Pulled Pork on a Smoker step by step recipe

Pulled Pork on a Smoker

5/5 (1)
20 hrs 40 mins
Vadim Rachok
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This recipe for smoked pulled pork is easy to make at home but tastes like it was made in your favorite barbecue restaurant.

This smoked pulled pork recipe is a true crowd-pleaser, and it's fantastic for anyone looking to recreate the mouthwatering flavors of their favorite barbecue joint at home. The secret to its succulence lies in the apple cider brine, which not only infuses the meat with flavor but also ensures it stays incredibly tender throughout the smoking process. The carefully crafted rub, with its blend of sweet and savory spices, adds the perfect balance of flavors to the pork. Smoking it with hickory chips and onion further enhances the taste, making each bite a smoky and savory delight. Whether you're serving it as the star of the meal or in sandwiches, this pulled pork is sure to be a hit!

Smoked Pulled Pork Ingredients

Here are the ingredients required for the highly-rated recipe of smoked pulled pork:

  1. Pork shoulder: Pork shoulder is perfect for pulled pork because it is inexpensive, forgiving to work with, and tends to have a lot of marbling, resulting in tender meat. An 8-pound pork shoulder roast should yield approximately 20 servings.
  2. Apple cider: Using a simple apple cider brine is a great way to guarantee a succulent and flavorful pulled pork. The brine will help to tenderize the meat, resulting in a juicy and irresistible dish.
  3. Sugar: For the rub, it’s recommended to use a mixture of both white and brown sugars.
  4. Seasonings: The rub is a blend of sweet and savory spices including kosher salt, paprika, onion powder, black pepper, and garlic powder.
  5. Hickory chips: To prepare your smoker, you will require three cups of hickory chips that have been soaked beforehand.
  6. Onion: Smoking pork with an onion can enhance its flavor and provide a bolder taste.

Pulled Pork on a Smoker

How to Cook Pulled Pork In a Smoker

You’ll find the full recipe below, but here’s a brief overview of what to expect when making pulled pork in a smoker:

  1. Brine the pork shoulder.
  2. Pour the brine into the water pan of the preheated smoker along with the wood chips.
  3. Add the onion and ¼ cup of the rub.
  4. Season the pork with the remaining rub.
  5. Smoke the pork until tender.
  6. Let cool before shredding.

how to make pulled pork on a smoker

What to Serve With Smoked Pulled Pork

Explore our collection of Best Barbecue Side Dishes for delicious serving inspiration. Here are a few of the recipes you’ll find:

  • Baked Beans from Scratch
  • Simple Macaroni and Cheese
  • Traditional Creamy Coleslaw

how to cook pulled pork on a smoker

How to Store Smoked Pulled Pork

After smoking, store the pulled pork in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to four days or freeze it for up to six months once it has completely cooled.

Pulled Pork on a Smoker
5/5 (1)
Author:Vadim Rachok
This recipe for smoked pulled pork is the perfect way to smoke a pork shoulder and get professional results. The process involves preparing a cider brine and sugar rub to enhance the flavor of the meat, and using smoke to break down the fat and add moisture. Once it's ready, serve the pulled pork on a bun with your favorite BBQ sauce. Get ready for some rave reviews!
Pulled Pork on a Smoker step by step recipe
Prep Time:
10 mins
Cook Time:
8 hrs
Additional Time:
12 hrs 30 mins
Total Time:
20 hrs 40 mins
Ingredients you will need:
5 tablespoons white sugar
5 tablespoons light brown sugar
2 tablespoons kosher salt
2 tablespoons paprika
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon garlic powder
3 cups hickory chips, or more as needed, soaked in water
1 onion, chopped
Let’s start !

1 To prepare pork shoulder, place it in a large pot and add sufficient apple cider to cover it completely. In a separate bowl, combine white sugar, brown sugar, salt, paprika, onion powder, black pepper, and garlic powder. Take 1/4 cup of the sugar rub and mix it into the cider. Reserve the remaining rub for later use. Cover the pot and refrigerate for 12 hours.


2 Preheat the smoker to 210°F (99°C) and add enough wood chips.


3 Pour the cider brine into the water pan of the smoker. Then, add the onion and 1/4 cup more of the sugar rub.


4 Spread the remaining sugar rub all over the pork shoulder and then transfer it to the center of the smoker.


5 Smoke the pork until it is very tender or reaches an internal temperature of 200°F (95°C). This should take approximately 8 hours. Monitor the hickory chips and liquid, adding more as needed.


6 Transfer the pork to a large platter and let it cool for 30 minutes before shredding it with forks.

Nutrition Information
Servings Per Recipe: 20
Calories: 442
% Daily Value *
 % Daily Value *
Total Fat 32g41%
Saturated Fat 11g56%
Cholesterol 104mg35%
Sodium 2691mg117%
Total Carbohydrate 15g6%
Dietary Fiber 1g2%
Total Sugars 13g 
Protein 24g 
Vitamin C 1mg6%
Calcium 34mg3%
Iron 3mg17%
Potassium 434mg9%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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Watch How To Make It

When it comes to smoking pulled pork, patience is key. Low and slow is the name of the game. Smoking at a lower temperature for an extended period allows the meat to absorb the smoky flavor and become incredibly tender. Aim for a smoker temperature of around 225°F to 250°F (107°C to 121°C) and plan for approximately 1.5 to 2 hours of smoking time per pound of pork shoulder. Additionally, using a water pan in your smoker can help maintain a consistent temperature and add moisture to the cooking environment, which is essential for producing juicy pulled pork. So, be patient, maintain your smoker temperature, and get ready to enjoy some mouthwatering pulled pork!

Vadim Rachok
Vadim Rachok
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