How To Smoke A Perfect Pork Shoulder

How to smoke pork shoulder
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Steven Raichlen of Steven Raichlen’s Barbecue Bible has a fantastic three part series on pork shoulders, wherein you can learn all you need to know about this delectable hunk of hog. ‘In Praise of Pork Shoulder’ covers everything from the anatomy and animal husbandry involved in selecting the perfect pork shoulder to the best seasoning, grilling techniques and gear for optimal deliciousness. It’s the most in-depth, step-by-step recipe you can find. 

It’s the comprehensive three-part series on pork shoulders you always needed. This three-part series on pork shoulders makes an excellent guide for beginners ready to smoke their first pork shoulder or those just finding their groove with the grill.  It’s required reading for any experience pitmaster. 

How to buy a pork shoulder

Part 1 covers everything you need to know when buying a pork shoulder. It examines the different types of pig breeds, different feeding and raising conditions and different cuts of pork that can affect the final meat product. Raichlen covers 7 different grades of pork, 4 different species of pig, and the two main cuts of pork shoulder – the “Boston butt”, also known as a pork butt, and the shoulder ham.

How to season a pork shoulder

Part 2 covers the preparation of your pork shoulder. Reichlen explains how to brine, inject and rub your pork shoulder to get it grill ready. He also discusses making a mop sauce and whether or not you need it. As an extra bonus, he covers his special rub recipe.

How to cook a pork shoulder

Part 3 of the series discusses how to cook the pork shoulder, what you’ll need to cook it, and how to serve it.

The entire series is packed full of handy information and advice. It also has links  to some fantastic pork shoulder recipes and related tutorials for rubs and sauces. Follow up on some of the recipes for pork shoulder, such as North Carolina pulled pork, Balinese roast pork shoulder or the Lexington pulled pork shoulder.

Raichlen’s instructions and tips are easy to understand and shed light on some important aspects of the barbecue process. It also helps you enhance your barbecuing abilities and achieve greater meals. All three parts of the series can be something of a hefty read, but they’re surprisingly concise for the amount of information they contain.

The end result?

Following the three part series on pork shoulders gives you more than enough insight into how to make the perfect pork shoulder. Give it a try and enjoy the delicious blend of crisp bark, luscious fat and meltingly tender meat when you lift that pork shoulder from the grill.  We’re firm believers that smoking your pork shoulder is the best way to prepare it. If you’re new to smoking, we recommend reading our guide to the best electric smokers here

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