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Smoked KC-Style Pulled Pork, shredded close up

Smoked Kansas City-Style Pulled Pork

Smoked KC-Style Pulled Pork has a deep flavorful crust and perfectly smoky flavor, and it's so tender that it falls apart with just your hands.

Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Barbecue
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 13 hours
Total Time 13 hours 20 minutes
Author Sam Harbison


  • 7-9 lb bone-in pork shoulder roast
  • Enough pecan or hickory wood chunks/chips/pellets for 13 hours of burn time

Dry Rub

  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon paprika
  • 1/2 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon chipotle chili powder


  1. Prepare your smoker for 13 hours of smoke time and preheat to 250 degrees F.

  2. In a small bowl, combine all of the dry rub ingredients. Pat the pork shoulder dry with paper towels, then apply the dry rub to all sides making sure to cover every inch and rub it in gently so it all sticks to the pork.

  3. Place your pork into your pre-heated smoker (and if you have one, insert a probe thermometer into the thickest part of the meat away from the bone so you can monitor temperature without opening the smoker), and then don't open the lid of the smoker again to check the internal temperature until at least 6 hours have passed, then you can start checking every two hours, until the 10 hour mark, then start checking hourly if you please.

  4. Pork is done when an instant read or probe thermometer stuck into the thickest part of the meat away from the bone reads 203 degrees F. This takes about 13 hours. Meat should shred easily with your hands or with two forks. (For explanations about the internal temperature and the dreaded "stall" and everything else to get you started, please read the main post.)

Recipe Notes

You can prepare the pork for smoking ahead of time (and I recommend it because you will likely need to get up very early to put the pork on) by following the instructions through the application of the spice rub and then covering with plastic wrap and refrigerating until ready to smoke.

To reheat leftovers, add a couple of tablespoons of apple cider vinegar, water, chicken broth, or apple juice to the pork and reheat in a low oven or in the microwave.