Mother's Day Shoulder: Good, but want to be better.

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Original poster
May 5, 2007
So for mothers day I smoked a pork shoulder. Turned out pretty good.

I did a brisket too, but this is the pork forum, so I'll stick to that.

I got lots of compliments. A couple people told me it was better than Buster's (which is the local smoke house that everyone raves about). And i had more than a few gasps and "oh-my-god's, this is so good" that I should be happy with my product and move along.

But here's the thing... I don't feel like I did anything fancy to it. Didn't use any "tricks" or "special sauces" or anything like that. Here is my breakdown.

8 lb pork shoulder,
I used a basic rub that I just made up my self of equal parts kosher salt, black pepper, garlic powder and paprika. Rubbed and allowed to sit approximately 8 hours before entering the smoker.

Smoked between 200 - 225 degrees for 16 hours.

I used minion method charcoal for heat in the side firebox. I have a grate above the coals that I put to cast iron smoker boxes on top of and I put wood chunks in the boxes. I've found this slow burns the wood which puts off a lot of smoke, doesn't flame up the wood and change internal temperature and makes the wood last much longer.

I used Hickory for the first 15 hours, then wrapped it in foil, and put it in the oven for the last 3 hours (cause my fire dying out, and I didn't want to reload for only a couple hours).

That's it. After the backyard was set, and all the tables were out, I removed the shoulder and pulled it. It was great and everyone loved it. I put a bottle of Sweet Baby Rays on the table so people could choose to use it or not.

But as you can see... I didn't so anything fancy to it. I've heard of guys using their special secret rub, or special sauce, or injecting the shoulder with this or that...

I'm just curious. Looking for some ideas. What I did was pretty basic I think. I'd like to step it up, and really blow their socks off.
Hey Cheesy. Sounds like a pretty successful day to me. Congrats. Personally, I think simple is best. To me the whole point is the smoked meat not all the fancy sauces and such. A simple rub and a simple finishing sauce is all it takes. I know others will disagree, but for me IMHO simple is best.
Again, congrats on a job well done.
That's true. Like my Paw Paw used to tell me. "If you need all those extras to cover up the meat, then apparently you should've left it in its skin."

I still crack up at that.

God rest his soul.
I agree. Sugary red/brown sauces cancel the flavor of the meat that we worked so hard to prepare, and the meat just becomes a vehicle for the sauce. Pulled pork, right at the time of pulling, needs nothing, it's delicious, hot, juicy and that's what gets the girl. Be proud, nice job!
Good job !! sometimes less is more !
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