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Hot and Fast Pork Shoulder

Prep Time: 30 Min | Cook Time: 6 Hrs


  • 1
    One Pork Shoulder (ours was 10.5 pounds, but any size will work for this recipe)
  • 2
    BBQ Rub of your choice (for this cook we used “Killer Hogs- The Hot BBQ Rub” and “Heath Riles Apple Rub
  • 3
    Spicy Brown Mustard (or the binder of your choosing)
  • 4
    Spritz Bottle with 50/50 mix of Apple Juice and Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 5
    1/3 Cup of Apple Juice
  • 6
    1/2 Stick of Unsalted Butter
  • 7
    Temperature Probe
  • 8
    Aluminum Foil
  • 9
    Cherry Wood

Pork shoulder is such a versatile cut of meat. Once you spend a little time cooking up your pork shoulder, the sky's the limit on how you can eat it! Try it on mac and cheese, nachos, or, the classic, a bun. 


1: Remove your pork shoulder from the packaging and pat dry.

2: Remove the fat cap (this is optional, you can trim your shoulder however you prefer, or not at all).

3: Apply your binder (spicy brown mustard) to all surfaces of the pork shoulder.

4: Apply your seasoning to all surfaces of the pork shoulder.

5: Place shoulder in the fridge or let sit in room temperature, tented loosely in foil to “sweat out” while you get your cooker going (or about 30 minutes).

6: Get your charcoal fired up in your chimney. Dump the coals once they are nice and ashed over and no more flames are seen. At this point add your cherry wood splits (or whatever wood you prefer with pork) and let them catch completely for a clean burning fire.

(PRO TIP: Use skinnier splits for a better, more controllable fire. They will catch much faster also. I do this by taking my full sized split logs and splitting them further with an axe).

7: Bring the smoker/cooker up to 325-350 degrees F.

8: Place your pork shoulder on the cooker for indirect cooking. Insert your probe as close to center as possible to monitor the internal temperatures. Be careful not to touch the bone with the tip of the probe. If you have a boneless shoulder, you won’t need to worry about this.

9: Let the shoulder cook until an internal temperature of 160-165 degrees F is achieved (approximately 2.5-3 hours). Spritz the shoulder every 45 minutes to an hour during this first cooking process to keep everything hydrated and to keep the edges/corners from burning up or charring.

10: Once an internal temperature of 160-165 degrees F is reached, wrap the pork shoulder in aluminum foil (put the 1/3 cup of apple juice and ½ stick of butter in the foil with the shoulder). Wrap TIGHTLY with heavy duty foil to prevent any leakage.

11: Put the wrapped shoulder back on the smoker/cooker and bring temperatures up to 400 degrees (it is OK if the temperature reaches up to 450 degrees).

12: Cook until an internal temperature of 206 degrees F is achieved (approximately 2-3 more hours).

13: Once an internal temperature of 206 degrees F is reached, pull the shoulder off of the smoker to let rest.

PRO TIP: (Wrap the shoulder in a towel that you don’t mind soiling while keeping the shoulder IN THE FOIL. Place the shoulder in a cooler to let rest for a minimum of 1 HOUR. I prefer to go 2 hours to really let the meat reabsorb all that delicious juice!!).

14: Once rested, pull the shoulder out of the towel and foil and place in a dish large enough to hold the entire shoulder. I used a large aluminum pan for this part.

15: Grab your meat shredding claws and start pulling the shoulder apart.

16: Serve up and enjoy!!


Author: Matt Cass
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