Your Guide To Perfect Pulled Pork
Smoked pulled pork is one of those classic barbecue staples with several regional variations. Try out our tips for the perfect pulled pork that is so juicy and tender you can easily shred it. Fire up the smoker and make this backyard barbecue creation to feed a crowd or save the leftovers to use in other recipes.
What cut of meat should I use for pulled pork?
The cut of meat you’ll want to use for pulled pork is the pork shoulder. At the grocery store, you’ll look for a 5-to-12-pound pork butt or Boston butt.
This particular cut is perfect for cooking low and slow to yield a lot of tender meat.
We recommend picking a cut that has the bone-in, which is not only packs more flavor but also helps with cooking evenly.
How many pounds of pulled pork per person?
When cooked and pulled, a bone in pork butt will lose about 30 to 40 percent of its weight. Estimate about 1/3 to 1/2 pounds of meat per person when selecting your pork butt.
How to season pulled pork
If you plan to inject your pork, prepare your marinade ahead of time. We’ve got a great option for you in this pulled pork recipe. Using a meat injection needle, inject across the meat in a checkerboard pattern, injecting approximately 1 tablespoon per site. At Pit Boss, we offer several great dry rub options for pulled pork. We recommend our Homestyle Pork Rub or Sweet Heat Rub. Sprinkle meat thoroughly, rub in (while wearing gloves, and allow to rest for 30 minutes before placing on the grill.
How to cook pulled pork
Be sure to cook your pork shoulder low and slow, between 200°F and 250°F until the meat is fall off the bone tender (usually when it reaches an internal temperature between 195°F to 205°F).
By then, all the intermuscular fat has dissolved leaving the meat extremely juicy. Test the meat by either using a probe or your finger. If the pork feels too “springy,” it's not tender yet! There should be a slight indentation in the meat when it is cooked just right.
You should of course check the internal temperature to determine doneness. For a rough estimate, you should plan on about two hours of cook time for every pound when cooking at 225°F.
Fat side up or down?
There's a lot of debate about whether you cook a pork butt (or brisket for that matter,) fat side up or fat side down. To settle the debate - it doesn't really matter! We recommend placing the fat cap on the side the heat comes from - usually on the bottom.
Which hardwood pellet blend is best for pulled pork?
When it comes to picking the right hardwood pellet blend for pulled pork, we recommend choosing a blend that offers a mild to medium smoke. Pit Boss Hickory Blend or Classic Blend Hardwood Pellets are great options. And if you’re wondering why you should fuel up with Pit Boss pellets, learn more about that here.