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How to Smoke Pork Shoulder

  • Ready Time: 390min
    No Reviews
  • Cuisine: American
  • Special: Kid Friendly
  • Prep Method: GrilledRoasted
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  • Meat Smoker
  • Leave in Thermometer
  • Aluminum Foil

Pork Shoulder Roast

  • 6-8 Lbs. Pork Shoulder
  • 1/3 cup of Tony's Kansas City BBQ Rub
  • Applewood chunks or soaked applewood chips

Pork Shoulder Braising Sauce

  • 1 Cup Apple Juice
  • 1/4 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 3 Tbs Tony's Kansas City BBQ Rub


  1. Trim most of the heavy fat from the pork shoulder, leaving only 1/4 in. of fat.
  2. Cut the pork shoulder into 3 or 4 equal pieces if you like more bark (the flavorful crunchy seasoned parts) or leave whole if you prefer.
  3. IMPORTANT: If you cut the pork shoulder into pieces, cooking time is effectively cut in half. Take care to not overcook!
  4. Generously season the pork shoulder with Tony’s KC BBQ Rub. Save the rub that falls off the roast for the next morning. Refrigerate overnight if possible. This process is called “Dry Brining” and helps to give the salt time to penetrate and season the meat.
  5. Moisten the meat with a little bit of water and add the rest of the dry rub reserved from the day before.
  6. Insert the leave in thermometer into the thickest part of the pork shoulder. TIP: a leave in meat thermometer is a great investment to monitor your cooking progress without opening the smoker lid which releases heat.
  7. Add the pork shoulder to the smoker and wait for the smoker temperature to return to 225 degrees.
  8. Add 4 oz. of soaked woodchips to the smoker every 30 minutes for the first 2 hours of cooking. TIP: Only add woodchips/smoke for the first 2 hours to not over power the flavor of the meat.
  9. Do not open the lid during cooking. Each time you open your smoker you are adding 30 to an hour of cook time!
  10. When your pork shoulder reaches 150 degrees internal or you at 3 hours of cook time, you will encounter what is called “the stall” At this point add some of braising sauce and wrap the pork shoulder in foil.
  11. Maintain smoker temperature of 225-250 degrees and continue to cook for an additional 2 hours for a total cook time of 5 hours.
  12. At the 5 hour mark, remove the foil and continue to cook at 225-300 degrees for another hour or until internal temp reaches 195 degrees. When the pork shoulder is ready, it should be tender and pulled apart easily.
  13. Take pork shoulder off smoker when you have determined it is done.Wrap meat in foil and allow to rest until cool enough to handle. Pull apart pork shoulder while it is still warm, discarding any extremely fatty parts.
  14. Season liberally to taste with Pork Shoulder Braising Sauce. Taste and serve with Tony’s Bold & Smoky BBQ Sauce and our delightful brioche buns or slider rolls.


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