Lean-Pulled-Pork-RockyHere is the latest tweaks for creating moist and tender pulled pork from a lean pork roast. This is because I’m trying to avoid using the very fatty and greasy pork butt cut.

I smoked this pork roast this past Saturday, and last night, Wednesday, (4 days later), I finished the last of it in sandwiches. I was amazed at how moist it still was. Just ask my cat Rocky, official taste tester and competition judge. It was a big thumbs up! (Or would that be claws up?)

I know this is the standard cut of pork that’s used, but I hate working my way through the globs of fat scattered through the pork butt. Plus the meat always seems so greasy. Or as we say in Texas, greezy!

I know a lot of you when you read this are saying, “but that’s where the flavor is”. I guess to each their own, but that’s not a flavor I much like. Besides that, the lean cut is much healthier for your body. And that’s a huge reason to make the switch. So by heavy injecting, I add a much better flavor to it.

Follow these steps, and you’ll be saying good-bye to the fatty, greasy Boston Butt too!

Lean Pulled Pork ~ Good-bye Greasy Boston Butt

Meat Used

(1) 3 1/2 lb. center cut pork roast

Marinade Ingredients

1 cup orange juice
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup molasses
2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon black pepper

Note: This is my “Orange Molasses Marinade“.


Let’s get the marinade made up so we can inject the pork roast. Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl. Pour off a little at a time to use for injection, and save the rest for adding to the pan that we’re going to place the roast in while smoking.

Place the roast in a sealable container and inject the roast thoroughly. There is no need to remove any of the fat cap, as there is minimal fat on this roast, but just enough to add to the moisture during the smoking process. Seal up the container and place it in the refrigerator over night.

In the morning, take the roast out and inject it again. Now pour off all the liquid in the container and thoroughly rub all surfaces of the roast with your favorite rub.  Now put it back into the container, seal it up again and set it on the counter to start warming up to room temperature.

Now let’s get the smoker fired up. Get the smoker going and settled in at about 225 to 250 degrees.

I’m using mulberry wood for this cook. For pork, if you don’t have access to mulberry, I would use something on the lighter wood flavor like pecan, peach or apple would be nice. If you can find mulberry though, try it. It give the meat a very nice flavor, and it doesn’t taste over smoked.

Once the smoker is settled in at 225 to 250 degrees, put the pork roast on a rack, (like a cookie cooling rack), and set the rack on top of an aluminum baking pan to keep the roast from sitting in the bottom of the pan. Now pour the rest of the marinade into the pan. (See the picture below.) The reason for this is to keep the rub on the bottom of the roast. Set this on the smoker and maintain the temperature for 4 hours.

After 4 hours, take a piece of aluminum foil and create a tent loosely covering the roast. (See the picture below.) By this time, the meat isn’t soaking much smoke up anymore, so now we just want to help it keep the moisture in.

After 6 hours, bring the temperature of the smoker up to about 280 degrees, or you’re going to be at this for at least 12 hours trying to get the internal temperature up to 200 degrees.

Place a remote digital probe in the center of the thickest part of the roast so you can keep a constant monitor on the internal temperature of the meat. If you don’t have one, you really should look into buying one. They cost about 15 bucks and can be purchased at most BBQ stores or the cooking/kitchen supplies department of most department stores.

When the internal temperature reaches 200 degrees, take the roast off, because it’s done. This is going to take you about 10 hours, depending on how your smoker temperature is running. The warmer it stays, the quicker it cooks. But, the quicker it cooks, the dryer it gets.

Either put it into a clean container and seal it, or wrap it completely in aluminum foil. Let this set for at least a half an hour so the juices inside the roast can redistribute as the meat cools.

After it’s cooled, take it out and pull it. And the rest is easy, just dig in and enjoy the fruits of your labor.

You’re going to see that you now have tender and juicy pulled pork. And all from a lean cut, rather than that greasy fatty butt! Just ask Rocky, my kitchen helping cat. He says; “Mmmmm, juicy”!


Previous Post