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Ingredients:

  • Pork Shoulder/Pork Butt/Boston Butt (yes, they’re all the same cut of meat), 5-10 pounds
  • BBQ Dry Rub (choose your favorite), ~2-3 ounces

Supplies:

  • Thermometer (preferably a digital dual-probe smoking thermometer)
  • Lava Stone (or other heat deflector for indirect heat)
  • Smoking chips/chunks of your choice
  • Drip Pan (optional)
  • Aluminum Foil
  • Food Preparation Gloves
  • Sharp Knife
  • Bear Claws (or a couple of forks)
  • Cooler
  • Towel

smoked pork shoulder recipe vision kamado grill

Directions:

The Prep (30 minutes)

  1. Get your grill started. You’ll be cooking for quite a while, so we recommend a healthy amount of lump charcoal. We’ll be shooting to cook the shoulder “low and slow” between 225°F (107°C) and 250°F (121°C), so place your Lava Stone and don’t let the grill get too hot!
  2. Glove up (optional). This next part will be messy.
  3. Trim the fat (optional). Use a sharp knife to remove excess fat from the thick fat cap. There is plenty of fat throughout the cut, so don’t be afraid to go to work. That said, many do not remove the fat until after the shoulder is finished cooking. Experiment to find out what works best for you!
  4. Rub it down. Coat the shoulder liberally with your favorite BBQ Rub. We used one of our soon-to-be-released (shhh… don’t tell anyone) Vision Grills BBQ Dry Rubs. Tip: don’t just sprinkle the dry rub over the shoulder, rub it in – you won’t regret the extra flavor in all the little nooks and crannies.
  5. Chip/chunk it up. Add smoking chips/chunks of your choice to the grill. We used apple. It was amazing.
  6. Set yourself up for grease-catching success (optional). Position a drip pan on the 1st tier grate. If you don’t have a lava stone, fill this pan with water as stand in for a heat deflector.

The Cook (approximately 9-12 hours)

  1. Place shoulder on grill. Add the shoulder, fat cap downward facing (new yoga position?), to the 2nd tier grate and insert the meat probe into the thickest part of the shoulder. Make sure that the probe isn’t touching the bone, as that will skew the reading. Position the other probe to measure the ambient temperature of the grill. Many experienced grillers may not need to use temperature probes for this cook, but we always like to know exactly what’s going on in the meat.
  2. Hold between 225°F (107°C) and 250°F (121°C) until shoulder reaches an internal temp of 195°F (90.5°C)-205°F (96°C)). We aim for an internal temperature between 195°F (90.5°C) and 205°F (96°C), though, if the grill temp is held constant, it’s just about impossible to overcook a pork shoulder. This cut needs to cook at a low temperature for a long period of time, as it is very tough and fibrous. By cooking it for a long period of time, we can break down those fibers, resulting in incredibly tender pork. Tip: if the internal temperature of the meat seems to stop rising during the smoke, wrap the shoulder with foil to get back on track.
  3. Let it rest. After you take the shoulder off the grill, wrap it in foil (if you haven’t already), wrap the foil-wrapped shoulder in a towel, then store in a cooler for about an hour.
  4. Do your best Wolverine impersonation. Okay, we may have had a little too much fun with the bear claws, but they really are an incredible tool for pulling pork.

smoked pulled pork recipe vision kamado grills

Have tips and tricks to share? Questions? Chime in below!

27 Comments

  • JOHN NICASTRO says:

    I though with cuts like this or brisket the fat cap should always be on top so it bastes the meat while cooking?

    • AL Weber says:

      John, you are totally right about the fat cap basting the meat as it renders. But with a pork shoulder that’s not necessarily a good thing.

      1. It acts as a barrier, not allowing the flavor of your rub to get into the meat.

      2. As it renders, it will ‘baste’ your rub right off the meat

      3. You will lose an entire side of the shoulder that would develop ‘bark’. The best part of any pork butt is the bark!

      • J bitz says:

        If you grill with the fat cap down you might as well just trim it all off to begin with. When you are firing your grill for that long you might as well fill the grill up. do several butts or a whole shoulder(18-20 pounds)

  • Don Jagot says:

    You can put the roast in a disposable aluminum pan. Throw in some chunky chopped onions, green peppers, banana peppers (into the pan, under the roast), empty a 12oz Coke, or DrPepper into the pan as well. Makes lots of juice that mixes well with BBCue sauce once everything is done.

  • Paul Johnson says:

    I inject apple juice in the meat and put a drip pan full of beer in the grill.

  • John Hudson says:

    I have been grilling and smoking just about anything edible for the last 40 years. I have NEVER placed a large piece of meat on my grate with the cat cap facing downward, you lose much of the flavor, juiciness and flavor in a low-slow cook by doing so!

  • Danny Lefeavers says:

    A picture’s worth a thousand drools! Those bear claws are cool, I’ve never seen those before. Do they work well?

    • Ken says:

      Not only do the claws work great for pulling or shredding the meat, they are awesome for picking up, moving or handling the meat.

  • The family cook says:

    I think it’s worth letting everyone know an important tip:
    I like to cook my pulled pork at 225’F and pull the meat off the grill when its about 200-202’F. When the meat hits about 170’F, it will stall. The temperature will not rise for HOURS. Just wait…… and wait……. and wait……. for the temperature to start climbing again. I start a 8-10lb butt the night before and it will take 18 hours to cook. Delicious!! (I also use a BBQ Guru to control my BBQ temperature)

    • jgllo says:

      Wrapping in foil around 150-160 degrees prevents this temperature stall. The technique is called the “Texas Crutch” and prevents drying out during the stall.

  • Matt says:

    I have a set of the bear claws and yes they work very well! I have always used 2 forks then I purchased the claws, never again will I use forks! The claws shred the meat fast!

  • Twelvefield says:

    With a brisket, the fat cap should be on top. With pulled pork, I think it’s optional. I used to use a mop (baste) that was equal parts whiskey, water, and apple vinegar (or apple juice plus vinegar), but I find that optional as well. I’ll just pour in the mop fluid during the pulling process, if the meat seems too dry. I can see using Coke or Dr. Pepper as well, since those sodas break down the pork while it cooks. Not so sure about letting it sit in a pan, though, since the dissolving action of the soda is lost. Maybe I’ll try injecting it, that ought to work. Stir frying pork in Coke results in super-soft pork, so it could work in a kamado…

    I use 3/4 apple 1/4 cherry wood chunks on pork. If I have it, a little alder or hickory as well. I use 1/2 alder 1/2 cherry with a little apple on brisket.

  • Frankie says:

    Hmmmmm not having read this I placed my 7 lbs Brisket fat cap down.. and I must tell you my brisket came out like butter… Tasty and moist!! To be fair though, i did follow the Texas Crutch approach (3,2,1) so I did have it wrapped in foil for about 2 hrs….

  • SPSS says:

    Chipotle powder and hot paprika come together with a homemade tomato-based barbeque sauce to make a smoky, delicious pulled pork.

  • RuKompas3D says:

    Seasoned with a peppery brown sugar rub, this pork shoulder is baked low-and-slow in the oven until super tender and is perfect for serving during the big game.

  • CheckXML says:

    Chipotle powder and hot paprika come together with a homemade tomato-based barbeque sauce to make a smoky, delicious pulled pork.

  • RuStatistica says:

    Seasoned with a peppery brown sugar rub, this pork shoulder is baked low-and-slow in the oven until super tender and is perfect for serving during the big game.

  • Root beer, liquid smoke, and garlic are all that s needed for simmering pork shoulder, pork butt, or loin in this easy, savory recipe.

  • Scubahiker says:

    Did my first dry rubbed shoulder this weekend. Smoked it for 16 hrs at 225 fat cap down. The Vision classic B using a heatermeter did awesome! The pork just feel apart!

  • So Cal Smoker says:

    Dry rub your pork 10-12 hours prior to cooking. Cover, and place it in the fridge. Then feel free to cook FAT-CAP UP-TOP (saw that band play last year ?) and let the juices flow! I’ve never once had a dry or tasteless piece of meat. I’ve never been tempted to do a Texas crunch (cheat – haha). If you’re not adding the rub in advance, I could see how the fat-cap might need to be down. But… Alas… 14 or 16 hours of cook time is not enough torture to make it a labor of love. What’s another 12 hours for the dry rub at this point? ?

  • Larry says:

    Use “Big Bob Gibson’s” recipes and process (Google it) for cooking pork shoulders. It works very well for my family and I.

  • Mike in Fishers says:

    Love all the comments…
    I’ll typically do an injection 2-3 days prior to my cook… just adds more flavor.
    Injection:
    3-4 cups of water- boil with 5 chicken bouillon cubes. Add 2-3 Tablespoons of minced/chopped garlic, 1 tablespoon of hot sauce, 1 tablespoon minced onion, 1 tablespoon ground pepper, 2 Tablespoon of bourbon, and any other spices you like (paprika, celery salt, etc). Boil it all for a few and let cool.

    Inject da pork and the do your favorite rub… I always coat in mustard after the rub- helps create a killer bark. Now cover with foil in a pan for a couple days.

    Don’t be afraid to save some injection marinade and hit it a. Purple times during the cook.

    Time to smoke-
    Get the pork out and let it come up on temp for 20-30 min.
    I’ll use apple and cherry wood with the charcoal… heat the smoker to 225-250… use a deflector if available. If not, (& regardless) place meat on top grate, placing a pan on main grate.
    Smoke for about 14-16 hours for a 7-9lb shoulder.
    When she’s off the smoker- wrap in foil, then an old (clean) towel and place in a cooler for at least one hour- preferably 2.

    Tear in and enjoy your handy work!
    If I had to recommend a BBQ sauce- Montgomery Inn is balanced and perfect with pulled pork.

  • Larry L says:

    Just finished smoking 2 pork shoulders overnight, fat cap up ! Excellent results- covered & let stand for about a hour, nearly pulled itself.

  • Sobxgal says:

    I’m smoking my first butt tomorrow- it’s only a 4-pounder. Would you suggest about an hour per pound cook time on the 2nd grate and then an hour or so rest?

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