Texas Style Pulled Pork RecipeI call this recipe “Texas Style Pulled Pork” because it reminds me of the way brisket and spare ribs are cooked in the Lone Star State. For Texas Style Pulled Pork, it’s all about simple ingredients – Meat, Salt, Black Pepper and Post Oak Smoke. Pork cooked this way takes on a delicious flavor and I love it because you can taste the actual meat. In Texas Post Oak is used as the primary fuel source and it gives the meat a pleasant, smoky profile. It can be strong like hickory but the flavor is true barbecue. Stick burner pits rule in Texas, but you can cook Texas Style Pulled Pork on any bbq pit. I’m using my Big Green Egg running B&B Lump charcoal. I scattered 5-6 chunks of good seasoned post oak over the hot coals and let the pit come up to 275⁰. The pork butt gets seasoned with a 50:50 blend of Morton’s Corse Kosher Salt and Tone’s Restaurant Ground Black Pepper (both can be found at Sams club). Then it goes on the Egg fat side down for 4-5 hours until a good bark forms. I don’t bother with probing the butt at this point because it’s all about the bark. When it looks right it’s time to wrap the butt to get it tender. Instead of using the Texas Crutch (aluminum foil), I go with peach butcher paper. Butcher paper is used in barbecue to preserve the bark. It turns out a little firmer in the paper where aluminum foil steams the bark causing it to be mushy. Once the butt is wrapped place it back on the pit and stick a meat probe into the center of it. Set the alarm for 198 degrees and kick back and have a cold one. This is where a Probe Thermometer comes in really handy. I used a Thermoworks DOT for this pork butt. You can check them out here>> It’ll take several more hours for the butt to reach target temp and when it does it needs a good rest. I have a dry cooler on hand and just sit the butt right down inside it. Close the lid and come back after a couple hours. When you’re ready to serve the Texas Style Pulled Pork, remove it from the cooler and unwrap the butcher paper. It’ll still be hot so wear hand protection (cotton Hand Saver gloves under a pair of nitrile gloves), and shred the butt by hand. The bark is absolute best part. The Salt & Pepper create a savory, crusty bark and the post oak flavor is just right. Texas Style Pulled Pork is great for sandwiches, tacos, nachos, or just eating plain with some sliced sweet onion and pickled jalapeños, but don’t forget the white bread! Also sauce is completely up to you; in Texas it’s frowned upon, but I say enjoy however you want! Print
Texas Style Pulled Pork Recipe
- 8lb Pork Butt
- ¼ cup Corse Ground Kosher Salt
- ¼ cup Corse Ground Black Pepper
- Prepare Smoker for indirect cooking at 275⁰ using chunks of Post Oak added to the hot coals for smoke flavor.
- Combine the Kosher Salt and Black Pepper in a small mason jar.
- Season the outside of the Pork Butt with a good dose of the salt & pepper seasoning on all sides.
- Place the Pork Butt on the smoker and cook for 4-5 hours or until internal temperature reaches 165-170 degrees.
- Wrap the Pork Butt in peach butcher paper and return to the smoker.
- Monitor the internal temperature with a probe thermometer inserted into the center of the pork butt. Final target temperature should be 198-200⁰.
- Rest the Pork Butt in a dry cooler for at least 1 hour before serving. To Serve: remove the blade bone and shred the pork butt by hand.
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Malcom is my BBQ hero. He is a great host, and I can follow his instructions. I have a pellet grill, kettle grill, and Big Green Egg. With this equipment, I have been able to do almost everything he has shown. In fact, I followed Malcom’s tips to purchase my Green Mountain Pellet Grill.
This Boston Butt recipe is straight forward and outstanding.
My family loves his smoked spatchcock herb chicken. So good, and so easy.
he helped get me into smokin, he isn’t an elitist like a lot of other personalities, he keeps it mostly on the havin fun in the back yard level and that’s what it’s all about, learning to make high quality food and just have a good time, at least to me
Will I want to do this on my traeger pellet grill . Texas style and use oak pellets, same as when I do my brisket. Doing 8 lb bone in What time am I looking at for total cook ? Thanks Doug
sounds great to me not just good !!? pink ? butcher paper ?
pink or peach butcher paper can be found on Amazon
I recently moved to Texas and want to do your Texas Style Pulled Pork. I’m going to order some butcher paper from Amazon, What width of butcher paper would you recommend…18”, 24”, etc.?
we usually buy the 18″ but you could use the 24 too
Can you use parchment paper instead of butcher paper?
I only use the food safe butcher paper
I am new to a pellet grill, I have the Yoder 480. Taking time to adjust from charcoal. I have been trying your recipes and have enjoyed them all.
This time I tried the Texas Style Pulled Pork. It turned out great. The only problem mine took 10 hours at 285 to reach 198. I guess my charcoal cooked hotter than I thought.
Tonight I am trying the Smoked Party Wings. I will start them early.
What would you say would be a good estimated time to cook a 8 lb Boston butt
lot of variables, that is why we cook by internal temp and not time. I would estimate 8 hours but you want to take it to 198-202 internal.
Did this recipe on my ceramic smoker. I used a picnic instead of butt. Couple of observations, and I’d love some input.
First, I figured it would be a little drier than going TX crutch. It was a little, but not too dry by any means.
Second, the flavor was fantastic. And more surprisingly, it seemed to be throughout the meat, not just isolated to surface. It seems to me that on normal smokes, getting some meat from deep inside the shoulder, there’s not too much going on besides just a good pork flavor. This one seemed to be flavored completely through.
Would these differences have to do with it being a picnic? Butcher paper? Simpler rub? I did coat it pretty well with less ingredients, so the concentration of salt and pepper would be greater. What’s thoughts on Boston Butt vs picnics? I generally smoke butts, however, this may steer me toward picnics more often.
Malcom, thanks for the videos! Great info, fun to watch, and family-friendly. Kudos!
Really the picnic and the butt have about the same fat content and same types of muscles – so they really yield very similar. You just had a good product to start with and had a good cook.
Thanks for the info. I may have to do a Store A vs Store B cook-off. Cook them side by side and see if it’s vendor related.
This looks great! Any tips on doing this on a gas grill. I unfortunately don’t have a smoker.
You have to set it up for slow smoking: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PvxIkeT9YEY
How many servings would the recipe make?
Depends on the size of your butt. You can easily feed 15 people with a butt.
Are there any combinations of wood varieties that can mimic post oak? Living in CA with all the restrictions we live under, even if I knew anyone in TX I imagine we could be in deep trouble by sending it into the state.
We have several types of oak here plus I burn almond in the winter for heat and we have manzanita on our property. Although it ( manzanita) burns very hot, I’m not sure about any toxic properties it may have for smoking food – have to look that up before I try it, but it sure cleans the soot out of a chimney.
you could use any dry, seasoned wood really. I like to use pecan or hickory mixed with a fruit wood.
I don’t know where you are Lynne, but the supplier I use in OC has post oak. They deliver also. Just look up the Woodshed in Orange.
Gas grills can do it all. Trust me, I make a smoker pouch and set the heat and make all of these recipes. More times than not the grill doesnt matter, except I paid a ton less!
For a long cook like this, how much oak should be used?
depends on your smoker. You want a nice, light smoke.
Did this one yesterday and it was Awesome – great bark using a WSM. Thanks for the info!!
Would it be possible to cook this a day before and then heat it up? I’m cooking a Sunday lunch for about 70 people and would love to get my cooking done on Saturday so that I can prep my other items on Sunday. Also planning on using your smoked chicken with blue cheese slaw recipe! Also I’ve got a pellet smoker, hoping I can get enough smoke to make it good.
I always cook it fully and go ahead pull the pork butt. This is where you can taste it and add a little more rub or BBQ sauce. Then place it in a ziplock bag and store in the fridge overnight. Then the next day remove it from the fridge, place it in a metal pan and cover it with saranh wrap and them foil. then you can reheat the pork in the oven or on the smoker around 250 – takes about 45 minutes to reheat.
I’m surprised there is no injection used with this method. Does the pork dry out at all? I’m using a mastebuilt electric smoker and have tried a few rubs. Really looking forward to the simplicity of this. Meat n heat!
I’m surprised there’s no injection with this method, does the pork stay moist? I’ve tried many runs but never able to get a bark in an electric smoker so looking forward to trying this!
It should still be juicy without any injection. But feel free to inject!
This is late notice, but tips with smoking 4 pork shoulders at once? 3 are the same size and one much larger (nearly twice the size). All in, it’s a little over 32lbs.
Give yourself plenty of time to cook this much meat – especially if your cooker is loaded down and the airflow is a little restricted. As they get done, wrap them in foil and place them in a dry cooler. They can hang out there for 5-6 hours no problem. Holding will be your friends for this cook.
Hi, Malcolm! Tried this one the other day with an 8 lb Boston butt…I think this will be my “Go to” pulled pork recipe from now on! So simple and delicious! I did change a few things about the recipe, though: one, I added garlic powder to the rub, which technically makes it Santa Maria-style (Santa Maria is my hometown, btw); two, I injected the butt the night before the cook with a simple apple juice / cider vinegar-based injection; three, I used hickory instead of oak, simply because I had some on-hand. Soooo good! I think with the addition of some packed brown sugar and maybe a bit of cayenne for added bite, this would also be great for ribs! Will definitely do again.
love how you took the recipe and made it your own! Glad to hear that
Hey Malcom, what if I just want to slice the pork butt, not shred it? What would be an ideal temp?
165-170 internal https://howtobbqright.com/2013/07/03/sliced-pork-butt-sandwich/
Would your rub be different for a “Memphis style” butt?
For a Memphis Style I would use a red rub (like The BBQ Rub) and add a lot of sweetness on the back end in the foil and on the glaze.
Hey Malcom, big fan of yours; thanks for all the tips. I’ve been playing around with butts for years and have gone back and forth between cooking them at either 225 or 275. I tend to get the same results at both temperatures with the only difference being either a 12-hour cook or a 6-hour. I was wondering what your thoughts are seeing that you go back and forth? Personally, I’d rather roll out of bed around 8 and have it cooked mid-afternoon with a 3-4 hour rest in my cooler.
Hey Malcom, I was referred to your site by a colleague a few weeks ago…and now my only regret is not knowing about your site years ago. I tried this method with a massive 11 lbs pork butt last week on my Traeger pellet smoker and it turned out absolutely amazing! This may have been the best pulled pork I’ve ever eaten.
I did run into something I would like your input on. Not too long after wrapping the pork butt in pink butcher paper and putting it back on the smoker, I ran into a stall as you would expect from a beef brisket. At 171 degrees, it stalled for about 45-60 minutes and the temp didn’t budge. After that, the temp consistently climbed to 198. I’ve never seen a stall with pork before, but this is the first pork butt I’ve done. Is that normal for a pork butt? Or could it be due to the massive size of this one? Thanks in advance!
Yeah – all big meats will go through a stall. Just expect it and give yourself plenty of time for a long cook.
Hi Malcolm: I really enjoyed this recipe! I usually cook butts Carolina style. What a nice change of flavor. I wrapped this one at internal temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit. It stalled at 170 ! I normally cook everything at 225 degrees. It seemed to be taking forever to get to 195/200 degrees IT. So I bumped temperature up to 250 then to 275. It finally reached 195 internal temperature. I then put wrapped butt in cooler packed in towels and went to bed. When I got up 5 hours later I pulled it. Came out really tender, moist and delicious. I guess my question is should I have stuck it out at 225 or is it okay to increase the cooking temperature if meat stalls? I started cooking at 10AM and didn’t get finished until 3:15 Am. Your Humble Opinion is appreciated. Thanks
Hi Malcom. I’m doing an 8 lb Boston Butt on my Traeger this Thursday. I’m planning to rub with your BBQ Rub, and also inject it with an Apple Juice & BBQ Rub mixture. Can I still use butcher paper for the wrap when I inject the butt? Or will there be too much juice for the butcher paper?
there will be a lot of juice in a pork butt. I’ve wrapped them in butcher paper and gotten good results, but pork butt is the one thing I usually always still wrap in foil – even when I’m cooking at home. But it really comes down to personal preference.
Hi, Malcom. Watch you all the time on YouTube. Thank you for making me a pretty decent BBQer. Love your rubs and your sauces, especially the Vinegar based one. I really appreciate how you recap what you did on each video. This is a huge help.
My question is what temp do you use the most, when cooking at home, a pork butt? 225 or275??
I usually cook it 250-275 the most.
Can this be completed in a 12 hour window?
it depends on your smoker, your temp, the size of your butt – but it should be able to be finished in 12 hours no problem.
Love your site, Youtube videos — I would love to be your neighbour!
Anyways, I just won a KJ Classic so I wanted to try something this weekend…last minute.
I know you said Butcher paper but if I can’t get myself some — would Aluminum Foil suffice?
Also is mesquite and apple wood chunks a bad combination for smoking?
I’m not a fan of mesquite myself – but use whatever you like. Foil will work no problem.
Wow! I’d never thought of cooking pork butts Texas style but these turned out great! I cooked 6 of these on Saturday and 3 of the Texas style Briskets at my tailgate! Go Gorillas! Everyone loved it!! Used some Ozark Oak lump charcoal and post oak.
Malcom – This recipe is fantastic. I’ve smoked pork butt several times now in my Cookshack using hickory. Just ordered some post oak on Amazon and look forward to trying that this weekend for a big football party we’re having.
While I hear it’s frowned upon in Texas to put sauce on pulled pork, I live in California and as all of you that live in the rest of the country, people in CA do things a tad differently (yes, I’m being nice).
Do you have a sauce and a topping that you think makes the pulled pork sliders more interesting? I’m good with making the sauce. Do you have an interesting coleslaw recipe that compliments the pork. What about crispy onions?
Thanks for your input. I have great appreciation for your style of cooking!
I’ve done different things – white bbq sauce, pickled onions. We’ve also done a pineapple cole slaw – and those crispy jalapeños would be a good addition too.
Malcom, EVERY recipe I’ve tried from this site has been fantastic! When I’m looking for something new to try I start here…
I normally cook a butt low and slow on an egg for quite a long time. This weekend I want to bring this to a “big game” party. I wan’t to make sure it’s done. Can I assume the 1:1 (one hour to one pound) in your other pork shoulder recipe will be about right for the entire cook for a butt? I plan to let it rest for 2-4 hours. I just want to make sure I get it started early enough.
We love the simplicity of this recipe while enjoying the sumptuous flavors. No muss- no fuss! We’ve been using applewood chunks. I’m going to get post oak someday and give it a try. Been using a masterbuilt charcoal smoker with forced air.
Hey Malcolm, just curious as to what kind of kosher salt you use and what should be used for this. And what kind of corse black pepper are you using? I’ve seen people say you should use 16 mesh and did t know if it mattered or not? Thanks!
Malcolm- great recipe. Tried it this weekend on my BGE and the Post Oak definitely changes the flavor profile from traditional Memphis pulled pork. The Salt and Pepper rub was also nice for a change. Will definitely make it again.
P.S. Memphis Style still wins
I have a 22 lb. butt. Can I cut it in half and only cook half of it and save the rest for another time?
There are legends. And then there’s Malcom. Dude i just made this pork recipe and blew the doors off everyone. You’re literally a gift, thanks dude for everything.
My favorite Malcolm recipe so far. Nice and simple with great results.
Red X in Riverside, MO had pork butts for $1.27 a lb last weekend and I got 20 lbs on the pit right now 🙂
I’m a newbie with a WSM and your youtube channel is my favorite for BBQ.
Well explained and great results.
We hope to make it to one of your workshops near Memphis some day.