A Pulled Pork Recipe

The most popular BBQ recipe of all time?

pulled pork recipe

This Pulled Pork recipe is intended for a relatively small gathering.

Make it in a barbecue smoker or lidded grill using wood chips and a smoker box, or small logs - the smoke is a vital part of the flavour.

A big gathering might require something as massive as a whole pig, smoke roasted for 10 hours on a rotisserie pit BBQ.

This version is for pork shoulder and should comfortably feed ten people.

However big a piece of meat you have, it takes time and patience to make pulled pork - it's not something that can be made on the spur of the moment. But the result more than makes up for the time invested.


If you are using a BBQ smoker, choose your BBQ wood, either logs or wood chips. I use apple wood, but hickory, alder or oak logs are more traditional - or use chips soaked in water.

Amazon stock a wide selection of BBQ wood chips and smoker boxes

  • a boneless shoulder of pork, 5lbs/2kg (about)
  • Olive oil

BBQ rub for this pulled pork recipe

  • 2 tbsp salt
  • 2 tbsp paprika
  • 1/2 tbsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp cayenne

Mix these together in a small bowl.

Choose a mopping sauce:

Or try South Caarolina style, miss these out and mix the pulled pork with Carolina Gold Sauce.


Pulled pork recipe rub
  1. Drizzle the meat with olive oil and evenly distribute the rub over the surface - refrigerate for anything up to 24 hours.
  2. Prepare your basting sauce - use the recipe above or some other thin penetrating BBQ sauce.
  3. Prepare a medium charcoal fire in the smokers' firebox. Add the pre-soaked hardwood chips in your smoker box. 
  4. Your meat needs to be placed in the center of the barbeque to make sure heat and smoke circulates evenly round it. Place a water pan directly below it. The pan catches the fat and the steam helps keep the meat from drying out too much.
  5. Adjust the vents until the internal temperature is 225F to 250F (110C to 130C) and roast the meat for 120 and 90 minutes per pound respectively. 7 to 10 hours is how long it should take before the meat reaches the falling apart stage, depending on the weight of the meat. Keep adding charcoal periodically to keep a consistent temperature.
  6. Mop more of the basting sauce on every 90 minutes or so (but no more often). When the lid is opened on a smoker or grill most of the heat and smoke will be lost, thus increasing the cooking time. Consistency of temperature is key, so don't open it more than necessary.
  7. The internal temperature of the meat should reach around 180F, use a digital meat thermometer if you have one - it will make this operation very easy.
  8. For extra points crank up the heat at the very end to crisp up and blacken the outside of the meat a little.
  9. When it's finished your pulled pork recipe should be so tender that it is practically falling apart on it's own - at this point pull the meat apart and shred it. Personally I slice half of it and chop/shred the rest.
Pulled pork recipe

When you cut into it you should see a red ring around the outside half inch of the meat where the smoke has penetrated right in - in which case you'll know you got it right!

The taste of the pork will be delicious - tangy, smokey, and quite complex.

pulled pork recipe

Make it into sandwiches made with soft white bread buns, along with coleslaw or red slaw and/or a dollop of your favorite barbeque sauce and with french fries, potato salad, etc on the side.

There's more background info and serving suggestions on this page on BBQ methods - this is a major BBQ recipe all round that shouldn't be missed.

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