Smoked Pork Shoulder
Greetings again, everyone, and thanks for sticking with us over the past three weeks. Unless you are fairly dull, you’ve probably deduced that this week’s post is going to have something to do with barbecue. If you’ve read the past two posts and you still have no idea what this week’s post is going to be about, then you should probably make sure that your high school diploma is in order. I doubt that any of you are like that though. So, should we discuss some barbecue? I will assume everyone said yes.
My initial plan for this post was to tell you how to make some great smoked pork barbecue at home. At first, I intended to buy an electric smoker for this purpose. I then, however, decided that your average home chef doesn’t own an electric smoker. So, I’ve decided to do this post with nothing but propane grill. You could also use a charcoal grill for this, but it’s going to be trickier.
If you’ve been keeping up with us, this week’s post is going to be a breeze. Let’s go over the ingredients.
1 Pork shoulder (I went boneless because it was cheaper. Mine was 6.5 pounds. Don’t go much bigger than that.)
1 batch of Jeff’s All Purpose Barbecue Rub
The ingredients are super simple, but the last two are easier said than done. I’ll do my best to comfort you. Let’s talk through the process, as opposed to listing it out.
The night before you intend to barbecue, you need to rub down your meat. Take your pork shoulder, and thoroughly rub it down with your rub. I used an entire batch for my pork shoulder. Don’t just sprinkle it on. You need to apply more than you think you’ll need, and you need to rub it in to the meat. Once you have it rubbed in, cover it in plastic wrap and place it in the fridge overnight.
When it comes time for cooking, you are going to need to do a few extra things. First of all, you are going to need some wood chips. Don’t go picking up woodchips from just anywhere. If you get your woodchips from your neighbor’s boulevard, you are going to hate the taste. Also, your neighbor won’t be too happy. If they are really mean, you may have to move. Just something to keep in mind. For this recipe, I bought a bag of applewood chips. Applewood and pork work very well together. Make sure you buy woodchips as opposed to hunks.
First thing you’re going to want to do is place your woodchips in a large bowl and cover them with water. You need to have your woodchips wet, otherwise they won’t smoke, they will just burn.
Once your wood chips are soaking, turn your attention to your grill. Our goal with your grill is to use indirect heat to cook the pork. We do, however, need direct heat on the woodchips so they will smoke. Take a look at my picture and I’ll explain.
First, I removed the grate from the right side of the grill. I then placed a cast iron smoke box on my heat distributors. I have a four burner grill, so I placed it directly on the hot spot between the first and second burner. On the other side of the grill, I placed a drip pan below the grates. You’ll want something to catch the fat that runs off. You don’t have to do this, but you’re going to have on hell of a mess to clean if you don’t.
Next up, you need to regulate your grill’s temperature. Your target temperate is 250 degrees. If you can keep your grill within 25 degrees of that temperature either way, you’ll be just fine. For me, this meant having burner one at medium-medium-high, and burner two at medium-low. This is by far the trickiest part of this whole process. As you can see from my pictures, I used an oven thermometer to keep an eye on my temperature. Once you have it figured out, though, it’s as easy as drinking beer.
Once you have your grill all set up (see my picture, I’m very proud of my set up) you can add the meat to the grill and the chips to your smoker. If you don’t own a smoker box, you could use a cast iron pan just as easy. I think you could probably get away with a small, disposable aluminum drip pan, but I didn’t try that, so I’m not sure. I recommend the smoker box. It was only about $10.00. Anyway, as I said, place the smoked chips and the pork in the grill, and close the lid.
At this point, you need patience. The only ingredient left is time. This bad boy is going to take about eight hours to be ready. I promise, your patience will be rewarded. I recommend doing what I did. You can watch the majority of the greatest TV series ever, Firefly, while the pork cooks. Also, the pacing is about perfect. By that I mean you are going to need to add soaked chips throughout the process. I find you need to add them about every 45-50 minutes. This just so happens to be the same duration as an episode of Firefly. This may be a coincidence, but it is a happy one indeed! I digress. Add chips as needed, and monitor the temperature.
After about eight hours, your pork should be ready to eat. Remove it from the grill and allow it to rest for ten minutes before eating. You can do whatever you like with it, but I recommend a tasty pulled pork sandwich with my favorite Beer-B-Cue sauce. Add a few fresh pickle chips and it’s really all you’ll need.
I hope you all enjoy this recipe. I forgot to mention how affordable it is. I bought a 12 pound pork shoulder for $26.00 for this recipe. I cut it in half so I could fit it on my grill. Four of us couldn’t even put away half of what I cooked. By my mark that means you could feed 16 people for around $26.00. That’s pretty tough to beat. I hope you all continue to stay with us throughout the summer, as we have some more exciting posts coming! Until then, stay healthy out there!
What’s your favorite way to eat barbecue pork?? Let us know in the comments section below!