Saturday, June 22, 2013

BBQ Slow Roasted Pork Shoulder

Does anything taste better in the summertime than a pork shoulder slowly roasted on the grill? Even better when smokey wood chunks are used?  I think not and so today I'm making this delicious cut of meat on the grill. I do so love to smell it roasting over a fire with hickory wood smoke, that I sit outside with it as it slowly cooks.

If you haven't purchased one previously you're looking for a cut of pork usually named boneless or semi-boneless pork shoulder roast.  Either bone in or out will work but I like bone in for additional flavor.  Sometimes these are marked Boston blade roast or Boston butt roast.  Most roasts are cut from the front shoulder of the pork and if slowly roasted make for a delicious and easy-to-prepare summer dinner.  While cooking time is long, preparation is easy and affords you plenty of time to prepare side dishes or desserts as you desire.

Bone-in Pork Shoulder            With BBQ Rub           Mounted on Rotisserie
I'm using my Weber grill's rotisserie function as well as the smoker box, but neither one is essential.  In fact, you can prepare an equally delicious pork shoulder in your oven. I like to use the rotisserie when I can, as I think it helps to keep the meat juicy from self basting.  I also like the taste the smoker box infuses into the meat, so I added more chips several times throughout cooking so the roast had a constant source of smoke. Whatever equipment you use, simply start with a high temperature (500F degrees) to sear the outside (about 15 minutes), then lower the temperature to approximately 250F degrees and slowly roast for 2-3 hours until done.

Note that I'm not using this for pulled pork, but rather I want it to be tender yet still slice nicely. A pork shoulder cooked even longer (and not generally on the spit) will make delicious pulled pork if cooked long enough to easy shred. For that add an additional hour or even two to the planned cooking time.

Today I'm using a six (6) pound bone in roast, and it should take about three hours of low temperature roasting.  For a four (4) pound roast, plan on two hours of low temperature roasting.  Use an instant-read thermometer to ensure the center is cooked to 145F to 150F for a juicy roast that will slice. Remove from the grill or oven and let rest for 30 minutes tented with foil before carving (or removing the rotisserie skewer.)  Some red juices will leak onto your cutting board while it rests, so use a board with a drainage rim or place your cutting board onto a rimmed cookie sheet to avoid a kitchen mess.  Don't be concerned as the pork inside will be cooked through yet succulent.

Below I give you the recipe for my rub, although you could purchase one at the store.  But why bother if you have the simple collection of ingredients on hand.  You'll avoid all of those stabilizers and other preservatives they add to packaged foods.  This makes a batch which you can use throughout the summer or enough for one Costco pork shoulder which I saw today weighing in at 15 pounds.  Great for a big party but otherwise who needs that much pork?

2 Tablespoons dried crushed red peppers
4 Tablespoons brown sugar
4 Tablespoons Kosher salt
2 teaspoons ground white pepper
2 teaspoons granulated garlic or garlic powder
2 teaspoons ground ginger

Simply mix all of the above ingredients together and store the unused portion in an air-tight container.  Rub the pork shoulder with olive oil on all sides, then sprinkle generously with the rub.  Make sure to do the ends and sides as well.

So flavorful and juicy, no sauce required!


  1. Although I love the pork and the smoking grill photo is a gas, just wanted to let you know at the last minute I'm going to ENgland and Petworth kitchen is on my list! I had missed your post on it! Looks like you had a splendid time!

    1. Deana, I've been meaning to ask you how you liked Petworth. Thoughts?