How to BBQ Pork Shoulder


Before going out to eat at a traditional barbecue restaurant, consider to barbecue pork shoulder on your grill. The pork shoulder actually consists of the pork butt and the picnic cut, which is the front leg and shoulder of the pork. It is important to use the low and slow technique when barbecuing a pork shoulder. The pork shoulder needs placed directly over the heat source, but the temperature must maintain at 225 degrees for six to 12 hours.

Things You'll Need

  • 4 to 10 lb. pork shoulder
  • 4 cups soaked wood chips
  • 1 cup apple juice
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp. salt
  • 1 tbsp. granulated sugar
  • Zip-top plastic bag (1 gallon)
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup paprika
  • 1/8 cup kosher salt
  • 1/8 cup chili powder
  • 1/8 cup dry mustard
  • 1 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • Mixing bowl
  • Paper towels
  • Olive oil
  • Barbecue sauce
  • Aluminum foil
  • Ice chest
  • Place the pork shoulder in a zip-top plastic bag. Add the apple juice, water, Worcestershire sauce, salt and sugar to the bag. Seal the zip-top plastic bag and shake it until the brine covers the pork shoulder.

  • Refrigerate the pork shoulder inside the plastic bag for 24 hours. Occasionally shake the bag to ensure that the brine saturates the pork shoulder.

  • Begin to prepare the dry rub. Combine dark brown sugar, paprika, kosher salt, chili powder, dry mustard and black pepper in a mixing bowl.

  • Remove the pork shoulder from the refrigerator. Set the pork shoulder on a plate, and pat it dry with paper towels.

  • Use your hands to apply the rub to the pork shoulder. Add the rub to all areas of the pork shoulder, and ensure that you cover the pork shoulder completely.

  • Place the pork shoulder in the refrigerator for 1 hour. After an hour has passed, sit the pork shoulder out at room temperature for 1 hour before you place it on the grill.

  • Begin to prepare your grill. Preheat the grill to a temperature of 225 degrees. Clean the grill grates. Allow the charcoal to burn down for 30 minutes, or let the gas grill reach the temperature with the lid closed.

  • Add the soaked wood chips to the charcoal, or place them in a smoker box in a gas grill. Let the wood chips smoke before adding the pork shoulder.

  • Brush olive oil on the grill grates. Place the pork shoulder on the grill. Close the grill lid.

  • Baste the pork shoulder with barbecue sauce every hour. The pork shoulder needs to cook an hour for every pound.

  • Remove the pork shoulder once it reaches a temperature of 145 degrees. Wrap the pork shoulder in aluminum foil. Place it back onto the grill.

  • Continue to check the temperature of the pork shoulder. Baste the pork shoulder with barbecue sauce if it appears dry.

  • Remove the pork shoulder from the grill once it reaches an internal temperature of 190 degrees. Place the pork shoulder, still wrapped in aluminum foil, in an ice chest. Allow it to sit in the ice chest for 10 minutes. This will lock in the pork shoulder juices.

  • Sit the pork shoulder on the counter, and allow it to sit for 15 minutes. Open the foil, and begin to cut the pork shoulder into servings.

Tips & Warnings

  • Marinate the pork shoulder with your favorite liquid marinade for 24 hours after allowing the shoulder to brine in the refrigerator.

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