This Smoked Cider Brined Pulled Pork is made from a pork butt that is brined in cider then smoked and slow roasted until it is perfectly tender and falls apart.
Pulled Pork Brine
The other weekend we pulled out the smoker we have and decided to tackle a new recipe. The result was this delicious Smoked Cider Brined Pulled Pork. It was amazing! The pork butt was tender and fell apart after it was smoked. So juicy and flavorful!
I’ll admit when we first got our smoker I was a little hesitant about it because it seemed like this huge project to make anything. It was a bit overwhelming and I didn’t really know where to start. We had a lot of fails. A LOT of them, but slowly we are becoming more comfortable with using it.
The first recipe we mastered was this simple and delicious Easy Smoked Pork Loin. If you are a beginner this is the perfect recipe to start with. It uses homemade rub, but seriously mixing it up is the hardest thing. It results in the perfect juicy, tender pork loin full of favor!
Pork Butt Brine
I can’t say this Smoked Pork Butt is much harder than that! Sure, it has a few steps, but they aren’t difficult. Don’t let the lengthy directions scare you. Read through them and you’ll be fine! I love that this makes a ton of pulled pork so you can feed a crowd or use it in recipes in the coming week. It is also great to portion out and freezer extra.
Let’s talk about this delicious cider brined pork butt. The cider brine brings the natural sweetness of the pork. The brine makes it so juicy and delicious.
Smoked Pork Butt Brine
I can’t take all the credit for this delicious smoker recipe. I’ll be honest. I mixed up the brine and run and got that all ready to go, but after that the hubs did most of the work. He’s my behind the scene guy on this blog.
He did the mopping, flipping, putting in the pan and watching it over the day. It was a partnership so I should let you guys in on that fact!
If I don’t say so myself he did a pretty fabulous job!
How to Make Smoked Cider Brined Pulled Pork!
This will help you break it down for you!
- Before going to bed on mix up the brine and put the pork butt in. Refrigerate it and let it do it’s thing! Set aside extra rub.
- Saturday morning pull the pork butts out of the bring, give it the pat down to dry it off. Rub the rest of the rub all over the pork butt. Heat up that smoker to 225 degrees and then place the butts on the smoker. Boil down the bring and then refrigerate it. Go about your morning except once a hour go out to your smoker and give it a mop down with the reserved brine you boiled.
- After three hours transfer the pork butts to the aluminum pan and pork reserved brine in there. Crank that smoker up to 250 degrees. Place the pork butt back on the smoker in the pan. Remember if it starts to get to brown to cover the pan with aluminum foil.
- When the pork reaches and internal temp of 200 degrees remove from smoker, this will take about 6 hours and up to 9 hours, place on a cutting board and let rest 20 minutes. Then take your forks or bear paws to the meat and shred it!
Tips for Making Pulled Pork on Smoker!
- Place brine from bottom of pan in a measuring cup and let rest for 5-10 minutes. Skim off fat and then using remaining juice to pour over pulled pork.
- If your pork is done to soon place in a cooler with some towels to keep it warm.
- If you have leftovers portion them into bags and freeze for later or store in fridge for recipes for the upcoming week.
- Use bear paws to pull apart the meat when it’s done. They work great!
- This Wireless Meat Thermometer is awesome for monitoring the temperature as you smoke this pork butt.
COMPLETE THE MEAL WITH:
- Grilled Baked Potatoes
- Bloomin’ Grilled Apples
- Grilled Cheesy Garlic Pull Apart Bread
- Grilled Peaches and Cream
- BBQ Baked Beans On the Grill
Got Leftover Pulled Pork?
- 8 lb pork butt
- 2 qt apple cider
- 5 Tbsp sugar
- 5 Tbsp brown sugar
- 2 Tbsp kosher salt
- 2 Tbsp smoked paprika
- 1 Tbsp onion powder
- 1 Tbsp black pepper
- 1 Tbsp garlic powder
In a mixing bowl combine the rub ingredients. Stir until the salt and sugar have completely dissolved. Set aside.
Pour apple cider in large container or food safe bucket. Mix in half of rub ingredients and stir until sugar and salt are completely dissolved. Place pork in bucket and make sure it is almost fully immersed. Cover and refrigerate for at least 8 hours but no more then 12 hours. Cover the rest of the rub ingredients and place aside.
After the pork butt is done brining start your smoker going at 225 degrees F and preheat with the lid closed for 10-15 minutes. I used hickory chips for my smoker. When the smoked is up to temperature removed pork from the bring and set on large cookie sheet with raised edges. DO NOT DISCARD BRINE. Pat meat dry with paper towel. Rub the rest of the rub onto your pork butt, using your hands to mssage the rub across every surface of the meat.
Place pork directly on your smoker grate, fat-side up, and cook for 3 hours. You will need to mop the pork with reserved brine every hour after the first hour.
Pour 4-6 cups of the remaining brine into a port and bring to a boil. This will prevent cross contamination when you mop it with this mixture. Discard the rest of the brine.
After 3 hours turn up the heat of the smoker to 250 degrees F. Transfer your roast to a large disposable aluminum foil pan and pour 2 c. of the brine liquid in the bottom of the pan. Cook an additional 6-8 hours or until an instant-red meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the meat registers 200 degrees. Make sure the thermometer does not touch bone.
We covered our pork after 2 hours with aluminum foil because it was browning to much.
When your pork reaches 200 degrees F, remove if from the smoker and carefully transfer it to a large cutting board. Let it rest for at least 20 minutes.
Once it rests for 20 minutes it's time to pull apart your pork. You can use you forks, Bear Paws or your hands. Discard the bone and any extra fat including the fat cap.
You can use the pork juice from the bottom of the pan to moisten the pulled pork with if you'd like.