How To Make The Best Pellet Grill Pulled Pork

You can still achieve that classic smoked BBQ flavor on your pellet grill with some simple prep and low and slow cooking.
pellet grill pulled pork in a pile on a wooden board

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Pulled pork is notorious for being a labor of love. A pork butt, or pork shoulder, can take upwards of 20+ hours to cook when you smoke them low and slow.

Sure, there are ways to expedite the cook by smoking hot and fast, but nothing compares to low and slow-cooked pork.

If you’re the lucky owner of a pellet grill, you can be a little more “hands-off” while you’re smoking pulled pork and still achieve that classic, smoked BBQ flavor. 

Follow along as I take you through how to smoke pulled pork on a pellet grill and give you some tips and tricks for making some of the best pork you’ve had in your life!

How to make the best pellet grilled pulled pork

When I’m making pulled pork on a pellet grill, I like to start my pork butts the night before because they can take so long to cook. Luckily you can throw it on, get a full night’s sleep, and wake up around the time the pork butt is ready to be wrapped.

It saves a lot of time and stress of dinner not being ready in time, plus you get all that good smoke on your pork butt during the first 8-10 hours as you don’t have any temptation to mess with it.

Ingredients you’ll need

  • Bone-In Pork Butt – You can use shoulder or boneless if you prefer
  • Yellow mustard – As a binder, you can use just about any liquid as it doesn’t impact the final flavor
  • BBQ rub – I used our Smoke Kitchen Honey Garlic Rub, or you could try one of our homemade rubs
  • Apple juice
  • Butter – Salted
a raw piece of pork butt on a white chopping board
a white bowl of butter, glass of apple juice, jar of bbq rub on a wooden chopping board

Equipment you’ll need

  • Knife – for trimming. Our Smoke Kitchen Boning Knife is the perfect tool for the job. 
  • Pellet grill – I used my Grilla Grills Mammoth. It’s a vertical-style pellet smoker that has a massive pellet hopper, making it the perfect choice for those extra-long cooks. The Mammoth can hold up to 40lbs of pellets at a time and boasts a run time of OVER 48 HOURS when you’re smoking at 250°F or below. 
  • Pellets – pork is pretty forgiving and lends itself well to a variety of woods and flavors, so you can use just about anything you prefer.
  • BBQ Sprayer – optional.
  • Aluminum pan
  • Aluminum foil
  • Instant read thermometer

What’s the key to smoking a pork butt on a pellet grill 

The key to getting that classic, smoky flavor you get on a traditional wood-burning pit on a pellet grill is to smoke it low and slow. The longer the pork is on the smoker, the more of that delicious smoky flavor it will be able to soak up.

You also want to run the pellet smoker low, as anything above 225°F starts to limit the amount of smoke produced.

Luckily, this recipe won’t take 48 hours to cook, and it’s always nice to know you don’t have to stress about running out of pellets if you want to get a full night’s sleep. 

How to make pulled pork on a pellet grill

1. Score and season the pork butt

I like to start by scoring the fat cap with a knife. This allows the seasoning to penetrate down to the meat, but still keeps the fat there to act as a moisture barrier and shield for the meat.

a hand with a knife slicing the skin of a piece of pork butt

I slather it all over with yellow mustard as a binder, but that’s totally optional.

a squirt of mustard onto a raw pork butt
dots of mustard on a raw pork butt

I find it helps get a nice, even coating of seasoning all over and helps the bark form better.

a piece of raw pork butt with mustard smeared all over it

For the rub, I wanted to shoot for a sweeter final product, so I seasoned the pork butt all over with our Smoke Kitchen Honey Garlic rub. It’s sweet and garlicky, and the flavor tastes amazing on all types of pork. You could also try one of our homemade rub recipes.

a pork butt being held on its edge and being sprinkled with bbq rub
The seasoning will start to penetrate the meat, and the whole thing should start to look moist/shiny by the time you throw it on the grill. 

Once your pork is slathered and seasoned, you can just let it rest on the counter at room temperature while you fire up the pit.

2. Fire up the smoker to 225°F.

You want to fire up the smoker to 225°F.

You can use this recipe on just about any pellet grill. The same process, temperatures, and general times should apply to any model.

I used my Grilla Grills Mammoth pellet grill with Bear Mountain Bold BBQ pellets for this cook. As I said before, pork is pretty forgiving and lends itself well to a variety of woods and flavors, so you can use just about anything you prefer.

3. Smoking

Once your smoker is fully preheated, you’re ready to put the pork on. 

You want to throw your pork butt on the grates with the fat cap down, especially if you’re cooking in a vertical smoker or drum where the heat comes from directly below.

two raw pork butts on shelves in a smoker
The fat will act like a shield to protect your meat from drying out. 

Place it on the grates and then just leave it alone for the next 8-10 hours. Seriously, don’t mess with it. As the old adage goes, “If you’re lookin’, you ain’t cookin’.” The pork needs time to soak up all that smoke and start to break down during the cooking process. 

If you want to give it a spritz with some apple juice every couple of hours, that’s fine, but I really find that because a pellet grill holds such a steady, low temp, I don’t need to mess with it. 

4. Wrap 

Once your pork butt hits about 165°F and the bark is nice and firm, it’s ready to wrap. You’ll know it’s ready when you can poke the bark with your finger, and it doesn’t rub off on your finger. It should be firm and set. 

a cooked pork butt on a shelf in the smoker before wrapping

I like to wrap my pork butt about halfway through the cook because it does a few things:

  • It gives you a chance to add more moisture and flavor.
  • It also helps to speed up the rest of the cooking process. 

If you don’t want to wrap your pork butt, be sure to check out my No-Wrap Pork Butt recipe.

For the wrap, I just like to add about a cup of apple juice into the bottom of an aluminum pan, add a few pats of butter on top of the pork, and reseason it with another layer of that Smoke Kitchen Honey Garlic rub, or whichever pork rub you’re using. 

cooked pork but in aluminum tray with apple juice and butter pats

Cover the pan in aluminum foil and place it back on the smoker for another 6-8 hours, or until it reaches an internal temperature of 200°F and is probe tender. 

covered aluminum tray on a shelf in the smoker

5. Rest  

You always want to let your pork butt rest for a bit, for no other reason than they’re 200°F and way too hot to handle. This also gives the meat time to cool down and lets the muscle fibers relax a bit and the moisture redistribute throughout the meat.

whole piece of smoked pork butt before shredding

I usually rest my pork butt anywhere between 30-60 minutes, but if you have a cooler or Cambro you can let them rest for hours if you need to. 

6. Shred

bone being pulled out of smoked pork butt by black gloved hand

You’ll know you did it right if the bone slides out clean! 

bone fully removed from smoked pork butt

I like to put on some hot gloves and just shred it by hand, but you can use tongs or bear claws if you want to.

black gloved hands shredding a smoked pork butt

You can enjoy this pulled pork with a couple of sides or use it for tacos or sandwiches. I can guarantee that you’ll love it whichever way you consume it. 

If you end up with leftovers, be sure to check out our round-up of the Best Leftover Pulled Pork Recipes.

These side dishes go great with pulled pork

pellet grill pulled pork in a pile on a wooden board

How to Make the Best Pulled Pork on a Pellet Grill

Pork butt seasoned and smoked on a pellet grill.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 18 days
Total Time: 18 days 5 minutes
Servings: 16
Calories: 388kcal
Author: Breanna Stark



  • Flip your pork butt so the fat cap is facing up and use a knife to score the fat in a criss-cross pattern.
  • Slather the entire pork butt in a thin layer of yellow mustard to act as a binder, then season it with the rub.
  • Preheat your pellet grill to 225°F.
  • Once your grill is preheated, place the pork directly on the grates with the fat cap facing down (or towards the heat source).
  • Let it smoke for 8-10 hours until it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F and the bark on the outside is firm to the touch.
  • Transfer the pork butt to an aluminum pan and add the apple juice to the bottom of the pan.
  • Place the pats of butter all over the top of the pork butt, then re-season the whole thing with the BBQ rub.
  • Cover the pan with aluminum foil and place it back on the smoker for another 6-8 hours, or until the internal temperature reaches between 195°F and 200°F. The temperature probe should slide in and out with little resistance.
  • Let the pork butt rest for at least 30 minutes, then shred it up and serve immediately.


Calories: 388kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 46g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 160mg | Sodium: 224mg | Potassium: 862mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 275IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 75mg | Iron: 4mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated and should be used as an approximation only. If you’re worried you could always add a side of kale.

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