Growing up, I use to wait for every Sunday so I could get a a Sunday Roast. Once I grew up I worked out I could cook one anytime I wanted. It got better when I discovered BBQ’ing. I love my charcoal grill, try this Grill-Smoked Pork Shoulder with Spice Rub.
Pork shoulder can be incorporated into recipes in a myriad of ways, and it’s practically indestructible—suitable for long, slow cooking over the grill or even in a slow-cooker.
In this recipe, you can even leave on a little more fat than you might otherwise—it will render off during cooking and help season the meat.
- ⅓ cup (1 oz/30 g) sweet paprika
- 2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons firmly packed dark brown sugar
- 1½ tablespoons kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons celery salt
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons dry mustard
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- ¾ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 4½–6 lb (2¼–3 kg) bone-in pork shoulder, fat trimmed to about ⅛ inch (3 mm)
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
To make the spice rub, stir together the paprika, black pepper, sugar, kosher salt, celery salt, garlic powder, mustard, cumin, and cayenne.
Rinse the pork under cold running water. Pat dry thoroughly, including all the nooks and crannies. Rub the oil all over the pork, then rub in the spices, working them in well. Let stand at room temperature for 1½–2 hours.
Prepare a charcoal grill for indirect-heat grilling over medium heat, using hardwood charcoal, or prepare a gas grill for indirect grilling at about 300°F (150°C). Place a drip pan underneath the spot on the grill rack where you will place the meat. Add about 2 cups (16 fl oz/500 ml) hot water to the drip pan, and, if you have room, put a small pan of hot water on the grill rack, as well. Be sure to leave room to add more coals as you cook.
Scatter a handful of oak, hickory, or fruit-wood chips over the hot coals, or, if using a gas grill, add the chips in a smoker box or foil packet, and place the pork on the grill rack over the drip pan. If you have a probe thermometer, insert it through the grill vents and into the center of the meat, without touching the bone. Cover the grill and maintain the temperature at 250–300°F (120–150°C).
Cook the pork for 2½–5 hours. Your timing will depend on the diameter of the meat, the ambient temperature, how many times you check the temperature, and whether you add hot or cold charcoal to replenish the spent coals. (You will need to replenish about once every hour, when the temperature starts to drop.
Add one handful of wood chips the second time you add more charcoal, or after about 2 hours in a gas grill. Don’t worry if the temperature spikes higher, especially right after adding fresh charcoal.)
The pork is done when it is fork-tender and the internal temperature registers 160–165°F (71–74°C). If you don’t have a probe thermometer, use an instant-read thermometer—but remember that every time you lift the lid, the loss of heat will extend your cooking time.
Transfer the pork to a platter, tent with aluminum foil, and let rest 20 minutes. Carve into thick slices and serve at once.