pulled pork sitting in a smoker

How to make pulled pork on any type of cooker

Whether you want to use an oven, stove, smoker, grill or even a slow cooker, I have you covered. Learn how to make pulled pork on any type of cooker.

 

First and foremost, to my BBQ purists who are reading the title of this page and recoiling in horror- calm down. Arguably, in order to receive the title “BBQ”, pulled pork needs to be cooked on some type of smoker. Not merely drenched in BBQ sauce. But, the idea of cooking pork until tender, then shredding it for serving is not limited to a barbecue pit. And that’s pulled pork. There are a lot of folks out there who want to cook for their friends and families, using a really tasty AND cheap cut of pork. But not everyone has access to a smoker. Here, you’ll find the basic recipe for classic pulled pork for five different apparatuses. SMOKER – OVEN – CROCK POT – STOVE TOP – GRILL.

And if you’re a BBQ purist who is reading this and is still not satisfied, check out my classic BBQ recipes for brisket burnt ends, classic pork ribs, Texas style beef ribs and even smoked barbacoa!

All these recipes involve two basic ingredients.  The first is the pork itself. Most commonly, you will use pork butt for pulled pork. Don’t let the name fool you, it’s taken from the shoulder, not the rear end. It doesn’t matter if it’s bone in or boneless – if it’s bone in you pay less per lb (because the butcher did less work) but it’s heavier because of the bone. If it’s boneless, you will pay more per lb but it’ll be slightly lighter in weight. The bone is just one jet-shaped piece that pulls out easily when the pork is tender, so it’s not fiddly to deal with. Be sure no matter which you choose to buy a whole roast, not one that has been cut into slices. You want to look for something around 8 lb total. I usually buy my pork butts from local Texas grocery store H-E-B, but you can also grab them online from meat merchants like SRF, Farm Foods and Meat n Bone (you can use code MEATJESS10 to grab 10% off at Meat & Bone too!).

The second crucial ingredient is seasoning. I use and recommend Hardcore Carnivore Red seasoning. Which should really come as no surprise, since am the one who created it! You can use any seasoning you prefer, but Hardcore Carnivore Red is all natural in color, made with premium ingredients, MSG free, Gluten free and keto friendly. Plus, you’d be supporting me and all my free recipes by picking up a bottle.

For some of these methods, it’s recommended that you use a digital thermometer to check the temperature as the pork butt cooks.

smokey pulled pork sandwich recipe

How to make pulled pork in a smoker

Time: about 9 hours

You will need: 1 x 8 lb pork butt, 1/4 cup pork seasoning, 1/2 cup water, 1/2 cup cider vinegar.

Method:
1) Heat a smoker to run at 250f. Pat the pork butt down with paper towel, then coat well with pork seasoning, making sure all the sides are coated. Leave the butt to sit about 20 minutes, so the meat “sweats” a little and turns the rub to a paste.
2) Place the butt into the smoker, insert a probe to monitor temperature. Mix the cider vinegar and water in a spray bottle, and spritz the butt down every 30 mins or so.
3) After 5 hours of cooking, once a deep bark has developed, wrap the butt tightly in foil, and return to the smoker to cook until it reaches an internal temperature of 200f. If your bark is not as dark as desired, continue to cook for up to another hour before foiling.
4) Once the internal temperature is at 200f, remove the pork butt and rest for an hour.
5) After the meat has rested, place onto a large tray or board, and pull it using heatproof gloves. Alternatively, you may like to use forks or specialty equipment like “bear paws” since it will still be very hot in the middle. If preferred, coat the pulled pork with BBQ sauce and toss to serve, or try this Carolina style vinegar mop.

How to make pulled pork in the oven

Time: about 3.5 hours

You will need: 1 x 8 lb pork butt, 1/4 cup pork seasoning, 1 cup apple juice, 1 cup water, BBQ sauce (optional)

Method:
1) preheat oven to 450f.
2) Rub the pork butt roast well with the seasoning, then place on a rack in a roasting pan, and into the oven. Roast for 1 hour.
3) Remove pan from oven, and reduce temperature to 325f.  Pour apple juice and water into the bottom of the pan. Cover tightly with foil and cook a further 2.5 hours until the pork is tender and can easily be shredded with a fork.
4) Shred the pork using two forks, or your hands covered with food-safe heatproof gloves.
5) If preferred, coat the pulled pork with BBQ sauce and toss to serve, or try this Carolina style vinegar mop.

How to make pulled pork in a crock pot or slow cooker

Time: 6 hours on high, 10 hours on low

You will need: 1 x 4-5 lb pork butt, 3 tablespoons pork seasoning, 1 cup BBQ sauce, 1/2 cup cider vinegar, 1/2 cup chicken stock, 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1 onion (finely diced).

Method:
1) Rub the pork butt roast well with the seasoning.
2) In the bottom of the slow cooker, combine BBQ sauce, vinegar, chicken stock, Worcestershire, sugar and the chopped onion. Stir to combine. Nestle the pork butt into the mixture.
3) Place the lid on the crock pot, and cook until tender and easily shredded with a fork. About 6 hours on high or about 10 hours on low.
4) Remove the pork to a board, then shred the pork using two forks, or your hands covered with food-safe heatproof gloves.
5) Return the pork to the sauce in the crock pot and stir to combine, then serve.

How to make pulled pork on the stove top

Time: about 3 hours

You will need: 1 x 6-8lb pork butt, 1/4 cup pork seasoning, 3 tablespoons oil, 1 cup BBQ sauce, 1/2 cup cider vinegar, 2 cups chicken stock, 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1 onion (finely diced).

Method:
1) Rub the pork butt roast well with the seasoning. Place a heavy bottom pot or dutch oven on the stove over medium high heat and add 2 tablespoons of oil. Sear the pork butt on all sides to brown, at least 10 minutes per side, then remove pork from pot.
2) Add remaining oil to pot, then onions. Cook until translucent and starting to brown, about 5-7 minutes. Then add in BBQ sauce, cider vinegar, chicken stock, Worcestershire, brown sugar. Return pork butt to the pot, and bring the mixture to a boil. Once boiling, cover and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook for 2.5-3 hours until tender and easily shredded with a fork.
3) Remove pork from the pot onto a board, and turn the heat up to reduce the sauce by at least half or until about the thickness of a loose BBQ sauce. Shred the pork, then add the pot sauce to the shredded pork 1/2 a cup at a time until you reach desired consistency. Serve and enjoy.

How to make pulled pork on the grill

Time: about 10 hours

You will need: 1 x 6-8lb pork butt, 1/4 cup pork seasoning,  1/2 cup water, 1/2 cup cider vinegar, BBQ sauce (optional)

Method:
1) Set up your grill for indirect cooking. For more detailed information about coal configuration, I recommend this guide from Kingsford charcoal. The simplest set up is to put a foil pan filled with water right in the middle of the grill, then set up the coals around that. The meat will sit in the middle over the pan, and remain in indirect heat the entire time.
2) Add lit coals to the grill, and if desired stud some wood chunks or chips into the coals for a boost of smoke flavor. Preheat to 250f.
3) Pat the pork butt down with paper towel, then coat well with pork seasoning, making sure all the sides are coated. Leave the butt to sit about 20 minutes, so the meat “sweats” a little and turns the rub to a paste.
2) Place the butt onto the grill over the water pan, then cover with the lid. Mix the cider vinegar and water in a spray bottle, and spritz the butt down every 30 mins or so. Add more coals as needed to maintain 250f temp.
3) After 5 hours of cooking, once a deep bark has developed, wrap the butt tightly in foil, and return to the smoker to cook until it reaches an internal temperature of 200f. If your bark is not as dark as desired, continue to cook for up to another hour before foiling.
4) Once the internal temperature is at 200f, remove the pork butt and rest for an hour.
5) After the meat has rested, place onto a large tray or board, and pull it using heatproof gloves. Alternatively, you may like to use forks or specialty equipment like “bear paws” since it will still be very hot in the middle. If preferred, coat the pulled pork with BBQ sauce and toss to serve, or try this Carolina style vinegar mop.

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