Smoked Pork Shoulder on a Charcoal Grill

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Unlike the BBQ pros who invest thousands of dollars in a fancy smoker setup, any of the Char-Broil® charcoal grills – such as the Charcoal Barrel Grill – will help you to turn out tender, delicious pulled pork that the whole family will enjoy.

Smoked Pork Shoulder on a Charcoal Grill

Prep Time: 12 hours, 30 minutes

Cook Time: 8 hours

Total Time: 20 hours, 30 minutes


  • 1 Boston Butt bone-in pork shoulder, 5-7 pounds
  • Barbecue rub of your choice
  • Approximately 7-8 pounds of charcoal

  • For the Mop Sauce:
  • 2 cups distilled white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon Cayenne pepper


  1. The night before you smoke the butt, rub it with your favorite rub. Place in the refrigerator.
  2. Before cooking soak wood chips for at least 30 minutes. I used mesquite, but hickory wood chips are good also.
  3. Start about 20 briquettes in a chimney starter or with lighter fluid. When they have ashed over, rake them into opposite ends of the charcoal grate. You can also place an aluminum drip pan in between the coals to catch the drippings from the meat.
  4. Place some wood chips onto the hot coals.
  5. Load the meat in the middle of the grill onto the cooking grate between the coals.
  6. Maintain a temperature in the firebox of 220–250°F by adding additional charcoal throughout the day. I added 3 to 4 pieces per side every hour to maintain that temperature.
  7. When you open the lid to add more charcoal, mop the meat to keep it moist and to add flavor.
  8. When the internal temperature reads around 185°F, wrap the pork shoulder in aluminum foil and continue cooking until the internal temperature reaches 193–195°F degrees. The bone should now be separating form the meat. The total cook time for this recipe is 8 hours.
  9. Pull the bone out of the meat. With your fingers, tear the meat into thin, tender shreds.

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