Smoked pork shoulder isn’t a food so much as it is a glimpse of nirvana. This soulful version has a simple yet memorable rub and no fussy brine. And our foolproof instructions help you understand exactly how long to smoke it.
If smoked pork shoulder isn’t the most iconic way to signal the start of barbecue season, we’re not sure what is. Yeah, it’s an all-day affair. But it’s not a difficult affair. Toss it into the smoker after breakfast and by dinner you’ll be moaning at rich, tender pulled pork encased in a crispy, smoky crust…probably with half the neighborhood clamoring at your backyard gate. Thankfully, the recipe makes plenty.–Angie Zoobkoff
Smoked Pork Shoulder
- Quick Glance
- 1 H, 15 M
- 22 H
- Serves 8 to 10
- 2 tablespoons kosher salt (18 g)
- 2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper (14 g)
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar (25 g)
- 3 tablespoons garlic powder (29 g)
- 2 tablespoons onion powder (14 g)
- 3 tablespoons paprika (20 g)
- 1 tablespoon ground sage (2 g)
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano (4 g)
- 1 teaspoon dry mustard (2 g)
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (2 g)
- One 8-to-10-pound bone-in pork shoulder (3.6- to 4.5-kg)
- 1. Mix the salt, pepper, sugar, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, sage, oregano, mustard, and cayenne together in a bowl, and rub them thoroughly into the pork shoulder. Wrap the pork in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 8 hours and up to 24 hours.
- 2. About 1 hour before smoking it, unwrap the pork shoulder and allow it to rest at room temperature.
- 3. Heat your smoker to a constant 225°F (105°C). This may require several additions of water-soaked wood to keep the smoke going. Add the pork shoulder when the temperature of the smoker has reached 225°F (105°C), close the lid, and adjust the vents so that the smoke flows freely throughout the smoker.
- 4. Cook 10 to 14 hours, or about 1 1/2 hours per pound of meat, until the meat is tender and reaches an internal temperature of 185° to 195°F (85° to 90°C). Let the meat rest at least 30 minutes before slicing, pulling, or chopping the pork.