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Pork Shoulder Recommendations

Joined Nov 8, 2017
Hey all, I'm new to the forum, currently living in Berkeley but from Sonoma. Just got put in charge of BBQ-ing at a tailgate for the Cal-Stanford game in a couple weeks. Wanting to do pork shoulder but haven't tried smoking one yet (just got my smoker this summer). You guys have any tips or recommendations? Going to practice this weekend. Go bears!


Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
★ Lifetime Premier ★
Joined Aug 16, 2016
Well Alex. A lot depends on what you want to make and what kind of smoker you have which you haven't stated. You want it as pulled pork or for slicing? Are you cooking at home and then bringing to the game or do you plan on cooking it there at the tailgate?

In most cases it can take 8 to 12 hours to cook a Butt or Butts for PP. But its best to cook to temp by a couple of methods. There are many threads around here about how to do it the traditional style. You need to decide what kind of rub? if/and/or what kind of sauce you want to incorporate into it later? Brine or inject it beforehand? Texas crutch or not, etc...


Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
★ Lifetime Premier ★
Joined Aug 16, 2016
Your WSM is excellent for making some mouth watering PP! In fact I think there is a recipe and directions in the manual that came with your WSM for PP. Here is the jist of it:

1. Remove the butt from the packaging and trim if desired. Pat it dry with paper towels.
2. Coat the roast with mustard or vegetable oil so your rub will stick.
3. Coat the roast with your rub of choice. (Some people will wrap it in plastic wrap for a while at this point. I don't)
4. Prepare your smoker.
  • Fill your charcoal basket and reserving 6-10 coals for starting in a chimney.
  • Place a couple chunks of wood with your unlit coals
  • Once your chimney of coals is started, place them in the center of your unlit coals and assemble the smoker.
  • It is optional if you wish to fill the water bowl (I don't, but I do line it with foil for easy cleanup.)
  • Once your smoker cruising between 220 and 250' by adjusting your bottom vents (top vent wide open) and the white smoke thins out to blue your smoker is ready.
5. Place butt on (top) rack in smoker. If using a remote thermometer insert the probe into the center of the roast, and close the lid. Maintain temps with your bottom vents and enjoy your favorite beverage.
6. Every 30 minutes to every couple hours you may add a couple chunks of wood.
7. . When internal temp of the butt reaches 160-165, place butt in a disposable foil pan and cover and return to smoker.
  • It is optional if you want to cover the roast/pan with foil completely. If you do, stop replacing wood chunks.
  • It is also optional to add a foiling liquid (some) into the pan (apple juice, water, pop, etc.. ) to increase braising effect. However, Either of these two options will soften and prevent bark formation
8. When internal temp has reached 200' check the butt for doneness by attempting to bull the bone out. If it resists, let the butt go another 30 minutes and repeat.
9. Remove butt from smoker and wrap in foil if it isn't already and let rest at least 30 minutes.
10. While still in the pan, remove bone from the roast . Continue to separate the meat and remove any unwanted fat. Shred with forks or hands as desired. Re-incorporate juices that were caught in the pan with the pulled pork.
11. Optional- add any additional rub, finishing sauce, bbq sauce, apple juice, Cider vinegar if desired.
12. Serve.

There are methods to hold the roast over in a cooler depending on the timing, or you can simply warm it back up in your foil pan at your tailgate

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