One of the staples of smoked food is pulled pork! If you are new to smoking, I suggest you give it a try. It teaches you many techniques and gives a great result.
The main secret to cooking pulled pork is to cook it to temperature, not time. Two different pieces of pork can take different lengths of time due to a phenomenon called the stall. The pork will be rising in temperature and then will stop or even go back few degrees. This can last from a few minutes to hours. So, if you want to cook pulled pork for your friends, I suggest you cook it the day before and reheat it by putting it in a pan covered with foil in a 250 F oven for 1 1/2 hours. Trust me, it reheats wonderfully and no one will know!
The steps for a basic pulled pork are:
Use a pork butt or shoulder as it has sufficient fat
Remove the skin if it is still on the roast
Trim any thick parts of fat to 1/4 inch thick
Put a rub containing sugar on the roast. There are many great commercial rubs or go to my food blog for a recipe.
Put the roast in a 240 smoker with a pan under it to catch the drippings.
Smoke for 5 hours. Put the roast in the pan and cover it with foil. Put the probe from a remote thermometer into the pork thickest part without touching any bone.
Smoke until the internal temperature is 203 F. This will take hours depending on the size of your roast. No matter how long it takes, let it get to temperature or it won't pull apart.
Take the roast in and let it rest for at least 1 hour.
The pork will be falling apart and the bone should pull out easily. Remove any large pieces of fat with your fingers. Pull the pork apart with two forks or your fingers.
Defat the liquid from the roasting pan and add it to the pork.
Let the pork cool and refrigerate.
When ready to serve, put it in a pan or casserole. Add enough apple juice to moisten. Cover with foil or the casserole lid. Heat in a 250 F oven for 1 1/2 hours. Serve with barbecue sauce on the table.
This makes a great pulled pork but there are many variations:
You can choose to not foil. It will take longer to cook but it will have a darker crispier bark.
You can spray with apple juice or other liquid every hour prior to foiling.
You can inject the roast with a flavoured liquid prior to smoking.
You can use a finishing sauce to reheat and serve.
All of these and more let you personalize the way you make your pulled pork. If you would like to see some of my pulled pork projects, you can go to my food blog for step by step instructions. http://oldfatguy.ca/
The Old Fat Guy