Pulled Pork

Pulled pork is one of the first things that come to mind when people say "BBQ". While the size of a pork butt can be a little intimidating at first, it is actually very forgiving and easy to cook. So fire up your smoker, rub your butt, and invite over some friends because with this recipe your pork will be the talk of the party at your next BBQ.


  • 1 Bone in pork shoulder, 8 - 10 lbs 
  • Historic Red
  • Apple Juice


Remove any excess fat from the seam of the pork butt above the bone. If there is a hard ridge of fat on the front of the butt (oppose of the bone) go ahead and remove that too, it won't affect the cooking process but it is easy to remove now and you won't have to worry about it when you pull the pork at the end. I leave the fat cap intact, it should be about 1/8 - 1/4 inch thick. 

Spritz the pork butt with apple juice so the service is moist and then cover the entire outside with Historic Red or your favorite pork rub. I normally do this right before going onto the smoker, but if you need to prep a lot of pork you can trim and rub the pork the night before and place back into the fridge. If you are going to rub the night before be careful using rubs with lots of salt, you may want to use a little less rub than normal.

Put the pork butt on the smoker at 250°F with the fat cap towards the heat source, on a Traeger, most other pellet grills, and vertical cookers that means fat side down. On an offset cooker that means fat side up. If you have room in on your smoker place the pork butt in a disposable foil pan, that makes wrapping and moving the pork butt easier. 

Cook the pork until it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F-170°F, depending on the size of the pork butt that should be about 7-8 hours. At that point, the bark should be set and the pork should be a rich mahogany color. If cooking in a pan add 8 oz of apple juice and cover with a double layer of heavy-duty foil. If you aren't cooking in a pan wrap in double foil after generously spritzing with apple juice (4 - 8 oz). 

Return the pork to the smoker. Continue cooking until the pork reaches an internal temperature of 203°F -205°F. You should feel little to no resistance when checking the temperature with an instant-read thermometer. I start checking after about 3 hours. If you are in a time crunch you can increase the cooker to 275°F - 300°F to speed up the cooking process.

Once the pork is done remove it from the cooker and vent the foil for a few minutes, just until the steam stops rolling out. Rest the pork for about an hour before serving. If you need to hold the pork longer, place it in a cooler with towels or blankets to fill the excess space, that will keep the pork hot for several hours.

When you are ready to serve, pull the pork apart in large chunks along the natural fat and muscle lines. Remove any excess fat and then shred the pork into smaller pieces. Use the juices in the foil or pan to keep the pork moist. Lightly season the pork with Historic Red and Enjoy!

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