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How to Smoke Pulled Pork on a Pellet Grill

By Pellet Grill Pros May 06, 2022 0 comments

Great things take time. Smoked pulled pork recipes? A great thing indeed. Smoking with a pellet grill requires a low and slow process. But if you ask us about the results, they're to die for!

On average, making smoked pulled pork takes eight hours. So better be patient and let the magic happen. This article will find all you need to know about how to smoke pulled pork on a pellet grill.

Pork Butt vs. Pork Shoulder

We'd imagine the butt and the shoulder to be two distant parts of a pig. But these two originated from the same part-the shoulder.

The difference is that the pork butt, also known as the Boston butt or the shoulder butt, comes from the top part of the pig's shoulder. Not the actual rear.

For a great recipe, pork butts are the preferred cut since their fat is well spread around their muscles, making them super tender and juicy.

The pork shoulder, also known as the picnic roast, is the lower part closer to the pig's leg. This part shares a fair amount of skin, making it a good choice for a pork crackling recipe.

Both cuts are made up of tight muscles and connective tissues. If not roasted to perfection, you'd get a chewy bite. That's how they are best cooked low and slow.

What You’ll Need

When smoking with wood pellets, we want to see that clean blue smoke come out of it. Sure, they don't produce as much smoke as charcoal, nor does it smoke as fast.

But it does create that beautiful bark and smokey taste. That's when we know we're getting the best-pulled pork there is!

Are you ready for some tender and succulent smoked pulled pork on a pellet grill? School yourself with what you need to prepare.

Preparation

Take some recipe notes and prepare all the ingredients you need to get started.

Availability

It is easy to find pork butt at the grocery store or your local butcher shop for your recipes. Some specialty meat shops even sell online and deliver straight to your doorstep.

It will cost you about $2 to $3.5 per pound in the US. For specialty pork butts, it costs roughly $5-6 a pound.

Serving

    It is better to overestimate than to underestimate. We advise planning for a half-pound to a third-pound serving per person, depending on their appetite.

    Besides, there's a lot you can do with leftover shredded pork!

    Time

      For a pork butt that weighs an average of 6 to 8 pounds, expect a cooking time of around 7 to 10 hours. That is roughly 1 and a half hours per pound. 

      But even with a timer, the pork's internal temperature should be the better judge.

      Temperature

        Most of the latest recipes on pellet grill pulled pork need temperatures at 225 degrees with a slight increase towards the end of the cooking time.

        Keep a probe on standby to be convenient to check its internal temperature.

        Fuel

          Take note that a 7 to 10 hour cooking time for a pellet grill recipe takes a lot of slow heat with it. So better prepare and stock up on the fuel.

          It would be frustrating to have your cooking put on hold halfway!

          Wood Pellets

            These are small and compressed hardwood and sawdust. And if you are roasting for long hours, make sure to have a lot!

            Type of Wood and Flavors

            • Hickory [1] - strong smoke

            • White Oak - mild

            • Apple, Cherry, Peach, or Maple - sweet and smoky

            • Pecan - sweet and nutty

             

            Wrapping (Butcher Paper, Aluminum Foil, Etc.)

            The purpose of butcher paper or aluminum foil is to seal the meat in its moisture and heat during the stall.

            The difference between the butcher paper and aluminum foil is that the former allows the smoke to seep through the meat while the latter doesn't.

            It's just a matter of personal preference. Both do a great job keeping the flavors in and the meat tender.

            Resting

              Resting allows the meat to finish cooking out of the smoker once the desired temperature is achieved. Leave it covered and let it rest for about an hour. This is called the stall.

              Once rested, remove the foil, take your meat on a sturdy cutting board, and start pulling the tender pork apart with a fork or a heat-resistant glove. Discard the bone and excess fat.

              Transfer the juices from the foil pan into a bowl and mix them with your pulled pork upon serving. This should add more flavor and moisture to your recipes.

              Whip up a sandwich and add some bbq sauce, and you're good!

              Pulled Pork Rub

              The typical dry rub includes salt, smoked paprika, lemon pepper, cayenne, garlic powder, and black pepper.

              Yellow mustard and Worcestershire sauce may be coated as a first layer on the pork roast to keep seasonings in place and add flavor to the meat.

              Make sure the dry rub gets into every nook and cranny of your pork for best results.

              For sweetness, we recommend adding some brown sugar and honey. And for a little kick, some hot sauce.

              Pulled Pork Mop

              Mop sauces are used to baste your meats to infuse more flavor as it cooks. Mopping should be done at least four times at regular intervals during the whole grilling process.

              A typical mop comprises equal parts of apple cider vinegar, apple juice, and water. These create a nice flavorful crust to the meat.

              Vinegar helps tenderize the meat. But if we are talking about adding more flavor to the recipes, beer, wine, or some fruit juices can be played with.

              How to Probe the Pork Butt

              The probe thermometer should be inserted into the middle of the thickest part of the meat. It should not touch the bone.

              Ensure the smoker is pre-heated at 225° F. Keep the lid closed and check the temperatures on the probe.

              If the heat stops increasing in 30 to 45 minutes, that's when you've reached a stall. That would be around 150°-165° F. Remove the pork from the smoker, wrap it and let it rest.

              Pulled Pork Recipe

              Serving Size: 100grams

              Nutrition: Calories - 168 calories

              To make this recipe, you will need the following ingredients:

              • 1 bone-in pork shoulder or Boston butt weighing 8-10 pounds

              • For coating (optional): yellow mustard or equal parts of yellow mustard and Worcestershire sauce

              • SPG Rub: kosher salt, smoked paprika, lemon pepper, cayenne, garlic powder, and black pepper

              condiments

              • Honey Barbecue Rub: brown sugar and honey (or a pre-made sweet rub)

              • Mop Sauce: Apple juice, Apple cider vinegar, Water

              Steps to Making Smoked Pulled Pork on a Pellet Grill

              1. Remove excess fat and wipe your pork roast with some paper towels to remove unwanted liquids.

              2. Coat the pork with yellow mustard, or mustard and Worcestershire, then season all sides of the pork with the SPG first, then the honey barbecue rub second.

              3. Let the marinated pork butt rest in the fridge for at least 2 hours on a cooling rack.

              4. Pre-heat the pellet smoker to 225° F.

              5. Place the pork butt on the pellet smoker with the fat side facing up. Cooking should take 8-10 hours in total. Baste with the smoked pulled pork mop sauce every hour. When the pork reaches 150°-165° F, it should be good.

              6. Remove the pork shoulder roast from the grill and place it on a disposable aluminum pan. Wrap tightly with foil or butcher's paper and let it rest for 45 minutes to an hour.

              7. Once the pork is rested, pull the pork with a fork or with your hands with a heat-resistant glove. Remove the bone and huge pieces of fat too.

              8. Mix the remaining juices and serve as a sandwich with barbecue sauce and coleslaw. The perfect pulled pork can be served in tacos, on top of nachos, or in eggs.

                FAQ

                Here are some frequently asked questions on the cooking process of pulled pork:

                1. How Long Does Pulled Pork Take to Cook on a Pellet Grill?

                  Pellet grills can dry your smoked pork butt. A spray bottle can come in handy when conveniently basting the meat with your mop sauce.

                  An internal temperature of 150°-165° F is what we want to get. On a pellet grill at 225 degrees, that should have a cook time of 4-5 hours.

                  2. How Long Does It Take to Smoke a Pork Shoulder at 225?

                    At 225° F, it should take a cook time of an hour to 2 hours per pound. If you use an 8-pound pork butt, expect to finish after 8 to 10 hours. It is good to keep an open mind and trust the process.

                    There are a lot of factors that affect the time to cook, such as the humidity in the air, outside temperature, and the capacity of the smoker.

                    Pellet grills from Traeger, Pit Boss, Grilla, and Green Mountain Grills would do a good job.

                    Conclusion

                    Is smoked pulled pork a new recipe you've been longing to try? We hope we've helped you shake out those worries and get you ready to show off those culinary skills at your cookout!

                    Head on down to your nearest grocer, grab some mustard, your SPG and sweet rub, and your pork butt of choice. A delicious smoked pulled pork sandwich is right at your fingertips!


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