Cooking BBQ pulled pork the easy way, smoker to oven.
How to cook smoked pork the easy way.
What's unique about my smoked pulled pork recipe?
smoke the pork first, then let the oven finish cooking overnight at
a low temperature. Why? Because pork stops absorbing smoke at around
140°F. The smoke ring stops forming at around 170°F. So using this
cooking method makes sense... the pork is smoky and tender, you
don't waste a lot of wood chips or propane, and the "pull"
temperature is perfect!
A couple of helpful hints before you get started with your pulled
pork cooking session:
Don't trim all the fat, it adds flavor and juiciness to the
pork. Cook fat side-down!
Use a thin coating of yellow mustard to help the dry rub bind
to the pork.
Deep foil steam table pans work great for direct transfers from
the smoker to the oven. They can be reused too!
Use heavy duty aluminum foil to wrap your pork before adding
to the oven. You want to lock-in the moisture.
Smokers get extremely hot, so use pot holders or oven mitts
to handle your BBQ equipment (especially the smoker box and drip
Be sure to have gallon size storage bags on-hand to freeze your
leftover pork. Record
the date and time and save for a future meal.
A simple recipe to smoke pulled pork.
I have made this pulled pork recipe dozens and dozens of times,
and it never fails! Keeping it simple, I like to use
an off-the-shelf rub called "Barbecue Magic" from Chef Paul
It's great on almost anything you can cook in a smoker. If
you are ambitious, you can make the
NC style rub according to my
This recipe makes perfect smoked pulled pork using my simple
Step 1 - Rub the pork shoulder
generously with the dry rub, covering all sides. Let it rest in
the refrigerator overnight.
Step 2 - Preheat the smoker
to 225°F and add hickory wood chips or chunks for flavor.
Step 3 - Place the pork
shoulder on the smoker grate and smoke for about 4 hours.
Step 4 - Remove from smoker,
and set in a deep roasting pan, fill bottom of pan with soda*, and
wrap tightly in aluminum foil.
Step 5 - Transfer to the
oven, preheated to 212°F. Slow cook for 8 hours, or until the internal
temperature reaches 205-215°F.
Step 6 - Once done, remove
the pork shoulder from the oven and let it rest for 30 minutes.
Step 7 - Shred the pork
using two forks or meat claws and mix it with any remaining juices.
Step 8 - Serve on a bun
or roll for a delicious pulled pork sandwich. Recommended sides
are coleslaw, baked beans, and a few dill pickles!
* The soda will convert to steam when it reaches
a temperature of 212°F.
Storing and freezing instructions:
Put leftover pulled pork in an airtight container in the
for 2-3 days. Pulled pork can be frozen for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the
refrigerator before reheating.
How to reheat smoked pulled pork:
Oven reheating (recommended):
Preheat your oven to 250°F.
Place the pulled pork and any leftover juices in an ovenproof
Cover the dish with aluminum foil.
Bake for 20-30 minutes or until the pulled pork reaches an internal
temperature of 165°F.
Place the pulled pork and any leftover juices in a microwave-safe
Cover the bowl with a damp paper towel to trap moisture.
Warm the pork until it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F.
Be sure to check and stir periodically to ensure even reheating.
What's the best wood to smoke pulled pork with?
I like to smoke pork with hickory, mesquite, apple or cherry wood.
I usually try to "pair" the
smoke wood with the rub, as well as the steaming liquid. So
for example, apply a cherry rub, smoke with cherry wood chips, and finish
in oven with a cherry soda steam. This will give you a smokey flavor
with a hint of cherry. When you cook pork this way, a BBQ sauce really
is not needed (in my humble opinion). Another benefit is the juices
from the pork (cherry in my example) can be used to flavor other side
dishes, like beans, rice or potatoes.
Photo gallery of a pulled pork smoke session
Know Your Pork
Pork Butt vs. Pork Shoulder
Pork butt (a.k.a. boston butt) is the upper portion on the front
shoulder, while pork shoulder (a.k.a. picnic roast) is from the
lower section of the leg.
Both are tough, fatty cuts and benefit from slow cooking methods
such as roasting, or smoking.