Rating: 4.5 stars
248 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 199
  • 4 star values: 31
  • 3 star values: 5
  • 2 star values: 10
  • 1 star values: 3

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.

Recipe Summary

10 mins
8 hrs
12 hrs 30 mins
20 hrs 40 mins


Original recipe yields 20 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist
BBQ Rub:


Instructions Checklist
  • Place pork shoulder in a large pot and add enough apple cider to cover.

  • Combine sugars, 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.

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

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

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

  • 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.

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

Nutrition Facts

442 calories; protein 23.7g; carbohydrates 15.2g; fat 32.1g; cholesterol 103.9mg; sodium 2690.8mg. Full Nutrition