Tender, succulent Texas pulled pork is a phenomenal tasting dinner that's super easy to make and one that your family is sure to love. The smoky-sweet flavor that comes from smoking the meat is an amazing combination with the mustard and spice rub. This best-ever Texas-style pulled pork will melt in your mouth and need less ingredients than the classic pulled pork recipe. The long, slow cook time makes it fall apart while preserving the pork's juicy, tender texture and infusing it with outstanding flavor. You can smoke Texas pulled pork ahead of time, making it perfect for serving at picnics, potlucks, or backyard barbecues.
The best pork cut for pulled pork is the shoulder or butt meat. Pick up a bone-in cut. This will give your pulled pork a richer flavor. But you can also try different pork cuts for different combinations.
Making great-tasting, ultra-tender Texas-style pulled pork is a labor of love. You'll need to cook it low and slow for about 2 hours per pound at 225°F. However, cooking it isn't actually all that difficult. First, score the fat cap to help the seasonings penetrate the meat. Then rub mustard over the entire pork shoulder. Season it with the spice rub, the lay it on the grill. Close the grill and let the pork cook for 2 hours before opening it to spritz it with the apple cider vinegar-water mixture. From there, you'll spray it every hour to help create more smoke until the meat reaches an internal temperature of 160°F.
When it does, remove the pork, wrap it in foil, and keep cooking it until it reaches between 195 to 205°F. The higher the temperature within this range, the more tender the pork will be. Take it out and let it rest for 1 to 2 hours before shredding it.
– Your pulled pork is ready to be taken out of the grill once it reaches an internal temperature of between 195 and 205°F. The higher the internal temperature, the more tender the pork will be, but you can take it out at 195°F if you prefer.
– There are several different kinds of wood you can use to smoke your pork, and each will give it a slightly different flavor. The top picks are applewood, cherry wood, hickory, maple, and oak.
– Wrapping the pork shoulder in foil is optional – some recipes call for it while others don't. It makes it easier to handle when taking it out of the grill and also helps reduce the cooking time.
– Texas pulled pork goes great with so many side dishes. Serve it with warm freshly baked rolls, a hearty salad, homemade mac and cheese, or some roasted vegetables such as roasted broccoli or onions. Pulled pork is also amazing in sandwiches, wraps, or popped into a burger bun with coleslaw.
Store pulled pork in an airtight container in the fridge for 4 days. Frozen pulled pork can be enjoyed for up to 3 months.
Preheat your grill to 225°F.
Score the fat cap in a grid pattern.
Whisk salt, garlic powder, pepper, and paprika in a small bowl to combine.
Dust the spice mix over the entire top park of pork shoulder. Press it into the rub and repeat on the other side.
Put the pork onto the center of the grill. Use a meat thermometer to keep track of the temperature.
Pour water and apple cider vinegar in a spray bottle and shake to combine.
Smoke the pork for 2 hours with the lid closed. After 2 hours, spray the pork with the apple cider vinegar mix every hour until its internal temperature comes up to 160°F. Once it reaches 160°F, wrap it in foil and continue to smoke it.
When the pork reaches 195 to 205°F, remove it from the grill and allow it to rest for 1 to 2 hours before you shred it.
If you use a larger or smaller pork butt cut, make sure to adjust the cooking times. On average, it'll need to cook 2 hours per pound at 225°F.
When scoring the fat cap, score deeply enough to cut down to the meat. Rub mustard over the meat to coat.