Pulled Pork on a Pellet Grill
This is my no wrap, low and slow, tried and true…Never Fail…method for cooking a pork butt on a pellet grill. This technique will smoke a pork butt as good as any pit out there; but you have to put in the work. You can’t rush pork perfection!
The problem most people have with producing good BBQ on a pellet grill is they don’t give them self enough time to let the magic happen. It takes a low and slow approach to develop bark and smokey flavor when using wood pellets.
It’s true pellets don’t produce as much smoke as wood or even charcoal, but by slowing down the cook time you force the pellets to work more which does produce good clean blue smoke which is exactly what you want.
You can season the pork butt how ever you like that part is completely up to you. I like to use a combo of a good Salt, Black Pepper, & Garlic base layer followed with a more traditional BBQ Rub on top. This layering effect gives the pork butt a ton of flavor and builds a beautiful bark on the outside. The salt and sugars also aid in creating the smoke ring that folks say you can’t do on a pellet grill. (I’ve never had a problem getting a smoke ring on a pellet grill)
Let the seasonings work on the outside of the pork butt for a couple hours before putting it on the pit. You can rest it in the refrigerator on a wire cooling rack as long as 8 hours before cooking.
When you’re ready to fire up the pit, set it for 200 degrees for first part of the cook. This slows down the amount of pellets dropped in the fire pot and allows the pellets to actually smoke instead of rapidly burning.
It will take 12-14 hours for a 8-10lb pork butt to fully cook at low temps. About 8 hours in ramp the temp up to 220 and continue cooking until the internal temperature reaches 190°F. At this point the butt is fully rendered and a thermometer probe will slide in with little to no resistance.
And that’s all there is to it. If you follow this method the bone will come out clean, there will be little to no fat to remove from the butt and the bark will be some of the best you’ve ever tried. This process does take time but I promise it’s worth the wait.Print
Pulled Pork on a Pellet Grill
Low and Slow Pork Butt Recipe for a Pellet Grill to make some delicious Smoked Pulled Pork!
- 8–10lb pork butt
- 2 Tablespoons Killer Hogs AP seasoning
- 2 Tablespoons Killer Hogs The BBQ Rub
- Season all sides of the pork butt with AP and The BBQ Rub
- Rest the pork butt in a refrigerator for at least 2 hours on a wire cooing rack
- Prepare a pellet grill for low and slow smoking at 200°F
- Place the pork butt on the cooking grate fat side down.
- Smoke for 8 hours at 200°F then raise the cooking temperature to 220°F
- Continue to cook until internal temperature reaches 190° or a probe thermometer slides in with little to no resistance.
- Remove the pork butt from the grill and rest for 15 minutes before pulling.
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This is by far the tastiest bark I’ve ever had! Much better than the mustard binders. I did spritz mine with 50/50 every hour and wrapped at 160 and it came out perfect! Thanks as always Malcom!
This is going to be my first attempt at pulled pork. Have seen a few of your recipes and some you wrap at around 160. This recipe you leave unwrapped the entire cook time any preference? Using a Traeger to Mae this on Easter..
BTW… love your Killee Hogs rub and the BBQ beans recipe was off the hook amazing,,!!
New to the bbq world and my first attempt at a pulled pork. Would a Boston butt cook the same as a pork butt? My grocery store normally only carries a Boston butr
They’re the same.
Doing my first pork roast
THEY ARE THE SAME THING
Boston butt is just another name for pork butt. Tomatoes/Tomotoes….
I have my three butts resting in my cooler right now and do not plan on taking them out to pull for another 5 hours. What would you say the maximum time is safe to rest. I’ve seen post stating some have tested for 8 hours.
I tried a pork but using your steak seasoning. Great taste
Just did two pork butts this way!! Followed it exactly like you did in the video and I must say it is the best pork butt I have ever produced!!! Thank you!
Did you use the same cooking time or did you have to leave it on longer because you did 2? I’m making 2-8 pounders and wasn’t sure if cooking time needed to be extended.
Hi Malcom, I would like to do this on my Camp Chef, what smoke setting would you suggest?
Hi Mark – I had a similar question as I’m making one Friday night into Saturday. Have you tried making it yet and if so, which smoke setting did you use?
I have a Camp Chef and just set mine to 200. Hi smoke gets a bit too hot for this specific method.
I cooked a 9lb butt exactly as the recipe called for and it’s only 165 degrees. I have heard that low humidity will increase cooking times. Is this true and if so, how much more?
Wrap it, B!
I’m in Alaska and wonder the same….mine stalled for 3 hours before I gave up and wrapped it. It took a bit to get out of the stall, but then it was all dried out.
Butt is rubbed and sitting in frig until 11pm west coast time…..then going on the grill. I will resist all temptations to wrap…In Malcom I trust…..
Let me know how this turned out or if you wrapped it – still trying to decide myself if I should throw some butcher paper on and will be making mine tomorrow.
What’s the benefit/tradeoff to not wrapping the pork butt?
Darker, drier and tastier bark, and more chance at getting a smoke ring (along with flavour).
And (to some) bragging rights on being a purist. 🙂
Just wondering, if I smoke this overnight and it’s done early the next day, what’s the best way to keep it warm for dinner time with out drying it out? Does it need any liquid added to it if it were to be in a crock pot on warm? Just seems like not wrapping it in tin foil at the stall would create an excellent bark but lose a lot of the juices.
Naa. I’ve smoked hundreds of butts. Never wrapped one. And they are always moist!
Many ways that I use. I have learned to experiment-clinging to one cook’s opinion is up to you. Your final opinion is the best one. Try one out and see if you like it.
My goal is to keep the meat moist. So wrap it or cover it, and use a heat source to get some warmth. Your choice here, crockpot, oven, grill….whatever. My stay warm temp is in the mid 100s. You may probe the meat to know what the temp is. You may turn the heat on/off or take it away from the heat for awhile. Every once in a while I get some dried out meat near the outside edges-my bad I let the heat source get too hot or meat near the edge too long.
I have heard of some letting the meat cool down, then refrigerating and reheating with some success. That’s not a first choice for me.
I did four at once for a friends Birthday party. They finished about 8:30 am, wrapped in butcher paper and then in a food safe plastic bag (just so the cooler wasn’t a greasy mess). Then into a cooler with a couple of towels on top to take up the space. My buddy was quite concerned about the pork going cold as the party was at 4:00pm. He pulled the meat out at about 3, so he could “warm it up in the oven”. No need. The pork was still so hot he couldn’t even pull it. give it a rough pull about and then about 15 minutes on the cutting board, and rip it down.
I ALWAYS give it at least 90 minutes in the cooler to settle after a cook.
Pulled pork is pretty forgiving too. Hard to screw up. 🙂
Been watching a while and this was my first attempt smoking on my new Traeger. It went bad quickly. lol. I bumped the temp up to 220 after 8 hours and it just stalled at 160. I then bumped to 250 for another hour with no budge on the stall. I was at 12 hours by this point. I wrapped in foil and bumped to 300 which took almost an hour to get to 190. The pork came out tough and “ham like”. There was a small section that was pull apart, but overall it was not good. Not sure where I went wrong.
Sounds like perhaps you rushed/forced it by jacking the temp up from 250 to 300. If you’re saying the internal temp went from around 160 to 190 in an hour, then that’s waaaaay too fast. I recommend that if you start out low and slow, stick to that method the entire way through. If you wrap it and it still doesn’t break through the stall, try increasing the cook temp in 10 degree increments, but give it time between increases. Just because you get the internal temperature up to the target temp doesn’t mean you’ve given the meat and connective tissue enough time to properly break down. It probably needed a few more hours and it’d have turned out fine. I’d start with a smaller pork shoulder and give yourself more time so you can afford to give it the time it needs.
I try not to worry to much about time when cooking butts. It’s more about the temp. I put mine on midnight and at 8 am it registered 170. It took another 5 hours to get to 200 degrees. That always works for me.
I had a similar issue. I was smoking a butt just under 7 LBs. Started at 200, bumped to 22o after 8 hrs & up to 225 eventually. 14 hrs to get to 190. My bark was like shoe leather and the meat directly under the bark was ham like. Not sure where I went wrong??
Exact same experience. Not sure what went wrong
Did two this way on my Big Green Egg. Perfection.
WHOA, this just made some of the best pulled pork of my life. First attempt on a pellet smoker and turned out perfect.
My 8 pounder ended up needing 15 hours to get to temp. Beautiful smoke ring, easy pulling. Cannot recommend enough.
Worked great 1st butt for me n couldn’t be happier! I actually smoked at 180 for 8hrs then 220 for 8hrs n oh my delish n great barkers a 7.5lb butt! Pure delish! Thanks for the receipe!
I was watching your video on YouTube. I have done this pulled pork grill recipe for first time.
Without your video and blog I think I Can`t make this happen. Thanks for this amazing recipe!
I have a big’ole 16.5 pounder, boneless (Costco doesn’t mess around….should I cut it in half or just increase time?
I would cut it in half unless you are serving a huge crowd. Either way use the temp not time for doneness. I would set aside 15 hours total
I’d count on 90 minutes per pound of meat. However, like everyone else has mentioned, its more about the temperatures than the time. Get a good probe or set of probes and monitor temps.
Did this a few weeks ago for some family who had traveled in to NY from California for the first time since the pandemic began and I wanted to do something special. Well… from the amount of pork consumed I think I did just that! So easy, super delicious. Thanks for yet another winner Malcom!
Does anyone know what kind of gloves Malcom is wearing?
My treager only has a 180 and a 225 temp setting, what should I do?
I’d go for 225.
Get a recteq
REQ TEQ is the only way
Memphis Grills is the only way.
Get a Rec Teq.
They are called
HOWTOBBQRIGHT “HAND SAVERS” GLOVE LINER
and can be bought in his shop.
I would just roll with it. 180 is fine to low and slow and 225 is on 5 degrees more so not a big deal there either.
I did this method last night. I just patted dry the surface and used Amazingribs Memphis Dust rub. I let the roast sit for about 8 hours in the refrigerator before I put it on the grill. Started at 200 degrees in my GMG pellet grill for 8:15 hours overnight then 225 degrees for another four hours (total 12 hours and 40 minutes) for an 8.5 pound shoulder in roast. I pulled the roast at 190 degrees internal. The bark was soooo good and the smoke ring was about 1/2 inch or so. The roast just fell apart and was very juicy and was very delicious even without any sauce. Everyone at the Fourth get together said it was the best pulled pork they have had. This method is stupid simple and so easy.
Love this recipe – it was the best bark I’ve ever had on a pork butt and the flavor was great.
The only issue I had was getting it up to final temp. For my 10.28lbs butt, it took 18.25 hrs and that includes slowly pumping up the grill temp in the final 6 hours, all the way to 260º. Any thoughts on why this might happen? Could it have just been a stubborn cut of meat? I’m using a Camp Chef Woodwind.
While it certainly wasn’t dry, I think it may have been a bit less juicy due to the long cook time.
Wow! I love my pellet smoker but I’ve never gotten the real smoke flavor from cooking a pork butt. Until now! I’m glad I found this low and slow technique. I still like to inject my butts with his competition mixture but that bark and smoke flavor is freakin killer!
What temp is pulled pork done at?
195-205 I believe.
Malcom is a bbq god! Please do yourselves a favour and try this out!! Also the homemade coleslaw is fire as well!
Newbie here – and new fan! I did this exactly as you said and it was INCREDIBLE! Swept my husband off his feet! I used a rub I had. I was a bit nervous about not wrapping but it was the most tender, most moist, most delicious thing I ever made. I didn’t even get to sit down to eat because I couldn’t stop dabbing at the butcher block lol.
Is it ok to coat with mustard first, then put garlic powder, kosher salt, pepper, after that, use “The BBQ Rub”. Also, big question.: I sort of rubbed it an then sprinkled a little more The BBQ Rub on top, so…. If I used more than two table spoons….is that a problem. I really didn’t measure, I just sprinkled to coat it. And finally is 10 hours too long in fridge?
I’ve been in to 18 hours on a large one. Generally at least 14. The stall is where the collagen renders down… You certainly don’t want to rush that. It’s where the magic comes from.
Can the pork come straight out of the fridge onto the smoker or do you suggest letting it come to room temp first?
Also, does cooking 2 butts at a time drastically increase the required cook time?
Not at all. Follow the recipe. I did 2 and they were perfect. 15 hours, and then 3 hours wrapped in heavy duty aluminum foil and a towel in a cooler until it was time to get ready, Always leave yourself extra time just in case. It will keep well if you wrap it and put it in a cooler.
Half of it is really good, half is super dry and went in the trash. Prrrrrrobably will go back to wrapping.
Looks delicious!! Thank you
My butt is boneless. How does that affect this recipe! This is a first for me on a pit boss pellet grill.
I have used your recipes for pulled pork and for brisket and they have both come out awesome. I now want to do both at the same time. Now my question is what would you recommend for temp after the 8hr of low and slow? Pulled pork is 220, Brisket is 250. Would somewhere in the middle be fine? How will this affect the cooking time. Plan is to put in at 10pm, Wrap the brisket at 8am and eat about 4:30 ish.
Excellent recipe and will now doubt make a tournament worthy pulled pork. Wrapping can help reduce cook times but your bark will suffer, so you just gotta do what’s best for you. Only difference I make is that I coat the meat in standard yellow mustard before applying the rub just to help it bind as mustard is very neutral and absorbs flavor well. I also find that it allows the smoke particles to really STICK and makes the bark very rich and flavorful. There’s lot’s of ways to make a great pork shoulder on the pellet grill, find what’s best for you 🙂 (Just getting ready to bump mine up to 220 to finish it up)
One of the better responses I’ve come across in this thread. Based on my limited knowledge of a few cooks, wrapped and unwrapped, my notes have indicated the exact points you mention. I’ve become a bark junkie since doing these and am 100% willing to low and slow it unwrapped to get that perfect traditional bark! Cheers Josh!
Watched the video and followed this recipe exactly. My 8 lb Boston Butt took about 12 hours and it was delicious. Since it hit temp about 4 hours before dinner, I double wrapped it in foil and placed it in a cooler that had been prewarmed with hot water. I also put some towels around the wrapped butt, and 4 hours later it was still too hot to pull apart bare handed. It was a great meal that we enjoyed very much. Thanks Malcom!
This worked well on my Cuisinart pellet grill. In cooler temps the stall takes longer, like 16hrs to get to 190s, but still a wonderful result on low and slow, great rub base, and some homemade sauce. Get your butt tool and probe that thang!
This is a great recipe! Follow the cooking instructions to a T and you cannot go wrong. Always remember it’s the internal temp of the meat not how long the meat has been in the pit. Do not increase the heat to reduce cooking time this will only dry out the meat. I do make my own rub to reduce the amount of salt. Fantastic!
Butts in the fridge and going in tonight. I’m gonna shoot for a 11.25lb butt. I’m gonna give it 15hrs and gonna make Malcolm’s Jack Daniels glaze to go with it. Good luck to all of you cooking for the holidays!
Totally agree with this method. I’ve only been pellet smoking for one year, but figured it out the hard way… My first butt (New Year’s Eve 2020/’21) took 19 damn hours. Although it was 10 lbs & the air outside was cold and windy. I was pretty disheartened & almost wanted to hang it up after that, I’m glad I stuck with it, though.
I’ve gotten the time cut slightly, but it’s still a 12, 14, 16 hour endeavor.
Incredible, fall apart pork that’s as flavorful and tender as the best bbq pork you’ve ever had.
Perfect every time!
that’s great!! I will try it !!
1st pork butt I’ve ever smoked on my brand new pit boss. Best pulled pork I’ve ever had. You’ve got a new fan in me and my family (who used to say they didn’t like pork)
Same rub but cooking at 250 For the whole smoke… Used foil boat method @180 to preserve bark but added some carolina vinegar finishing sauce to the boat… Will report back. 12 hours in (10 lb butt) and @182 with my rectec bull.
WOW! I followed your directions and the outcome was A+!
I put an 8lb butt on at 200 on my Pit Boss Austin XL at midnight and by 8AM it was over 170 internally. I didn’t bump the temperature up then because it was still rising.
I decided to wrap it up at 225 for the last hour, mainly because it was going to be done early and I could keep it warm. I took it off about 930 when the internal temp got to 200. We didn’t open the package until 1130 and oh my goodness!
I’ve only had my pit boss for about six months. Making memories with the family is what it’s all about and I am so glad someone recommended Malcolm‘s channel to me. He provides an easy to follow plan for every smoke which means I can relax knowing we’re going to enjoy an awesome meal.
As advertised, best pork I’ve ever eaten! I take some Head Country bbq sauce, mix in a little apple cider vinegar and a touch of mustard for a side sauce, outstanding!
I have a question about water pan. In the video and instruction there was no call out on juice and I fear that the smoker will dry out during the cook. Does it not dry out due to the lower heat? I want to make sure the pork remains juicy!
Your videos are awesome, I always go to one of your videos before I smoke anything. Great job
Thx again Malcom. I first discovered your site when I bought my first pellet grill in 2010. I’ve followed you and enjoy your no nonsense, easy to follow comments. Now, 8 smokers later and 3 on my back porch I enjoy this way of cooking above all else. Keep up the good work.
I discovered your site since started smoking meat. All your recipes are delicious and your comments easy to follow. I now have 3 smokers a d a ton of friends in the neighborhood. The smoke makes good friends. Keep it up and Thx.
We just got a Rectec. We will be doing four 9 – 10 lb butts for a graduation party. How long do you think this will take? Do you recommend doing all four at once or only two at a time?
I made this recipe yesterday. Followed the recipe exactly except did add the mustard (like you do in competition 😉). Also watched the video first.
Best. Pulled. Pork. Ever!
Without the wrapping, no extra grease. I did have to cook 5 additional degrees but probably because of my probe placement (this is where the video helped as I tested with my thermopen).
Will definitely be making this again!
Can’t remember when I found this recipe but it has been my go to since.
Smoked an 8 lb pork butt following the directions completely. Cooked overnight for about 15 hours, and it was incredible. Family and friends loved it. I was pretty nervous about not wrapping, but it was not a problem at all – bark was better without wrapping. Thanks, Malcolm!
Love it, turned out great.
This is my go-to recipe.
Comes out perfect every time. In fact so good people have requested I make it for there parties I’m go figure invited to. However it’s always 18-20 hours to get it to temperature.
The tried and true method. One of the only things I’ll wake up at 3am to do is get a no wrap shoulder on the smoker.
I am making this for the first time for a Saturday afternoon BBQ.
Thinking I’ll make it Friday morning so I can have the entire day in case I need more time…
Anyone have ideas on the best way to reheat before Saturday BBQ?