Smoked Pork Shoulder

Smoked Pork Shoulder - pulled pork on sheet pan horizontalsmoked pork shoulder pin collage
minimal ingredients, simple steps and mouth-watering results. Your easy guide to the best rend pork you have ever tasted. And it ‘s going to be even more effortless than you expected. You just wo n’t be able to stop going back for more .
pork Shoulder ( or pork butt ) is the best patch of kernel to start with if you are new to smoking. not only is it low-cost, but it’s difficult to mess up and super easy to make amazing. That is a winning big combination !
You are about to transform a boastfully, normally tough, cheap cut of pork into a wood-smoked wonder of sweet, flavorful and tender pulled pork. While it ‘s a long process in terms of time, it ‘s only a few simple steps and about wholly hands-off.

A few things to know before we begin: You got this ! equitable follow the process. It might feel a bite overwhelm, but when it ‘s done and everyone is saying “ belly laugh, this is absolutely perplex ! ” it ‘s going to have felt then easy and worth it .
If you are newly to smoke, read through the entire military post and recipe beginning. If you feel comfortable with your smoker, you can jump correctly down to the full recipe .
Smoking kernel can be simple or can get excessively complicated pretty fast. The thing to know is that you are going to nail it. We ‘re going for the best consequence while keeping things as elementary and deoxyadenosine monophosphate easily as possible .
You will get good with each attempt. Learn from what worked and what did n’t. Get to know your smoker and how it works. Just follow the basic formula and it ‘s going to be big .

Smoked Pork Shoulder Close Up

Why This Recipe Works

It ‘s all in the convention. Season early + Smoke at 250° F until the internal temperature reaches 195° F-205° F and rest for an hour before shred .
The flavorful dry rub helps produce a mouthwatering bark on the outside while the strategic arms limitation talks penetrates all the way through bringing out all that amazing pork barrel season and tenderness. Smoking moo, dull cook breaks down the fatten for melt in your mouth smoky softheartedness .

What You ‘ll Need

Ingredients

  • A pork shoulder or pork butt: either bone-in or boneless in any size will work, the cook time will just be different.
  • Diamond Kosher salt (or your preferred salt). [***look at my rub recipe for salt content]
  • Dry rub (or spices to make your own).

Gear

A little About Pork Shoulder

A whole pork barrel shoulder is a cardinal cut from the shoulder region of the devour that is then separated into two parts. These two cuts become the upper berth and lower portions of the shoulder. There is the pork butt, aka Boston butt, which has nothing to do with the buttocks of the animal. It ‘s still from the front shoulder of the pig. then there is the lower dowry that is called the picnic roast or picnic ham ( not the overact that we know as cure and smoked though ). Yep, the diagnose is quite confuse .

Pork Shoulder vs Pork Butt

The pork butt ( from the upper part ) has more fat marble, which can make it more affectionate than the field day shoulder roast ( lower dowry ) .
picnic shoulder knock will sometimes be sold with the skin on, which you will want to remove as it gets very rugged when cooked at low temperatures and wo n’t allow the smoke spirit to penetrate into the kernel ( it is thick skin after all ! ) .

Bone-In vs Boneless

Either bone-in or boneless will work just fine for this recipe. The advantage of bone-in is that it is nicely held together and keeps its supreme headquarters allied powers europe since it did n’t been cut up for the cram to be removed. This will allow the kernel to cook a bite more evenly, but having the bone wo n’t add any spirit. If your pork butt joint or shoulder came with a bone, merely leave it in. It will be super slowly to precisely pull right out once the kernel is in full cooked .
The advantage of boneless is that it ‘s all kernel and you are n’t paying for bone. It will besides cook slenderly more promptly, but a little less evenly .

Buying a Butt or Pork Shoulder

Buying quality pork makes a remainder. This is a big nibble of meat that you are spending an entire day with, likely sharing with lots of people and enjoying for a workweek. You want it to be capital. Starting with high-quality ingredients is the best way to get great results .
spirit for a well-marbled cut from the upper shoulder ( Boston butt ) if you can find it, but either contribution is going to work .
Avoid pork products that have been “enhanced.” This means that the kernel has been injected with a solution and pumped wide of water system along with other ingredients that will change the texture and it will taste piquant. Those ingredients will be listed on a nutrition label on the package. Just keep off enhanced pork barrel .
If you in truth want quality and want to splurge equitable a little, look for a agio inheritance breed pork. These will normally be either Duroc or Berkshire, but there are others american samoa well. And if you are wondering, yes, these are perceptibly adept but a lot more expensive .
Where to Source It :

  • Your Local Butcher: Buying from your local butcher not only supports local, but you will likely get better quality and can find heritage breed pork. A lot of the time we don’t need a huge 8+ pound portion, and that’s the great thing about buying from the local butcher is they have smaller size cuts (or can cut to a size you want).
  • Snake River Farms: Berkshire (Kurobuta) pork shoulder.
  • Crowd Cow: bone-in or boneless heritage or pasture raised pork shoulder.
  • Costco: one of the best places to buy good quality pork shoulders at the lowest prices.

How to Smoke a Pork Shoulder –
The basic Steps

Tip: Screenshot this section for your chess sheet or skip down to the full moon recipe card for all the details .

1. Prep the Pork Shoulder (12 to 24 hous in advance if possible)

  • Trim the excess fat and score the fat cap in a crosshatch pattern.
  • Season with Kosher salt and a dry rub over the entire surface, then refrigerate uncovered.

2. Smoke It

  • Take the pork shoulder out of the fridge at least 1 hour prior to cooking.
  • Prep your smoker for indirect heat smoking and pre-heat it to 250° F (121° C) with a water drip pan in place.
  • Insert a remote probe thermometer into the thickest part of the meat and place the pork shoulder in the smoker over the drip pan and smoke until the internal temperature reaches 195° to 205° F, about 90 minutes per pound.

3. Rest and Shred

  • Once out of the smoker, tightly wrap the pork shoulder in aluminum foil or butcher paper and place in a cooler (preferabely) or on a cutting board to rest for 1 hour.
  • Unwrap and remove the bone (if it has one) and shred with your favorite shredding tool, pulling across the strands to maintain the texture.
  • Serve and enjoy!

Pro Tips & Tricks for Success

  • Cook by temperature, not by time: Time is just an estimate where temperature is exact for your situation.
  • Use a remote probe thermometer: This just makes everything easier and stress free. It allows you to remotely monitor the temperature of your smoker and the meat so you don’t have to continuously check it.
  • Keep the smoker lid closed (as muich as possble): Every time you lift the lid, heat escapes and a consistent temperature is important for the best results.
  • Plan ahead and start early: Long smokes often take longer than you expect they will. It’s done when it’s done, so start early (I will usually start smoking the night before).
  • Don’t skimp on the rest time: The rest time is super important to allow all the juices to be reabsorbed for the juiciest pulled pork.
  • Shred when it’s warm: It’s so much easier when it’s warm than letting it cool or shredding from the refrigerator.
  • Speed up the cook ( when needed ) : Some situations require you to speed up the cook. Wrap the kernel once the bark is formed and it reaches an inner temp around 165° F. then either increase the smoker temperature to 275° F or place in the same temperature oven until it reaches the coveted finished temp .
  • Take notes from your cook so you can remember the steps you took and can improve each time.

Prepping the Pork Shoulder

There ‘s nothing in truth technical foul about prepping a pork shoulder for smoking, but a few elementary things do make a deviation. It ‘s truly just about cleaning it up a moment ( which is wholly optional ) and seasoning with plenty of salt and a nice dry rub .
Trimming: While the pork is coldness, use a very sharp knife to trim excess adipose tissue and any suspension pieces that can burn during the cook. Trim the fatty cap down to about ¼ ” if needed and score the adipose tissue crown cutting 1 ” slits in a hatch pattern, being careful not to slice into the pulp. This will help hold the spice rub and promote crisp rendered fat that is ohio thus delicious and bang-up for presentation .
Seasoning: Season early if possible ( 24 hours ahead is big ). This will allow the salt to penetrate all the way through, bringing out tons of season and helping to tenderize the kernel. If you ca n’t season that army for the liberation of rwanda ahead, just be certain to do it at least an hour before the cook .
It’s all about the salt! Salt is superintendent important. It ‘s the merely ingredient ( besides the fume ) that will actually penetrate all the room through the kernel to add spirit .
Important: If your dry rub already contains salt, then be cautious about adding besides much more. If it ‘s not in the rub, then it should be added individually .

Use 1 teaspoon of Diamond kosher salt per pound or ½ teaspoon of Morton kosher salt per pound of pork shoulder.

The dry hang-up ingredients in this recipe consist of smoke paprika, darkness chili powderize, cumin, colored brown university boodle, dried oregano, granulated carbohydrate, grate black pepper and celery seeds. It is n’t hot, but it adds great color and helps create a delectable “ bark, ” which is a super flavorful crust on the outside of the kernel. If you want to make it a little blue, you can add cayenne or use a piquant sauce when service .

Temper the Meat Before Smoking

chasten is the process of allowing the temperature of the meat to rise closer to room temperature before cooking it. This will allow the meat to cook more evenly and will reduce the overall cook time. Remove the meat from the refrigerator and let it sit on the counter for 1 hour (or even 2) before placing it in the smoker.
The start temperature of the kernel is one of the boastful variables that change the cook time from what a recipe might have said and your exact position. If the meat starts off at a cold refrigerator temperature ( ~34° F ), then it ‘s going to take extra time for it to come up to temperature in the smoker .

The Importance of a Drip Pan (With Water)

A drip pan with body of water helps create a humid environment inside the smoker. It is important for keeping the kernel damp, promoting smoke penetration, and to catch drippings, which help keep your smoker clean and prevent flare-ups .
Fill the drip pan up about center with ardent body of water, so the smoker does n’t cool down while it heats up the urine. Keep your eye on the water degree throughout the cook and add more when it gets low, which is probably to happen during a farseeing fastball like this .

Be Prepared for the Stall

The booth is when the inner temperature of kernel rises to somewhere between 150° and 170° F then on the spur of the moment ceases to climb and can sometimes tied drop in temperature. It can seem like an eternity and can go on for hours at a time .
Something must be wrong, right ? Nope ! Do n’t worry, this is precisely the “ stall. ” The scientific rationality for this is reasonably complicated to explain, but basically, the meat is sweating and is losing moisture as it cooks, which cools itself down. once this moisture has evaporated, the home temperature of the kernel will resume climbing once again and it ‘s a big sigh of relief .
To help push through the stall, you can wrap the kernel once a dainty bark formed and it has absorbed a fortune of fastball, which will be around 165° F inner. Wrapping is something I will do for brisket, but normally not for pork shoulder .

After the cook

once the pork is smoked and has reached an home temperature between 195-205°F ( the higher the more offer it will be ), it ‘s time to rest it, shred it and serve it .

The Rest

The rest is a crucial step, and should not be skipped. Rest the smoke pork shoulder for at least 1 hou radius, but longer is fine excessively. I recommend wrapping it with thwart and storing it in a cooler lined with a towel ( obviously no frost in the cool ). This will keep it isolate and slow the decrease in temperature .
I would quite take the meat out of the smoker a few degrees before it ‘s cook rather than skip the lie clock time. If you are in a induce and necessitate to serve it ASAP, rest it tented with aluminum foil with a few release holes on a large cutting display panel .

Shredding for Pulled Pork

now comes the fun depart ! Shredding ( or pulling the kernel apart ) is much much easier to do when the kernel is warmly, yet cooled down enough to handle. There are a count of tools to do the flim-flam. From kernel claws to using an frosting chipper to a simple large fork. A pair of cotton gloves covered with nitrile gloves is a bang-up way to shred the pork without burning your hands or while keeping your hands and gloves clean .
Use your tool of choice and shred along the grain to maintain that amazing texture .

Saucing for Pulled Pork

While sauce is decidedly not required since this pulled pork will already be indeed fat and flavorful, there ‘s good something about a little fresh & lemony BBQ sauce that can kick it up another level. You will need around 1 to 2 cups of sauce for the solid shoulder .
error on the side of under-saucing rather than oversaucing, as people can constantly add more if they prefer. Combine the chopped pork barrel with sauce in a bombastic bowl, batch or crockpot on low to keep it warmly for serving .

Smoked Pork Shoulder Overhead on butcher paper

Best Ways to Utilize The Meat

The uses for the smoked pork barrel butt joint are dateless. Serve it on a hawaiian bun with a fresh coleslaw as a attract pork barrel sandwich. Use it in delectable crisp carnitas tacos with avocado-lime crema and promptly pickled onions. Use it to make a comforting ragu, add it to delicate omelets for breakfast, on pizza, salads, or crunchy nacho. Just about anything goes .

faq

How long to smoke a pork shoulder or pork butt? The cook time for pork shoulder is around 90 minutes per beat in a 250° F smoker.
A 4-pound pork barrel shoulder will take approximately 6 hours.
A 9-pound pork shoulder will take approximately 13 ½ hours.

Frequently monitor the inner temperature. There will be a stall where the temperature seems stuck at some point between 150 and 170° F. Do n’t worry though, the temperature will rise quickly once the stall is over. What’s the best wood for smoking pork? Sweet yield woods like apple and cherry are perfect for pork barrel. Oak, hickory and maple are besides fantastic a well. Avoid stronger flavored woods like mesquite, as they will overpower the gratifying season of the pork barrel.

Experiment and try mixing a few different types of wood to develop your own personal blend. I like to use apple and mail oak.

Do I need to spritz during the cook? No, you do not need to spritz the pork shoulder if you have a drip pan with water system in it in the stag party. A spritz is a liquid that is sprayed onto the meat in intervals of about every 30 minutes to an hour after the first few hours in the smoker. The spritz is to replace moisture and attract smoke to the surface of the meat.

The downside to spritz is that you are frequently opening the stag party lid, which fluctuates the temperature, and it will besides cause the cook to take longer. Do I need to wrap the pork shoulder? Because of how forgiving a pork shoulder is, wrapping it is generally not necessary. I prefer to develop extra bark and do n’t wrap it and have perplex results.

You might choose to wrap your pork shoulder around 165° F home when the formed if there is very little fat on the away and you are concerned with it drying out. You can besides wrap it when it reaches this lapp temperature to help speed up the cook. Can I make the pulled pork ahead of time? absolutely. It ‘s easy to reheat before serving. How to freeze pulled pork Shred the pork barrel before freeze and place your desire assign size in either individual vacuum seal bags ( recommended ) or use freezer-safe bags. Remove as much publicize as possible and varnish. Label the bags with the date and contents.
store in the deep-freeze for up to 6 months. How to reheat pulled pork Skillet – For crisp results, use a hot cast iron frying pan.
Sous Vide – Reheat the vacuum-sealed pull pork barrel in a 140° water bath for about an hour.
Simmer with BBQ sauce on the stave or in a crockpot.
In the smoker or the oven in a pan until it reaches 140°
Microwave – stopping point resort but it works.

Sides that Make the Meal

Smoked Pork Shoulder - pulled pork on sheet pan horizontal

Smoked pork Shoulder ( Pork Butt ) Recipe

A simple recipe, juicy, tender, complex flavors and the ultimate satisfaction. So good that no sauce is needed. This is the foolproof method for applewood smoked pulled pork perfection.

4.88

from

31

votes
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Prep Time:

10

minutes

Cook Time:

10

hours

Resting Time:

1

hour

Total Time:

11

hours

10

minutes

Servings:

16

Calories:

228

kcal

writer :Justin McChesney-Wachs

Ingredients

  • 6 to 10 pound pork Shoulder or Boston Butt
  • 2 tablespoon Diamond Kosher Salt

Dry Rub

  • ⅛ cup Paprika
  • 2 tablespoon Packed Dark Brown Sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Dark Chili Powder
  • 1 tablespoon Cumin
  • ½ tablespoon Dried Oregano
  • ½ tablespoon Granulated boodle
  • ½ tablespoon ground Black Pepper
  • ½ tablespoon Celery Seeds

Instructions

Prep the Pork Shoulder

  • Trim off excess fat using a sharp knife. Score the fat side in a 1″ crosshatch pattern, being careful not to cut the flesh.

  • Combine all the dry rub ingredients in a shaker or small bowl. 

  • Season the pork shoulder with about 1 teaspoon of Diamond kosher salt (or ½ teaspoon Mortons Kosher salt) per pound of meat and sprinkle a liberal amount of the rub all over the pork. Refrigerate uncovered for 12 to 24 hours if possible.

Smoke the Pork Shoulder

  • Remove the pork shoulder from the refrigerator at least 1 hour prior to cooking it. 

  • Follow your smoker’s instructions and bring the temperature up to 250° F setup for indirect cooking. Place a water-filled aluminum drip pan under the grates to catch drippings.

  • Insert a outside probe thermometer into the thickest separate of the meat and place the pork barrel shoulder on the eat into above the drip pan .
  • smoke for about 90 minutes per pound, or until the internal temperature reaches 195-205° F. Continuously monitor the temperature with a probe thermometer

Rest and Shred

  • Remove the pork shoulder from the smoker and wrap with aluminum foil or butcher paper and place in a cooler to rest for at least 1 hour. 

  • Shred the pork using or a large fork or Serve and enjoy! using or a large pitchfork or BBQ meat forks, pulling across the strands to maintain the texture .

Video

Notes

  • This recipe will work for both small and large pork shoulders. Larger roasts will just take longer. 
  • If the dry rub you are using already contains salt, then be cautious about adding more.
  • Applying salt and a dry rub ahead of time is optional, but highly recommended. If you can’t season the day before, season it at least 1 hour before.
  • Apple or Cherry wood is best for smoking pork. Use 3 to 4 wood chunks for a charcoal smoker.
  • Cook time: Approximately 90 minutes per pound at 250° F

Nutrition

Calories:

228

kcal

|

Carbohydrates:

3

g

|

Protein:

39

g

|

Fat:

6

g

|

Saturated Fat:

2

g

|

Polyunsaturated Fat:

1

g

|

Monounsaturated Fat:

3

g

|

Trans Fat:

1

g

|

Cholesterol:

102

mg

|

Sodium:

974

mg

|

Potassium:

671

mg

|

Fiber:

1

g

|

Sugar:

2

g

|

Vitamin A:

193

IU

|

Vitamin C:

2

mg

|

Calcium:

26

mg

|

Iron:

2

mg

This recipe was in the first place published on 04/25/2018 but has been updated in January 2022 with new utilitarian information and instructions .

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Smoked Pork Shoulder - pulled pork on sheet pan

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