Easy Traeger Smoked Pork Butt for Pulled Pork in Cider Brine Recipe

Traeger smoked pork butt (often called pork shoulder or Boston Butt as well) is the perfect cut of meat for pulled pork.

When you brine it first in a cider solution you allow the meat to take on lots of extra flavour, and buy yourself some insurance against the pork butt drying out in the smoker.

It’s a very straightforward process that is optional but also very useful.

We’re going to smoke our pork butt over apple wood slow and low at 250F until it reaches an internal temperature of 203-5F (95C), at which point it will be tender enough to pull.

You can use a bone-in pork shoulder or a boneless one, but just remember to remove the bone before shredding if it is bone-in.

Easy Traeger Smoked Pork Butt for Pulled Pork in Cider Brine Recipe

Cider Brine Recipe

  • 6 Cups Good Quality Apple Cider
  • 1/2 Cup Salt
  • 1/2 Cup Sugar
  • 2 Cups Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 3-4 Whole Peeled Cloves of Garlic
  • Optional – bunches of fresh rosemary, sage and thyme

Heat the ingredients through in a large pan until the sugar has dissolved.

Leave to cool or add in a handful of ice cubes.

Put the cooled brine into a large container big enough to hold your pork butt.

Place the pork butt in the container with the cider brine and leave to infuse in the fridge overnight.

Easy Pulled Pork Butt Steps

Preparing Smoked Pork Butt
Preparing Pork for Smoking – Cover Liberally with BBQ Rub

1 Prepare the Pork for Smoking

  • Remove Excess Fat if Necessary (Or Get Your Butcher to Do this)
  • Remove Pork from the Brine and Pat Dry
  • Slather the Pork Butt all over with Mustard/Butter or Oil to Use as a Binder
  • Cover Liberally all over with BBQ Pork Rub – Meat Church Honey Hog is a Good Option (See Recipe Notes for Homemade Pork Rub)
  • Set Aside to Marinade While You Prepare Your Traeger Smoker

2 Smoke the Pork Butt at 250F

  • Place Apple or Cherry Pellets in Your Traeger
  • Get your Traeger Grill (or whatever BBQ smoker you have) up to 250F
  • If you Have a Super Smoke Setting Use it for Extra Smokiness
  • Let the Grill Burn off With the Lid Open for 10-15 Minutes
  • Place Pork Butt Directly on the Grills and Smoke Until Internal Temp of 160F is reached (around 4-5 hours)
  • Spritz Every Hour or So with Apple Cider Vinegar

3 Wrap the Pork Butt

  • Place Take the Pork Shoulder off the Grills and Place in a Disposable Aluminium Tray
  • Add a Tablespoon of Butter and Cover Tightly with Foil
  • Return to the Grill for Another 3-4 Hours Until the Internal Temp is 203-205F

4 Shred the Pork Butt

  • Rest the Pork in Foil for 15-20 Minutes
  • Pull Apart with a Fork (Remove Bone if Using Bone-In Pork)
  • Serve with your Favourite BBQ Sauce in Buns or On Its Own
Pulling Traeger Smoked Pork Butt
Pulling Smoked Pork Butt

Recipe Notes

If you want to make your own signature Pork rub instead of using one bought from a store, try this one as a guide. You can add a little more chilli if you like heat, a little more sugar if you like sweetness or take them both down a notch to customise your BBQ rub.

Homemade Pork Rub

  • 3 Tablespoons of Brown Sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons of Sweet Smoked Paprika
  • 1/2 Teaspoon of Chilli Powder (or more if you like heat)
  • 1 Teaspoon of Onion Powder 
  • 1 Teaspoon of Garlic Powder)
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
  • 2 Teaspoons of Freshly Ground Black Pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon of Fine Sea Salt

Whisk the ingredients together in a bowl to combine. Make sure you break up any clumps to give you a smooth rub.

Further Helpful Ideas for Pulled Pork Butt

Here is another good recipe for smoked pork butt from Chef Billy Parisi.


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