Who doesn’t love a juicy, succulent, and deliciously cooked pork shoulder? That moment when you run the knife through the tender meat and it falls apart like butter is simply everything you can ever ask for. Not to mention, the beautiful aroma of smoked meat that fills the air. It’s heavenly. In this article we are going to teach you how to smoke a pork butt.
The smoked pork shoulder can be used in so many different recipes to create amazing delicacies. It can be pulled and put inside sliders and tacos, sandwiches.
The list of dishes you can make with pulled pork is literally endless. It is so easy to make and the ingredients needed for the recipe are readily available.
However, you do need a have of patience for it does take a sweet long time to get prepped and cooked. But patience has its rewards and you will be amazed with the result once you are done with the cooking.
So, let’s not waste anymore time and dig straight into the recipe and get on with the prepping and cooking of the meat.
Prepping The Pork
It is very important that the meat is well prepped before you even begin the process and proceed further with the recipe. First thing first, choose the right meat. Start with getting a pork shoulder that is fresh and of the right size. Choose a shoulder that weighs around 8-9 pounds.
It might be a bit more tricky to cook a size bigger than this. The larger size of porks tends to get cooked way too fast on the outer surface whereas the inside of the meat still remains undone. So choose the correct size of meat before you begin cooking.
Once you have the desired portion of meat, you are all set for the marination process.
It gives a much better result and taste if you marinate the pork overnight. Apply a generous amount of mustard before you rub the meat with the dry BBQ mixture.
The mustard will create a layer around the pork where the rub will stick better and coat the entire piece of meat. Once you have coated it with the mustard paste, let’s prep some quick BBQ mixture.
This is my personal favorite mix to smoke meat. All you need is a pinch of salt, cayenne pepper, cumin powder, chili powder, rosemary, thyme, dill and just a pinch of brown sugar.
Rub the mixture and make sure the entire meat is completely covered with it. You can always add in any other ingredient as per your taste and desire to the mix.
Then take a plastic wrap and fold the meat with it and put it in the refrigerator. Just remember to take it out an hour before you smoke it.
How To Smoke Pork Shoulder
It’s the next day and the pork shoulder is all prepped up and well marinated to be cooked. It is very important to bring your cooking pit to the correct temperature before you put the meat on it to cook.
Once the pit is heated up you can go ahead and place the beautifully marinated pork shoulder on the pit with the bone side facing down.
Cook the meat at a temperature of 250 degrees fahrenheit for about an hour for each pound. It is very important that you place the meat with it’s bone at the bottom for this will help form the rendered fat which will keep the meat moist.
Once you begin the cooking process, just leave the pork alone and let the heat do all the magic. I don’t even prefer flipping it or turning it size wise while it is cooking. Flipping it will damage that beautiful crust that will be forming on the outer surface of the meat.
While the meat is cooking, prepare a quick mop with apple cider vinegar and oil. Apply the mop on the meat surface every 45 minutes till the meat is cooked. It will not allow the meat to get dried up and hold the moisture and all the juices in while also tenderizing it.
The trick here is to smoke the chunk of meat for about an hour for every pound till the temperature of the pork is about 185 degrees from the inside.
Once you are done smoking the meat for about 7 hours, take out a piece of foil and wrap the meat in it and keep it on the pit for another hour. This wrapping method will help to cook the meat better from within.
How To Tell When The Pork Is Done
It is very important to figure out the right time to stop the cooking process. When you are cooking such large portion of meat it is vital to understand whether the meat is fully cooked not only from the outside but also from the inside.
There are amazing tools available to read temperatures of the meat and see whether it is well cooked. I prefer to take it out the pit once it reaches about 180-190 degrees.
If you want sliced pieces of the pork shoulder 180 degrees will be just enough for it. But if you are looking for tasty shredded meat to put in tacos and sliders and nachos then just wait a little bit more till the thermometer shows 190-200 degrees.
Trust me you will be amazed with how amazing the result turns out to be. You will have a beautifully flavored pork shoulder with a crunchy surface and tender, juicy meat inside and your knife will just slide through the meat like butter.
It really cannot get any more simpler than this, can it? All that you need to keep an eye on is maintaining that temperature at which the pork is cooking.
It is important that the meat is cooked uniformly at a certain temperature in order to be evenly cooked. You can always experiment with the flavors and add in your favorite mix to the rub.
Then all you have to do is invite your friends over and have a amazing piece of perfectly cooked pork and enjoy a great time. You can BBQ some vegetables or make potato mash and salads to complement the meat.
You can even make sliders with pulled pork and add in some BBQ sauce for some more flavor.