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.


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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

How to Make Smoked Bone-in Pork Shoulder with a Twist


  1. Gather your ingredients
  2. Mix the apple cider vinegar and the apple cider (or juice) in a small spray bottle, and reserve.
  3. Chef’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.
  4. Using a pairing knife carefully cut off the fat cap, and reserve.
  5. Cover the roast with the mustard.
  6. Add the spice rub.
  7. Secure the fat cap back on the pork shoulder using a bit of twine.
  8. Chef’s Tip: Use a surgeon’s knot to hold the fat cap securely to the pork shoulder.
  9. Wrap the pork shoulder in two layers of cling film.
  10. Chef's Note: Stick in the fridge for a minimum of 8 hours, or up to 48.
  11. Chef’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.
  12. Remove from the fridge, and uncover.
  13. Chef’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.
  14. Chef’s Note: Get your smoker fired up and ready to go. The magic number for temperature is: 225f (107c).
  15. Add the pork shoulder to the smoker.
  16. After the first two hours, open up the smoker, and spritz it (or mop it), with the apple cider vinegar/apple cider (or juice) mixture.
  17. Chef’s Tip: Make this process as quick as possible. Open/Spritz/Close. And no peeking… Remember if you’re lookin’ it ain’t cookin’
  18. Chef’s Note: The reason you want to wait about two hours before spritzing is this will give the crust a chance to form.
  19. Chef's Note: If you’re slicing the pork shoulder, remove it when the internal temperature reaches 170f (76c).
  20. Chef's Note: If you’re going to shred it, then wait until the internal temperature reaches 190f (87c).
  21. Chef’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.
  22. Chef’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.
  23. Chef’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.
  24. Remove the pork shoulder from the smoker, and allow it to rest 20 minutes before slicing or shredding. Enjoy.
  25. Keep the faith, and keep cooking.

Printable Recipe Card

About Smoked Bone-in Pork Shoulder with a Twist

Course/Dish: Pork
Main Ingredient: Pork
Regional Style: Southern

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