Here’s how I do it…
Rub the shoulder with a commercial spice rub (or make your own dry rub) and/or inject the pork shoulder. Set it aside for a few minutes and rub again over any wet spots. Keep doing this until there are no wet spots, the heavier the rub, the better. This makes the “bark” of the shoulder. Wrap the whole thing in saran and fridge 12-24 hours.
Take shoulder out of fridge and let sit 60 minutes to bring the temp up.
You want indirect heat for cooking, you can easily do this on a conventional gas grill. Just keep the meat as far from the heat source as possible, or it will burn during the long cooking time. You want to cook this at 225 degrees Fahrenheit; you can go as high as 250, but no higher. You don’t want to go lower than 225, as you will start to dry out the meat before it is cooked.
A nice touch is to put the shoulder on the “cool side” of the bbq, and place a disposable pan with a couple of cups of apple juice underneath it.
A spray bottle with 50/50 apple juice and cider vinegar is nice for basting, as well.
For Smoke: I like to use a 50/50 mix of apple and mesquite chips, soaked together. Add 1 cup every 30 minutes for the first 3 hours.
If you don’t trust your onboard thermometer, get a cheap instant read (or better, a digital probe) and stick the probe all the way through a halved potato. Set the potato cut-side down on the grill. This keeps your thermometer off the grates.
Also, if your smoke-pipe doesn’t come all the way down to the level of the grates, add a piece of flashing (or roll a tube of heavy foil) to extend it. Otherwise 90% of your heat and smoke are flowing across the lid and out the top without ever touching the meat. By bringing the pipe down to the grate level, the shoulder stays bathed in smoke the whole time.
The meat will take between 12 and 14 hours to cook, depending on the size of the roast. The meat is done when it reaches an internal temperature of at least 200 degrees. If you don’t have an instant read thermometer (you should really get one) the meat is done when it pulls apart easily.
Let the shoulder rest at least 30 minutes (45 is better) before shredding with bear paws. This allows the juices to soak back into the meat. Serve with a sauce on the side (see below) and some white bread slices to use as edible napkins!
Or, serve with white bread and coleslaw and make sandwiches out of all (that’s how we do it down south.)
Another option, since your shoulder can only suck up so much smoke is to pop it into the oven after 3hrs, at 225 (draped loosely in foil) until it reaches temp. I like to serve with my Dirty Little Secret Sauce on the side.
Pulled Pork Tips:
Cook with fat-cap up
Marinate, wrapped in plastic wrap, at least 8 hours (12-24 is best)
For oven cooking, brush lightly with Stubbs mesquite liquid smoke, then roast at 225d for 8-10 hours, or until internal temp reaches 200d
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