Smoked pork shoulder recipe – from the backyard of the legendary Danny McTurnan!

A Few Words On Safety And Cuts Of Meat

First I would like to mention that safety is my number one priority. No bacteria on hands, utensils, cutting boards, and cookware can ever be allowed. I don’t want anyone sick on good barbecue.

The first thing that I’m going to go over is cuts of meat. The only thing that you need to remember is that if the muscle is used a lot by the animal than the tougher the meat will be.

Ideal temperature for this Smoked Pork Shoulder Recipe

Let’s go over temperature. Now I know that we probably have some new smokers here so I’m going to say to them is – “welcome to the art of smoking meat!”. A good temperature to start with is 225 degree smoker temperature. At this temp. there will be less of a chance of burning your meat. And no one likes burnt meat!!!

The internal temperature of a pork shoulder should be 160 degrees for slicing or 190 to 200 degrees for pulled pork. Here is the highly accurate meat thermometer that I use for most of my cooks.

best meat thermometer

As far as smoking times go the general rule of thumb is 1.5 hours for every pound of meat. This general rule will get you close but to know exactly when the meat is done you will need a meat thermometer to measure the inside temperature of the meat.

Rubs And Rigs (Your Smoker)

Moving right along now let’s talk about rubs. An important rule of rubs is to know your spices. You will need to know which spices bring out the best robust flavor of your meat that you are smoking.

I would also like to touch base about your smokers. What you need to know the most is to understand your smoker from top to bottom and inside and out. Know how it works, how long it takes to get hot, does it hold heat well, does it have any dead spots where it looks like the meat isn’t acquiring enough smoke.

smoked pork shoulderToday is backyard pork shoulder day. What I will be doing is smoking 2 pork shoulders (or also known as pork picnic roasts) and I will be using one of my homemade rubs. So let’s get started.

First I’m going to make my rub. When I make my rub I always wait to put my salt in as the last ingredient because some spices contain salt in them already. Plus, for those of you who are watching their salt intake you may not want to use any salt, which is okay, it is totally up to you and your taste buds.

When I do my rub I always measure in 3rd’s and I always log my recipe’s and log my changes in measurements same as I do my heat and cooking times (*Pitmaster Tip). Once it becomes natural for you than you will not need to look at your logs anymore. However, always keep a log on cooking times, temperatures, spices and any comments that you personally have or receive from others. This way you may pass down your recipes from generation to generation. What a legacy for your family.

“Backyard” Smoked Pork Shoulder Recipe:

1/3 c. Paprika smoked
1/3 c. Celery salt
1/3 c. Cumin
1/3 c. dry mustard powder
1/3 c. Cayenne pepper
1/3 c. Garlic powder
1/3 c. Black pepper
1/3 c. Chili Powder
1/3 c. Diced Garlic dried

Mix all ingredients well then pour some onto a cookie sheet or a cake pan or even large plates. Then coat your entire pork shoulder with a layer of olive oil. After coating with olive oil now coat your complete pork shoulder with your well mixed rub ingredients. Make sure that you have a nice coating of rub especially on the top of your pork shoulder. Then cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. Then place in your smoker.

Related: 5 Basic Tips For Smoking Meat

smoked pork shoulder

For this meal I am using Hickory and Sassafras wood but, you can use whatever wood you would like, apple, peach, cherry etc. My smoker temperature is at 240 degrees for me. Place pork shoulder on the racks in your smoker. Keep your spray bottle of liquid handy. I use root beer and water mixed since I am using Sassafras wood.

A little tip if you are using a fruit wood try to use the same juice in your squirt bottle it helps on flavor. Here comes some very important words “low and slow is the way to go” and “if you’re looking it’s not cooking”. That being said I will now squirt it with my liquid mixture (Root beer & water). I will do this every 2 ½ hours.

Now you can work on some sides to go with this meal or sit back and drink a Coke or read or play some horse shoes. Or for me I will work in the garden a bit.

smoked pork shoulder

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Now when I am at the 9 hour mark it is time to rest the meat. I will wrap it in foil and let it rest. Resting is when your take the meat ad wrap it in foil and set to the side and it will continue to cook in the foil and after it has been taken out of the smoker.

PRO TIP: this large piece of meat will give you problems moving it on and off your smoker with a regular tongs and fork, especially when your cook is almost complete because the meat will be so tender it’ll want to fall off the bone. For this type of cook we recommend some sort of water proof heat resistant gloves so that you can handle your meat with care. If you don’t already have heat resistant BBQ gloves (all Pitmasters we know use these), then we recommend you pick up a pair of these.

After and hour of resting your meat is ready to be eaten. Yummy yum yum enjoy!smoked pork shoulder

Related Articles:
Juiciest Smoked Pork Butt For Pulled Pork This simple guide will show you how to make a smoked pork butt like a pro. The smoked pork butt can then be used in several other recipes that use pulled pork. It is extremely simple to execute, and although it takes some time, your patience will be rewarded.

How To Make Bacon At Home (Smoking Bacon) Here’s a quick and easy recipe I shared in the group on how to make bacon at home using a smoker or your oven if you don’t have a smoker.

Things you might need:

BBQ Meat Handlers