Pork ready to go on Traeger grill, rubbed with spice mix for the perfect Traeger pulled pork.

Pulled pork, a classic barbecue staple, achieves its peak flavor potential when cooked on a Traeger grill, renowned for its supreme smoking techniques. This Traeger pulled pork recipe provides a simple yet rewarding culinary experience, perfect for both smoking enthusiasts and beginners. The process is largely hands-off, making it difficult to mess up, and the result is a juicy, tender pulled pork that’s full of smoky flavors. Whether you’re wondering about how long to smoke a pork butt at 250 or searching for the best-smoked pulled pork Traeger recipe, we’ve got you covered. Enjoy the journey of transforming a humble pork butt into an epic feast with this comprehensive step-by-step guide on making pulled pork on Traeger.

A bowl of pulled pork cooked on a Traeger grill, ready for serving.

In this Article

Understanding the Cut: Pork Butt

When it comes to selecting the right cut of meat for your pulled pork, the Pork Butt, also known as the Boston Butt, reigns supreme. Don’t let the name confuse you; this cut actually comes from the upper part of the pig’s shoulder.

In fact, the terms ‘pork shoulder’ and ‘pork butt’ are often used interchangeably, adding to the ambiguity for novice cooks. To clarify, when someone refers to a pork shoulder, they could be talking about a Boston Butt or a Picnic Cut – these are just different sections of the same area.

As a beginner, it’s safe to assume that a pork shoulder and pork butt are essentially the same cut of meat.

Choosing a bone-in pork butt may seem intimidating at first, but this variation is known to pack in more flavor compared to its boneless counterpart. The bone acts as a heat conductor, ensuring an even cook throughout the piece. This results in a mouthwateringly tender pulled pork with a greater depth of flavor, making the additional effort worth it on the Traeger grill.

Embrace this culinary adventure with confidence; each step of this recipe is designed to guide you towards achieving the perfect smoked pulled pork.

Preparation: The Traeger Pulled Pork Recipe

Our Traeger Pulled Pork recipe begins with a simple yet vital step – preparing the pork butt. To add a flavorful twist, a carefully crafted spice rub will be employed. The ingredients for this rub are likely already lurking in your pantry.

This spice blend includes brown sugar, paprika, black pepper, salt, and a hint of cayenne for a kick.

Pork rubbed with the Traeger-specific blend of seasonings for the smoked pulled pork.

When it comes to applying the spice rub, remember that more is more. Generously coat the entire surface of the pork butt, taking care to massage it into all the crevices and under the fat cap. This rub not only imparts incredible flavor, but it also promotes the development of a ‘bark’ or crust on the meat’s exterior during the smoking process.

The combination of the spice rub and the smoke from the Traeger grill produces an irresistibly smoky and spicy pulled pork that will have everyone coming back for seconds.

Pork just put on a Traeger Grill for smoking.

Smoking the Pork Butt: The Traeger Way

Let’s delve into the method of smoking the pork butt with our pulled pork Traeger recipe. Start by preheating your smoker to 250 degrees. Once heated, place your well-rubbed meat on the grill grates and insert an internal thermometer into the thickest part of the pork butt.

This is an important step as the internal temperature will be your primary guide throughout the cooking process.

A smoked pork butt showcasing how long to smoke a pork butt at 250 on a Traeger grill.

The duration of the smoking process largely depends on the size of your pork butt. A good rule of thumb is to allocate 1.5 to 2 hours for every pound of meat. So, for a 5-pound pork butt, you’re looking at a smoking time of up to 10 hours.

Patience is key here; the low and slow cooking process will ensure that your meat is tender, juicy and packed full of flavor.

One thing to bear in mind is the ‘stall’ period. This is when the internal temperature of your meat appears to stop increasing for a few hours.

Don’t panic! This is a normal part of the smoking process. The stall period can be nerve-wracking, especially if it’s your first time smoking a pork butt. However, trust in the process and let the Traeger work its magic.

Pulled pork on Traeger grill after a slow and steady smoking process.

Finally, you’ll know your pork butt is done when the bone easily twists or slides out. Though the bone test is a good indicator, always rely on the internal temperature of the meat as your definitive guide.

By following these steps, you’re on your way to creating an enticingly smoky and spicy pulled pork that will undoubtedly have your guests coming back for seconds.

From Smoked Pork Butt to Pulled Pork

After carefully removing the smoked pork butt from the Traeger, tent it meticulously with tinfoil. Let it rest for at least 20 minutes allowing the juices to redistribute throughout the meat.

This rest period is critical as it ensures your pulled pork will be moist and tender.

A pork butt tented with tinfoil while resting after being cooked on a Traeger grill.

During this resting phase, equip yourself with high-quality, heat-resistant gloves. These are essential tools when handling hot meat. Once sufficiently rested, use your gloved hands to pull the meat apart. The end goal is to shred the pork into strands, replicating the classic ‘pulled’ texture.

Demonstrating the making of vinegar sauce, an essential component of the pulled pork Traeger recipe.

Now, to take your pulled pork to the next level, prepare a quick vinegar sauce as an accompanying condiment.

The tangy acidity of the vinegar beautifully cuts through the rich, smoky flavor of the pork, balancing the palate and enhancing the overall dining experience. Infuse this sauce with your choice of spices or herbs for an added kick.

With this final touch, your mouth-watering, home-smoked pulled pork is ready to be served and savored. Enjoy the compliments that will undoubtedly follow as your guests indulge in this smoky, spicy delight.

Traeger Pulled Pork Recipe: Serving Suggestions

For a truly memorable dining experience, pay due consideration to what you pair with your Traeger pulled pork. An easy choice is pulled pork sandwiches, a classic that never disappoints.

Homemade coleslaw, a perfect side for the smoked pulled pork Traeger style.

Just pile your freshly pulled, smoky pork onto a soft bun, drizzle your homemade vinegar sauce over the top, and finish with a hearty dollop of homemade coleslaw.

The creamy, crunchy coleslaw serves as a delightful counterpoint to the rich, tender pork, creating a balanced and delicious sandwich.

A deliciously prepared pulled pork sandwich using the Traeger pulled pork recipe.

As for drink pairings, consider beverages that can stand up to the robust flavors of the pulled pork.

A chilled glass of IPA complements the smoky, spicy pork with its hoppy taste and a hint of citrus. Alternatively, a bold, full-bodied red wine, such as a Zinfandel or Syrah, can match the intensity and richness of the pork.

These beverages not only cleanse your palate but also elevate the taste of the pork, enhancing your overall dining experience. Savor each bite and sip, and immerse yourself in the culinary journey that is Traeger pulled pork.

Step by Step Traeger Pulled Pork Recipe

  1. Preparation of Pulled Pork
    • Start by selecting a quality pork shoulder. Rinse it well under cold water, then pat it dry with a clean kitchen towel.
    • Take your spice mix and apply it generously and evenly over the entire surface of the pork shoulder. Make sure to cover all nooks and crannies for a robust flavor profile. If possible, let the rubbed pork shoulder rest overnight to allow the flavors to penetrate deep into the meat.
The Traeger grill smoking, as used in the pulled pork Traeger recipe.
  1. Smoking the Pork
    • Preheat your Traeger grill to 250°F. Once it reaches the desired temperature, place the pork shoulder directly on the grill grates, fat side up.
    • Maintain a steady smoke and low temperature for several hours, roughly 1.5 hours per pound of pork. This slow and low process ensures tender, flavorful pulled pork.
  2. Pulling the Pork
    • Once the pork reaches an internal temperature of 200°F, it’s ready to be pulled. Remove the pork from the grill, and let it rest for about 20 minutes to allow the juices to redistribute.
    • Use two forks or hands to shred the pork into thin, bite-sized pieces. Be careful to remove any large pieces of fat or gristle.
  3. Final Touches
    • Once pulled, toss the pork with a bit of its juices to keep it moist and flavorful. You can also add a splash of vinegar sauce or barbecue sauce for added flavor. Serve while still warm for the best taste and texture.

Remember, the key to perfect pulled pork is patience. It’s a slow process, but the end result is well worth the wait. Enjoy your homemade Traeger pulled pork!

Top Traeger Accessories for Pulled Pork Perfection

When smoking your pulled pork on a Traeger grill, there are some key accessories that will greatly enhance your cooking experience and the result of your Traeger pulled pork recipe.

Traeger grill, perfect for your next traeger pulled pork recipe

Traeger Pro Series 22: This grill’s precision temperature control and sturdy construction make it a top choice for smoking a pork butt at 250.

Grill cover for your traeger pro series 22

Traeger Full-Length Grill CoverProtect your grill from the elements between cooking sessions. This is especially useful when you are doing a long smoke for your pulled pork on Traeger.

Wood pellets perfect for your pulled pork traeger recipe

Signature Blend 100% All-Natural Wood Pellets: These pellets add a beautiful smokey flavor to your smoked pulled pork Traeger, while also being easy to use and all-natural.

Shelf for traeger grill

Traeger Pellet Grills BAC362 Folding Shelf: Provides extra space to prep your pork rubbed with spice mix right next to your grill.

Traeger drip tray liner for easy cleaning with your smoked pulled pork traeger style

Traeger Pro 575/ Pro 22 Drip Tray Liner 5-Pack, Silver: These make cleanup after cooking your pulled pork Traeger recipe a breeze.

Traeger drip tray liner.

Wooden Grill Scraper: A safe and natural way to clean your grill grates after a smoking session.

Traeger wood scraper for easy cleaning after cooking pulled pork on traeger.

Traeger Grease Bucket Liner, 5 count (Pack of 1): These liners are great for easy clean-up and maintaining the longevity of your grill.

Remember, using the right tools can make or break your experience with your Traeger pulled pork. Happy grilling!

Traeger Pulled Pork: Conclusion

We highly encourage our readers to try this pulled pork Traeger recipe at home. Don’t be intimated by the process; embrace it. You’ll find that the effort put into preparing and smoking the pork is commensurate with the applause you’ll receive when your guests take their first bite. So go ahead, ignite your Traeger grill, and embark on your pulled pork journey. The tantalizing aroma of smoky, spicy pork wafting through your backyard is just the beginning. Happy cooking!

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