- When it's Done:205°F
- 7 lb bone-in pork shoulder
- Dry rub
- Prep time: 30 minutes
- Cook time: 9 hours
- Servings: 6
Smoking a whole pork shoulder to make pulled pork might seem intimidating, but it’s the easiest of the BBQ Big Three (brisket, ribs and pulled pork) to master and is a great way to hone your smoking skills. All you need to do is follow our five simple steps using Kingsford® Charcoal and Kingsford® Wood Chips.
- If you’re using a kettle-type grill, use an indirect technique such as the snake method to set up your grill. For backyard smokers, set it up for an eight-hour smoke. Kingsford Long Burning, with its longer burning time and low ash formula, is an ideal fuel for either type of grill. Learn more about smoking here. With either method, soak a few handfuls of Kingsford® Wood Chips (Hickory is especially good) for about 30 minutes in warm water before placing on top of the coals.1
Prepping your cooker for smokingPrepping your cooker for smoking
- If you’re using a pellet grill or pellet smoker, fill the hopper with Kingsford® Hardwood Pellets — Classic or Hickory — for best results. Set for 225°F and close the lid until your cooker comes up to temperature.
- Start with a pork shoulder in the seven-to-eight-pound range. Trim off the excess “fat cap,” but leave a 1/8-inch-thick layer of fat to keep the meat moist during the long cooking process. Sprinkle on a few tablespoons of rub, spreading it evenly around the pork shoulder.2
Prepping the pork shoulderPrepping the pork shoulder
- Place the pork shoulder fat side up on the top rack, cover with the lid, and bring the temperature up to a constant 225°F to 250°F, using the vents to regulate the temperature. If your grill doesn’t have a temperature gauge, you’ll need to purchase a digital barbecue thermometer. Check the internal temperature of the grill every hour. Add more charcoal and soaked wood chips as needed to maintain temperature and smoke.3
Smoking the pork shoulderSmoking the pork shoulder
- For a pellet grill or smoker, insert the temperature probe into your pork shoulder as directed by your grill’s manufacturer, and keep the lid closed. Avoid opening your cooker throughout the smoking process.
Check for doneness.Check for doneness.
Rest, then pull or chop.Rest, then pull or chop.
Slather your pork shoulder with olive oil or yellow mustard to help the rub adhere to the meat. (You likely won’t pick up the mustard flavor later.)
Resist the temptation to open the lid while smoking meats. If you’re lookin', you’re not cookin'.
Pork shoulder is also called "pork butt." In this case, the term "butt" doesn’t refer to the rear section of a pig.