Pork shoulder is not an expensive cut of meat, but diners will think it is when they dig in to this recipe. The smoker will do most of the work; all that’s needed is a little patience.

Food Preparation

The day before cooking:

  • For this recipe, two pork shoulders are needed.
  • The two will have a combined weight of 12-16 pounds.
  • Thaw these two chunks of pork completely, preferably in the fridge.
  • Before cooking, cover the meat with a liberal coat of pork rub.
  • Each shoulder will have a “fat cap” on one side; this will not need to be coated with rub.
  • Place rubbed shoulders on a cookie sheet or in plastic containers and place in the refrigerator overnight.


Cooking day

  • Preheat the smoker to 225 degrees, using either oak, walnut, cherry, or hickory wood. (Allow plenty of time; it will take between 7 and 10 hours, depending on weather, wind, etc.)
  • Insert the probe from a digital thermometer into the bigger of the two shoulders, being careful to not touch the bone.
  • Place pork into the cooking chamber of the smoker at the “cool” end of the chamber.
  • Close the lid and monitor your digital meat thermometer and your smoker’s heat gauge, adding wood as needed.

Making BBQ Sauce for Pork

If the pit master has a favorite BBQ sauce that works well for pork, they can skip this next step.

For a sauce that goes well with pork and has an interesting flavor, put the following ingredients in a Teflon-coated saucepan:

  • 4 cups ketchup
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • zest of 2 lemons
  • juice from 2 lemons
  • 4 tablespoons molasses
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 teaspoons of liquid smoke
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons dry mustard
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper

Simmer the above ingredients for 15 minutes or until well combined, stirring occasionally. Store in an airtight container till needed. This recipe makes enough sauce for two shoulders.

The best part of BBQ is Eating the Food.

When the pork reaches an internal temperature of 195 degrees, the smoker has done its duty. Remove shoulders from the smoker and remove the temperature probe.

Place pork on cookie sheets or equivalent, using forks to lift. (Be careful; the pork will be hot.)

Remove the remaining fat cap from each shoulder and discard it. Using two forks, pull pork shoulders apart and into small pieces. (Any internal fat should also be tossed) Place pulled pork into two separate large plastic containers or other big bowls.

Add half of the above sauce recipe to each shoulder, along with more pork rub to taste. Mix well with forks. Serve on buns, french bread, or other sandwich bread.

Pulled Pork is a Recipe for Good BBQ

The slight lemony flavor of this BBQ sauce and the sweetness of the rub will combine with the smoked flavor of the pork to yield a classic BBQ favorite, pulled pork. The only bad part of this recipe is the time required to smoke the shoulders.

As the hours slowly tick by, just remember that patience will be rewarded, both with great-tasting food and the compliments the diners will give.

Who knew that being a pit master was this easy?