Recipe Details

Low And Slow Pulled Pork

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours
Marinating Time: 24 hours
Servings: 12 - 14


Cook to 145 F with 3 minute rest


5 pound blade pork roast
Hardwood chips, soaked in water for 1 hour
apple juice, for spritzing


1 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed
1/2 cup garlic, granulated
1/2 cup kosher salt
1/2 cup paprika
2 tablespoons onion, granulated
1 tablespoon dry mustard
1 tablespoon Creole seasoning
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon ground red pepper
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon ground black pepper


1 clove garlic, minced
3/4 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup ketchup
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup chili sauce
2 tablespoons onion, chopped
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
Dash ground red pepper

Cooking Directions

Stir together all rub ingredients in a bowl. Store in an airtight container. Set aside.

Stir together all ingredients for the sauce in a medium saucepan over medium heat; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, stirring occasionally, 40 minutes.

Divide sauce into separate containers for basting and servings at the table. (Basting brushes used on raw food should not be dipped into table sauce.) Use as a basting sauce during the last 10 minutes of cooking for steak, pork, burgers, or chicken. Discard any remaining basting sauce, and refrigerate any leftover table sauce.

If needed, trim the fat back to about 1/8 inch thick on shoulder. Sprinkle meat generously with rub, massaging it into the meat. Wrap tightly with plastic wrap, and chill overnight in the refrigerator.

Smoking a large piece of meat takes a long time, so you’ll need to get an early start. Prepare your smoker or grill until the temperature reaches 250 degrees F. Take the meat out of the refrigerator, and let it sit for about 30 to 45 minutes. Having the pork at room temperature is very important, because if you put it on the smoker cold, the outer portion will burn.

Smoke is one of the main ingredients of good barbecue. Soak hickory wood chips (or any other hardwood chips used for barbecuing) in water overnight. This prevents them from burning. The chips smolder, producing smoke that flavors the meat during the cooking process. The smoke also lends a pink color to the outer inch or so of the flesh, creating what is called a “smoke ring.” A handful of wood chips should be added to the fire every 30 minutes or so. The more you add, the stronger flavor of smoke you get.

Place meat on the smoker fat side down. After two hours, turn the meat over so it is fat side up. Total cook time will be 1 1/2 hours per pound. Maintain the temperature in the smoker between 225 degrees F and 250 degrees F. Use a pit thermometer for an accurate reading If the smoker temperature is hotter than 250 degrees F, the meat will cook too quickly; any lower than 225 degrees F, and the meat will not get done. Every time wood chips or charcoal is added, spritz the meat with apple juice from a spray bottle. This will add moisture and a fruity background flavor during cooking.

Remove the meat from the smoker with two hours remaining, and place on heavy-duty aluminum foil. Spritz generously with apple juice, and tightly seal foil around pork. Place meat back on the smoker, and cook for two hours more. Using an instant-read meat thermometer, check the internal temperature of the thickest part of the meat, being careful not to touch bone with the tip of the thermometer. When the internal temperature reaches 195 degrees F, the pork is ready. Cooking the meat beyond the USDA guideline of 160 degrees F renders out the fat and tenderizes the meat.

Remove the meat from the smoker, and let it cool for 15 to 30 minutes. Remove foil after it has cooled enough to handle. Remove the bones, which will easily pull away. Begin pulling, or shredding, the meat with two large forks, and place in a large baking dish or pan. Remove and discard any remaining fat.

Add the sauce to pulled pork, and toss. This is a popular way to serve pulled pork in most regions. If you prefer, serve with additional sauce.

Serves 12-14

Recipe courtesy of Southern Living Bar-B-Que: The Ultimate Guide.m

Serving Suggestions

Start with the right cut of meat. Most barbecue restaurants use whole pork shoulders, but they’re rarely available in grocery stores. If you find a whole shoulder, use it. Otherwise, we recommend a Boston butt, which is half of the shoulder, the other half being the picnic shoulder. The first nationally branded barbecue sauces were likely based on a Kansas City-style sauce like the one included here--thick, tomatoey, and sweet, with just a hint of hot.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 308 calories
Protein: 29 grams
Fat: 8 grams
Sodium: 4046 milligrams
Cholesterol: 83 milligrams
Saturated Fat: 3 grams
Carbohydrates: 31 grams
Fiber: 3 grams

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About the Cut: Shoulder

Pork shoulder is the top portion of the front leg of the hog. The terminology for pork shoulder can vary widely depending on the region. However, the lower ‘arm’ portion of the shoulder is most commonly called the arm picnic. The upper part of the shoulder, often called the Boston blade roast (also known as Boston- style butt), comes from the area near the loin and contains the shoulder blade bone.

Read more about Shoulder  Arrow
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About the Cooking Method: Grilling

There are two ways to grill pork based on the size of the cut:

  • Direct heat, where food is placed directly over the heat source, is ideal for small cuts like kabobs, tenderloin, burgers and chops.
  • Indirect heat, where food is placed on the grill rack away from the coals or gas burners, is good for large cuts like loin roasts, ribs, shoulder and fresh ham.

Direct Heat

Arrange hot coals evenly on the fire grate of the grill or use all gas burners. Place pork directly above the heat source. Follow suggested cooking times, turning once during cooking.

Indirect Heat

Bank hot coals on both sides of the fire grate, on one side of the grill or in a ring around the perimeter. For gas grills, pre-heat and then turn off any burners directly below where the food will go. Place pork on the grill so it is not directly over any coals or gas burners and close grill hood. Follow suggested cooking times until pork is done. The heat circulates inside the grill, so turning the pork is not necessary.

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Tips and Tricks

Buying, Handling & Storage Tips

It is safe to cook frozen or partially-frozen pork in the oven, on the stove or grill without defrosting it first; the cooking time may be about 50% longer. Use a meat thermometer to check for doneness. It is best if frozen pork roasts are cooked at an oven temperature of 325 degrees F. Do not cook frozen pork in a slow cooker.

See more tips  View Recipe

Butcher's Tips

To ensure doneness, check with a meat thermometer. A thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the cut should produce a temperature of 160°F for medium doneness

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Pulled Pork
by anonymous 09/21/2014

Can't figure out the cook time here. For 5lb. roast, time is 7.5 hours @ 1 1/2 hr./lb. Recipe has 4 hours. 2 hours on fat side down, 3.5 hours on fat side up and 2 hours in foil??



From Carma from PBI:

This is a recipe from Southern Living magazine.  The recipe was developed in their test kitchen for low and slow barbecue.  It is also cooking the shoulder roast to about 195F to help render out the fat and tenderize the meat. 

try it
by anonymous 09/18/2012
 looks good haven't tried it yet

by anonymous 08/08/2012

Excelente receta!
by anonymous 07/24/2012
Muy fácil y rico de preparar! 

Low And Slow-Pulled Pork
by anonymous 07/19/2012
 I was born in the North but raised in the South. The Sauce is very tasty. I truly appreciate how well the Rub enhances the cooking and flavoring of the meat. Between the two elements, you get a tender composition with- out excessive fat &/or bones to get-in-the-way of a fine type of tender, all-meat sandwich with a truly fine extra sauce to re-dress it with after-it-was used to bathe it all during the long-slow cooking to-add-to-the-tender, moist, highly flavored meat. It was so tender it was shredded with forks after-it-was finished cooking. This led to the BBQ Sandwiches. It is an addition to great bean dishes. A fine pile of meat upon a plate of Southern 'Sides'! The list of menus is quite a fine combination of foods beloved all across the USA!

Pulled Pork Goodness
by anonymous 03/23/2012
 The sauce recipe look a lot like the one I used to make, so I know this is gonna be good!

Low and Slow Pulled Pork
by anonymous 03/23/2012
 Being form NC I love chopped bar-b-que and there is nothing finer than going to a pigpickin and pull your on pork off the pig. This recipe is something that will work for me and I think it is a good one will be trying it soon the weather is just write for some pork

by anonymous 03/16/2012
 I use a two door Masterbuilt propane smoker. It maintains temp at 225 very easily. Highly recomend the recipe and the smoker.

Nothing like Southern BBQ
by anonymous 12/17/2011
Thanks Randy GREAT recipe!!! 

low and slow pulled pork
by anonymous 09/17/2011
 hum hum good. had a lot of good reviews. thanks for a great dish.

low and slow pulled pork
by torrance 09/10/2011

pulled pork
by betty cool 08/26/2011

pulled pork
by betty cool 08/26/2011

Great Stuff!!
by petey 05/26/2011
Great recipe! Please do this one.  

by Michelle 05/05/2011
Whenever there's a choice, you ALWAYS chose pulled pork. Then add hot sauce if it isn't spicy enough.

Pulled Pork
by Dale Mickley 05/04/2011
 Very simular to my procedure except I wrap my pork in foil after six hours and bring the temperature to 210 degrees. The first six hours I catch the drippings to make homemade BBQ sauce.

Too good!!
by Nancy 01/01/2010
Have made this several times, always perfect. We are having it today for New Years. So good!

by A southern girl 12/12/2009
Do this one....It was great, with a mild vinegar taste. Cooking slow is the way to go!

pulled ;ork
by Karl E. Schlepp 10/02/2009
excellent flavor. Nake sure meat is done, 160 degrees or better. Pulls apart if hotter than 160.