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Pulled Pork questions

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
So I've made some pulled pork in the past and it never really came out quite right. So I'm trying to see how people cook theirs.

What cut of meat do you use?

What is the ideal temperature for the meat to be done?

Do you wrap it, if so when and for how long?

Anything to help make my pulled pork better would be greatly appreciated
post #2 of 20
I use a simple rub, no brine or injections. I rub the meat right before I put it on. I smoke at a higher temp (265-285). I apply smoke the entire cook and do not foil. I take my shoulders and butts to an internal temp if 205. Pull from the smoker foil and rest for an hour then pull. Add my finishing sauce, and fridge it until it's time to reheat and serve.

I've found that for pulled pork bone in "shoulders", Boston Butts, same cut different name are best. You can use a picnic too but I have found they dry out a bit more.
post #3 of 20

I usually use pork butt, occasionally a picnic.

I cook on a Weber kettle at 285°-325°, no foil and no stall, cook times are between 40 and 50 minutes per pound of meat. A 9 pound butt takes 6 to 7 hours to cook

Honestly, I do not temp the meat, I probe for tenderness. If the probe slides in with no resistance, it is done. BTW I check in multiple places, if I get resistance in one, then that area is not done and I continue cooking.

post #4 of 20
Thread Starter 

What kind of wood do you use? I used Pecan on my first smoke and it was good. I think I only cooked it to 170° so it was done but rough to pull apart. I'll cook it even higher next time to make sure it is easily pulled off the bone. 

post #5 of 20

Black cherry usually, but I have used apple and maple.

post #6 of 20
Thread Starter 

Where do you find black cherry wood? 

post #7 of 20
I use boneless pork butts. I'm lazy, I like the ones that are already tied with butcher twine, they seem to hang in there a little better.

A light coat of vegetable oil, my go to rub has salt, pepper, brown and white sugar, some onion powder, garlic powder, a little cayenne, nothing really special.

I keep my temps around 250 on an 18-1/2" Weber Smokey Mountain the whole time and smoke with apple wood. I do not foil, I just let the meat kinda do its thing. It stalls at around 160, then takes 3-4 hours or so to get to 195.

I did two butts this past weekend. Super juicy, fell apart, we sliced them up like chops and had me with some good vegetables and cornbread, they were awesome.
post #8 of 20

Any pork, but butts are the norm. Pecan or hickory bark has no color only taste, save the exotics woods.


My secret, always cook it a day ahead and let it set over night in some finishing sauce. My new favorite is Chef JJ;s available using the search engine. Pulled pork is pulled pork, ok? What do you taste, the bark, the liquid nectar of the rendered down fats and connective tissues, That's about it. BUT cook, cool and pull the add a bit of JJ's finishing sauce and bag and cool overnight. Those spices mix with the butt to form something you'll not normally taste in a pulled pork and your taste buds (and budettes), will be dancing the happy dance of ecstasy !!


You can serve it the same night with a little of his sauce, but for the optimum experience, come back the next day, warn it up in a crock pot or chaffing dish, and use a smidge more if the moisture needs a bit of equalization.


Its sort of like cooking a prime rib then adding a piece of a compound butter on top to serve. Just takes it to the next level when you have all the basics under control.


I rub with cayenne, paprika, garlic, and onion, wrap and chill for 2 days, pull then re-rub plus add salt and brown sugar to throw on the grill. ! don't foil, I smoke at 220-230, usually its a 20 to 24 hour smoke to reach 203 IT (pulled pork), and I usually use pecan but I also like hickory


I always double check for doneness with a toothpick, icepick, fork, or look for break over on ribs. Technology is great, but us cavemen still don't trust batteries.


That's my humble opinion. But you need to cook it your way, That's the only way to ensure a great piece of meat.


Bon Chance, and remember to enjoy the smoke.... it smells so good.

Edited by Foamheart - 7/8/14 at 8:48pm
post #9 of 20
Originally Posted by Ballplayerlc View Post

Where do you find black cherry wood?


Grows all over where I live, very common tree in Maine.

post #10 of 20

I mostly cook Boston Butts. For 2 8#--10# roast I inject with a simple solution of:


1 cup Apple Juice

1 cup Water

1/2 cup Brown Sugar

1/2 cup Salt

1 TBS Soy Sauce

1 TBS Worcestershire Sauce


Then a simple rub of:


1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup paprika  

2 tablespoons black pepper
2 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons garlic powder
2 tablespoons onion powder
2 teaspoons cayenne
2 teaspoons cumin (optional)


I inject and rub the butt down and let it sit while I get the smoker up to around 300 or so then put the roast on and try to maintain 275-285 for 3-4 hours depending on the wind, humidity, etc. At 3 hours I check the internal temp of the meat and that gives me an idea of how much longer it needs to stay on there. At this time I also spritz with a 50/50 mix of apple juice and water. I do this every 30 minutes or so until time to wrap.


At 145-155 degrees internal, I'll wrap it in foil in a brown sugar, squeeze butter bed and put it back on usually for about 2 more hours until it reaches an internal temp of around 200 - 205 degrees, then it's ready to rest 30-60 minutes.


This is just the method that works for me. Your mileage as they say, may vary.

post #11 of 20

I do it simple.  I use a commercially available rub and add brown sugar to it.  I then place in the smoker at around 240-250 with hickory and apple woods.  I use to smoke to 165 and then wrap but lately I just let it roll all the way to 205, no wrapping.  Great bark and awesome flavor.  I don't inject it with anything but I have considered it.

post #12 of 20
I cook a boston but every wk since I added it to my daily diet. They are about 8# which I rub the night before! I use either cherry or apple wood! smoke at 225 until 200IT where I foil and rest it for a couple hrs before I pull.
post #13 of 20
Thread Starter 
When the temperature hits the 200 range is there where it becomes just easy to pull off the bone? I've cooked until 170 and it was a challenge getting it all off...
post #14 of 20

I use bone in pork shoulders when I am making pulled pork. A rub I love to use it made by Pork Barrel http://porkbarrelbbq.com/. This is a really good rub with some killer flavor. What separates it from other pork rubs is that fact that it doesn't use any sugar in it. Ill rub my shoulders (sometimes Ill inject sometimes I dont) then either wrap them in saran wrap or put them in a ziplock bag then put them in the fridge over night. The next morning ill pull them out and let them get up to room temp before popping them in the smoker. Ill have my smoker set at 220-230 and smoke for about 1.5 hours per pound.

post #15 of 20
Originally Posted by Ballplayerlc View Post

When the temperature hits the 200 range is there where it becomes just easy to pull off the bone? I've cooked until 170 and it was a challenge getting it all off...



Yes. You have to get it up to 195 or so to break down the connective tissues and make it easy to pull. I have gone as hot as 215 and it was still good but I wouldn't recommend you do that on purpose.


I like 200-205 because the bone will just about fall out when you move it off the pit, but that's just me. I don't have as many teeth as I once had. :biggrin:



post #16 of 20
Thread Starter 
Alright I'm going to cook a Boston butt this Wednesday and follow the advice that I was given here. I'll. Post pictures once it's done. Hope for the best
post #17 of 20
From the sound of things I didn't let my shoulder cook to temp.. I smoke for 10.5 hrs.temo was 170. I put it n the oven at 225 for an hour. Still only got 2 190..205 must be the ideal temp. I'll remember next smoke
post #18 of 20

Just as others have said here, boston butt (i prefer bone in), cook until 200-205.  Let that thing rest for wrapped up for at least an hour in a cooler or faux cambro.  Wrapping is up to you.  I wrap at around 160 and then cook until internal temp is 200-205.

post #19 of 20
Originally Posted by Jammopar61 View Post

From the sound of things I didn't let my shoulder cook to temp.. I smoke for 10.5 hrs.temo was 170. I put it n the oven at 225 for an hour. Still only got 2 190..205 must be the ideal temp. I'll remember next smoke


I'd question that a pork butt went from 170 to 195 in 1 hours time at 225. Maybe check your therms?

post #20 of 20
Yeah just get the 9lb average Boston butt with the blade in. I rub the night before with mustard as a base. That's up to you. Some do the mustard. Some don't. I make my own rub. Bottom line the roast is done when the blade pulls free. I use a thermometer and take it to 200-205. I also foil and pan mine at 165-175. Again personal preference. I add a small amount of juice to the pan consisting of 50/50 apple juice and apple cider vinegar (which is also my spray and injection). Again up to you. It's what works for me. Take it to 200-205 and let it rest, foiled, for at least 30 mins. Good luck.
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