Pulled pork is a staple of smoking, and something you definitely need to have in your tool box. You can either serve the finished product straight up, in a sandwich, a taco, mix it in a salad…the options are nearly endless.
While you can use a picnic shoulder for this, I prefer Boston butt. It has a better fat-to-meat ratio, which yields pork that’s easier to pull and just melts in your mouth.
The key to this is maintaining a relatively steady temperature in your smoker. It’s also important that you leave the pork in the smoker long enough. This will be about 12 hours out of your day if you’re going low and slow, which is the best way to smoke it.
Pro Tip: At a certain point, around the 160 degree range, you will hit the “stall”. The internal temperature will continually rise until it hits this point, at which time it will slow to a crawl, and may even stop for a while. Leave it alone. I repeat: don’t touch it. Leave it alone. Don’t jack up the heat. Don’t reposition the pork. Don’t call your guests and cancel the barbecue. Just relax, be patient, and once the evaporative cooling has finished, the temperature will begin to climb to 195 again. Here is a good explanation for what is happening.
Shortcut: if you can’t dedicate 12 hours to maintaining your fire, you can cheat a little bit. After the first few hours, you won’t be able to get any more smoke on the meat (the smoke will have penetrated the meat as much as it will), so it’s just about maintaining a cooking temperature until the internal temperature hits 195 degrees. After the first few hours, you can transfer the pork to a oven preheated to 250 degrees and finish it in there.