Don’t miss out on any of the joys of summer by being stuck in the kitchen cooking dinner. Use your smoker to create no fuss feasts that need only a little attention. You can make great barbecue just by setting the smoker with wood chips and leaving the heat to do all the work for you. With this easy recipe, we’ll show you how to cook smoked pork shoulder in no time and get back to enjoying the carefree living of summer.
Why smoke pork shoulder?
The shoulder is perfect for smoking because this meat is typically more fatty and this fat slowly melts to add flavor and tenderness. Pork shoulder is also usually a large cut, so it’s great for feeding a lot of people at parties or families. If you’re looking for a cut of pork that’s easy to work with, shoulder is your best bet. Buy bone-in to help keep things together. Then, just throw in the smoker as is, and the meat will easily shred off the bone once done.
Steps for How to Cook Smoked Pork Shoulder:
- Prepare cut. Season with a smoked pork shoulder rub, but avoid using marinades, injections, or brines. Pork shoulder is already naturally moist and the cut is too thick to really be affected by any added moisture.
- Heat smoker. Turn on smoker (we used The Big Easy Smoker and Roaster) and add wood chips of a sweet variety like hickory or cherry to smoker box.
- Add pork. Let smoke at 225°F for about 8 hours or until the internal temperature is about 190°F. Use a digital meat thermometer to be sure.
|Smoking Time:||8 hrs|
Smoked Pork Shoulder on a Charcoal Grill
- Dry wood chips instead of soaked chips or pellets produce the best smoke for this recipe. Be sure to add more chips periodically throughout smoking to keep the smoky flavor strong during the long roast. Read more about smoking techniques in our Beginner’s Guide to Smoking article.
- Cooking times will vary for based on size of pork shoulder, but be sure the pork is done by using a digital meat thermometer. Char-Broil has more to say about smoked pork temperature and cook times here.
Smoking low and slow in the Big Easy - this pork shoulder is amazing.
- 1/4 cup paprika
- 1/8 cup kosher salt
- 1/4 cup turmeric
- 6 tablespoons cumin
- 1/4 cup chili powder
- Pork shoulder, bone-in
- Mix rub and generously coat pork shoulder with it.
- Let set for 2-3 hours in the refrigerator.
- Turn The Big Easy on setting 15 and fill smoke box with dry wood chips.
- Take out pork shoulder to sit at room temperature for 20-30 minutes before putting in The Big Easy.
- Place shoulder in basket, fat cap side up and smoke on setting 15 for one hour. I know that sounds high and contrary to slow and low barbecue, but it will give you the best smoke results. Add chips if needed.
- Turn down to setting 10 for two more hours to keep up ample smoke.
- After three hours, turn setting down to 6 and leave until internal temperature of the meat reads 185-190 degrees. Bone-in pork shoulders typically take about 14 hours to get tender.
- Sit back and relax. Go to sleep or read a good book. The Big Easy does all the work for you.
- Once done, let meat rest for at least 20 minutes before pulling apart or chopping.
- Serve with your favorite barbecue sauce and dig in!
I tried pellets and wet chips and found the best smoke was produced by dry chips.
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