Apple Cider Brined Smoked Pulled Pork is a bone in pork roast that gets soaked in a sweet and salty apple cider brine overnight, covered it in the best dry rub, and smoked to perfection on the grill.
The meat is so tender that it shreds effortlessly and the flavor is unreal!
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SMOKED PULLED PORK
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Nothing says summer like some outstanding Apple Cider Brined Smoked Pulled Pork Its so tender from the brine and flavorful from the dry rub & slow cooking.
Pulled pork is the best, wouldn’t you agree? Its so freaking good.
Whether you make it in your crockpot or on your grill, its one of my favorite dinners. I typically like to make my slow cooker pulled pork during the winter months when the weather is crummy.
But come this time of year when the days are longer and warmer – its pretty much a sin to not cook outdoors.
We have a Traeger and I love it. A lot. I use apple wood when I cook pork. But this will work on any grill as long as you can somewhat control the temperature and use a thermometer to know when your meat is done.
How to make smoked pulled pork:
This recipe starts with a bone-in pork roast. We buy a half pig every year from a ranch in Eastern Oregon, so I pretty much always have a pork roast at the ready.
First, I rinse pork roast under cold running water. In large oven bag or airtight container, combine apple cider, water, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, and salt. Mix until sugar and salt have dissolved. Add pork, cover, and refrigerate (overnight is best).
Should I brine a pork shoulder before smoking?
For this recipe, Yes! I’ve broken down the steps
Step 1: Brine
I like to use a large bag when I brine meat because I want every inch of my meat touching the liquid. If you just set it in a pot, you may have to use more brine to fully cover the meat and that’s just a waste. With a bag, you can squeeze out the air and have a perfectly submerged chunk of meat.
I loved using apple cider for this particular roast. Why does pork taste so good with apple?
Can you brine pork too long?
Since you can buy meat that’s brined, I really don’t think you can brine it too long as long as it’s refrigerated. But who has the refrigerator space to keep a hunk of meat in brine for long periods of time? I think your limiting factor is how long the meat will last.
Step 2: Dry Rub
After your roast is done soaking in its overnight bath, you’re gonna want to make up a batch of my one spoon dry rub and cover the entire roast.
Step 3: Smoke it
When you’re ready to cook your pork, preheat grill to 225 degrees F. If you have a meat injector, take some of the brine and inject it into the roast (I don’t have one so I didn’t do this, but it would have been awesome). Remove the roast from the brine mixture but save it for the cooking process.
How long does it take to smoke a pork shoulder at 225 degrees F?
With all the variables involved in a smoked pulled pork recipe, my best advice is to use a thermometer to know when your meat is done.
So, I *may* have overcooked my pork a wee bit. Hey – it was a beautiful day and my kids wanted extra time at the park. I couldn’t say no!
Well guess what – aside from being a teeny bit drier than I would have liked, it still ended up tasting wonderful. And don’t worry, I put the proper instructions in the recipe below. Trust your thermometer over the clock… always.
What temperature is smoked pulled pork done?
Although 145 degrees Fahrenheit is the standard for most pork roasts, when roasting a pork shoulder or pork butt to make pulled pork, it’s also possible to roast/smoke until it reaches an internal temperature of approximately 195 degrees Fahrenheit, which can be more optimal for pulling.
Best way to serve pulled pork:
Put your pulled pork on a bun and make up a batch of my Caroline Mustard Barbecue Sauce. Now we’re talking. YUM!!!
- Serve it up with some Citrus Cumin Coleslaw, beans and tortillas for a Mexican meal.
- Use the pulled pork in your favorite salad
- Pulled pork nachos!
Apple Cider Barbecue Pulled Pork
- 1 4-7 pound bone-in pork roast
- 4 cups apple cider I used Trader Joe's unfiltered Honey Crisp Apple Cider
- 2 cups water
- 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
- 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/4 cup kosher salt
- one spoon dry rub
- Carolina mustard barbecue sauce
Rinse pork roast under cold running water. In large oven bag or airtight container, combine apple cider, water, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, and salt. Mix until sugar and salt have dissolved. Add pork, cover, and refrigerate (overnight is best).
When you're ready to cook your pork, preheat grill to 225 degrees F. If you have a meat injector, take some of the brine and inject it into the roast (I don't have one so I didn't do this, but it would have been awesome). Remove the roast from the brine mixture but save it for the cooking process.
Mix up the one spoon dry rub and generously cover your roast using all of it.
Put the roast on the grill with the fat side up and cook for 3 hours. After each full hour, use a silicon brush to mop the brine liquid onto the roast to keep it moist. You can discard the brine after the first 3 hours of roasting.
Use an aluminium foil pan or make a boat out of heavy duty aluminum foil and place the roast on top. Increase the temperature to 250 degrees F and roast until the internal temperature reaches 140 degrees F, about 5-6 hours total.
Transfer the roast to a cutting board and allow to rest for at least 20 minutes. This will allow the meat to get to the ideal final temperature of 145F. Transfer any of the cooking juices in your foil to a measuring cup. When the meat is cool enough to handle, separate the tender meat from the bone and fat. Spoon off any fat that has risen to the top of the cooking liquid or use one of those measuring cups that pours from the bottom. Moisten shredded meat with cooking liquid.
Serve with soft buns and Carolina mustard barbecue sauce along with some coleslaw.
I recommend using a large bag when you brine because you can squeeze out all the air to ensure your roast is completely covered.
This post was originally created in May 2015 and has been updated with more fun facts and tidbits for your reading pleasure.
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