Blog Main Dish Pork Recipes Summer Recipes Traeger Recipes

The Best Smoked Pork Shoulder Recipe – Traeger Pulled Pork

Smoked Pork Shoulder is a basic summertime BBQ recipe. Come take a look at my tried and true technique for making Traeger Smoked Pulled Pork along with my 9 pro ideas for one of the best smoked pork – I’m together with my favorite pork shoulder brine and pulled pork rub.

overhead shot of baking sheet with shredded pulled pork

We’ve had a very bizarre start to summer time here in Colorado and it hasn’t fairly felt like summer time BBQ season yet.

We get a couple of warm days and then it’s back to chilly and rain. I’m presently sporting lengthy pants and lengthy sleeves and sort of want the heater was turned on nevertheless it simply feels mistaken to try this in JUNE.

Earlier this week we had a number of nice days, so I made our first Smoked Pulled Pork of the season (not our first time making it, however I haven’t ever posted a recipe here before).

I’m so glad we bought our Traeger 3 years ago because it has been so fun to be able to prepare dinner all my favorite Texas BBQ food at residence!

Need to discover ways to make your personal pulled pork? Read on!

REQUIRED EQUIPMENT

Earlier than you start getting ready your smoked pork shoulder on a Traeger, you’ll have to ensure you have a number of the required gear. In case you aren’t new to smoking, none of this must be new to you.

As a way to smoke a pork shoulder, you want a number of issues:

My pork shoulder rub options a mix of brown sugar, garlic powder, oregano, chili powder, cumin, pepper, smoked paprika, onion powder, salt and pepper for a flavorful spice rub.

WHAT IS THE BEST WOOD TO MAKE SMOKED PORK SHOULDER:

It actually is determined by your private preferences, so it is very important experiment to seek out out what you like greatest. We have now tried all several types of wooden pellets for this pulled work recipe.

Favourite wood pellet flavors for Traeger Smoked Pulled Pork.

Our absolute favorites are apple, oak, and hickory. Apple is delicate and a natural pairing for pork (particularly with an Apple Cider Brine). Oak is basic Texas BBQ and goes with something. And Hickory simply has a yummy style, in our opinion.

  • Apple – delicate and sweet flavor
  • Oak – medium taste, not overpowering, quintessential smoking wooden
  • Hickory – mellow smoky taste, not over powering, savory, hearty, probably the most versatile

Don’t be afraid to combine totally different wood pellet flavors together. Using blends of different sort of wood pellets may give the pork additional flavor depth. We frequently use a mixture of apple and hickory blended collectively.

Find out how to Make Smoked Pork Shoulder on the Traeger

The primary steps are: trim, brine, rating, rub, and smoke. I’ll break down the smoking technique we use.

  1. Warmth the Traeger based on producer directions on the “Smoke” setting. In case you don’t have a Traeger, goal for round 160 degrees F.
  2. Insert the thermometer probe into the meat, avoiding bones and enormous fat deposits.
  3. Place the pork on the Traeger as soon as “Smoke” temp is achieved and close the lid.
  4. Prepare dinner on smoke for Four hours – after Four hours the meat doesn’t really take in any extra smoke.
  5. After Four hours, turn the temp up to 250 levels and maintain cooking till the interior temp of the pork ought to reads round 210-215 degrees F.
  6. Relaxation the meat.

9 PRO TIPS FOR The Best Smoked Pork Shoulder Recipe

In our house we’ve got a operating joke where we ceaselessly say issues like “hey, pro tip here…” once we’re giving one of many youngsters recommendation or something. I assumed I’d offer you a few of MY “pro tips” to make the perfect smoked pulled pork.

PRO TIP #1

Trim Extra Fats

Removing giant chunks of fat prior to cooking will permit extra floor area for the smoke to penetrate the meat. Smoke does not cross via fats very effectively.

If you’d like numerous smoke taste, be sure to’ve trimmed away something thicker than 1/2-Three/Four of an inch from the exterior. Pork shoulder has plenty of fat marbling throughout so eradicating some from the exterior won’t dry out your meat.

PRO TIP #2

USE A PORK SHOULDER BRINE

When eager about making a very great pulled pork, one of the best issues you are able to do to get great meat is to brine your meat before cooking it.

Why Brine Pork Shoulder?

Brining a pork shoulder earlier than you set it in your Traeger helps the meat to retain moisture that’s typically misplaced when meat is exposed to long prepare dinner occasions. Moderately than dry pulled pork that needs to be doused in BBQ sauce to be edible, you’ll end up with juicy, flavorful pork.

I like to make use of these Rubbermaid Storage Containers for brining anything that’s around 10 lbs or much less. It really works perfectly for bringing pork shoulder!

Pork Shoulder Brine Occasions

Brining your pork shoulder for too lengthy, might end in unintended unfavourable consequences, specifically over salted meat. Make sure to brine your meat for an applicable length of time contemplating the load of the pork shoulder.

  • Eight-10 kilos: brine as much as 32 hours, I choose 24 hours
  • 6-8 pounds: 12-16 hours
  • Four-6 kilos: 6-8 hours

You may also rinse your meat after brining to remove any residual salt from the floor since you’ll then be adding rub, which also incorporates salt.

PRO TIP #3

Score Your Meat

Score the top and backside of your pork shoulder with a tic-tac-toe pattern (Three-Four strains by 3-4 strains) earlier than including the rub. You’re exposing even more floor space which permits extra meat to be coated with the rub, and more room for the smoke to cross by way of.

PRO TIP #4

Use a Pulled Pork Rub

Including a rub to the outside of your meat will give nice taste and assist you develop that superior basic BBQ bark. Bark on the outside of the meat will give engaging shade, texture, and great taste once you’ve pulled the pork.

spoon of spice rub on a dark background

Attempt my recipe for Selfmade Southwestern Pork Rub

Ideally, I wish to let the rub sit on the meat within the refrigerator for a minimum of 2 hours, but we’ve even achieved it overnight before. It allows the flavour to soak into the meat somewhat than simply sitting on prime.

PRO TIP #5

COOK BY TEMPERATURE NOT TIME

There are some things to find out about smoking your pork, and an necessary keys to success is cooking by temperature. Pork smoking occasions differ depending on quite a lot of things, resembling:

  • the dimensions of the meat
  • inner temperature the meat once you start
  • outside climate circumstances (cold or windy days might cause your Traeger to run cooler)

So, it is higher to have basic time tips and specific temperature milestones to satisfy somewhat than cooking for x variety of hours. You keep away from overcooked dry meat and undercooked unsafe meat if you use a digital probe meat thermometer.

Place the probe within the thickest a part of the pork shoulder earlier than you start cooking. Be sure you keep away from giant fat deposits or the bone. Both fats and bone will carry larger temperatures than the meat and offer you false readings.

We prepare dinner until the interior temp is around 210-215 degrees F. Reaching this temp will permit for a simple pull as a result of the meat fibers could have damaged down enough to turn into very tender.

PRO TIP #6

DON’T LIFT THE LID OF YOUR TRAEGER

Warmth and smoke escape every time you raise the lid. Just don’t do it. Your thermometer will inform you every part that it’s essential know.

The greatest items of meat we’ve ever smoked have been the ones we’ve literally walked away from till a temperature adjustment was required.

We’ve even put an enormous pork shoulder on the smoker and gone to mattress, set an alarm to rise up and crank the warmth, and then gone back to bed. Good if you need to eat earlier in the day.

Should you absolutely MUST take a look at your meat, don’t peak greater than ever few hours. And make it quick!

PRO TIP #7

DON’T MAKE PANIC INDUCED ADJUSTMENTS

Good, tender, smoked pulled pork takes time. Don’t be impatient.

When smoking, meat can typically expertise a “stall.” It’d looks like the thermometer is stuck on the similar temperatures for hours at a time. Don’t make the mistake of impatiently growing the warmth.

Significantly, one of the worst issues you are able to do is panic and make a bunch of speedy hearth changes on your Traeger.

You assume the pork shoulder isn’t cooking quick sufficient, so that you crank the temperature up. Then, you crank it down because it’s cooking too fast.

Sound familiar? If the answer is sure, it is completely time to cease doing that.

sheet pan of shredded smoked pulled pork

PRO TIP #8

REST TIME

I know, the last thing you need to do after spending ALL DAY smoking a pork shoulder is to wait even longer before piling it onto a bun and digging in to it.

Let the pork rest for 30-60  minutes before pulling it for the most effective outcomes. The pork can be simpler to tug and the meat will keep juicer.

PRO TIP #9

Remove Giant Fat Deposits When Pulling

Whenever you’re pulling the meat, remember to discard any giant fat deposits from the interior as you uncover them. You should use your palms (I wish to wear gloves), 2 giant forks, or Pulled Pork Shredder Claws for the pulling course of.

This could be a private choice, but there’s nothing I like about biting into a tasty pulled pork sandwich and discovering that I’ve simply bit into an enormous glob of fats.

So, as our son Kayden would say: “Get rid of it!” No one needs to eat that stuff, and no one likes figuring out the way to discretely eliminate it after they’ve discovered it of their mouth.

What to serve with this Smoked Pulled Pork Recipe

Substitute Pulled Pork for the hen in this recipe for Honey Pecan BBQ Sauce Hen Sliders.

Straightforward Smoked Hen is a superb summer time meal. The hen turns out extremely flavorful, tender and juicy. Good for BBQs or any time you need to prepare dinner an entire hen but need to do something slightly totally different than conventional roasting.

Summer time Potlucks and BBQs don’t seem full and not using a massive bowl of this Basic Potato Salad. Creamy mayo, celery, onion, hard-boiled eggs, and of course plenty of potatoes make up this recipe. In our family’s opinion, it’s merely the perfect potato salad!

This Cilantro Lime Broccoli Slaw is a tasty various to the normal summer time coleslaw recipe. Pre-packaged shredded broccoli, carrots, pink cabbage are tossed with jalapeño, lime, pink onion, and purple bell pepper for a refreshing aspect salad.

Creamy Jalapeño BBQ Coleslaw – Your typical BBQ Coleslaw gets a makeover with the addition of jalapeño for just a touch of warmth in your tastebuds!

Macaroni Salad is all the time successful at a summer time BBQ. This recipe has sugar snaps peas and radishes to round it out, and add a pop of shade.

What is a summer time barbecue without baked beans? This recipe for Sluggish Cooker Baked Bean Trio with Bacon and Peppers is loaded with taste thanks to 3 forms of beans, bell peppers, poblano peppers, and bacon.

This Zucchini Tomato Basil Salad with Lemon Basil Vinaigrette is a light-weight and refreshing summertime salad and excellent when your backyard is exploding with tomatoes, basil, and zucchini in the later summer time months.

These Smokey Grilled Sweet Potato Fries are filled with taste. They’re tremendous simple to whip up and include solely Four elements!

Selfmade Watermelon Mint Lemonade is a enjoyable take on the normal do-it-yourself lemonade recipe — and it couldn’t be extra summery with its beautiful vibrant pink colour! The good fruity and refreshing drink for the entire family on a scorching day!

Extra Traeger Recipes

Listed here are a couple of of my favourite Traeger Grill Recipes apart from this Smoked Pulled Pork Recipe. For more yummy recipes, make sure to take a look at the complete archives in the Recipe Index.

Turkey Smoked on a Traeger is one among my favourite methods to prepare dinner turkey. Come take a look at my tried and true technique along with my 8 pro ideas for the most effective smoked turkey!

Straightforward Smoked Hen is a superb summer time meal. The hen seems extremely flavorful, tender and juicy. Good for BBQs or any time you need to prepare dinner an entire hen but need to do something a bit totally different than conventional roasting.

Buffalo Hen Cobb Salad is a enjoyable twist on the basic Cobb salad. This recipe options buffalo grilled hen, celery, blue cheese and blue cheese dressing paired with basic elements like lettuce, egg, and avocado.

Have you ever made smoked pulled pork?

Love this recipe for The Best Smoked Pork Shoulder?
Join Good Life Eats e-mail updates and never miss another recipe!

Components

Apple Cider Pork Shoulder Brine

  • 1 quart Scorching Water
  • 1 cup Kosher Salt
  • 1/Four cup Brown Sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Peppercorn
  • 2 quarts Apple Cider
  • Three quarts Cold Water
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1/4 cup Apple Cider Vinegar

For the Pork

  • Eight half pound Pork roast
  • 1/4 -1/2 cup Pork Rub

Directions

To Put together the Apple Cider Pork Brine and brine the pork

  1. In container giant sufficient to suit the pork shoulder coated with the brine, mix the recent water, salt, brown sugar, and peppercorn.
  2. Stir the components till utterly dissolved.
  3. Add the chilly water and chilly apple sider. Stir till mixed.
  4. Let sit at room temperature and trim any excessive fats from the surface of the pork shoulder. Discard the excess fat.
  5. Score the pork by chopping a Four line by Four line tic tac toe pattern on each side of the pork.
  6. Place the pork in the brine, cowl, and refrigerate for 24 hours.

NOTE: if reducing the brine, it’s essential to lower all the elements in the identical proportion, not simply the liquids in any other case it is going to be incredibly salty.

To Prep the Pork Shoulder for Smoking

  1. Remove the pork from the brine.
  2. Discard the brine and rinse the pork all over with cool water. Pat dry.
  3. Place the pork shoulder on a big baking sheet and pat dry with paper towel.
  4. Rub the pork rub everywhere in the meat on all sides, using more if wanted to evenly cowl the meat, or in the event you favor more.
  5. Place the pork on the baking sheet in the fridge and let chill for two hours or as much as in a single day.

To Smoke the Pork

  1. Prepare your smoker to a low warmth setting.
  2. On our Traeger, we use the “smoke” setting (round 150-160 levels F) and we both use Oak, Hickory, Apple, or a mix of pellets for our wood.
  3. Transfer the pork to the smoker.
  4. Insert the probe of a digital meat thermometer that is protected for BBQing into the thickest a part of the meat – ensure that to avoid giant fat deposits and the bone as they may prepare dinner hotter than surrounding meat and give false excessive readings on the thermometer.
  5. Smoke on 150-160 levels F for Four hours.
  6. After Four hours, Improve the temperature to 250 degrees F and proceed to prepare dinner till the the meat thermometer registers 210-215 degrees F. Approximately 4 – 6 hours
  7. When the pork has reached 210-215, take away from the smoker and switch to a clear baking sheet.
  8. Energy down the smoker in response to producer directions.
  9. Permit the pork to chill for 30 – 60 minutes, or until cool enough to handle.
  10. Shred with two giant forks or a pair of shredder claws.

Notes

PRO TIPS FOR THE BEST PULLED PORK

Trim Extra Fats: Removing giant chunks of fats prior to cooking will permit extra floor area for the smoke to penetrate the meat.

Brining a pork shoulder helps the meat to retain moisture that is typically lost when meat is exposed to long prepare dinner occasions.

Pork Shoulder Brine Occasions

  • 8-10 kilos: brine as much as 32 hours, I favor 24 hours
  • 6-8 kilos: 12-16 hours
  • 4-6 kilos: 6-8 hours

Rating Your Meat : Score the top and bottom of your pork shoulder with a tic-tac-toe pattern (Three-Four strains by 3-Four strains) earlier than including the rub. This exposes more surface space to the rub seasoning and larger smoke penetration.

Use a Pulled Pork Rub: Adding a rub to the outside of your meat will give taste and assist develop that BBQ bark.

Prepare dinner by temp not time: You avoid overcooked dry meat and undercooked unsafe meat once you use a digital probe meat thermometer.

Don’t carry the lid: Heat and smoke escape each time you raise the lid.

Don’t make panic induced adjustments: Meat can typically experience a temperature “stall.” Don’t make the error of impatiently growing the warmth.

Relaxation the meat: Let the pork relaxation for 30-60  minutes earlier than pulling will probably be simpler to tug and the meat will stay juicer.

Discard extra fats when pulling: Be sure you discard any giant fat deposits from the interior as you uncover them. Nobody needs to eat that stuff, and nobody likes figuring out find out how to discretely eliminate it after they’ve found it of their mouth.

Really helpful Merchandise

As an Amazon Affiliate and member of other affiliate packages, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Vitamin Info:

Yield: 12 Serving Measurement: 1
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 704 Complete Fat: 52g Saturated Fat: 19g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 28g Cholesterol: 217mg Sodium: 164mg Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 0g Sugar: 0g Protein: 56g

GoodLifeEats.com provides recipe dietary info as a courtesy and is an estimate solely. This info comes from online calculators. Although GoodLifeEats.com makes each effort to offer correct info, these figures are only estimates.

Elements

Apple Cider Pork Shoulder Brine

  • 1 quart Scorching Water
  • 1 cup Kosher Salt
  • 1/4 cup Brown Sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Peppercorn
  • 2 quarts Apple Cider
  • Three quarts Chilly Water
  • 1/Four cup Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1/Four cup Apple Cider Vinegar

For the Pork

  • 8 half pound Pork roast
  • 1/Four -1/2 cup Pork Rub

Instructions

To Prepare the Apple Cider Pork Brine and brine the pork

  1. In container giant enough to suit the pork shoulder coated with the brine, combine the recent water, salt, brown sugar, and peppercorn.
  2. Stir the elements until utterly dissolved.
  3. Add the chilly water and cold apple sider. Stir until combined.
  4. Let sit at room temperature and trim any excessive fats from the surface of the pork shoulder. Discard the surplus fats.
  5. Rating the pork by slicing a 4 line by Four line tic tac toe sample on each side of the pork.
  6. Place the pork in the brine, cowl, and refrigerate for 24 hours.

NOTE: if reducing the brine, you must lower all the components in the same proportion, not simply the liquids in any other case it is going to be incredibly salty.

To Prep the Pork Shoulder for Smoking

  1. Take away the pork from the brine.
  2. Discard the brine and rinse the pork throughout with cool water. Pat dry.
  3. Place the pork shoulder on a big baking sheet and pat dry with paper towel.
  4. Rub the pork rub everywhere in the meat on all sides, utilizing more if needed to evenly cover the meat, or in case you want more.
  5. Place the pork on the baking sheet in the refrigerator and let chill for two hours or as much as overnight.

To Smoke the Pork

  1. Prepare your smoker to a low warmth setting.
  2. On our Traeger, we use the “smoke” setting (round 150-160 degrees F) and we either use Oak, Hickory, Apple, or a mix of pellets for our wood.
  3. Switch the pork to the smoker.
  4. Insert the probe of a digital meat thermometer that’s protected for BBQing into the thickest a part of the meat – make sure that to keep away from giant fats deposits and the bone as they may prepare dinner hotter than surrounding meat and provides false high readings on the thermometer.
  5. Smoke on 150-160 degrees F for Four hours.
  6. After 4 hours, Improve the temperature to 250 levels F and continue to prepare dinner until the the meat thermometer registers 210-215 degrees F. Roughly Four – 6 hours
  7. When the pork has reached 210-215, take away from the smoker and transfer to a clean baking sheet.
  8. Power down the smoker in accordance with producer instructions.
  9. Permit the pork to cool for 30 – 60 minutes, or till cool sufficient to deal with.
  10. Shred with two giant forks or a pair of shredder claws.

Notes

PRO TIPS FOR THE BEST PULLED PORK

Trim Excess Fats: Removing giant chunks of fats prior to cooking will permit more surface space for the smoke to penetrate the meat.

Brining a pork shoulder helps the meat to retain moisture that is typically misplaced when meat is exposed to lengthy prepare dinner occasions.

Pork Shoulder Brine Occasions

  • 8-10 pounds: brine up to 32 hours, I choose 24 hours
  • 6-Eight kilos: 12-16 hours
  • 4-6 kilos: 6-Eight hours

Rating Your Meat : Score the highest and backside of your pork shoulder with a tic-tac-toe sample (3-4 strains by 3-Four strains) earlier than including the rub. This exposes extra surface area to the rub seasoning and higher smoke penetration.

Use a Pulled Pork Rub: Including a rub to the exterior of your meat will give taste and help develop that BBQ bark.

Prepare dinner by temp not time: You keep away from overcooked dry meat and undercooked unsafe meat if you use a digital probe meat thermometer.

Don’t raise the lid: Warmth and smoke escape each time you carry the lid.

Don’t make panic induced changes: Meat can typically experience a temperature “stall.” Don’t make the mistake of impatiently growing the warmth.

Rest the meat: Let the pork relaxation for 30-60  minutes before pulling will probably be easier to tug and the meat will stay juicer.

Discard excess fat when pulling: Make sure you discard any giant fat deposits from the inside as you uncover them. No one needs to eat that stuff, and no one likes determining how one can discretely eliminate it after they’ve discovered it of their mouth.

Advisable Merchandise

As an Amazon Affiliate and member of other affiliate packages, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Vitamin Info:

Yield: 12 Serving Measurement: 1
Amount Per Serving:Energy: 704 Complete Fats: 52g Saturated Fats: 19g Trans Fats: 0g Unsaturated Fats: 28g Ldl cholesterol: 217mg Sodium: 164mg Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 0g Sugar: 0g Protein: 56g

GoodLifeEats.com gives recipe dietary info as a courtesy and is an estimate solely. This info comes from on-line calculators. Although GoodLifeEats.com makes each effort to offer correct info, these figures are solely estimates.