Smoked Pulled Pork Shoulder Recipe on a Kamado Joe Grill
By Chef Tony Matassa
The words “pulled pork” must have some kind of magical properties — every time we say them, every mouth nearby starts to water! Chef Tony’s smoked pulled pork shoulder recipe backs that up and then some, with fall-apart texture and out-of-this-world flavor. His pulled pork recipe makes use of a homemade rub, but you’re free to use your favorite pre-mixed blend if you choose. Either way, we just about guarantee this low-and-slow pulled pork shoulder recipe will be a hit. Break it out at the next tailgate or family reunion, or cook for a small group and reuse the leftovers on sandwiches, tacos, and even pizza! Whatever you decide, this smoked pulled pork can shoulder the load.
SERVES 10-15 People PREP 45 mins COOK 1 to 1.5 hours per pound REST 30 min READY IN 2 hr 45 min
- 5-10 lbs bone-in pork shoulder/butt
- 4 large wood chunks, soaked
- Butcher's twine for rough portions (optional)
- For Approximately 1 Cup of Rub (Optional):
- 2 Tbsp paprika
- 3 Tbsp chili powder
- 2 Tbsp kosher salt
- 2 Tbsp light brown sugar
- 2 Tbsp ground cumin
- 2 Tbsp granulated garlic
- 1 Tbsp cayenne pepper
- 1 Tbsp black pepper
- 2 tsp rubbed sage
- 2 tsp oregano
- 2 tsp corn starch
- 1 Tbsp ground coriander
- For Drip Pan (Optional):
- 2 multicolor bell peppers
- 1 yellow onion
- 6 sprigs of fresh rosemary
- 1 whole bulb of garlic
- 4-5 cups apple cider
- 4-5 cups apple cider vinegar
- Items You’ll Need:
- Kamado Smoker
- Lump Charcoal
- Wood Chunks
- Ceramic Heat Deflector
- Disposable Water Pan
- Trim any loose or heavy fat areas down to 1/8 inch, rinse the pork shoulder, and pat dry with paper towels.
- Coat the pork shoulder with 1 cup of your favorite rub, or combine the rub ingredients listed above and use that blend to season the pork.
- Optional: if your cut of pork is loose or unmanageable (enough to cook unevenly,) tie it with butcher's twine — twice horizontally and twice vertically.
- Once rubbed, wrap the pork shoulder well with plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator for 3–5 hours.
- Remove the shoulder from the refrigerator about 30–45 minutes before you plan to cook. Now’s the time to preheat your kamado grill to somewhere around 225–250°F.
- With the kamado preheated, place the soaked wood chunks on top of the coals and cover your coal bed with a ceramic heat deflector. Close the lid and allow your kamado to return to the proper temperature.
- While you wait, add a mixture of 50% apple cider and 50% apple cider vinegar to a spray bottle. Set aside.
- If you’re using an optional water pan, add the bell peppers, onion, rosemary, and garlic. Pour the apple cider and apple cider vinegar into the pan, filling it about ¾ of the way. Fill the rest of the pan with water.
- Open your kamado and set the water pan on the ceramic heat deflector. After that, insert your grill grates.
- Place the pork shoulder directly on the cooking grates, fat side down. Allow the pork to cruise for about 2 hours.
- A few hours into the cook, open the lid and spritz the pork with your spray-bottle mixture. Insert a temperature probe into the pork shoulder, close the lid, and monitor the pork as it climbs to 155–160°F.
- Once the pork hits 155–160°F, give it another spritz before removing it from the kamado. Double-wrap it with foil and set it back in the kamado (which should still be at 225°F), continuing to cook low and slow until the internal temperature reads 195°F.
- When the pork hits the desired temperature, take it out of the kamado and allow it to rest for about 30–45 minutes.
- Pull the rested pork shoulder into shreds using two forks or pork claw grilling accessories made for shredding large cuts of meat. Yes, it’s as cool as it sounds.
- Serve with a side of your favorite BBQ sauce — with or without buns — and some crunchy vinegar coleslaw. However you like your BBQ pork, be sure to enjoy!