This smoked pork butt recipe makes the best smoked pulled pork and it’s a favourite in our household and one I make regularly. The classic pulled pork recipe is one everyone needs in their rotation.

Plus there’s loads you can do with leftover pulled pork too!

pulled pork with meat claws in a foil dish

Smoked Pork Butt Recipe

Pulled pork was one of the first cuts of meat I tried in the smoker. This smoked pork butt is one of the easiest beginner-smoker recipes to try.

You can make pulled pork using a few different pork cuts:

Best cuts for Pulled Pork 

  • Pork Collar Butt 
  • Pork Shoulder 
  • Pork Neck 

Pork Dry Rub Ingredients

This homemade pork dry rub recipe is one that I use often with a variety of different pork cuts, such as these dry rub pork ribs and sometimes other cuts of meat too.

  • 4 tablespoons of smoked Paprika
  • 4 tables spoons of brown sugar 
  • 2 tablespoons of Garlic Powder
  • 1 tablespoon of Onion Powder
  • 1 Tablespoon of Mustard powder 
  • 4 tablespoons of Salt
  • 4 Tablespoons of cracked pepper

Best Smoking Woods For Pulled Pork

  • Fruitwoods: Apple, Cherry, Mango, Pear, peach  
  • Hardwoods: Hickory, Oak, Pecan, Mesquite

How To Make Pulled Pork In The Smoker

This smoked pulled pork recipe is made using a bullet smoker. You will need to adapt slightly depending on the type of smoker you are using.

pork collar butt in foil tray with meat rub ready for smoking

Meat Prep Steps 

  1. Take out the pork and allow it to come to room temperature.
  2. Pat down the surface with paper towel. This helps the dry rub bind to the meat and create a smoke crust.
  3. As a binder – rub American-style mustard all over the pork (I used a collar butt on this occasion).
  4. Apply dry rub liberally all over the pork butt coating the entire surface of the meat (There is no such thing as too much dry rub).
  5. Leave meat on the bench to absorb the dry rub flavours as you set up the smoker.

Smoker Prep Steps (For A Bullet Smoker)

  1. Add ¾ of charcoal briquettes to a chimney starter, light the base (I use the side BBQ burner) and heat all the briquettes until they are glowing hot and ashed over. 
  2. Add hot briquettes to the base catcher of your smoker and spread evenly allowing airflow to circulate around the briquettes. Open all airflow valves
  3. Add water to the water pan (approx 2L) and sit above hot coals 
  4. Add smoking wood (chunks not Chips) and allow to burn off to a light blue smoke. This can take up to 10 -15mins so be patient. 
  5. Internal air temperature between 110c & 130c before adding meat. 
pork collar butt with meat rub on a bullet smoker outdoors

Smoking Pork Collar Butt Steps

  1. Smoke until the meat reaches stall and the internal temperature does not change for a considerable amount of time (aka the Texas crunch). This can be anywhere between 60 and 75c depending on the size and fat content of the cut of meat.
  2. Spritz meat with a mixture of water and apple cider vinegar (50/50 ratio), every 2 hours.
  3. At stall (approx 4 hrs in) wrap pork collar butt with butcher paper and aluminium foil. At this step, you can add a couple of tablespoons of butter and your choice of sweetener i.e. honey, brown sugar or both before wrapping. (Butter will add to the softness of the pork at the pulling step).
  4. Return wrapped pork butt to the smoker and smoke between 110c & 130c until internal meat of 93c – 98c is reached.
  5. Check the pork butt by inserting a skewer into the thickest part of the meat. The skewer should probe like butter. If it doesn’t, it needs more time.  
  6. Remove the wrapped collar butt and allow it to rest for a minimum of an hour in an ambient vessel (towel wrapped & placed in an esky – that’s a cooler for those of you not from Australia) 
  7. Unwrap foil and pull pork using meat claws or a fork. Pour leftover juices, add a few more sprinkles of dry rub over the pork and add your favourite sauce to mix. 

Tips For Smoking Pork – The Sciency bits

Collagen breakdown is key. Intramuscular fat connective tissue breaks down to create the jelly-like softness (gelatin) that makes pulled pork tender.

Collagen starts breaking down from 65c and rapidly increases from 82c, in which the water molecules release, creating the juicy pulled pork that everyone craves. 

Smoke and temperature control Be prepared to nestle in and attend to the smoke and ever-spiralling up and down temperatures of your smoker like pulling an all-nighter with a sick and tired newborn baby. 

smoked pork butt in foil tray with meat claws about to pull the meat

How To Serve Pulled Pork

There are so many different ways you can enjoy your pulled pork. Of course, on a burger roll or sandwich is a popular option, with coleslaw of course. Sloppy Joe style.

Or another family favourite is loaded friends with guacamole, sour cream and loads of melted cheese on top.

You can also just have your pulled pork with your favourite sides – veggies, salad, potato bake, garlic bread. Anything goes!

You can also check out these make ahead side dishes or kid-friendly BBQ sides for more ideas.

Young girl with a pulled pork burger about to take a bite

How To Store Pulled Pork

If you have leftover pulled pork (and you likely will), store it in the refrigerator in a sealed container for up to 3 days. You can reheat as needed.

You can also store your leftover pulled pork in the freezer for up to 2 months. Defrost and reheat as needed.

pulled pork with meat claws in a foil dish.

Smoked Pulled Pork

This smoked pulled pork is an easy recipe for beginners and a family favourite overall.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 10

Ingredients
  

  • 4 tablespoons smoked Paprika
  • 4 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Garlic Powder
  • 1 tablespoon Onion Powder
  • 1 Tablespoon Mustard powder
  • 4 tablespoons Salt
  • 4 Tablespoons cracked pepper
  • pork collar butt

Instructions
 

  • Take out the pork and allow to come to room temperature
  • Pat down surface with paper towel.
  • As a binder – rub american style mustard all over the collar butt
  • Apply dry rub liberally all over the pork butt coating the entire surface of the meat (no such thing as too much dry rub)
  • Leave meat on bench to absorb dry rub flavours as you set up the smoker
  • Add ¾ of charcoal briquettes to a chimney starter, light the base and heat all the briquettes until they are glowing hot and ashed over.
  • Add hot briquettes to the base catcher of your smoker and spread evenly allowing airflow to circulate around the briquettes. Open all airflow valves
  • Add water to the water pan (approx 2L) and sit above hot coals
  • Add smoking wood (chunks not Chips) and allow to burn off to a light blue smoke. This can take up to 10 -15mins so be patient.
  • Internal air temperature between 110c & 130c before adding meat.
  • Smoke until meat reaches stall and internal temp does not change for a considerable amount of time (aka texas crunch) this can be anywhere between 60 – 75c depending on the size and fat content of the cut of meat. Spritz meat with a mixture of water and apple cider vinegar (50/50 ratio) every 2 hours.
  • At stall (approx 4 hrs in) wrap pork collar butt with butcher paper and aluminium foil. At this step you can add a couple of table spoons of butter and your choice of sweetener ie honey, brown sugar or both before wrapping.
  • Return wrapped pork butt to the smoker and smoke between 110c & 130c until internal meat of 93c – 98c is reached. Check the pork butt by inserting a skewer to the thickest part of the meat. The skewer should probe like butter. If it doesn’t, it needs more time.
  • Remove wrapped collar butt and allow to rest for a minimum of an hour in an ambient vessel (towel wrapped & placed in cooler)
  • Unwrap foil and pull pork using pull apart claws or a fork. Pour left over juices, add a few more sprinkles of dry rub over pork and add your favourite sauce to mix.

Video

Notes

Pork cuts: Can use pork collar butt, pork shoulder or pork neck. 
Keyword pork, pulled pork
smoked pork for the best smoked pulled pork recipe

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