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Smoked Pork Shoulder

Comments : 2 Posted in : Grilling, Pork, Sandwiches on by : dave Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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When done correctly, pulled pork can be a thing of beauty.  The key is using the right cut of meat.  I’ve seen pulled pork recipes using pork tenderloin and while they are undoubtedly faster than this recipe, the flavor achieved by using pork shoulder cannot be beat.  Pork shoulder (or butt) is a cut of pork marbled with fat and connective tissue throughout, so a low and slow cooking process is crucial. Pork shoulder is also a pretty cheap cut of meat that can feed a crowd of people without breaking your budget.

About 30 minutes in the cooking - brushing on some of the mop.

About 30 minutes in the cooking – brushing on some of the mop.

I made this recipe for the 4th of July – there’s nothing more American than smoking a huge hunk of meat!  After shredding, it ended up in between toasted Ciabatta buns, topped with slaw and Carolina-style barbeque sauce.  The leftovers were used in two separate meals: pork burritos and then avocado and pork grilled cheese.  It was the meat that kept on giving!

If you don’t have a smoker, fear not.  I was actually having trouble getting my smoker started, so I ended up dousing those flames and using my gas grill to smoke this bad boy.  Blasphemy, I know.  My first choice was the smoker, but it just wasn’t cooperating.  Plus, it’s much easier to control the heat on a gas grill.

I set up my grill for indirect heating, put the pork on the unlit side, added apple wood chips to the lit side and just let it go at 250 degrees for about 3 – 4 hours.  After that, I committed another sin in the eyes of true BBQ enthusiasts and pulled it off the grill, added it to a half-deep, covered it with foil and roasted it for another 3 hours in a 250 degree oven.  I may have gone against true BBQ and smoking rules, but the end product was so juicy, tender and delicious that none of my guests seemed to mind.

While this recipe is more work than just throwing some tenderloins into a crock-pot, it is definitely worth the extra effort.  Next big summer holiday or family party, if you have the time, I suggest you give this a try.  My guests loved it so much and found it so tender that the phrase, “no teeth required”, was uttered often.  When it comes to tender meat, there’s no greater, albeit stranger, compliment than that.

Up close and personal...

Up close and personal…

The final product, ready to shred. Smoked Pork Shoulder.

The final product, ready to shred. Smoked Pork Shoulder.


2 thoughts

  • Judy Waszczuk
    April 18, 2019 at 11:13 am

    Hello. Thank you for this recipe. Did you find that there was enough of the smoky flavor? I want to serve without sauce, so wanting to have enough smoke without having to use anything else. Any tips that you can give me to get the maximum smoke flavor is appreciated! Now that the snow is behind us for the year (I’m in Chicagoland so may be wishful thinking) I don’t mind going in and out of the house several times to use my Weber for extended grilling now.

    • April 18, 2019 at 5:51 pm

      Hi Judy!
      Thanks for reading and writing! This recipe is admittedly not a true smoked pork shoulder, so I wouldn’t want to mislead you and tell you that it has all the smoke flavor of a traditional pork shoulder. That being said, it’s still dang delicious and I’m sure you’re guests will love it. Maximum smoke flavor can be achieved by using a smoker and following a traditional low and slow smoker method. To enhance the flavor of smoke in this recipe, I would look to change the wood chips often – every 30 minutes or so – and if at all possible, use the grill the whole time, instead of moving into the oven, as I did on that particular day. Either way – hope it turns out great and send me additional questions and a picture if you make it!


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