Pulled Pork Shoulder

Freshly Rubbed Pork Shoulder

The pork shoulder, commonly known as pork butts or the Boston butt in the States. Don’t let those names fool you, it is simply a pork shoulder. The actual butt part of the pig makes ham.

Prepare your Meat

Trim the skin from the pork shoulder and set aside for making crackling. Remove as much of the fat from around the meat as you can. The more fat that is removed, the more rub you can apply to the meat. The more rub applied to the meat, the better the bark. The bark is formed from the pork rub caramelising on the meat. This gives the pork shoulder its dark exterior, full of flavour.

Come on Baby Light My Fire

Pulled Pork is Barbecued Long and Slow

One of the main reasons I invested in a barbecue was to smoke pulled pork low and slow. Smoking pulled pork over a low heat over a duration of 12 hours aiming for the magic temperature of 93°C will produce the most tender and succulent pork that you have ever tasted.

Set your kettle up for indirect smoking using the snake method. A couple handfuls of apple wood chips spread across the briquettes will ensure that the pork shoulder is constantly smoked throughout the process.

Pork Shoulder Ready for the Long N Slow Treatment

Beware of the Stall

The pork shoulder will reach an internal temperature of 70°C and will not rise in temperature for around an hour. Do not panic. This is a standard occurrence known as the stall. At this temperature the fats and collagens begin to melt, the muscles become tender and moist, there is nothing quite like it.

Pulled pork shoulder at the midway point

When is it ready?

Slow cooking a pork is a relatively easy process, it is extremely time consuming to do it absolutely right. The end result though, once that pork shoulder hits 96’C is that melt in your mouth like butter tender meat. The most exciting part is pulling the bone clean out with a simple twist, if you can do this – you know that your shoulder is ready to serve.

Once the pork shoulder reaches an internal temperature of 90°C remove from the barbecue. At this point the shoulder will have a thick dark exterior, this will not taste burnt. If smoked correctly the shoulder bone will be able to be removed with a gentle twist and pull resulting in the meat collapsing on itself. Wrap the meat in foil and rest for a further 30 minutes.

Remove any spine and rib bones from the shoulder, these can be rather sharp so be careful that they are all removed. Pull the shoulder bone and any cartilage, this should slide out cleanly. Tear apart the meat with a pair of forks or your hands. The meat will pull apart easily and give you no trouble if the shoulder has been cooked correctly.

Sprinkle on any remaining rub, adding in salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately to your liking, a popular way to serve pulled pork is as a sandwich with sauce and slaw.

Pulled port shoulder with beautifully developed bark

Pulled Pork Shoulder
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Pulled Pork
Author:
Recipe type: Meat
Cuisine: Barbecue
Serves: 4-12
Ingredients
  • 250g Pork Rub
  • 3-5kg Pork Shoulder (bone in)
Instructions
  1. Prepare barbecue for indirect smoking using the Snake Method
  2. Bring the barbecue temperature to 110°C
  3. Trim the fat from the pork shoulder
  4. Evenly apply the pork shoulder with 250g pork rub
  5. Smoke pork shoulder on the barbecue for a minimum of 12 hours
  6. Remove pork shoulder from barbecue when internal temperature reaches 90°C
  7. Wrap the pork shoulder in foil and rest for 30 minutes
  8. Remove bones and shred the meat
  9. Serve immediately to your liking
Notes
Best served as a sandwich with slaw

Long 'n' Slow Pulled Pork Shoulder

Keep up to date, SUBSCRIBE to my email list

9 comments

  1. JoeGuy · January 20, 2014

    That looks like some mean pulled pork you cooked up. I can’t wait for this snow to be gone so I can give your recipe a try on the BBQ.

    • Scott · January 20, 2014

      Cheers Joe! I hear you on the snow, while we don’t get snow over here it has been really foggy and muggy lately! Managed to get out this evening for a barbecue session. Was dark by the time I finished though. It’s amazing how time consuming this can be at times!

  2. Warren B · January 20, 2014

    Nice! I am new to smoking and wanted to try a pork shoulder, I think this will be the weekend treat! Thanks for the run down!

    • Scott · January 20, 2014

      Cheers Warren – I hope that the smoke has gone well for you! I’ve had one on the go for around 9 hours today – have just taken it out of the Weber and is wrapped in foil and a towel waiting for the potatoes to finish 🙂 Happy smoking!

  3. Simon · January 20, 2014

    Scott, that looks amazing! I started smoking this year and only managed a few slow cooks so far, the last was a brisket that was really good. I haven’t tried the snake method yet, would you get 12 hours out of one ‘snake’ ? Do you use the Weber long lasting coals?

    Thanks for sharing. Simon (UK)

    • Scott · January 20, 2014

      Hi Simon, thanks for the kind comments – how did you enjoy the brikset? I have yet to tackle one of these, mostly due to sourcing a cut worthy of my time, haha.

      Snake method is perfect for smoking in a grill/kettle such as the one touch silver, I can easily get 12 hours this way, if I need longer I just add more coals.

      I use heat beads which is an australian brand available both there and here in New Zealand.

      Happy smoking!

      • Simon · January 20, 2014

        The last brisket was the biggest and from a reputable butcher. It turned out really well, I pretty much followed Adam Perry Lang’s method, but maintaining the internal temperature was my biggest issue. You Tube videos seem to brush over that part as being easy, but I guess experience prevails. I’m hoping the snake method will be my silver bullet!! lol.

        I have set of jumbo beef ribs in the freezer from the same butcher, so I will be having a go at that soon as well. I did them once in the oven which was pretty good, so the BBQ should be much better. The recipe I followed was in a Jamie Oliver cook book and he got his from Daisy Mays BBQ in New York (Owned by Adam Perry Lang). We went to New York in March and had these Jumbo ribs (as well as one of everything else!) – it was truly amazing, slow cooked for 15 hours. I NEED to have this at home! lol

        http://daisymaysbbq.com/
        http://daisymaysbbq.com/menus/jumbo-beef-rib/
        http://howfresheats.blogspot.co.uk/2008/04/daisy-mays-bbq-oklahoma-jumbo-beef-rib_13.html

  4. Ben · January 20

    Hi Scott, I am going to make this tomorrow night – can you give me some guidance on how to adjust the top and bottom vents on the Weber to achieve the correct temp when using your snake method?

    Cheers, Ben

    • Scott · January 20

      I keep the bottom vents about halfway so that I only need to adjust the top vent during the cook.