The Best Pork Shoulder I’ve Smoked (So Far)

Last Sunday even with the threat of rain I decided to crank out another pork shoulder. This time I rubbed it with mustard and managed to find time to brine it for about 16 hours. This is how it looked after it came out of the brine. I love seeing the molasses adhere itself to the fat cap.

At 4:45am the shoulder was on the smoker and this time I changed the way I handled the wood. I hid hickory and apple chips throughout the charcoal while setting up the bowl for the minion method. Then when I put the shoulder on I added a large chunk of hickory. I then alternated apple and hickory chunks every hour until the shoulder hit 160 degrees. I was planning on wrapping the shoulder but I was getting such good heat out of the smoker that I skipped it.

This is what the shoulder looked like towards the end of the cook. The bark was super dark and crunchy which is how I like it but I am very interested in doing a wrap one of these days. I was going to do a shoulder this weekend but my schedule didn’t allow for it.

After 12 hours the shoulder came off the smoker and after a 45 minute rest I pulled it. I mixed it up with additional rub and the spice and moisture level was perfect. Doling out the smoke every hour worked great. The meat had a perfect smokey aroma and it didn’t dominate the flavor of the pork. I also think the brining is a must. It adds so much moisture to the finished product. After finishing this shoulder I feel like I’m getting closer and closer to finally doing that brisket. Maybe Memorial Day weekend? Stay tuned!

COOK LOG

43 degrees
225 degrees

 

77 degrees
240 degrees

 

112 degrees
240 degrees

 

7:45am (Water pan refill)
135 degrees
238 degrees

 

152 degrees
218 degrees

 

160 degrees
227 degrees

 

10:45am (changed coal, water pan refill)
165 degrees
225 degrees

 

166 degrees
233 degrees

 

12:45pm (water pan refill)
171 degrees
258 degrees

 

178 degrees
240 degrees

 

184 degrees
243 degrees

 

190 degrees
232 degrees

 

195 degrees
247 degrees