork from the smoker.

  12. Rest the meat for 15 minutes before shredding.

  13. Shred the pork using two forks.

  14. Serve with your favorite BBQ sauce.

Enjoy your delicious smoked pulled pork with friends and family!

Tips, Tricks & Storing

Tips & Tricks

  • Basting: Baste the pork shoulder every 30 to 45 minutes with a mop sauce to keep it moist and add flavor.

  • Wrapping: Once the pork reaches an internal temperature of 160° to 165°F, wrap it tightly in heavy-duty aluminum foil. Continue cooking until it reaches 200° to 205°F.

  • Preheat the Smoker: Make sure your smoker is preheated to 225°F. This ensures even cooking from the start.

  • Trimming the Fat Cap: Trim the fat cap to about 1/4 inch thick and score it in a cross-hatch pattern. This helps the flavors penetrate better.

  • Mustard Binder: Rub mustard all over the pork shoulder before applying your rub. The mustard acts as a binder for the spices.

  • Resting Period: After smoking, let the pork rest for at least 30 minutes before pulling. This allows the juices to redistribute.


  • Refrigeration: Store any leftover pulled pork in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It can last up to 3-4 days.

  • Freezing: For longer storage, you can freeze pulled pork. Place it in a freezer-safe bag or container and it will keep for up to 2-3 months.

  • Reheating: When reheating, do so slowly to avoid drying it out. Use the oven at a low temperature or a slow cooker. Add a little broth or sauce to keep it moist.

By following these tips and storing methods, you’ll have perfectly smoked pulled pork that’s flavorful and stays fresh longer.

Benjamin Happy Muncher

Hi, I'm Benjamin. I love cooking, long walks, and my girlfriend! Here you’ll find simple and delicious recipes that you can make in 30 minutes or less.