Gather your favorite people around and channel your inner pit master with this extravagant smoked pulled pork recipe!

Smoked pulled pork makes a delicious and hearty feast fit for a hungry crowd.

Smoked Pulled Pork on a tortilla with beans

Perfectly Smoked Pulled Pork!

  • Sweet, smoky, tangy and savory with a kick of heat guarantees hearty satisfaction.
  • Keep the sweet spice rub on hand and re-purpose it for other pork or beef roasts.
  • All day slow smoking is perfect for those celebratory weekends or vacations with friends and family. This is a dinner to look forward to all day!
  • The electric smoker gives you the advantage over pellet smokers of controlling the temperature.
Smoked Pulled Pork with seasoning before cooking

Ingredients and Variations

Pork – Pork shoulder is a substantial cut with ample fat that will melt into the meat and amplify the spices. Pork butt has similar qualities. Both are tough and flavorful cuts that benefit from long, slow cooking. If you want to make smoked pork loin, brine it first.

Spice rub – Use the sweet and zesty mix that combines brown sugar with chili, garlic, and onion powders, or use your favorite spice mix or rub. This pork rub recipe gives the right proportions for a larger quantity to keep in your pantry.

Marinade – Apple juice forms the base of this tangy and sweet marinade. Worcestershire gives the marinade some tangy and spicy interest. You could use pineapple or orange juice if you prefer.

Variations – If you don’t have a smoker, you can use a gas grill with a smoker box, although it can be somewhat complicated, so seek out a reliable source for instructions if choosing that route. Use alternative wood chips for slightly different flavors, such as hickory, oak, or cedar. For an Asian twist, try switching out the marinade for teriyaki sauce. Or explore other flavor nuances with Cajun, jerk, fajita, or chili seasoning mixes.

How to Make Smoked Pulled Pork 

  1. In separate bowls, prepare the spice rub and marinade, as per the recipe below.
  2. Trim the fat cap off the shoulder.
  3. Coat the meat with the spice rub, pressing it into the surface.
  4. Use a skewer to poke holes all over the surface, inserting the point half way through the meat.
  5. Rub the shoulder with the mustard, then pour over the apple juice mixture, capturing the excess in a dish. Store the extra liquid for later.
  6. Preheat the smoker and prepare the apple wood chips and barbecue thermometer as described in Steps 7-8 below.
  7. Smoke the pork roast for 5-6 hours until it reaches an internal temp of 160°F.
  8. Remove the pork and place it on a large sheet of heavy duty aluminum foil. Pour the remaining apple juice mixture over the surface and seal shut.
  9. Replace the roast in the smoker re-insert the barbecue thermometer, and continue smoking until the internal temperature reaches 190°F.
  10. Remove and let the pork rest in the foil packet for an hour before serving.

Tips and Tricks for the Best Pulled Pork

  • If you’re new to smoking, an electric smoker might be your best bet. It’s easy to operate and control the heat and airflow.
  • To ensure juicy, tender pulled pork, be sure to let it rest undisturbed inside the foil container for a full hour so it can reabsorb the juices lost during cooking.
adding sauce to Smoked Pulled Pork

Leftover Smoked Pulled Pork

Cover leftovers and store in airtight containers for 3-4 days in the refrigerator. To freeze, tightly wrap in foil and then plastic wrap and store in zip bags, for 4-6 months. Reheat in the foil.

Use up leftovers in slider rolls with coleslaw, or make a cheesy pulled pork casserole. Try it in egg roll in a bowl or as a filling for wraps or tacos. Toss it into soups and stews to infuse them with that delicious smoky flavor.

More Pork Recipes!

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shredded pulled pork shoulder on a grilled corn tortilla,, with added BBQ sauce, baked beans and coleslaw in the background on the plate
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Smoked Pulled Pork Recipe

This easy apple infused smoked pulled pork, cooked long and slow, results in succulent pork entree.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 10 hours
Resting Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 12 hours
Servings 12 servings
Author Candace




  • Trim the fat cap on the top of the shoulder roast to no more than ¼ inch thickness.
  • In a small bowl, mix together the apple juice, water, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and sugar.
  • Using a metal meat skewer poke several holes half-way through the roast every inch or so into the pork shoulder. (Or use a meat injector syringe.)
  • Place the roast on a glass dish and pour the apple juice mixture over the roast, covering and filling the holes as much as possible. Place excess apple juice mixture in fridge for later.
  • Brush 6-8 Tablespoons of yellow mustard over entire pork roast.
  • In a small bowl, combine all rub ingredients. Coat the surface of the roast evenly, pressing it into the mustard coating. Allow the roast to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before placing it in the smoker.
  • Prepare the smoker for cooking between 225°F to 250°F. When the smoker reaches 225°F, add 3 to 4 large apple wood chunks on the hot charcoals.
  • Using a remote wireless BBQ thermometer, insert one to monitor the temperature inside the smoker temperature and the second into the middle of the pork roast to monitor the internal temperature of the meat. Set meat internal temperature to 160°F.
  • Smoke the pork roast fat side up over low heat, keeping the heat in the 225°F to 250°F range for 5 to 6 hours.
  • When the internal reaches 160°F, remove the pork roast from smoker and place on heavy duty aluminum foil. Pour the remaining apple juice mixture over the roast and seal shut.
  • Return the pork roast to the smoker and insert wireless BBQ thermometer probe into center of meat (alongside the shoulder blade bone) and let cook until the internal temperature reaches 190˚F (3 to 5 additional hours). Remove from smoker and let rest in the foil for one hour.
  • Unwrap the roast and use shredding tongs to shred the meat thoroughly, discarding the bone, sinew or excess fat.


  • Be sure to allow smoked pork to rest undisturbed covered with foil for a full hour to reabsorb the juices lost during cooking.
  • Refrigerate leftovers in airtight containers for 3-4 days. 
  • To freeze leftovers, wrap first in foil, then plastic wrap, and finally in a zippered bag for 4-6 months. Thaw in the refrigerator, then reheat in the foil in oven.
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Nutrition Information

Calories: 295 | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 37g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 124mg | Sodium: 2569mg | Potassium: 675mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 230IU | Vitamin C: 1.9mg | Calcium: 32mg | Iron: 2.6mg

Nutrition information does not include optional ingredients or garnish and is an estimate. It may change based on actual ingredients and cooking methods used.

Course Main Course
Cuisine American

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About the author

I am a wife, mother of two, and professional accountant. I love fantastic food, and it is so often the center of our lives, from everyday dinner, to family gatherings, and special evenings at fabulous restaurants. I have always loved cooking and baking, with my mom and grandma, and now, with my daughter and son. I love trying new recipes while enjoying my favorites too. I’m so happy to share them with you.
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