If you are here you are looking for an easy and delicious WSM pulled pork recipe. Pork butt and just about as easy as it comes, and if you are a beginner smoker it is the perfect starter meat to smoke. They are incredibly forgiving, loaded with flavor and provide a variety of options as to how you can serve it.
Pork Butt vs Pork Shoulder
Let’s start with pork butt. It definitely does not come from the pigs butt, it is actually part of the shoulder. If you are doing other searches, pork butt may also be referred to as Boston butt, while a pork shoulder may be referred to as a picnic should or picnic roast. Pork butt is higher up on the shoulder and tends to have more marbling and has a fat cap.
Now briefly onto a bit about pork shoulder. Pork shoulder is lower down, the leg than the butt. It tends to have less marbling and is usually sold with the skin on. Odds are you are going to encounter pork butt more often at the store, than pork shoulder. There is a difference between the two so it is good be mindful of the differences.
Pork butt makes for better pulled pork, while the pork shoulder does better if you are doing more of like a Cuban style pork roast, where you are looking for some nice crispy skin as part of the recipe.
Weber Smokey Mountain and Pork Butt Prep
Pork butt is a long smoke, you are looking at 10-12 hours in many cases, possibly more depending on the size. When you are setting up your WSM, go ahead and load it up with charcoal. If you finish early you can choke off the air flow and save the charcoal for another time. What you want to avoid if you can, is having to refill the charcoal mid smoke. I use the minion method for these long smokes and will run with B&B char logs and some apple wood chunks. I also run my WSM, with the water pan covered with foil and no water. We are going to be looking for a pretty standard smoker temperature of 250°.
While you are letting your smoker get up to temperature and settle in you can start working on the pork. You can use your rub of choice. I will usually go with an SPG, specifically Kinders SPG, from Costco. The SPG flavor gives you some versatility in how you serve it and what you serve it with. It pretty much goes with any additional topping or condiments you will add.
Before adding our binder to the pork, I will score the top of the pork to increase penetration of our rub and smoke flavor. Now I am a fat cap down or in my case towards the heat source kind of person, others may be fat cap up but I prefer it down to protect the meat. So I will score the top of the pork butt to increase my surface area for smoke and flavor. By no means do you have to score the top, I have done it both ways.
When prepping the pork I will sometimes use mustard as a binder and other times I will not use a binder. There is no rhyme or reason to it and honestly I cannot say I have ever seen much of a difference. So if you have mustard and want to use it as a binder go for it. When coating with your binder make sure you are getting the sides and in all the crevices as well. Once your binder is applied add your rub, be generous and again make sure you are getting coverage all over the pork butt.
By now your smoker should be up to temperature and we can get ready to throw this on.
How Long Does It Take To Smoke A Pork Butt On The WSM?
So we are going to start smoking our WSM Pulled Pork. Place it on, and for now you don’t need to do much except monitor your temperature. If you are looking for a good probe without breaking the bank, take a look at ThermoPro. I have 3 and love them. Every hour I would spritz it with some apple cider vinegar or apple juice. Don’t do anymore than that because you really do not want to be opening the smoker too often. It will only add more time to the smoke.
I should also note, if you are cooking using another kind of pellet grill or charcoal grill, most of the same principals should apply, with maybe some minor tweaks.
I would spritz every hour until you hit the stall and as long as you are good with your bark, go ahead and wrap it. You will hit the stall around the 160°-170° mark and that will probably be around the 7 hour mark, even if you are smoking multiple pork butts it should not add a ton of time to your smoke.
This number can vary because every piece of meat will be different. When I wrap I now use butcher paper, you can use foil but it may degrade some of your bark. If foil is all you have no worries, it does the trick and does not alter the finished product enough that you need to make a special trip out to the store looking for butcher paper.
Now that you have it wrapped you are going to let it ride for about another 4-5 hours. All in, the process to smoke a pork butt is going to be in that 10-12 hours range, sometimes longer depending on its size. I have had them take as long as 17 hours. If you are planning for a party, consider doing it a day in advance or start the day before and smoke it overnight. I promise these long smokes never finish as soon as you need or want.
You are going to be looking to an internal temperature of 205° give or take. You are definitely not going to be pulling before you hit 203°, and you might go as high as 210°. The goal is to wait until it probes tender. Once it probes tender, go ahead and pull it. At this point, let it rest a bit, about 30 minutes, some will say as long as an hour. I have never waited that long but if you have the time do it. After your rest period, go ahead and pull the pork.
WSM Pulled Pork – In Conclusion
As I started out, pork but is great for a beginner and only gets better as you get more experience. You can serve this a variety of ways, from pulled pork sandwiches, tacos, to nachos.
Thanks for being here and checking out this WSM Pulled Pork recipe. I hope you enjoy it! We always appreciate comments, 5 star reviews and social media shares. Keep that smoke rolling!
If you are looking for some other ideas and recipes take at some suggestions:
- Lamb Loin Chops Recipe
- Smoked Wings Recipe
- Grilled Flank Steak
- Smoked Barbacoa Tacos
- Smoked Shrimp and Grits
- Smoked Roast Beef
If you are looking for some ideas on how to reheat your pulled pork, take a look at our blog article: How To Reheat Pulled Pork.
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- 10 lbs pork butt
- Kinders SPG dry rub
- 5 tablespoons of yellow mustard
- Set up your smoker for temperature of 250°. I used 2 chunks of pecan and 1 chunk of apple
- Prep your pork butt using yellow mustard as a binder and Kinders SPG rub (if you do not have an SPG rub, substitute it for equals parts, salt, pepper and garlic powder)
- Put your pork on the smoker, spritzing every hour with apple cider vinegar or apple juice, until you wrap it
- Once you hit the stall and you like the bark wrap in butcher paper or tin foil
- Continue smoking until you get to an IT of approx 203° or until it probes tender
- Let rest for 30-60 minutes and shred
- Serve while hot