Johnny’s Pulled Pork Recipe

Smoked pork shoulder, or Boston butt

Planning on doing some BBQ cooking for Memorial Day, July 4, or Labor Day? Why not throw a Boston butt or two on the smoker for a pulled pork recipe? A Boston butt is a fresh pork shoulder roast, and in my experience with BBQ cooking and smoking, it makes the best pulled pork – period. This is because it’s more tender and contains more fat than most other parts of the pig that might be used for pulled pork.

The reason I call this recipe “easy” is because once it goes on the electric smoker, you pretty much forget about it until it’s done. When we smoke butts this way, we don’t mop it or otherwise disturb the cooking process except to add more wood to the burner and more liquid to the water pan. This is the way hubby usually smokes a butt, and his butt gets rave reviews!

Pulled pork photo by Marshall Astor

Johnny’s Pulled Pork recipe

What you’ll need:

  • Boston butt roast, 5-8 pounds
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons garlic salt
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 1 teaspoon chipotle powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

Directions: Rinse pork should roast and pat dry. Rub all over with balsamic vinegar.

Mix together spices and rub butt all over. Wrap in plastic or foil tightly and leave in fridge overnight.

Fill water pan of grill with half apple juice and half water. Place wood chips that have been soaked in water for several hours on the burner.

Remove butt from fridge and let it sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. Place the butt on the top rack of the smoker, fat side up. Yeah, I know a lot of cooks like to put the butt fat-side-down, but we don’t.

Plug the smoker in. You want to maintain the temperature, as much as possible, at 225 degrees. A butt will take several hours to cook. After about 4 hours, check the water pan and wood. add more, if needed.

The butt is done when the internal temperature registers about 170, but it usually “pulls” better at 200 degrees. The butt will continue to cook for a few minutes after you take it off the smoker, so remove it when the internal temp is 190.

Sliced Boston butt

Remove the meat from the smoker and let it stand for about 30 minutes before pulling. Cut the meat into chunks with a sharp knife, then shred the meat with forks.

Add your favorite barbecue sauce to the shredded meat, or serve the sauce on the side. Pile the pulled pork on buns or rolls, and enjoy!