RECIPES > Smoked Pulled Pork Shoulder Recipe

Smoked Pulled Pork Shoulder Recipe

Recipe By Chef Billy Parisi

Fire up those smokers and get ready to enjoy a perfect smoked pulled pork recipe that has the ultimate bark with an amazing BBQ rub.

Best Wood for Smoked Pork

When it comes to selecting wood for smoking pork, you should immediately think of fruit.  Pork and fruit go fantastic together.  In addition, the wood used for smoking will depend upon where in the US you live.  Texas is often known for pecan or oak, while hickory is identified with Memphis BBQ.

  • Alder Wood
  • Cherry Wood
  • Apple Wood
  • Peach Wood
  • Maple Wood
  • Mesquite Wood

While these woods are great for smoking pork, don’t let this list confine you.  If you love smoking with a wood that is not on this list, then I encourage you to use it when making this pork shoulder recipe.

How to Make Smoked Pork Shoulder

  • 1. Preheat your smoker using your favorite flavored wood to 250°.
  • 2. Place a metal drip pan underneath the grill grates and fill it up with water.
  • 3. Make the bbq rub for the pork shoulder and set aside.
  • 4. Pull it out from the refrigerator and let sit for 30 minutes.
  • 5. Trim away any access fat that is unwanted.
  • 6. Rub it down on all sides with yellow or Dijon mustard.
  • 7. Coat the pork on all sides with the rub
  • 8. Place it on the smoker.
  • 9. After 3 hours of smoking, begin spritzing with 15-20 sprays every hour for 3 more hours for a total of 3 separate spritzes before removing it.
  • 10. Once the shoulder reaches an internal temperature of between 165° and 170°, remove it from the grill.
  • 11. Add it to a double sheet of large foil and spray it again with the spritzer generously.
  • 12. Wrap it well in the foil and return to the grill.
  • 13. Continue cooking it until it reaches an internal temperature of 200° to 205°.
  • 14. Remove it and let it rest in the foil for 30-60 minutes.
  • 15. Unwrap it, remove the bones and any large chunks of fat and shred using forks, tongs, or hands.
  • 16. Serve pulled with your favorite BBQ sauce or on a sandwich.



For the Rub:

  • 3 tablespoons sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons black pepper
  • 2 tablespoon garlic granules
  • 2 tablespoon onion granules
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 tablespoons cumin

For the Spritzer and Sauce:

  • 1 cup apple juice
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water

For the Pork:

  • 6-9 pound pork shoulder or pork butt fat trimmed
  • 4 tablespoons of yellow or Dijon mustard


  • Preheat, the smoker to 250°. Place a drip pan filled with water under the grill grates.
  • Rub: Combine all of the ingredients and set aside.
  • Spritzer: Add the apple juice, cider, and water to a spray bottle and shake. Set aside.
  • Rub the mustard on every side of the pork shoulder creating a thin layer.
  • Next, generously season the pork shoulder on all sides with the rub.
  • Add the pork shoulder to the smoker over top of the drip pan filled with water and smoke for 3 hours.
  • Next, spray the ribs with 15-20 sprays of the spritzer. Repeat this process for the next 3 hours every hour with the same amount of spritzes.
  • Once the pork reaches an internal temperature of between 165° and 170° or the top part of the fat on the bark has split, about 6-7 hours, remove the pork from the smoker.
  • Place the pork shoulder on a large sheet of double foil, generously spritz it and wrap it extremely tight by folding over and covering up the pork shoulder.
  • Place the pork shoulder back on the smoker bone side up and cook until it reaches an internal temperature of 200° to 205°, about 2-4 hours.
  • Remove the pork shoulder from the smoker and let rest in the foil for 30-60 minutes before removing the bone, large chunks of fat, and pulling it using forks, cloves or tongs.
  • Serve pork shoulder with BBQ sauce on the side or on a sandwich.