Who doesn’t love a good pulled pork sandwich? You can make pulled pork in a Dutch oven or a slow cooker. But, when you slow smoke a pork roast in a Masterbuilt Digital Electric Smoker you add another dimension of flavor that is hard to match with indoor cooking.
A pork butt is the perfect choice for this recipe. A picnic roast can also work. The butt roast is actually a cut from the shoulder of the pig. You can pick up a roast with either the bone in or one that is boneless. Bone-in will generally have a fat cap on it that you want to remove most of. A boneless roast often has the fat cap already removed. With this cut you will want to ask your butcher to tie it up so it cooks evenly. Or, you can do that yourself, which will be explained in the recipe.
The advantage of a bone-in roast is a bit more flavor. The advantage of a boneless roast is that it will take less time to smoke. In either case, you want to bring a roast for pulling to an internal temperature of 190 degrees F so that it shreds easily. A good rule of thumb is to smoke the roast for approximately 1 hour per pound of meat. Yes, this is an all day experience that you actually start the day before. It is worth the time spent babysitting the smoker.
For this recipe we will use a boneless butt roast. You can serve the pulled pork on soft buns with barbeque sauce and your favorite crunchy slaw.
Basic Smoked Pulled Pork Recipe
This recipe will yield enough meat for at least 16 sandwiches. Preparation time is approximately 10 to 20 minutes but after that the roast will have to spend 8 hours in refrigerator. Cook time is approximately 8 to 10 hours.
- Electric smoker
- Sharp knife
- Kitchen twine
- Disposable foil roasting pan large enough to hold the meat
- Plastic wrap
- Meat thermometer
- Hickory or apple wood chips
- Cutting board
- 2 forks
- 8 pound pork butt roast
- 6 tbsps jarred mustard (yellow is fine)
- 1/2 cup brown or raw sugar
- 1/4 cup sea salt
- 2 tbsps garlic powder
- 2 tbsps onion powder
- 1 tbsp dried thyme
- 1 tbsp dried oregano
- 1 tbsp paprika
- 1 tbsp cracked black pepper
- Unsweetened apple juice for drip pan
- Soft rolls and barbeque sauce for assembling
Total time: 18 hour – Prep time: 10 hour – Cook time: 8 hour
1. If your roast has a fat cap, trim most of the fat off, leaving a 1/4 inch layer for extra flavor. Rinse the roast in cold water and pat dry with paper towels. Roll the roast tightly and tie it with the twine to hold its shape and cook evenly. (If you don’t tie it you will get some crispy burnt ends, which can be a little treat). Here is a video from Taste of Home that shows how to trim and tie a roast.
2. Rub the entire roast with the mustard.
3. Combine the dry rub ingredients in a bowl. Completely coat the roast with the dry rub, pressing it into the mustard to hold it in place.
4. Place the roast in the pan, fat side up, and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Place this in the refrigerator for 8 to 12 hours, basically overnight.
5. An hour before you fire up the smoker, remove the roast from the refrigerator so that it can come to almost room temperature.
6. Add the wood chips to the smoker drawer. Fill the water pan half way with equal parts water and apple juice. Preheat the smoker to 225 degrees F.
7. Remove the plastic wrap from the roasting pan. Drain any liquid that might have accumulated in the bottom of the pan. Place the roast, in the pan, on the middle rack of the smoker. If your smoker has a meat thermometer attached, insert it into the roast at one end.
8. Smoke for 8 hours.* Replenish the wood chips and liquid approximately every 60 minutes. If you don’t see any smoke from the vent, it is time to replenish. At 8 hours, check the internal temperature of the meat with a thermometer. It should read 190 degrees F or even a little higher.
9. Remove the fully cooked roast to a cutting board and allow it to rest for at least 20 minutes.
10. Pull the pork using 2 forks to shred the meat into strands, as shown in this video by eHow. Enjoy on soft buns with barbeque sauce (recipe follows).
*If using a charcoal smoker, rotate the pan or the meat every hour for even cooking. Add charcoal every hour as well.
Barbeque Sauce Recipe for Pulled Pork Sandwiches
- 3 cups raw apple cider vinegar
- 1 cup good quality catsup (ketchup)
- 4 tbsps jarred mustard
- 4 tbsps brown sugar
- 2 tsps sea salt
- 2 tsps cracked black pepper
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
1. In an appropriately sized saucepan, combine all ingredients and bring to a low simmer. Cook and stir until the sugar has melted and the sauce has thickened.
2. Remove from heat and serve immediately with your pulled pork. You can also store this in the refrigerator and reheat as needed.