Hickory Smoked Pulled Pork

hickory smoked pulled pork

Pulled pork is the recipe I made that put this blog on the map. 6 years later and it is still the most popular recipe on my website. The reason I love pulled pork so much is because it is so versatile. My original recipe is for crockpot pulled pork so I decided to switch it up. Now you can have this hickory smoked pulled pork as well. Now don’t fret, if you don’t have a smoker you can still make this in a crockpot, which I included below.

hickory smoked pulled pork


4.6 from 7 reviews
Smoked Pulled Pork
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 6
Caveman Blend:
  • 4 tablespoons smoked paprika
  • 2 tablespoons sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoons ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon ground white pepper
  • 2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Mop Sauce
  • 1/2 cup apple juice
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  1. Make the caveman blend by combining all the spices listed in a bowl and mixing well (you will not need all of this, store the extra in an airtight container or ziploc)
  2. Make your mop sauce (only if smoking) but combining the ingredients in a spray bottle
  3. Apply a thin coat of mustard to your pork butt
  4. Generously cover the entire pork butt with the caveman blend
  5. Wrap the seasoned pork butt in plastic wrap or put it in a large ziploc and let sit in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours but up to 48
  1. Bring your smoker or your BBQ to 225 degrees fahrenheit and prepare it to use indirect heat
  2. I use an electric wood pellet smoker so I just set the temperature after I added all of my hickory wood pellets
  3. Plan on smoking your boston butt for 60-90 minutes per pound or until it reaches an internal temperature of 190 degrees fahrenheit
  4. Remove your boston butt from the refrigerator at least 30 minutes before you plan to start smoking it to allow it to come to room temperature
  5. Place your boston butt on the smoker fat side up and plan on basting with your mop sauce every two hours until completion
  6. Once your butt has finished, either let it sit for 1 hour before pulling so you don't burn yourself or use tools to shred it
  7. Serve with your favorite sauce or side and I recommend my Beasty BBQ Sauce
  1. Remove your boston butt from the refrigerator and place in the bottom of your crockpot
  2. Add 1/2 cup of olive oil and 1/2 cup of apple juice to the crockpot
  3. Cover and set on low for 12 hours
  4. Once done, shred with forks
  5. You can put the pork back in its delicious broth or serve with my Beasty BBQ Sauce

 ****Disclosure: If you purchase any of the products linked in this post or products through the links on the right side of my page, I receive a small percentage from the respected affiliate programs****

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  1. I’ve made your original with the awesome sauce before. Is this recipe moist and flavorful without the added sauce?

  2. Shall I try this in my new instant pot? Have you tried this? And what about added a dash of liquid smoke to it for those of us without a smoker ;)

  3. Thanks! I just finished an 8 lb pork shoulder that I’ve been knawing on for a week. Had to put a brick on my crock pot lid to keep it closed. I used apple cider vinegar instead of the apple juice so I could avoid the sugar. It turned out awesome! I’m looking for my next source of cheap, mass meat for the week. Thanks again, devil!

  4. I just made this in my crockpot and I have to say I don’t think 3 pounds is going to be enough for 4 people. Lol. This pulled pork is absolutely delicious!

  5. George, I’ve really enjoyed your website as there are a ton of great recipes that fit in with some newly determined dietary restrictions. And, I share your love of bacon!
    Some questions about substitutions (I am SO not a cook so I struggle). I can’t use vinegar, which means I also can’t use most condiments. Could you recommend a substitution for the mustard for the wet rub? I was thinking oil (olive or something else) but what else might impart taste like mustard would? And, I’ve been craving BBQ sauce so your Beasty BBQ Sauce looks like something I could try – but what about subs for the dijon mustard and the apple cider vinegar? I’ve heard of subbing lemon or lime for vinegar but that doesn’t seem like quite the right flavor for this. Any help you can provide is MUCH appreciated!!!

    1. For the rub, the mustard does nothing for flavor so you can leave that out. Just use oil like you said. There aren’t really going to be any subs for the dijon mustard which is used to give it some tang so leave that out. For the vinegar, you could use lemon or lime and it should work great.

          1. YUM! In hubby’s words “The meat turned out flippin’ awesome!” We brought it to a family gathering and it was a hit, including the Beasty BBQ Sauce. We used the Caveman Rub again on grilled chicken tonight and all we heard was “Mmmmmm!” from the kids. Thanks for three great recipes and for helping me with the subs.

            Oh, and on the subs – for the Beasty BBQ Sauce, we subbed one tablespoon fresh lemon juice and one tablespoon apple juice for the apple cider vinegar.

  6. Best meat to ever come out of my crockpot. Wow. Just wow. And I would bet that it is even better in a smoker. So delicious and super easy, too.

  7. I’m eating this for lunch right now and it’s so delicious I felt the need to rush to your page immediately and tell you how delicious it is!!! Thanks for the recipe!!

  8. I made this in the crockpot and it was AMAZING!!!! I had to use a lot of self control to not eat most of it while pulling it apart. It tasted even better after sitting for a few hours before we ate. Just reheated it – OMG – so good.

  9. Hi, this looks great! Btw how did you determine the serving size? How did you measure each serving? By weight, volume, or cup?


  10. Oh this looks soo good. Pork, it’s what’s for dinner, tomorrow. But I’ll be making it again when DH comes home from TDY. We are in the sequester mode with a 20 % pay cut coming. So eating great meals from the pantry is a must. Thanks for all the great recipes to work with and for pointing us to Joshua’s blog. Btw my resident violinist loves the music put to the Cooks Pork Ranch video.

      1. Do my any chance know the name of the song. It would be a gift for my violinist daughter who misses her daddy while he is TDY. He is her favorite “roadie” and he will be missing a recital. Thanks so much

          1. Oh I just love it when you make me look like a hero. Part of being a good mom is helping dad look good. My daughter is jumping up and down happy! Thanks soooo much!

  11. The pork looks amazing! I was even more intrigued by the Cook Pigs ranch. Do you get the whole pig? and if so, what do you do with all the other parts?

      1. Yes, the website says the pig comes with the head and organs. I would not know what to do with those! Do you have suggestions?

  12. This does look amazing…wish I didn’t have an aversion to pork! I don’t know what it is, but I can’t make myself eat the stuff! DARN!
    By the way thanks for the intro to Joshua at Slim Palate, quite the young man.

  13. Pork is my favorite meat and this looks so darn good! Can you send me enough so I can make a pulled pork sandwich? LOL! I have made your Beasty BBQ sauce for my recipe of pulled pork and it was excellent. I am going to try to smoke a Boston butt in my crock pot soon. I have never used wood chips before and not sure where to buy them. I’m sure Home Depot sells them..I think. Maybe even a kitchen store or a restaurant supply house???? I am going to check this weekend because I am dying to smoke something. Have been off ciagarettes for over 3 weeks now so the only smoking I will be doing is in my crock pot! Thanks for all the good recipes!

  14. Looks awesome! What kind of tools do you use to shread the pork you cook? I have some Bear Paws I bought on amazon and they are great for picking up the hot meat right from the smoker and for shreading it after it rests. Keep up the great work.

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