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Pulled Pork in White Bowl
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5 from 1 vote

Cider Brined Pulled Pork

This pulled pork starts by brining a pork butt in apple juice then is smoked low and slow for perfectly tender, fall apart delicious pork.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time9 hrs
Brining Time8 hrs
Total Time9 hrs 15 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Brined Pulled Pork, Pulled Pork, Smoked Pork Butt
Servings: 24
Calories: 259kcal
Author: Julie Evink


  • 8 lb pork butt
  • 2 qt apple cider

Rub Ingredients

  • 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 masage 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. 


  • 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 take it off the smoker and immediately 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. Our favorite leftover pulled pork recipes are listed below.
  • 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.
  • This works with either a pork butt or a pork shoulder, both are tougher, fattier cuts of meat and benefit from a long slow cook on your smoker.


Calories: 259kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 28g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 90mg | Sodium: 684mg | Potassium: 619mg | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 285IU | Vitamin C: 0.7mg | Calcium: 33mg | Iron: 2.1mg