What Internal Temperature should Pulled Pork be?

Written in 2024
by Toni Costa

    Pulled Pork is a staple of any BBQ , so any enthusiasts will need to make sure to read on. Finding the perfect internal temperature for each meat is a hugely important thing to do, especially in the pork butt and shoulder as it's key for that tenderness.

    If you can cook pork nice and slowly on a low heat, it becomes so lovely and tender, so tender that you can shred it with a fork - and so pulled pork.

    Creating the perfect internal temperature for the pork is the key to this though, and reading on will help you discover the best way to get that juicy tenderness.

    What is the Best Cut for Pulled Pork

    Pulled pork can be made from lots of parts of the pig, even like a boneless pork leg or centre-cut pork loin, but the best parts are undeniably the pork butts and shoulder.

    But regardless of what you use, the internal temperature is incredibly important.

    Having lots of connective tissue is the key, it melts down over the slow cook into a lovely rich flavour, that's why the fatty shoulder and butt are great for pulled pork.

    The shoulder and butt can also be made into crackling with its skin! When prepared properly they are crisp and delicious, so remember to pick the perfect cut of meat for this!

    Perfect Pulled Pork Internal Temperature

    Now you have your perfect cut, you need to plan the cook and think about how you're going to reach the ideal temp.

    The pork shouldn't be taken out until it reaches 180 degrees, but you should be aiming for 195.

    A meat thermometer is really crucial for getting the right temperature here, it'll be accurate and help you with all other types of meat cooking too.

    You should really be waiting until the temperature reaches about 195 to stop cooking it, as this is when the tissue breaks down.

    If you dont have a meat thermometer you can just try a poke test and test if its soft and tender with a form, but this requires a certain amount of experience with what its supposed to feel like.

    Be patient with this, give it a little extra time and just allow it to slowly get nice and tender.

    How to turn it into Pulled Pork

    If you have done everything up until now correctly then you should have some lovely tender meat that pulls apart nice and softly, if its not just falling apart then it probably isnt cooked enough.

    The whole idea of this slow cooking process is to gradually increase the heat bit by bit until all of the collagen in the meat has broken down into gelatine. This high amount of collagen is what gives the meat its texture and flavour.

    Its important to note that pork will never be safe to eat until its reached at least 145 degrees. You should keep going until 180 of course, but 145 is the definitive safe point.

    Any lower than that and the collagen wont have converted into gelatine and created that lovely texture!

    Final Thoughts

    To create that perfectly tender bit of pork the temperature you're aiming for is 195 degrees Fahrenheit. Using a meat thermometer will be super important in making sure that internal temperature is reached and that the collagen has converted into gelatine to create that famous texture, have fun with it!

    Written by Toni Costa

    I'm Antonio! I'm a university student based in Leeds, UK. My passions, are sports and food! The less said about the teams I support the better...

    Working on the SmokeGuys site has allowed me to improve my writing and of course, provide you with awesome reviews and guides!

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