Easy Like Sunday Smoked Pork Shoulder

Paula: Hey speaking of smoked shoulder and Sunday Funday, this is my go-to method for producing tasty, falling apart tender results with minimal effort or ingredients. In other words, how to nail an ideal Sunday dinner while you enjoy the afternoon. First, season the shoulder with an aromatic blend of red spices (aka Pork Perfect), I like to do this at least 4 hours (or up to 12 hours) in advance. Then, smoke the meat while you pull weeds, drink a beer or two, pet the dogs, practice air guitar. Finally, during the last hour of cooking, baste the pork every now and then with a killer barbecue sauce (aka Tupelo 2-Step).

Scott: That’s a great way to conduct your Sunday operation - intermittent downtime is my number one go-to reason for doing long weekend cooks. The ability to appear busy at any moment [quickly stands and checks the grill by waving hands over it] but then recede easily back into relaxation mode is a definite perk of cooking outside. That and beer.

Paula: Precisely! “Monitoring” my PK360 (which is actually holding its temperature quite nicely, and only needs additional fuel every hour or so) is the office equivalent of carrying a manila folder. People think you’re BUSY! Did I reveal too much?

Scott: I would be remiss not to add how much I love the Commodores.

Easy Like Sunday Smoked Pork Shoulder

Serves 4 to 6, with leftovers

  • One 4 ½- to 5-pound bone-in pork shoulder
  • ¼ cup Pork Perfect seasoning
  • Tupelo 2-Step BBQ Sauce, as needed

Place the pork in a rimmed baking sheet lined with foil or butcher’s paper. Sprinkle the Pork Perfect over the meat and use your hands to evenly coat all sides. Cover the meat with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or up to 1 day.

About 1 hour before smoking, remove the pork from the refrigerator. Prepare a charcoal grill for two-zone cooking and build a medium high fire.

When the coals are glowing red and covered with a fine gray ash, use tongs to remove the cooking grate and place a drip pan with 1 inch of warm water on the side with no coals, and add a few wood chunks. Carefully wipe the grill grates, then carefully wipe with a lightly oiled towel again.

When the fire begins to produce a steady stream of smoke, place the pork over indirect heat, close the grill, vent the grill for smoking, and smoke for about 3 hours, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of the roast reads 170°F. During the last hour of cooking, use a brush or mop to moisten the exterior of the meat with Tupelo 2-Step. Add additional hot coals or wood chunks as needed to maintain a steady temperature of 325°F.

Remove the pork from the heat and allow it to rest in a baking dish (to capture its juices) for at least 15 minutes, or up to 30 minutes before serving. You can cut the meat into thick or thin slices, or use two forks to shred it. Either way, drizzle the pork with the meaty juices, and serve with additional Tupelo 2-Step.


Grill-side banter provided by food writer, cookbook author and grilling enthusiast, Paula Disbrowe, and infamous grill nerd and co-owner of PK Grills, Scott Moody.

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