pork shoulder

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Original poster
Jun 23, 2013
Hello I want to do a pork shoulder on my pellet smoker and I am looking for a recipe and time to cook this shoulder looking for more savory than sweet


Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
★ Lifetime Premier ★
Jun 30, 2018
SE Arizona
For rub, I use the following recipe from Chef Jimmy J. It is not sweet.
Mild Bubba Q Rub (All Purpose)

1/2C Sugar in the Raw (Turbinado)* Omit for Grilled meat.
2T Sweet Paprika (Hungarian)
1T Kosher Salt
1T Chili Powder* (contains some Cumin and Oregano) Ancho Chile is same without cumin, oregano etc.
1T Granulated Garlic
1T Granulated Onion
1tsp Black Pepper, more if you like
1/2tsp Grnd Allspice

For more heat add Cayenne or Chipotle Pwd to taste, start with 1/2tsp and go from there. Makes about 1 Cup

Collect the juices in a pan below the pork butt because you add those juices back in.

You could also use a finishing sauce. The link is to Chef Jimmy J's recipe.

Instead of cooking to time, cook until the butt is probe tender in several spots or the bone wiggles if it is a bone in butt.
You can wrap the butt in foil, butcher paper, or pan it add any liquid you desire, and cover the pan when the internal temp stalls between 150° and 170°. Or you can choose not to wrap at all.

Obviously, cooking at a lower temp will take longer. However, you can cook at a higher temp without any problems and finish quicker.
Last edited:


Master of the Pit
SMF Premier Member
Dec 7, 2017
Michigan UP
As SecondHandSmoker SecondHandSmoker said. Make up a batch of JJ’s finishing sauce. It will set it over the edge. Not too familiar with that smoker but I’d recommend lumberjack pellets also! Best luck I’ve had as far as pellets. Time could be anywhere from 8-18 hours honestly. If I’m planning on aPork should for pulled pork for dinner I usually start mine around 430am. And kinda gauge the time to decide if I’m going to wrap it or not. Wrapping it will help it get through the stall around 160*. I always try to have it done around 2 hours before it’s time to eat so I can let it rest in a cooler wrapped in tin foil and towels. Oh and my last 5 or so. I haven’t been to careful on maintaining 225*. Honestly I’ve been closer to 250-275* and haven’t noticed a difference. As long as I’ve been pulling the around 203* and letting them rest.


Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
★ Lifetime Premier ★
Dec 1, 2019
The Cowboy State - Wyoming
I would say close to twenty to twenty five pounds rough estimate

Ahhh, you are cooking a whole shoulder, like those shown on the top row of my photo. That Eastern North Carolina sauce that SecondHandSmoker SecondHandSmoker are popular with shoulders and whole hog too. Sometimes I'll mix a vinegar based Carolina sauce and another sauce together. But... with the long cooking times you will have, injections bring a lot of flavor to the party.

A favorite injection of mine is 60% pork broth (made from smoked neck bones is even better) and 40% Coca-Cola or apple/white grape juice. Ham stock works too. I add just enough pickling salt so that it's slightly salty. A rule of thumb is 1/2 gram per ounce.... but, this can change if the broth is more or less salty. So, it's best to add and taste, then adjust.
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