Bob's Pulled Pork on a Smoker


This smoked pulled pork recipe is the correct way to smoke a pork shoulder with professional results — from the cider brine and sugar rub to the rave reviews you will receive. Smoke is the key to breaking down the fat, which adds flavor and moisture to the meat. Place in a bun with your favorite BBQ sauce.

Prep Time:
10 mins
Cook Time:
8 hrs
Additional Time:
12 hrs 30 mins
Total Time:
20 hrs 40 mins


  • 1 (8 pound) pork shoulder roast

  • 1 quart apple cider, or as needed

BBQ Rub:

  • 5 tablespoons white sugar

  • 5 tablespoons light brown sugar

  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt

  • 2 tablespoons paprika

  • 1 tablespoon onion powder

  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder

  • 3 cups hickory chips, or more as needed, soaked in water

  • 1 onion, chopped


  1. Place pork shoulder in a large pot and add enough apple cider to cover. Combine white sugar, brown sugar, salt, paprika, onion powder, black pepper, and garlic powder in a bowl. Mix 1/4 cup of sugar rub into cider; reserve remaining rub. Cover the pot and refrigerate for 12 hours.

  2. Preheat the smoker to 210 degrees F (99 degrees C). Add enough wood chips to the smoker.

  3. Pour cider brine into the water pan of the smoker; add onion and 1/4 cup more sugar rub.

  4. Spread remaining sugar rub over pork shoulder. Transfer pork to the center of the smoker.

  5. Smoke pork until very tender or until it reaches an internal temperature of 200 degrees F (95 degrees C), about 8 hours. Monitor hickory chips and liquid, adding more as needed.

  6. Transfer pork to a large platter and cool for 30 minutes before shredding with forks.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

442 Calories
32g Fat
15g Carbs
24g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 20
Calories 442
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 32g 41%
Saturated Fat 11g 56%
Cholesterol 104mg 35%
Sodium 2691mg 117%
Total Carbohydrate 15g 6%
Dietary Fiber 1g 2%
Total Sugars 13g
Protein 24g
Vitamin C 1mg 6%
Calcium 34mg 3%
Iron 3mg 17%
Potassium 434mg 9%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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