Whether it’s the star of a bun, taco or simply shining all by itself, BBQ pulled pork is a deliciously versatile creature. For BBQ competitions, my Dad, brother and I devised a pulled pork approach that has since become a family go-to. If you’ve been seeking a foolproof technique for any occasion, trust me, this is definitely worth passing down the generations.
While this recipe does call for a smoker setup, it will be oh so worth it. I like to get started early in the morning so it's ready in time for dinner — or late in the afternoon so it comes off for the day in time for lunch. A key component of this technique (aside from the seasonings and sauce!) is the water pan, which adds moisture to the cook while catching drippings. If you're using boneless pork, just be sure it's tied up properly for an even cook.
5 to 8 lbs Bone-in Boston Pork Butt or Pork Shoulder
1/4 cup Weekend BBQ by Outside Table
1/4 cup Yellow Mustard
1/2 cup Sunday Sauce by Outside Table
1 cup Pecan or Hickory wood chips
I like to use an internal digital thermometer for long cooks but an instant read thermometer is fine to verify that you have hit the doneness range.
- Soak your wood chips in water and setup up your grill or smoker for a long indirect cook at 225 to 250 degrees. I use a big green egg with lump charcoal, but a pellet smoker or a wood burning side smoker rig will pull this off perfectly as well.
- While your grill is heating up, coat the pork with the mustard, followed by a generous sprinkle of Weekend BBQ. This will be the foundation for a nice flavorful crust.
- Drain the wood chips; discard the water or put it in your drip pan. Place the wood chips right on the fire. You’ll get big smoke at first, but it will turn clear after a few minutes.
- Put an inch of water (or apple cider if you're feeling adventurous) and position the drip pan underneath where the pork will cook. Place the meat above the pan (not in). Insert your internal thermometer into the center of the meat so you can track its cooking progress.
- Cook pork until the internal temperature reaches between 190 and 200 degrees – about two hours per pound. Note that the temperature will appear to "stall" at around 165 to 175 degrees. This is normal and is called "the plateau". There is some science happening here but basically the fat is being rendered out of the meat.
- When completed, take the meat off of the smoker and wrap in foil. Make sure to sample with a fork! This is as good as it gets, and you’ve earned it.
- When cool enough to handle, pull the meat apart with a fork or even your hands, discarding the bone and any fat pieces.
- Toss with Sunday Sauce and serve.
Pulled pork will hold in your fridge for about three days. It also freezes really well. As hands-on as this recipe is, it’s longevity makes it worth the work — and it’s always nice to have some to pull some pulled pork out of the freezer for an easy and impressive meal.