Giving a Pork Shoulder Roast a try (Bone in)

  • Some of the links on this forum allow SMF, at no cost to you, to earn a small commission when you click through and make a purchase. Let me know if you have any questions about this.
SMF is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.


Smoking Fanatic
Original poster
Jun 14, 2013
Climax Springs, Mo
Prepped an 11 lb Bone in Pork shoulder picnic roast for the smoker tonight. The plan is to start the picnic tomorrow late afternoon? I want to use my MES 40 with AMNPS pellet box but have had a hard time getting the pellet box to work properly (I have all day tomorrow to get it figured out). This is my first time cooking this meat I am mostly a rib/chicken kind of guy but want to expand my cooks. From what I have read it appears like this will take 16-20 hours at 230 degrees?
Started off removing the skin. This was a first time for me and looks to me like I done a good job? But seriously I have no clue!

She is trimmed and cleaned now time to rub. I used Plowboys BBQ Yardbird Rub a few layers for part 1 of my rub. Then I laid a thin layer of Hot and Spicy Mustard and finished with light layer of Rib Tickler rub. She is resting in fridge until tomorrow afternoon now.



It is going to take a good long time to do that big boy. I would put it on and keep the door closed. Hope you have a Maverick ET-732 temp gauge. rub it down with mustard then put a rub of your choice on it. Preferable the night before so the seasoning gets worked into the meat. I usually inject it with apple juice the morning I put it in the smoker. Only peek once every two hours or so if you plan to spritz with apple juice...It will take all damn day to do an 11 pounder so start early and have plenty of beer on hand. I get up at 4 am when I do mine. I usually do two to four 9 pounders at a time....Good luck and have fun...RTB........
Nothing it is in a ziplock bag. I do not know what crackling is! I plan to cut it up and put in aluminum pie pan with small holes punched in it above shoulder allowing grease to drip on meat. I think I read to do that some where on here.
Cracklins (as we say it in the South)...fried pig skins... AKA: pork rinds or chiccharrons in Spanish.

as far as the fat dripping onto the meat, you can do that, but you also stand a chance of washing some of your rub off.  Typically a pork butt will have plenty of internal fat to keep the meat nice and moist, but if you have a plan, do it.  BBQ is all about doing it your way, experimenting and finding out what you and the folks you are cooking for like the most.  

Good luck and happy smoking!
Last edited:
To make cracklins you use a cut of pork that has the pork skin, pork fat and pork meat all attached. Pork Rinds, on the other hand, use only the pork fat.

The easiest place to get the pork skin/pork fat for cracklings is from either a pork butt roast (Boston Butt), rump roast, and sometimes you can find the skin and fat still attached to a loin cut. You will see the skin/fat still attached to the roast. Actually, virtually any piece of pork that has skin or fat attached to it can be used to make cracklins. What my long time Cajun friend, Dale Begnaud, told me was that his Dad would collect and freeze the pieces of fat and skin from the roast and other cuts until he had enough to make his cracklins.

In his day, the fire was lit to boil  the water at 3:00 in the morning to slaughter the hog that was going to be used for the cracklins. The hog was covered in heavy burlap and the hot water poured over the hog. Pouring boiling water directly on the hog scalds the skin. The skin was then shaved to remove the hair. The process was repeated until the skin was clean and slick. 

Most Cajuns season to taste with a combination of salt, black pepper and red pepper. Commercial products such as Tony Chachere’s, Slap Yo Momma, Zatarins, Best Stop Cajun Seasoning, Season-All, Lite salt and the list goes on can all be used to season your delights. It is strictly a matter of preference. No magic here. Cracklins and pork rinds have to be seasoned immediately after coming out of the pot. So get those seasonings you want ready. 

Pork Rinds – Baconettes

If you have only the fat (no meat or skin), cut in 1x1 inch squares. To make them fluffier, at the beginning of the cooking process, chill the fat by placing in the refrigerator. Now that the fat has been cut and chilled, you are ready to cook them. Since you are cooking pork rinds/baconettes it is most authentic to use lard, but you may substitute peanut oil or any other frying oil that does not smoke at high temperatures. In your black cast iron pot get several inches of oil very hot. Place the fat pieces in the hot oil and deep fry  until light and golden brown. Do not overcook as the pork rind can get hard. Also be careful when placing the fat in the pot as the oil can easily pop due to the cold being placed in the hot oil.

Once they are brown, remove from the pot and place on paper towels to drain and immediately season them. You would store in an airtight container to preserve freshness.

Cracklins /Grattons

To make cracklins, the pork meat will be cut with the skin, fat and some meat attached. Old Cajuns generally used ¾ x ¾ inch thick pieces. As you will be cooking with water and letting the cracklins cook in their own grease, make sure that your pot size fits the amount of meat being cooked. 

Fill your pot with water to one quarter of the depth of the pot. Note this is not one quarter inch, a mistake I had once made. Bring the water to a boil. Place the pork pieces in the water and keep a strong fire going. The water will dissolve the fat and also evaporate leaving the pork pieces to cook in their own melted grease (lard). Fry the pieces until light and golden brown. As the cracklins can turn hard it is important not to overcook them. True Cajun cracklins are supposed to be very crunchy and firm to hard in texture. If you do overcook them and they become hard, they will still be edible with the same great flavor just not as easy to chew.

If the pork pieces are mainly skin and meat, it would be ok to fry  as you would the pork rinds and not have to use the water. The water as mentioned is an important agent used to help melt the fat. 

Remove to paper towels for draining and immediately season the cracklins. To preserve the flavor and freshness, store in an airtight container.

Words to live by: 
In life, remember that pigs get fat, but hogs get slaughtered. For pure heavenly Cajun treat, grab a link of boudoin (boudin) sausage in one hand and cracklins in the other. Wash down with an RC Cola or a cold one. Enjoy your cracklins, ya’ll.
One way I've always wanted to try was to smoke the skin for a couple of hours at 225, then transfer into an oven preheated to about 400, and roast until the skin starts to bubble...
The above post about cracklins was well written and correct.  short to the point cracklins are like skin on bacon cut in cubes and deep fried they are layered skin, fat  meat, fat meat fat like bacon is.  They are fried till they float, taken out to cool then twice fried to get the skin to blister.  The second fry in the hot grease is just a minute or so.  Then ya season them with the above mentioned seasoning when still hot.  Just skin is pork skins, skin with bacon like, layors with it is cracklins.  A good way to do a shoulder is to diamond score the skin then rub and Q.  I've got a post about that and will see if I can find it.
Here is a post about a shoulder I did last year I lifted off our blog.  it was done skin on with the skin scored in a diamond pattern. cappyandpegody.blogspot .com/2012/01/bbqin-ham.html
Ok so I chatted with Todd and watched the you video on how to start pellets using a heat gun. Well I do not own a heat gun but I do own a blow dryer and it worked perfect. Got the smoke box working pretty good this afternoon so I through on a whole chicken. I injected the chicken with melted butter and Cajun Blackened Seasoning mixed in. Then coated it with brown and spicy mustard and added my rub. Put the chicken on a Miller Lite in a foil pan and tossed it in about 1:30. Waiting for it to get done now it has been on for 3 1/2 hours at 255 degrees IT is 155 now. The shoulder is sitting out getting up to room temp. As soon as I pull the chicken I will fire up the pellets and start my shoulder at 230 degrees with a water pan for the night.

Great smoke rolling

Chicken is rubbed

Chicken is done and resting.

Pellets are ready to be lit for my shoulder
Last edited:
OMG is all I can say! Most of the time I never like the way my cooks turn out but this chicken was awesome. Extremely moist and tender I could cut it with my fork. Hope the shoulder makes me just as happy.

After I was done eating I checked on my AMNPS pellet box to see how it was doing and it had flamed back up. Not sure why it was but it happened to me a few times today (Maybe to much air)?
I use foil around my pellet tray to shield it from the heating element and drippings from the meat.

Might be causing the flair ups?
Ok I have had a few problems first the pellets ignited after half hour in the mailbox and burnt almost 1 complete roll. Added some more pellets and blew out the fire and all was good. 3 Hours into my cook all the pellets were gone. I reloaded and relit and back in the box the AMNPS went within 5 minutes she fired back up so I added new pellets on top and put it back in the box. Let that go for 45 minutes and checked again almost first roll was gone. I added pellets again but this time I taped off some of the vents in the mailbox and closed exhaust. Will check it 1 more time before bedtime. is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.

Latest posts

Hot Threads