How to Smoke Pulled Pork in an Electric Smoker

What better way to kick off BBQ season than with a crowd favorite, pulled pork! We will be using a Boston butt (you have heard it called pork butt). It is juicy, succulent, and perfect for smoking pulled pork on the electric smoker. It is usually the first dish to run out at our cookouts!

Smoked Boston butt is easier to master than smoked brisket and you only need a few simple ingredients. You Just need to slather your pork in a dry rub and let it cook low and slow until it fall apart and tender.

So follow our super-simple steps and you’ll be smoking like a true pitmaster!

Pulled Pork in the Electric Smoker

BBQ Pulled pork is the perfect for any occasion, whether your having a cookout, camping tailgating or having a big family get together. It is always a crowd pleaser for both kids and adults. It is always easy to prepare ahead of time and heat when everyone is hungry. That means I have more time with friends and family, rather than slaving away over the smoker or in the kitchen.

I like to use a pork butt, Boston butt or pork shoulder, both have a lot of connective tissue, that breaks down and creates that juicy, fall apart texture we all love to devour. Just make sure you think about about how you will serve it. My favorite way is with soft buns, coleslaw, kewpie mayo, BBQ sauce and pickles. My guests are always back for seconds and thirds.

Ingredients you’ll need

Boston Butt, pork shoulder or picnic roast
Dry Rub
BBQ Sauce
Apple Juice
Apple Cider Vinegar

Equipment You’ll Need

Smoker
Digital Meat Thermometer
Paper Towels
Aluminum Foil or Pink Butchers Paper
Spray Bottle
Forks or Bear Claws
Cherrywood or Applewood Chips

How to smoke pulled pork on an electric smoker 

Step 1. Prep and Trim

You don’t have to trim much from the Boston butt just remove any loose meat or fat. You can remove the fat cap, however I just score it right down to the meat.

Scoring your meat in perpendicular cuts to help with tenderizing the pork as well as seasonings penetrate.

Then coat the meat with a binder (I like to use yellow mustard) this ensures the rub sticks on the pork.

Step 2: Apply The Dry Rub

You can either use a homemade rub dry or a store brought rub. If your using a homemade rub combine all the ingredients in a bowl first. You can see the measurements for my homemade dry spice rub below.

Then apply generously on the pork ; cover and gently massage it into the meat ensuring you get into all the nooks and crannies. Then place pork in the refrigerator for at least an hour before smoking.

Homemade Dry Spice Rub

All you need to do to create this rub is combine all the ingredients towards in a bowl and stirring.

To create a homemade dry spice

  • 6 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 4 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 2 ½ tablespoons paprika
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons ground fennel
  • 2 ½ tablespoons coriander
  • 2 ½ tablespoons cayenne pepper

Step 4: Preheat

Preheat your smoker at 230°F. Add your wood chips, I like to use applewood, cherry wood or pecan with pork. I prefer using wood chips over wood chunks as produce better smoker. Make sure you also fill up your water pan.

Place a pan under the grates of where you will place your pork. This will help to catch the drippings and keep your smoker clean.

I have a whole in-depth article on my favorite type of wood to use for pork.

Step 5: It’s Time to Cook Low and Slow

Place the pork directly on the grates of the smoker with the fat cap down. Then place a temperature probe in the pork so you can monitor the temperature without opening the door. At 230°F it ill take around 8 – 10 hours to cook.

Spritz your meat every 60 to 90 minutes to keep the meat moist, you can use apple juice, water or beer. Just make sure you don’t spritz to much as the chamber of the smoker will be quite moist.

Step 6: Wrap The Pork

Most times, your meat will stop rising in temperature at about 150°F to 165°F, this is known as a stall. To get past the stall, take your pork out of the smoker and wrap it in butcher’s paper or Aluminum foil.

Then pop it back into the smoker to continue cooking.

If you want your pork to fall apart even when you look at it, make sure you get the internal temperature to 205°F, this will ensure it is tender enough to shred.

Step 7: Rest

Allow the pork to rest for 1-2 hours. You should remove some of the foil and tent it over the meat.

Step 8: Shredding The Pork

Now it’s time to shred the pork. First, ensure that the cooked pork is tender and easily pulled apart. If it’s not tender enough, continue cooking until it reaches the desired tenderness.

Once the pork is cooked, let it rest for a few minutes to retain its juices. Then, transfer it to a clean cutting board or a large bowl.

Use two forks or meat claws to pull the meat apart. Hold one fork steady and use the other to shred the pork against the grain. Alternatively, you can use your hands (after ensuring the meat is cool enough to handle) to shred the pork.

Continue pulling and shredding the meat until you achieve the desired texture Drizzle some of your favorite hot sauce or BBQ sauce until you are happy with the flavor and texture.

How To Store The Leftovers

To store a whole smoked Boston butt, ensure it is tightly wrapped in foil once it has cooled. Place it in a container or zip lock bag, removing as much air as possible, and refrigerate it for a maximum of four days.

Storing shredded smoked Boston butt is simpler. Combine the shredded pork with its juices and BBQ sauce, then store the mixture in an airtight container. It can be refrigerated for up to four days or frozen for up to four months.

My Favorite Ways to Use Pulled Pork

My other favorite ways to use the shredded pork is in sandwiches, salad, tacos, baked beans, with rice; with omelettes and in wraps, here are some more of my favroties

Pulled Pork Flatbread

Pulled Pork Burger

Pulled Pork Cakes

How to Smoke Pulled Pork in an Electric Smoker

Always wanted to learn how to smoke a Boston butt in your electric smoker to make delicious pulled pork? This super simple recipe will help you master it!
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time9 hours
Total Time9 hours 10 minutes
Course: Appetizer, Dinner, main, Main Course
Cuisine: American, Barbecue, bbq, dinner, grill, lunch
Servings: 10 servings
Calories: 552kcal
Author: Charlie
Cost: 18

Ingredients

  • 8 lb Boston butt or pork shoulder
  • tablespoons yellow mustard or binder of your choice
  • 1 cup BBQ sauce of your choice
  • 1/4 cup BBQ rub use this if you don't want to make your own rub

Dry Spice Rub

  • 6 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 4 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 2 ½ tablespoons paprika
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons ground fennel
  • 2 ½ tablespoons coriander
  • 2 ½ tablespoons cayenne pepper

Spritz

  • 2 part apple juice
  • 1 part part ACV

Instructions

  • You don’t have to trim much from a Boston butt, just remove any dangling or loose meat or fat. You can remove the fat cap, however I just score it right down to the meat. Scoring your meat in perpendicular cuts to help with tenderizing the pork as well as seasonings penetrate. You will find that the fat cap also help help to keep the meat moist.
  • Coat the meat with a binder (I like to use yellow mustard) this ensures the rub sticks on the pork.
  • Coat meat with yellow mustard; this ensures the spicy rub sticks on the pork. Then combine all the ingredients for your dry spice rub and apply generously on the pork meat; cover and keep in the refrigerator overnight or for a few hours before smoking.
  • You can either use a homemade rub dry or a store brought rub. If your using a homemade rub combine all the ingredients in a bowl first.
  • Then apply generously on the pork ; cover and gently massage it into the meat ensuring you get into all the nooks and crannies. Then place pork in the refrigerator for at least an hour before smoking.
  • Preheat your smoker at 230°F. Add your wood chips, I like to use applewood, cherry wood or pecan with pork. I prefer using wood chips over wood chunks as produce better smoker. Make sure you also fill up your water pan.
    Place a pan under the grates of where you will place your pork . This will help to catch the drippings and keep your smoker clean.
  • Place the pork directly on the grates of the smoker with the fat cap down. Then place a temperature probe in the pork so you can monitor the temperature without opening the door. At 230°F it ill take around 8 – 10 hours to cook.
  • Spritz your meat every 60 to 90 minutes to keep the meat moist, you can use apple juice, water or beer. Just make sure you don’t spritz to much as the chamber of the smoker will be quite moist.
  • Most times, your meat will stop rising in temperature at about 150°F to 165°F, his is known as a stall To get past the stall, take your pork out of the smoker and wrap it in butcher’s paper or Aluminum foil.
  • Then pop it back into the smoker to continue cooking.
    If you want your pork to fall apart even when you look at it, make sure you get the internal temperature to 205°F, this will ensure it is tender enough to shred.
  • The pork is done cooking when your meat thermometer reads an internal temperature of around 195°F to 205°F.
  • Make sure you allow enough time for resting the pork. You should remove some of the foil and tent it over the meat. I usually try to allow at least one to two hours of resting, just make sure you no one is sneaky and try’s the meat
  • Now it’s time to make your pulled pork. Get your forks or bear claws to pull apart your meat, giving you a nicely shredded Boston butt.
  • Now it’s time to shred the pork. First, ensure that the cooked pork is tender and easily pulled apart. If it’s not tender enough, continue cooking until it reaches the desired tenderness.
    Once the pork is cooked, let it rest for a few minutes to retain its juices. Then, transfer it to a clean cutting board or a large bowl.
    Use two forks or meat claws to pull the meat apart. Hold one fork steady and use the other to shred the pork against the grain. Alternatively, you can use your hands (after ensuring the meat is cool enough to handle) to shred the pork.
    Continue pulling and shredding the meat until you achieve the desired texture
    Drizzle some of your favorite hot sauce, BBQ sauce or seasoning and you’re good to go.

Smoke On!

Charlie

Author: Charlie Reeves
Hi, I’m Charlie, I have been meat-smoking and grilling for the past 15 years. I have an array of different smokers, thermometers, and have a love for finding the right wood and charcoal combo My favourite recipes are my EXTRA CRISPY smoked pork belly, juicy pulled pork, smoked brisket, duck poppers, and ANY SEAFOOD I grill).

I loves sharing his tips with beginners, helping them navigate the world of smoking. I find it’s not just about cooking; it’s a quest for that perfect smoky flavor.

You will usually find me playing with the kids, perfecting my brisket bark, or sipping beers with boys around the fire. Can’t wait to share all my delicious smoking and grilling recipes with you!

You can read more about me on our About Us page.

Hungry For More?

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating