Smoking pulled pork on a Weber charcoal grill is an incredibly delicious way to cook up a summer feast that will have your friends and family talking.
With the smoky, tender flavour that comes with slow-cooking over indirect heat, it’s no wonder why pulled pork is one of the most popular barbecue staples.
If you’re looking for some tips on how to smoke pulled pork on a Weber charcoal grill, you’ve come to the right place.
How to Smoke Pulled Pork on a Weber Charcoal Grill
The process of making pulled pork usually takes at least 8 hours and up to 10 hours, but the results are worth it!
This juicy, savory dish can be served as part of a meal or on tacos with coleslaw or pickles. Pulled pork also makes for great leftovers and can keep in the fridge for up to four days or freeze for longer storage times.
Whether you’re serving it as part of an entree or creating your own sandwiches, this delicious dish will become a family favourite in no time!
If you are new to smoking meats and don’t have a designated smoking grill, the Weber Kettle charcoal grill is an ideal way to wet your toes, especially smoking smaller cuts of meat like pork scotch, pork blade shoulder, pork shoulder or Boston butt.
Pulled Pork On a Weber Kettle
- 1 Weber Kettle grill
- 1 meat thermometer
- 1 charcoal chimney
- 1 heat beads
- 1.7 kg pork scotch (Boston butt)
- 1 cup favourite rub spices
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- Trim any extra fat of the pork
- Add olive oil to all surfaces and then apply the rub
- Place the pork scotch onto the grill rack over the foil tray
- After 3 hours, wrap the pork in aluminium foil
- Once pork temperature reaches 190F - 200F remove from grill
- let rest for up to 1 hour and pull meat with 2 forks
So, what is Pulled Pork?
Pulled pork is a classic comfort food that is popular in the Southern United States.
It’s made by cooking pork shoulder or scotch at a low, steady temperature until the meat is incredibly tender and can be shredded by hand.
The pork is flavoured with a spicy rub which you can make easily or bought readymade from the shop. The rub is massaged over the meat before placing on the grill and helps to create an incredible spice flavoured meal.
How to Prepare the Pulled Pork for Smoking
You can prepare the pork the night before if you want the flavour of the rub to penetrate a bit further but I’ve done this one about an hour before cooking and believe me it tasted delicious..
Tidy up the Pork
You may to trim any excess thick parts of fat off the outside of the meat so there is just a thin fat layer, some fat is good for helping to keep moisture in your meat.
Now before applying the rub to the surface of your pork, pat it dry with some paper towels to remove excess moisture ready for the rub.
Applying Your Favourite Rub
Some people like to add a thin layer of mustard to the meat before adding the spices but for this one I just added about a lick of olive oil. This helps the rub to stick to the pork adding a little bit of extra flavour too.
Put some of the rub (this is the one I used here) onto the top surface of the pork first making sure to pat it down firmly with your hand covering the whole surface.
Work your way around the meat applying the rub until to every part of the pork is covered, making sure not to leave any naked spots.
If you have a wireless meat thermometer, place the probe into the centre of the pork now ready for cooking.
Let it sit for a bit while you fire up the Weber charcoal grill ready for smoking.
Setting Up the Weber Charcoal Grill
I decided to go with briquettes, setup using the “Snake Method”. This allows the charcoal briquettes to burn long and slow, working their way around the base of the kettle for indirect heat.
If you are adding wood chips or chunks for extra smokiness, now would be a good time to soak them in some water for at least half an hour. This stops them burning too quickly and adds extra smoke flavour to your pulled pork.
Set up the Snake
So I used about half of the 68 briquettes that I set in place and they lasted around 8 hours so I have enough to go for another session.
It’s a good idea to use more charcoal than you think you’ll need, nothing worse than trying to get more heat in the kettle 3 parts through the cook.
So setting up the snake was simple as placing 2 rows of briquettes on their end, side by side, around the base of the Weber Kettle on the charcoal rack.
I have used briquettes over charcoal because the heat generated is much easier to control and they last a lot longer for this type of cooking.
Light the Charcoal Chimney
Once the “snake” is in place, put around 12 – 15 briquettes in your charcoal chimney and light them up. These should be glowing orange and white when they are ready.
After they are burning brightly, place them onto one end of the snake briquettes placing them on top, beside and in front of them. These will slowly light the other charcoals as required.
Finish Setting Up the Grill and Start Cooking
Add a foil tray to the bottom rack in between the ends of the “snake” and pour around 1 – 2 litres of boiling water in. This keeps the pulled pork moist through the smoking and cooking process.
Place your top grill rack on and set the oven thermometer in place away from the direct heat so you get a more accurate reading for the oven temperature.
Now we can start cooking our pulled pork. Place the pork onto the grill rack over the foil tray with the water. This catches any of the fat and juices that leak out of the meat during the cooking process.
Lift the gate on the side of the grate and add your wood chips / chunks directly on top of the charcoal that is burning and some more another couple of inches along.
This gets that extra smoke flavour in early which is important for those that enjoy the smokie flavour.
Pop the lid on now and let the magic begin. Oh, by the way, plan on hanging around for around 8 hours, at least the first couple of times till you get the hang of it.
Monitoring Temperature and Time
The ideal temperature required for smoking the pulled pork is around 250°F or 120°C, with slight fluctuations up or down 25°F.
This is why the “snake method” works so well with the charcoal as it is fairly easy to control the temperature with the vents on the grill.
The bottom vent I generally keep at 3/4 open with the top vent used to adjust the final temperature. I start off with the top vent in 3/4 open position as well.
Once the temperature is at 250°F keep your eyes on your thermometer to get an idea of which way the heat is going, making very small adjustments to the top vent if and when required.
Finishing Touches for Pulled Pork on a Weber Charcoal Grill
After approximately 3 – 4 hours I remove the pork from the Weber kettle and place it another foil tray. Some people like to just wrap the meat in aluminium foil, but this does seem heaps easier.
So remove the temperature probe from the meat, place a nice squirt of smoky BBQ sauce (or one of your fave’s) on the bottom of the foil tray, then place the pork on top.
Squirt some more sauce on the top and sides of your meat rubbing gently in with your fingers. Now (and this is my son’s tip), spritz the pork all over with some Coke giving it a nice wet look.
Cover the meat with a couple of layers of foil, sealing the edges around the top of the foil tray. Insert the temperature probe back through the foil into the centre of the pulled pork so you can monitor the heat of the meat.
Return Pork to the Weber Kettle Grill
Place the tray back in the same position on the grill and hook the temperature probe sensor back up to your base station.
Replace the lid and allow the heat to come back up inside the BBQ and keep cooking for an additional 3 – 4 hours or thereabouts.
My internal meat temperature ended up being around 210°F (it should be around 190°F) but I have to say it turned out absolutely moist and tender. Definitely not overdone by any means.
Remove From the Kettle, Rest and Pull
Now that the pulled pork is done, remove it from the Weber Kettle charcoal grill and let it rest on the bench for a minimum of half an hour.
This allows the meat to rest and reabsorb some of those fantastic flavours and juice sitting in the foil tray.
After resting it’s time to pull the pork. I tipped the juices out of the tray into a container first and grabbed two forks and gently start tearing the pork apart, it will literally fall away.
Have a little taste test, mad if you don’t, then if required spoon some of the juices from the tray over the shredded pulled pork for a bit of extra flavour.
Only thing left to do is eat your pulled pork using some of my recipe ideas below, enjoy.
Below are some of the items used in my video and post.
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Simple Ideas for Pulled Pork Recipes
Now your pork is done what do you do with it? I’ve had it with small bread rolls and brioche buns and made pulled pork sliders – easy to do, just add your pulled pork, bung on some coleslaw, add a bit of sriracha sauce and hook it.
Pulled pork quesadillas are another delicious treat – get some soft tortillas add the pork and some grated cheese, fold in half then toast until light brown and crunchy. Top it off with a fresh salsa, coriander, mayo and or hot sauce then eat… yum.
What about some pulled pork nachos – grab a packet of corn chips spread evenly on a baking dish, drizzle with tomato salsa and pulled pork, grate some cheese on top and put in the oven until the cheese melts and starts to go brown. Whack a bit of sour cream on the side and dig in.
These are just a couple of quick and easy ideas for enjoying your smoked pulled pork. For 18 more yummy ways to eat your pulled pork, check out these recipe ideas.
Tips for Perfectly Smoked Pulled Pork
Pulled pork is a classic barbecue dish that never fails to please. With the right technique and a few helpful tips, you can be sure to get perfectly smoked pulled pork from your Weber kettle every time!
- Firstly, make sure you select a good cut of pork that has good fat content and marbling. Ideally go with a shoulder or a Boston butt, a pork scotch as these have a good fat content which is essential for rendering down to ensure a juicy and flavourful piece of meat.
- When you’re ready to smoke the pork, start by preheating the smoker to around 225-250°F, and prepping the meat.
- Season it with a dry rub of your choice, then place it in the smoker.
- Cook it low and slow until it reaches a minimum internal temperature of 190°F. This will ensure that the pork is cooked through, but still juicy and tender.
- Around 3 – 4 hours into your cook, give your pork a spritz and wrap the pork in some aluminium foil to seal in the juices and place it back in your kettle.
- Once it’s done, let the pork rest for at least thirty minutes before you start to pull it. This will help the flavours settle into the meat.
With these tips, you can be sure to get perfectly smoked pulled pork every time – just the way you like it!
Frequently Asked Questions:
How long does it take to cook pulled pork on a Weber charcoal grill?
For the best results you need to set aside between 8 and 10 hours to smoke a pulled pork. This depends on the size of your meat, exterior weather temperature and how well you setup your grill.
What cuts of pork are suitable for smoking in Weber charcoal grill?
When choosing a piece of pork for smoking on a Weber kettle charcoal grill, select cuts that contain a bit of fat or marbling like pork butt, pork roast, blade pork roast, pork butt roast, pork scotch.
Is 4 hours long enough for pulled pork?
It is possible for a small cut and depends on the size of your pork, but generally speaking it may not pull as easy as a long, slow cook, and may not be as tasty because the flavours haven’t had enough time to penetrate deep into the pork.
Can pulled pork be made in 3 hours?
Yes it can but you would need to cook it a bit hotter around 300°F and make sure the internal meat temperature reaches 165°F. then let it rest for at least 1 hour.
Is it better to cook pulled pork on high or low?
Like I keep saying, low and slow is the way to go. Try to keep your Weber Kettle grill temperature at between 225 – 275°F for the duration.
How much charcoal do I use for pulled pork?
I stacked around 65 – 70 charcoal briquettes in the “snake method” and only used half of them, around 30 – 35 for 8 hours cooking time.
Can you smoke pulled pork in 8 hours?
Absolutely, this is the time it took for my, just under 4 pound pork scotch to smoke perfectly.
Can I overcook pulled pork?
Well yes you can overcook pulled pork, as with any meat your grill or smoke, temperature and duration will affect everything. Better to cook at a lower temperature with plenty of supervision.
What can I make with left over pulled pork?
Here’s 10 quick ideas for what to do with leftover pulled pork. You can make, pulled pork sandwiches, pulled pork quesadillas, pulled pork wraps, pulled pork sliders, pulled pork tacos, pulled pork enchiladas, pulled pork chili, pulled pork burritos, pulled pork omelette, and pulled pork stir-fry.
In conclusion,smoking pulled pork on a Weber charcoal grill is an easy and rewarding task. With the right ingredients, the right equipment, and some patience and time, you can be rewarded with an incredibly delicious dish.
Consider adding your own twist to this recipe by using different types of woods or changing up the rub ingredients. Whatever you choose to do, just remember that the most important thing is to have fun and enjoy yourself. So fire up that grill and get smoking! You won’t regret it.