Hot Pulled Oyster Mushrooms 6.000

Stacy Zarin Goldberg for The Washington Post; food styling by Bonnie S. Benwick/The Washington Post

Jun 19, 2019

Here, seasoned mushrooms are smoked, tossed in a vinegary hot sauce and then smoked briefly for a second time.

Using two forks is the easiest way to shred/pull the mushrooms. If you don't have a perforated pan, you can make one by poking holes in the bottom of a disposable aluminum roasting pan, or use a wire-mesh basket.

Apple or pecan wood chips are good to use here; soak them for 30 minutes before you use them.

We're showing them on buns with shredded lettuce and pickled onions; use the condiments and toppings you like best.


When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 6 servings

  • For the mushrooms
  • 1 1/2 pounds oyster mushrooms
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons sweet paprika (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons powdered mustard
  • 2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
  • For the sauce
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Toasted buns, for serving


For the mushrooms: Separate the layers of the oyster mushrooms by pulling each one from the main body or stem. Further break down the larger layers by shredding them into strips. Place in a bowl, then add the salt, brown sugar, the paprika, if using, the powdered mustard and black pepper, tossing to coat the mushrooms evenly. Let them sit while you prepare your grill or smoker; the mushrooms will express moisture and get a bit sticky at this point, and that's okay.

Prepare your smoker or grill for indirect heat. Preheat to 225 degrees. (About 10 minutes before you begin to cook on your grill, drain the chips and place them on the coals.)

Place the seasoned mushrooms in your large perforated pan or basket. Cover with aluminum foil and place in the grill or smoker, with a drip pan underneath. Close the lid and smoke for about 1 hour. The mushrooms should be a little softer and starting to break down after 45 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the sauce: Combine the vinegar, water, brown sugar, cayenne pepper, salt and black pepper in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring, just until the sugar has dissolved, then turn off the heat.

Add the smoked mushrooms to the pan and toss to coat thoroughly. This will purge them of most of the gritty spice rub. Use a slotted spoon to lift them out, discard that liquid, then return the coated mushrooms to the same steamer pan. Re-cover and smoke for an additional 15 minutes.

Serve warm, on the toasted buns.

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Recipe Source

Adapted from "Smoked: One Man's Journey to Find Incredible Recipes, Standout Pitmasters and the Stories Behind Them," by Ed Randolph (YC Media, 2019).

Tested by Andy Sikkenga and Mike Cutler.

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