If you enjoy pork stew, pulled pork, carnitas, and meaty ragus, then pork shoulder should already be on your radar. It is if you are looking to make a meal for a big crowd or making a meal with leftovers to eat some other time. Pork shoulder starts as a fatty and chewy cut of meat. But when you simmer it for a few hours at the right pork shoulder cook temperature, it will transform into juicy threads that are tender and fall apart easily with the touch of your fork.
Smoked pork butt VS Smoked pork shoulder
When smoking pork, the first thing you need to consider is the smoke temperature. The smoke temperature depends on how large the piece of pork is. To smoke a pork shoulder, you need to keep the pork shoulder smoke temp at 225 degrees Fahrenheit. This will take you roughly about 2 hours to grill each pound of meat. Several factors determine how long it takes, including the humidity in the air, the consistency of the grill to hold temperature, the outside temperature, and many more factors. Based on these factors, it is wise not to smoke your pork shoulder based on time only.
Pork butt means the butt end of the pork shoulder. The rear leg of the pig is where you get the pig’s butt, and the butt forms part of the pig shoulder. Smoking the pork butt also requires a temperature of 225 degrees. Use about 2 hours to grill each pound of meat.
How to grill/smoke a pork shoulder
To smoke a pork shoulder follow the following instructions:
- You need to preheat the smoker to 225 degrees for indirect smoking.
- Separate the meat from its packaging and wipe it on all its sides with a clean paper towel. Be sure to clean off any clear bone fragment and extra liquid on its exterior.
- Slather the exterior part of the pork shoulder entirely with mustard.
- Season your pork at the top and bottom with a homemade BBQ Sweet Rub. However, do not stress on rubbing the pork, just make sure it is seasoned all over your pork.
- Place the seasoned roast on the smoker, placing the fat side up. Do this in the middle of the grate to avoid any direct hotspots.
- Close the lid and let the pork shoulder smoke up to a temperature of at least 195 degrees F. Use a ThermoPro Meat Thermometer to monitor the temperature rise on the pork. You can let it smoke up to 201 degrees F if you want it softer. This process can take a minimum of 15 hours and a maximum of 20. It depends on the heat consistency and the size of your pork shoulder.
- Remove the shoulder from the smoker and wrap it in a foil tightly. Allow it to rest for an hour before commencing the shredding.
- Pull apart the pork shoulder, removing any chunks of gristle or fat. Sprinkle it with an additional tablespoon of the Homemade Sweet BBQ Rub.
- Serve the pork shoulder, and enjoy it!
If you wish to grill your fish shoulder on a gas grill, follow the following instructions:
The day before you grill
- Mix ingredients for them to rub together and break up any clumps. Taste the rub, see if you like it, if not, adjust accordingly.
- Rub the pork shoulder with the rub. Unwrap the pork and place it on a roasting pan, or something that can catch the rub. Using clean hands, rub the mixture into your pork shoulder all over. After finishing this procedure, refrigerate the pork shoulder overnight.
The night before:
- Soak woodchips.
- Take four handfuls of wood chips.
- Place them in a bowl.
- And soak them in water overnight.
The grilling day:
- After removing the chilled roast from the refrigerator, allow it to rise to room temperature.
- Prepare your grill. Depending on your grill is structure, remove the thin metal with lots of holes, which sits over the burner. This allows the wood chips to smoke more easily.
- Place some water on the grill to help you moderate the heat. This ensures the roast does not get too dry.
- Start the grill smoking. You should create a double-layered aluminum foil with two of damp wood chips. Place the aluminum boat directly on the burner. After doing this, you can proceed to turn on the grill to medium flame. Cover the grill and allow it to heat up, which will make the wood chips to start smoking.
- Placing the fat side up to begin grilling. If your grill contains a hot spot, position your pork shoulder away from it. The appropriate temperature to maintain is 225 degrees F. If the temperature rises too high, your roast may dry out, and if the temperature is too low, the roast will take forever to cook.
- Maintain a steady temperature of about 225-240 degrees F. Also, check if the chips are still producing smoke every half an hour.
- Reposition your roast after 2 or 3 hours. Reposition the roast allows the part that was closest to the heat is place furthest from the heat to avoid overheating.
- Test the internal temperature of the meat. After the first five hours, check the internal temperature using ThermoPro Meat Thermometer.
- At 195 degrees F, remove the meat from the heat and let it rest for 1 hour.
- Pull the pork and add any barbecue sauce. Avoid overdoing it to avoid ruining perfectly good meet.
What temperature should we use for smoked/grilled pork shoulder?
The USDA highly recommends that people should cook pork to an internal temperature of 145 Degrees F for good food safety. In a real sense, you need to bring it to higher temperatures of 195-205 degrees F to break the connective tissues effectively. Experts also recommend that you should keep the internal air temperature of your smoker 225 degrees F when you are smoking pork.
A good thermometer is recommended for keeping track of the meat’s internal temperature. You will notice the pork shoulder grill temp rising to 145 degrees pretty quickly then stagnate for a while before it reaches 165 degrees. This phase is the stall phase, and it is normal. Don’t panic, continue smoking the meat, the temperature will eventually rise. The connective tissues of the pork will start breaking down at 195 degrees internal temperature. After grilling your pork shoulder or pork butt, let it rest for about an hour to cool down, and you are all set.
Remember to check the temperature for pork, i.e., the pork shoulder grill temp is 225 degrees F. The pork shoulder smoke temp is the same as grilling temperature. However, the pork shoulder cook temperature is 201 degrees F. The pork shoulder cooking temp is lower than the smoking and grilling temperature. Still, the internal temperature of a pork shoulder remains the same regardless of the method of preparation smoked, cooked, or grilled.
How to check pork shoulder doneness
Checking the pork shoulder’s internal temperature with a ThermoPro Meat Thermometer is the best way to check the doneness of your pork shoulder’s doneness. The cooking should be done to at least 145 degrees F.
The way of how to use a food thermometer is also very easy, just insert the probe into the center of the pork shoulder and wait for a few seconds, the LED screen will show you the exact internal temp of your pork shoulder. But remember, never touch the hard bone of the pork shoulder, the probe of the thermometer may get damaged.
How long does it take to smoke/grill a pork shoulder?
It takes 2 hours to cook a pound of pork shoulder effectively. For instance, cooking a 10 pound of pork shoulder should take about 20 hours from start to finish. Experts recommend a ThermoPro Meat thermometer to keep track of the meat temperature. Check the temperature of the meat’s temperature to ensure that it is properly cooked, don’t rely on the time too much. Just strive to ensure that your meat is properly cooked before you serve.
Large pork shoulders are a bit harder to smoke because their outer meat may begin drying out before the inner flesh is done. The larger pork shoulders take longer to smoke. When smoking the pork shoulder, be sure to use an excellent BBQ to add flavor, moisture and help the meat tenderize.
There are several ways to serve a neatly done pork shoulder. Smoked pork shoulders fall apart, which makes it easy to use when making a sandwich. Shred the pork with forks to prepare meat for the sandwich. The sandwich consist of two hamburger buns, the pulled pork, barbecue sauce, a few onion slices, and anything else you think is suitable to make it taste good.
Preparing a good pork shoulder by smoking or grilling requires you to have a good thermometer to check for the meat’s doneness. Experts recommend ThermoPro Meat Thermometer purposely for this function. It is an effective heat tool to use during smoking. The tool is manufactured by ThermoPro professionally, and they have a passion for customer satisfaction and innovation. They have a team that is continuously improving their products like the meat thermometer to best-fit consumer needs.
All the best when preparing to smoked or grilled pork shoulder using our tips. Be sure to follow the instructions we have outlined while preparing, to ensure you do it perfectly.