Perfect Pulled Pork
Smoking pork, like any true endeavor into real barbecue, is a labor of love and does not come without effort. Sticking to lengthy cooking times, adhering to low heat, and the addition of amazing dry rubs will result in the juiciest, most tender pork that will literally fall off of the bone and shred with minimal effort in your hands.
This is relatively easy to accomplish if you simply stick to the steps and let the smoker do the work for you. There are numerous methods for accomplishing the task, but this is a flawless method to get the job done with out-of-this world results. For sumptuous pulled pork, this is what you’ll need.
- 1 (8-12lb.) Blade-in Pork Shoulder (Boston Butt)
- Croix Valley Memphis BBQ Dry Rub
- Apple Juice
- Begin by trimming excess fat from the pork shoulder. The white fat cap on the meat can be quite thick at points, so should be trimmed down to about ¼” or smaller, but not removed completely. As the pork cooks, the fat will render, leaving an outer bark of tasty dry rub, but sealing in the juices as it self-bastes with the melted fat.
- Prepare the pork for the smoker by applying a generous coat of rub, tucking the rub into all the nooks and crannies. For an additional layer of flavor, we use our award-winning Croix Valley Honey Dijon Barbecue ‘n Brat Sauce as a base before applying the rub. Any mustard or mustard-based sauce works very well to promote adherence of the rub and adding depth and dimension to the pork as it cooks.
- Rub the meat thoroughly with The Duchess’ Pork Rub, being sure to cover all areas of the shoulder.
- Once the pork is rubbed, allow the meat to set at room temperature for about 1-2 hours. Prepare the smoker to 250-270⁰ and place the pork on the smoker, fat side down. Use a probe thermometer to monitor the internal temperature of the meat. After the internal temperature of the pork has reached about 155 to 160⁰F, the pork may want to stall and not continue cooking for some time. The moisture in the meat begins to transfer to the outside, causing the bark to firm up, but drawing out some of the moisture you want for pulled pork.
- At the 160⁰F mark, wrap the pork in foil (or better yet, placing in a foil pan and covering with foil) to save all of the expelled juices, retain additional moisture and help increase the heat. The pork may take anywhere from 5-8 hours at 270⁰, longer the lower the temperature. To properly cook, break down all connective tissues and become fall-apart tender for maximum juiciness, the pork butt should reach a target temperature of between 190-205⁰. The simplest method for determining when the pork is done is to simply pull on the blade bone. It should remove and pull away with little effort once the meat is done. Keep the pork in the pan juices and pull once it has cooled enough to handle (let the pork rest for at least ½ hour before pulling).
There are numerous tricks, tips and methods for smoking pork. It is a very forgiving piece of meat that is delicious pulled or sliced, slathered in BBQ sauce or otherwise. The meat is technically cooked when it reaches only 145⁰F, so do not worry about the final temp, as much you simply want the tenderness to be to your liking. For great pulled pork sandwiches and other meals you can make with this heavenly piece of meat, you simply can’t go wrong with this true smoked hunk of goodness.