Smoked Bone-in Pork Shoulder with a Twist

Andy Anderson !


I love smoking, and I know that a lot of you on JAP do too. I’m always looking for new ways to do things. Some work… some don’t. This one worked.

When I smoke a pork shoulder, I like to infuse it with a really a good spice rub and let it soak in that flavor overnight. Then it’s into the smoker… low and slow.

My problem was that the fat cap was getting in the way of my spices.

Now, you need the fat cap (OH YEAH), so I just performed a bit of elective surgery.

So, you ready… Let’s get into the kitchen.

Featured Pinch Tips Video

☆☆☆☆☆ 0 votes
24 Hr
8 Hr


8 lb
bone-in pork shoulder
yellow mustard
spice rub (whatever floats your boat)
wood chips (i use apple wood)
1/2 c
apple cider vinegar
1/2 c
apple cider, or juice


Step 1 Direction Photo

1Gather your ingredients

Step 2 Direction Photo

2Mix the apple cider vinegar and the apple cider (or juice) in a small spray bottle, and reserve.

Step 3 Direction Photo

3Chef’s Note: I prefer to spritz the pork shoulder; however, if you don’t have a spray bottle handy, you can always use the “mop” method.

Step 4 Direction Photo

4Using a pairing knife carefully cut off the fat cap, and reserve.

Step 5 Direction Photo

5Cover the roast with the mustard.

Step 6 Direction Photo

6Add the spice rub.

Step 7 Direction Photo

7Secure the fat cap back on the pork shoulder using a bit of twine.

Step 8 Direction Photo

8Chef’s Tip: Use a surgeon’s knot to hold the fat cap securely to the pork shoulder.

Step 9 Direction Photo

9Wrap the pork shoulder in two layers of cling film.

Step 10 Direction Photo

10Chef's Note: Stick in the fridge for a minimum of 8 hours, or up to 48.

Step 11 Direction Photo

11Chef’s Note: Some spice rubs because of their ingredients do not work well over long periods of time, and can even make the meat mushy. If you’re using a prepackaged spice rub, check with the manufacturer on the amount of time the rub should stay on the meat.

Step 12 Direction Photo

12Remove from the fridge, and uncover.

Step 13 Direction Photo

13Chef’s Tip: If you have a remote thermometer, insert it into the pork shoulder, but make sure it doesn’t make contact with the bone.

Step 14 Direction Photo

14Chef’s Note: Get your smoker fired up and ready to go. The magic number for temperature is: 225f (107c).

Step 15 Direction Photo

15Add the pork shoulder to the smoker.

Step 16 Direction Photo

16After the first two hours, open up the smoker, and spritz it (or mop it), with the apple cider vinegar/apple cider (or juice) mixture.

Step 17 Direction Photo

17Chef’s Tip: Make this process as quick as possible. Open/Spritz/Close. And no peeking… Remember if you’re lookin’ it ain’t cookin’

Step 18 Direction Photo

18Chef’s Note: The reason you want to wait about two hours before spritzing is this will give the crust a chance to form.

Step 19 Direction Photo

19Chef's Note: If you’re slicing the pork shoulder, remove it when the internal temperature reaches 170f (76c).

Step 20 Direction Photo

20Chef's Note: If you’re going to shred it, then wait until the internal temperature reaches 190f (87c).

Step 21 Direction Photo

21Chef’s Note: On an eight-pound pork shoulder the time will be from 6 to 8 hours. But don’t rely on time… rely on temperature.

Step 22 Direction Photo

22Chef’s Tip: If you don’t have a temperature probe, another way to check for doneness is to grab the bone and give it a twist. If it moves without any resistance, the roast is ready.

Step 23 Direction Photo

23Chef’s Note: When the temperature of the pork shoulder reaches 165f (73c) you might experience what is called the “stall.” This is when the evaporation of the moisture coming from the meat, starts to cool things down… you might even see the temperature drop a degree or two. Don’t worry, have another beer and the temperature will eventually get back on track.

Step 24 Direction Photo

24Remove the pork shoulder from the smoker, and allow it to rest 20 minutes before slicing or shredding. Enjoy.

Step 25 Direction Photo

25Keep the faith, and keep cooking.

About this Recipe

Course/Dish: Pork
Main Ingredient: Pork
Regional Style: Southern
Hashtags: #smoke, #Smoker, #pork, #fat cap