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tips for BBQ | The secrets for low and slow barbecue ribs, pulled pork, brisket and more

Perfect Pulled Pork (Injected Pulled Pork)

Home::Recipes > Pork  |  August 2013

Pulled pork is classic barbecue fair. It is one of the things you will want to learn to cook and cook well. It is a cheap cut, it can feed a large crowd and if done right it will make your mouth water between bites. Barbecuing Boston Butts (a.k.a. Shoulder Blade Roasts) is something your smoker was just born to do. It can turn that cheap cut into a sultry, smoky roast that just falls apart.

This recipe was something I originally created for Primo Grills and it has quickly turned into one of my favorites. It’s simple. It’s foolproof. It will turn out some of the best pulled pork you’ve ever had. That hat trick is a winning combination.

For this I inject a simple marinade that brings out the pork flavor and helps to keep the roast from drying out during the cook. If this happens to be your first time cooking pulled pork or if you’re interested in learning a few more tips jump over to my Easy Pulled Pork recipe which is chock full of tips.


Yield: About 12 lbs
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 12 hours


2 x 8-10 lb Bone-in Boston Pork Butts (Pork Shoulder Roasts)
Injection Marinade (below)
1/2 - 3/4 cup of Rusty’s Memphis Pork Rub per pork butt

Injection Marinade
2 cups apple juice
1 cup apple cider vinegar
1 tsp Thai chili garlic sauce
1/2 tsp onion powder
2 tsp parkay squeezable imitation butter
1/4 tsp Worcestershire sauce
Dash of your favorite hot sauce (like Cholula)

Prepare Injection Marinade

Mix all of the ingredients for the marinade. On a stove, heat the marinade on medium for 5 minutes allowing the butter to melt and the flavor to come together. Allow the marinade to cool for 10-15 minutes before using. It may be prepared and cooled overnight in the fridge (whisk well before injecting).

Injecting meat is very easy, but you really do need a quality injector. I always use a large, solid stainless steel injector like in the link. They last for years and don't shatter like the cheap see-through kind. You'll want one that comes with a marinade and solid flavor injector like the pictured injector. The needle you'll want to use has holes drilled up the side which allows to more evenly distribute the marinade.


Prepare your smoker for cooking indirect at 225°F. I tend to prefer using my Primo Oval XL ceramic smoker over my pellet smoker for the amazingly sultry, smoky flavor.

  • Kamados/Charcoal Smokers - If you're using a Kamado/ceramic smoker then you'll want to set it up using D-Plates with drip pans. Fill your smoker with plenty of charcoal to cook for about 12-13 hours. I use 2 large chunks of apple wood, a small handful of hickory chips and a small handful of whiskey barrel oak chips.
  • Pellet Smoker - With a pellet smoker that has a convection fan (like a Traeger) plan on smoking for 9-10 hours. I prefer a 50/50 mix of apple and hickory wood pellets.

Place the roasts on a cutting board or pan. Inject each pork shoulder using a large needled liquid injector. Inject small amounts into 10-15 different spots around the roast. It’s easiest to go in at a 45° angle. Put your thumb and forefinger around the needle as you inject and slowly pull out at the same time (slowly injecting as you go). This will keep it from squirting back at you. Reserve the rest of the marinade for mopping.

Pat the exterior of the surface dry with paper towels.

Apply the rub to each of the butts. Apply it all over and rub it in so it sticks well. Feel free to substitute another similar styled pork rub, but the quantities will differ.


Place both of the roasts on the racks positioning them above the drip pans. If you have a leave-in or wireless thermometer place it in the thickest part of the roast away from the bone.

After 3 hours, start mopping the butts with the leftover marinade. Keep mopping every 60-90 minutes. If the pork butts begin to fall apart too early they can be transferred to tinfoil or a disposable pan for the remainder of the cook.

When the internal temperature hits 185-190°F it should be done. This is slightly earlier the "Easy Pulled Pork" recipe, but the injection helps us here. Use a knife or fork to test for doneness. It should insert with little to no resistance. The bone will also move easily when the meat is done. Remove from your grill and wrap with tin foil. Allow the meat to rest for 20-25 minutes before pulling. Use Bear Paws, Meatrakes or forks to help shred the meat. Pile high in a sandwich or taco and enjoy! Leftovers, if any, can be put in freezer bags and frozen in meal-size quantities for up to six months.


pulled pork quesadillas Not there will be any, but if there are leftover here's a few ideas:

  • Cubano Burger - Sauced up Pulled Pork on top of a grilled burger
  • Sandwiches (of course)
  • Grilled Pulled Pork Quesadillas (pictured)
  • Pulled Pork Nachos

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