Electric smokers are simpler to use than charcoal ones, but turning a giant hunk of pork into tender, bite-sized pieces is still no easy task. The general technique for making pulled pork is the same for all smokers, but electric smokers have a few quirks of their own. They tend to run on the hotter side and can cook food faster than traditional smokers. Every electric smoker is different, so read the owner's manual thoroughly before you begin.
Generously rub the pork with salt, then sprinkle with black pepper to taste. You may also make a dry rub using a combination of dried spices like paprika, cayenne, garlic powder or cumin. Tightly wrap the meat in plastic wrap and store it in your refrigerator for at least 12 hours.
Soak wood chips in a pot or bucket of water for about 30 minutes. The amount of wood chips you'll need will vary depending on your smoker, so refer to the operating instructions to determine how many chips can be placed in the smoker at one time. Depending on your smoker, you may have to replenish the wood chips during the cooking process, so keep some moistened chips on hand just in case.
Preheat your smoker. Drain the wood chips and place them into your smoker's wood chip basket. If your smoker has a water pan, fill it.
Allow your smoker to heat until it reaches 225 degrees Fahrenheit. If your smoker doesn't have a temperature gauge, place an oven thermometer inside to monitor the temperature.
Remove the plastic wrap from the pork and place it in the smoker. Make sure that your smoker maintains its 220-degree temperature.
Replenish the wood chips and refill the water pan as necessary.
Allow the pork to smoke until the internal temperature reaches 195 F to 205 F, which can be eight to 12 hours or even longer. You'll know the pork is ready when it easily pulls apart with a fork. Electric smokers tend to cook food much faster than charcoal smokers, so check the pork's temperature regularly to avoid overcooking it.
Transfer the meat to a large plate or cutting board and loosely cover with aluminum foil. Allow the meat to rest for at least 45 minutes to ensure it retains its juices.
Shred the pork into bite-sized pieces using two forks. If you wish, you can mix the shredded pork with a barbecue sauce of your choosing. Serve warm.
Items you will need
- Pork shoulder or pork butt
- Salt and pepper
- Dried spices (optional)
- Plastic wrap
- Woods chips
- Large pot or bucket
- Aluminum foil
- 2 forks
- Barbecue sauce (optional)