Recipe for BBQ Pulled Pork - Slow Cooked on the Barbecue

Pulled pork is that deliciously slow-cooked roast that's so tender you can literally shred the meat with a fork. It's wonderful on its own or in a sandwich bun. It's often cooked in a crock pot but can also be done on the barbecue. Here's a basic recipe for BBQ pulled pork.

What You Need

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We only use a rub on our pork roast, but you can also use a marinade in addition to the rub. So long as we've worked the rub into the meat really well, it's been really flavorful and an extra marinade has been unnecessary!

  • 5 to 6 lb pork shoulder or butt roast, trimmed of excess fat and skin.

  • Rub: combine 1/4 cup brown sugar, 3 tbsp paprika, 1.5 tbsp cracked black pepper, 1 tbsp sea salt, 1 tbsp garlic powder, 1 tbsp onion powder, 1 tbsp dry mustard, 2 tsp cayenne pepper.

  • BBQ wood chips for smoking - about 6 to 8 cups, soaked in water for at least a couple of hours first. Drain when ready to use ... chips should be moist, not wet. Apple, hickory and oak are good flavor choices.

  • Your favorite dipping sauce (suggestion below) for pulled pork sandwiches.


  • Rinse the roast under cold running water, then pat dry.

  • Rub the spice rub liberally and thoroughly into the roast. Make sure you get the rub into all the little uneven surfaces of the roast.

  • Place the entire roast into a big ziplock bag, seal, and let sit in the refrigerator for at least a couple of hours, overnight if you can.

Barbecuing Instructions

The key to tender, pulled pork is to cook it "low and slow". Due to the length of time it takes to complete a pulled pork roast, you may need to add more charcoal or wood chips some time during the cooking process. Expect to spend about 1 to 1.5 hours per pound to cook your roast.

  • Set up your barbecue for indirect cooking.

  • Preheat to around 210 degrees F. Ideally the temperature won't be below 200, nor above 230. Try to keep this temperature as consistent as you can - cooking at high temperatures will make the meat tough.

  • Once preheated, add the wood chips as indicated for your BBQ.

  • Grease the cooking grate.

  • Put on the roast! Keep the lid of your BBQ down to help your roast stay moist.

  • You could eat the roast once the internal temperature is 165 degrees F, but the roast won't have that ideal "shreddable", tender texture yet. Keep barbecuing until it does - somewhere around 190 degress F internal temperature should do it. Watch that you don't overcook it or the roast will get dry. Use a meat thermometer to check the roast.

If for whatever reason, you can't finish the roast on the BBQ, you can just wrap it tightly in foil and finish it in the oven (again, set the temperature to between 200 and 230).

Once the meat is done, you should easily be able to shred it with meat shredders, your fingers or with a couple of forks. Serve it alone with a side dish, or pile it onto a fresh, soft bun and serve with a nice dipping sauce. Dipping sauces for pulled pork sandwiches are usually sort of thin and "vinegar-y". There are lots of recipes for this. Here's one we use:

Dipping sauce: combine 1/2 cup white vinegar, 1/2 cup cider vinegar, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1/2 tbsp red pepper flakes, salt and pepper to taste.

There are also tomato-based dipping sauces too.

Hope you enjoy this recipe for BBQ pulled pork! Pulled pork is such a great choice when you have to feed a lot of people, since the roast itself is relatively inexpensive. Check out our other BBQ pork recipes too.



This website offers tips on how to BBQ as well as some of our favorite barbecue recipes. We barbecue with a charcoal grill in an outdoor kamado-style cooker called The Big Green Egg. We love food and we love the grill, and hope you enjoy our recipes!