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Pulled Pork

Contributed By: Shawn, CA | See all of Shawn's recipes
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Active Time:  1 Hour
Total Time:  23 Hours
  6 pounds
If you’ve got the time, brine it, rub it, smoke it and slow cook it!
For the Brine:
1 gallon water
1/2 cup salt
3/4 cup molasses
For the Rub:
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon chipotle chili powder
1 tablespoon coriander powder
1 tablespoon cumin powder
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
For the Smoke:
Wood chunks/chips (Hickory and/or Oak work best ) soaked in water at least and hour, drained
Charcoal briquettes
6  pound pork shoulder (Boston butt)
1 cup sweet BBQ sauce
3/4 cup molasses
4 cups water
Note: This recipe has been tried in the Webber Smokey Mountain smoker (, a bullet style smoker. If you have a different type of smoker adjust smoking process as needed.


For the wood chunks/chips, lighter woods like hickory and/or oak, combined with a bit cherry and/or alder wood work best. Stay away from woods that add a heavier flavor such as mesquite, or use only sparingly to avoid turning the meat too smokey and bitter.

Step 1:

Combine 1 gallon of water, 1/2 cup of salt, and 3/4 cup of molasses in a large pot. Add the pork, and be certain that the water covers the meat (add more water if needed). Let sit in the refrigerator at least 8 hours, or up to 24 hours.

Step 2:

Combine chili powder, chipotle chili powder, coriander powder, cumin powder, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, and unsweetened cocoa powder. Remove pork from brine, and pat dry. Discard brine. Rub powder mixture over the pork.

Step 3:

Add water to the smoker drip pan. Mound charcoal briquettes, and burn until light gray to preheat the smoker to 175 degrees F. Add a small amount of damp wood chunks/chips to the smoker. Place the pork shoulder in the smoker, and smoke for 6 hours. Check the temperature of the smoker and the amount of smoke every 1/2 hour to one hour (depending on the temperature consistency of your smoker), and add charcoal or damp wood as needed to maintain a consistent temperature. Don't let the temperature get much above 200 F, nor much below 150 F. Make certain you have a light amount smoke steaming out at all times, but never large billows (too much smoke makes the meat bitter).

Step 4:

After 6 hours, remove pork shoulder from smoker, and put in crockpot set on low. Add 4 cups of water (enough to cover the bottom couple inches of the slow cooker but not enough to completely submerge the pork - adjust water as needed). Add 3/4 cup of molasses to the water and pork. Cook on low in the slow cooker for 8 hours.

Step 5:

After 8 hours, remove pork from slow cooker (using thick neoprene or PVC gloves made for handling hot food works best), and set aside. Remove liquid from slow cooker, and reserve 2 cups of the liquid (dispose of the rest). Carefully pull pork apart into shreds, and place into the crockpot. Add reserved liquid and 1 cup of your favorite sweet BBQ sauce (I prefer Sweet Baby Rays) and mix with pork to moisten. You can serve the pulled pork immediately, or let it sit in the crockpot on the keep warm setting for up to 6 hours.

Serving suggestion:

Put the pulled pork in buttered hamburger buns or dinner rolls for pulled pork sandwiches or sliders. If you want, add a small amount of thinly sliced red onion and cilantro to the sandwiches for a burst of light fresh flavor on top of the smoky flavors of the pork.

Date Added: 06/23/2009
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