Smoked Pork Shoulder is This Summer’s Best BBQ Dish
Are you ready for the best tasting BBQ dish around? I’m not just flapping, this recipe is seriously delicious. It’s incredibly easy to do, consisting of only 4 or 5 ingredients, and only requires a little bit of set up time before placing on the smoker for the day. Again, I’m not kidding around when I say Smoked Pork Shoulder is this summer’s best BBQ dish!
I normally pride myself on what I’m calling Northwest style BBQ. Products and ingredients locally sourced, at peak freshness, and historically found in the Pacific Northwest. My Smoked Salmon and BBQ Asparagus are perfect examples of Northwest style BBQ! Sometimes, however, you just need some good old fashioned southern barbeque.
This dish is best utilized as a pulled pork option. That means it generally would be associated with Memphis style BBQ. I wanted to do a dish that is a classic American BBQ dish, meaning it spends hours on the smoker! Pellet smokers like mine are best used for cooking things between 250-400 degrees, and rarely can get hot enough to cook at a hot enough temperature for quick burgers or searing steaks.
How to Cook Smoked Pork Shoulder
Depending on what regional BBQ style you’re trying to emulate, your set up might be a little bit different. I just wanted great tasting pulled pork on my own terms so I needed 3 main things.
This is something you place on the meat to get seasonings or rubs to stick (or bind) to the surface of the meat. I chose Frenches yellow mustard. Other options include mayonnaise or oil. Squirt it on the meat and spread a thing layer around the entire surface.
Again, the type of rub can change depending on regional BBQ standards. I went full maverick and did my own rub which consisted of seasoned salt, fresh cracked black pepper, and garlic powder. The combination of the binder with the rub is what creates a great bark around the meat which should result in a slightly crunchy exterior.
You could also consider a mop sauce here, but to me putting liquids in a spray bottle and squirting it on at timed intervals is easier and makes for less mess. My mix was 50% apple cider vinegar and 50% hard apple cider (one of my favorites from AVID Cider. Why not open a 22oz bottle of cider to sip on while cooking and repurpose a little bit for your spray?
Cooking your Smoked Pork Shoulder
Once you’ve identified your binder, rub, and spray it’s time to prep the meat and smoker. Get your smoker fired up and set to 250 degrees. This is also the point where you might choose to trim some fat off your pork. Once the smoker is firing up and the meat is trimmed, spread your binder and season with your rub.
Place your meat on the smoker and let the slow and low smokey heat slow roast your pork. During the first half of the cooking process I would open up the smoker and spray my 50/50 mix on every 30 minutes. In the last half of the cook, the spray happened roughly every 60-90 minutes.
Once your pork has reached an internal temperature of 205 degrees, it’s ready to come off the smoker. I highly suggest utilizing a temperature probe like Inkbird WiFi Meat Thermometer. Using a thermometer like this, you can track the temperature changes from a distance and make sure you’re on track to hit your desired doneness. After the pork is removed, it needs to rest for 30 minutes to redistribute the internal juices and complete the cooking process. After 30 minutes, start shredding and serve!
Even though I didn’t necessarily follow any one regional BBQ style, pulled pork is still traditionally seen as being a Memphis classic. What else is a Memphis classic? None other than the King himself! Enjoy prepping your pork shoulder to Elvis Presley – A Little Less Conversation.
Smoked Pork Shoulder
- 14 lb pork shoulder roast fat trimmed if you want
Binder and Rub
- 1/4 cup yellow mustard
- 3 tbsp seasoned salt
- 3 tbsp fresh ground black pepper
- 3 tbsp garlic powder
- 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup hard apple cider
- Trim the fat from your roast and fire up your smoker to 250 degrees14 lb pork shoulder roast
- Cover your trimmed roast entirely with mustard then liberally season the roast with your rub1/4 cup yellow mustard, 3 tbsp seasoned salt, 3 tbsp fresh ground black pepper, 3 tbsp garlic powder
- Place on your smoker, inserting any temperature probes into the thickest parts of the roast
- Every thirty minutes spray your mixture over the surface of your pork shoulder until it reaches roughly 180 degrees (or about 4 hours in). Then, spray your roast every 60-90 minutes until it reaches an internal temperature of 205 degrees1/2 cup apple cider vinegar, 1/2 cup hard apple cider
- Remove the pork shoulder from the smoker and allow to rest for 30 minutes before pulling and serving.
Cocktails to Enjoy with Smoked Pork Shoulder
Side Dishes to Enjoy with Smoked Pork Shoulder
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