Smoked Pulled Pork
Back over the Summer, my dad was contemplating buying a smoker, because a really nice one went on sale at our local BJ's. He kept going back and forth trying to decide if it was worth buying or not––I kept telling him it absolutely was. We decided to go look at it one more time in person to finally make a decision, only to find out that our local store had none left and they weren't getting any more in stock. They told us there was only one left at another location, about an hour away from where we were––and we knew we had to get that smoker! My dad and I rearranged all plans for the day––including our dinner ones––and tracked down the last smoker on all of Long Island! We brought it home, built it the next day, and were smoking our first pieces of meat on it by dinner time! At first we couldn't really get the hang of smoking pork shoulders––they never cooked enough to pull apart the way we were expecting. After much trial and error, my dad boiled down the process to the recipe below––which will give you deliciously perfect pulled pork every time! We love this pulled pork so much at my house, that we smoke two pork shoulders at once and freeze all the leftover pork in quart sized zip-loc bags (we always have one in the fridge). As soon as we dip into the last bag of pork, it's back to the supermarket to buy two more shoulders! This pork is great eaten plain or with your favorite barbeque sauce, in tacos, and it's especially delicious in one of my favorite breakfasts which will be posted very soon!
Smoked Pulled Pork
Prep Time: 5 min Cook Time: ~ Total Time: ~ Serves: 12
*You can't plan how long to cook a pork shoulder, you have to go by internal temperature or it won't cook/pull properly. Typically, my dad smokes the shoulder for five hours, then puts it in the oven overnight. The shoulder will need at least 12 hours in the oven, but some may need up to 18 hours to reach an internal temperature of 190 degrees F
2½ tbsp chili powder
2 tbsp ground cumin
1 tbsp ground coriander
1 tbsp sea salt
1 tbsp paprika
1 tbsp coconut sugar (omit for Whole30 and 21DSD)
2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 tsp ground mustard
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 8-10lb pork shoulder (Boston butt)
Mix all spices and seasonings together in a small bowl. Apply the dry rub to all sides of the pork shoulder and leave out on a counter for one-two hours to come to room temperature and to allow the rub to soak in.
Put the pork shoulder in a smoker for 4-5 hours, keeping the temperature between 225 and 250 degrees F (The first five hours are where the meat absorbs most of its smoke flavor).
Preheat your household oven to 225 degrees F.
Remove your shoulder from the smoker, insert an oven-safe meat thermometer, and place into a roasting pan. Do not put the thermometer into the meat before it's ready to come off the smoker, because you want to make sure any bacteria on the meat is dead before pushing a thermometer into it.
Place the roasting pan into your preheated oven and bake the shoulder until it reaches an internal temperature of 190 degrees F. *The temperature can stall near the end of cooking, so be patient and don't remove the shoulder until the temperature is exactly 190 degrees F.
Remove the shoulder from the oven and let stand for one-two hours.
Shred the shoulder with forks and enjoy!
*If you don't have a smoker, you can still make this pulled pork, just put it straight in the oven and the skip the smoking steps. Be sure not to insert your thermometer until the shoulder has been in the oven for at least four-five hours!