Dry rubbed pork shoulder is a close cousin to pulled pork but can be cooked faster at a higher temperature, then sliced like a pork roast. You can, of course, slow roast it for longer to get fantastic pulled pork too. The richly flavoured homemade BBQ Sauce gets glazed on in the final hour of cooking for a wonderful combined flavour with the dry rub.
One of the best things to come off the summer barbecue is slowly cooked, tender and juicy dry rubbed pork shoulder. This great recipe is best cooked indirectly over smouldering a charcoal fire.
The dry rub gives it a gorgeous deep dark crust which seals in the flavourful juices. I did lightly smoke this particular pork shoulder but that part is optional and I’ve added some notes on adding hardwood smoked flavour in the recipe barbecuing instructions.
The homemade barbecue sauce is slightly sweet and tangy and pairs beautifully with the spicy dry rubbed crust. The sauce can be kept in the fridge for 2 weeks or so or make it last all summer by properly bottling it according to the prescribed method recommended by mason jar manufacturer Bernardin.
For this recipe you will need:
- 4 to 5 lb pork shoulder roast
- Smokin’ Summer Spice Dry Rub
- Molasses BBQ Sauce, (in the recipe box below.)
Rub the entire outside of the pork shoulder roast with the spice dry rub and place over indirect heat on a gas or charcoal barbecue. Control the gas (or air intake on a charcoal BBQ) to maintain a steady temperature of about 250 F.
Slowly cook for a few hours until fully cooked and the internal temperature of the meat reaches 180 degrees or higher on a meat thermometer. (If you go to an internal temperature of 200 or so, it will be more like puled pork, which is fine too in my opinion.
In the last hour or so of the cooking time repeatedly brush on the Molasses BBQ Sauce about every 15 minutes.
SOME SUGGESTIONS FOR INDIRECT BBQ
If you are using your gas grill to slow barbecue your pork, place the meat on one side of the grill and use the burner or burners on the opposite side. At no point does the meat go directly over heat.
Regulate the gas to keep the temperature at about 250 degrees F for slow cooked pulled pork or up to 300 degrees F if you prefer the faster cooking roast pork version. The same technique can also be used with a charcoal grill, just keep the charcoal on one side and the meat on the opposite side.
You can add smoke flavour by soaking hardwood chips like mesquite, apple, cherry or hickory in warm water for about a half hour. A couple of handfuls will do.
Wrap the soaked wood chips in a double layer of heavy duty aluminum foil and poke only two holes in the foil, one at either end to allow the smoke to escape. On a gas grill, I place the foil packets in a vegetable grill pan so that the packet is not sitting directly on the gas burner.
On a charcoal grill, simply toss the packet directly onto the hot coals. You can add more soaked wood chip packets as they burn out, it all depends on how much smoke flavour you wish to add. Two to four of these packets should be enough for smoked pork, depending on how long you cook the pork and how much smoked flavour you prefer.
Like this Dry rubbed pork shoulder recipe?
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- One 14 ounce can plain tomato sauce
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup molasses
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp chipotle powder
- 2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/4 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper optional or to taste
- 1 tbsp ground fennel seed
- 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon ground dry oregano
- ½ tsp kosher salt
Simmer all ingredients together slowly for about a half hour to an hour stirring every few minutes until the sauce reduces and thickens to the consistency you prefer. Remember that it will thicken slightly as it cools.