Pulled pork is made by smoking a fresh pork shoulder. The pork needs to be cooked using low and slow heat to help break down the connective tissue. The fat and connective tissue add moisture and flavor to the pork. Once you finish cooking the pork shoulder, it will become tender and fall apart easily. While it can take up to half a day or longer to smoke a picnic shoulder, it will be well worth the wait to enjoy the succulent meat.
Things You'll Need
Dry rub seasonings
Remove the excess skin and fat from the pork shoulder. Rinse it under cool running water and pat it dry with paper towels. Rub the pork shoulder with your favorite seasonings if you desire. Cover the pork shoulder with the dry seasonings completely.
Prepare the smoker for the pork shoulder according to the manufacturer directions. Not all smokers operate the same, and the manual will instruct you on how to heat and prepare the smoker properly. Heat the smoker to a temperature range between 200 and 235 degrees F.
Place the pork shoulder into the smoker. Smoke the shoulder for 1 1/2 hours for each pound of meat. Maintain a constant temperature while the shoulder smokes.
Remove the pork shoulder from the smoker when it reaches an internal temperature of 180 to 190 degrees F. This temperature allows you to pull the meat apart easily.
Allow the pork shoulder to cool for 10 to 15 minutes. Pull the pork apart with two forks to shred it. Discard any bones and excess fat and serve the pork immediately.
Add your favorite barbecue sauce to the pulled pork to infuse it with flavors.
Prepare charcoal in a charcoal smoker by stacking it so that it burns progressively. Place the charcoal briquettes in the bottom of the smoker and add soaked hardwood chunks in with the briquettes. Add a layer of burning charcoal briquettes on top so that the charcoals underneath begin to burn slowly.
Wash your hands after handling the raw pork to prevent a food-borne illness.