This has to be the smoked pulled pork recipe to die for. Beautifully moist tender results with a colourful barbecue sauce to mop.
If you've landed on this page without have read my article pulled pork recipes and tips then I recommend you go back and read that one before going any further.
Pulled pork is so called because the low and slow cooking process leaves the meat supremely tender, so much so that it can be "pulled apart".
It typically uses the shoulder or butt of the hog. To be clear on the naming of the joints, the front leg of the hog can be split into two.
Either cut can be used for this smoked pulled pork recipe and in this case I'm using the butt (albeit not the full shoulder because I'm only feeding my family). Both the butt and the picnic are full of fat and connective tissue so it is perfect for slow roasting but fat is also an enemy as well as a friend, especially the fat that sits on the outside of the joint.
If there's too much fat around the meat it will act as a protective layer and so any additional flavoring that you might want to add such as a rub will be completely negated.
So the first job of preparing your pork butt for smoking is to make sure that all the skin and the vast majority of the fat is removed before you start. Don't worry about this, your pork won't dry out when cooked.
Timing for cooking is dependent on weight so the timings below are generic based on the rule of 2 hours for every pound of meat (approx 1 hour 10 minutes per kilogram).
Preparation Time:- 20 mins
Cooking Time:- 10-14 hours
Total Time:- About a day
Take all the ingredients except for the butt, place them in a saucepan and bring to the boil then you'll have a nice smooth mix and the garlic and shallot have had time to soften. Allow to cool.
Trim the skin and fat from the top of the pork shoulder and then coat with the sauce mix.
Place the meat on the food rack of your smoker, you can put a water bath under if you so desire and smoke with hickory for 2 hours at 225°F or 110°C. When two hours is up, baste with sauce, allow the meat to smoke for a further two hours and repeat the basting process.
Continue this process with more sauce every couple of hours until the pork reaches 200°F or 95°C when you can remove it from the smoker. (Note that this can take up to 15 hours).
TIP:- If you're getting short on time don't be tempted to hurry it along by raising the temperature of the smoker. Whilst this will have the desired effect of raising the core temperature of the butt, the results will not be tender and pulling will become an arduous affair. The best course of action is to wrap the butt in foil.
When done, allow 60 minutes for your meat to cool and then rip it apart with bear paws, forks or your hands and serve.
It's worth waiting that 60 minutes after taking the pork out of the smoker because this resting time gives the meat chance to relax and so make the pulling process that much easier.
Warm up what's left of the glaze and you've got a great BBQ sauce to pour over. For more on how to flavor your pulled pork and an alternative smoked pulled pork recipe you'll find all the information on my page of pulled pork recipes and tips.