This recipe for pulled Pork is one that I’ve been making for years, and I’m super excited to share it with you. The pork butt gets seasoned and smoked to perfection, then pulled and chopped for several different recipes. I’ve used the leftovers for Cuban Sandwiches, Pulled Pork Fried Rice, and Pulled Pork Sandwiches, to name a few. You’ll love this recipe!
There are so many different ways in which you can cook pork butt. It can be cooked on a smoker, in the oven, slow cooker, or pressure cooker. I will share all of these methods with you below, but the process I recommend the most is to smoke it. The smoker adds a nice bark to the meat and, of course, that fantastic smokey flavor that people crave.
Sometimes I’ll smoke two Butts just to be prepared for summer parties, hearty fall recipes, and warm winter soups like Brunswick Stew!
How to Smoke Pork Butt for Pulled Pork
First of all, I’m smoking this on my Big Green Egg, but you can use any smoker or grill set up for indirect cooking. I use B & B Oak Lump Charcoal for the fire on all of my grilling and smoking projects, but again, you can use whatever works best for you and your smoker.
Questions about what kind of wood chunks I use always come up. I have used them all, and my favorite is Post Oak, which is traditional in Texas BBQ. Post Oak provides a nice smokey flavor without being too overpowering. I want to taste the meat, especially since I’ll be using this in so many different recipes. If I had to choose a second option, I would recommend Pecan Wood Chunks. Much like Post Oak, it’s a lighter smoke that allows you to get the amount of smoke you desire.
How to Season Pork Butt
Binder for Smoking Pork Butt
As you can see in the image above, I use mustard as a binder by spreading it all over the Pork. Begin with the fat side first, spread the mustard all over, then add the rub. Flip the pork butt over and repeat.
The mustard is not for flavor at all, and I don’t recommend using anything that will change the flavor.
Now, there are two different ways that I season a Pork butt for pulled pork recipes.
Option One: One of my favorite rubs for Pork may sound a little surprising, but it turns out perfectly. Angelo’s Beef Bar-B-Que seasoning has a great spice and flavor that works well for pulled Pork.
This has raised some questions, especially since they have pork seasoning. I use the Beef Rub as it is a bit saltier, which I believe at this size of Butt, the way I Prepare it, serve, and use it, that salt is critical in helping to pull some of the water out and keep everything flavorful.
Once you have it all seasoned, wrap the entire pork butt in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. This allows the rub to penetrate the meat and soak in.
Option Two: In true Texas BBQ spirit, follow the same process of the mustard, then I do two parts ground black pepper and one part kosher salt. All over the pork butt. That’s it—no need to wrap it or anything. Just let it sit out while you prepare your smoker, and you’ll end up with a delicious, smokey, beautifully barked pork butt!
Prepare the Smoker
When you prepare to put this on the smoker in the morning, remove it from the refrigerator and uncover the meat. While the meat is sitting out, get your smoker up to a steady 250° – 275°.
If you’re using a Kamado Style Smoker, get your wood chunks in place. I recommend using 3-5 chunks of Post Oak or Pecan. Allow that smoke to roll until you see slate blue, and get your pork butt on there. At this point, it’s all about bark. You’re looking for a dark Burgundy color which typically happens around the 5-hour mark and 160°F, which is the point that you want to pull and wrap this in your Red Butcher Paper.
Once you have the pork butt wrapped, place it back on the smoker and probe the Pork Butt with a quality remote meat thermometer. It’s important because, at this point, you are cooking to temp. The butcher paper doesn’t help to speed up the cooking process. It shields the meat while protecting that bark you worked so hard on.
Hold that temperature around 275° F and cook the meat to a perfect internal temperature of 195° F.
Once you’ve come to temp, place the pork butt, still wrapped, inside a cooler and cover it with some clean towels you don’t need anymore. Allow the shoulder to rest for at least an hour or until you’re ready to serve.
How to make Crock Pot Pulled Pork
To make pulled Pork in the slow cooker, follow the same process for the rubs shown above. Either with a rub of your choice or the Texas Style with Salt and Pepper. I recommend using a smaller Pork Butt, about 4 lbs, for this recipe. If you need more, double the measurements provided below.
Rub the bottom of the slow cooker with vegetable oil and place the Pork Butt in.
Next, pour the following liquids around the pork shoulder.
- 2 cups of Chicken Stock
- 1 Tablespoon of Worchestershire Sauce
- 1 1/2 teaspoons of liquid smoke
If you’re slow cooking 4lbs of pork shoulder, this will take about 5-6 hours on high. Once the pork butt has reached 195°f, shred it using forks or claws and place the shredded meat back into the slow cooker with all of its juices. At this point, you can add your favorite BBQ sauce. (Note: See serving suggestions below).
How to Cook Boston Butt in the Oven
Again, follow the instructions from above for the rub. This cooking method is very similar to cooking on the smoker, except you’ll want to place your Pork Butt in a roasting pan with a trivet. Pour chicken stock, water, or apple juice into the bottom of the roasting pan. Place the Pork Butt on the trivet and place the roasting pan in the oven at 275°f.
Bake the Pork until it’s reached an internal temperature of 195°f.
Now, turn the oven off and allow the Pork Butt to rest for 30 minutes to an hour.
Shred and chop the Pork Butt and serve.
Instant Pot 8 lb Pulled Pork.
Begin by cutting the Pork Butt into about 3-4 pieces. Season each piece using the same rubs as explained at the beginning of this post. However, this pressure cooker method does not need to wrap overnight.
Next, pour 1 1/2 cups of chicken stock into the bowl of your Instant Pot along with 1 Tsp.
Place the Pork Butt pieces into the Instant Pot and secure the lid. Set the Instant Pot to High Pressure for 90 minutes and allow for a natural release.
Remove the Butt from the Instant Pot, Shred, Chop, and Serve!
How to Serve Pulled Pork
There are so many ways to make use of Pulled Pork.
- Pulled Pork Tacos
- Cuban Sandwiches
- Pulled Pork Sandwiches
- Pulled Pork Fried Rice
- Pulled Pork Loaded Baked Potatoes
- Brunswick Stew
This list could go on and on! The main thing that I would like to point out is that you may want to consider chopping the Pork for specific recipes.
Especially on sandwiches and fried rice, the texture needs to be more pleasing. I think the meat holds together on sandwiches much better than shredded.
There are many different ways to cook pulled Pork, and just because Smoking is my favorite, you can make yours however you’d like.
If you want something to serve alongside your Pulled Pork, check these out!
I trust that you will love this recipe for Pulled Pork, regardless of the method.
Thank you so much for stopping in, and as usual…