…so I wanted to share how I make one!

When it comes to picking out a pork shoulder, I am not too picky. I just want something that is 8 to 9 lbs and has a good chunk of fat on the top.

Once I have my pork shoulder I make up a brine consisting of the following ingredients. I mix the dry part separately first and save about half to rub on the shoulder after brining. I put the rest of the mixture in the apple cider vinegar:

Ingredient Amount
Apple Cider Vinegar 2 Quarts
White Sugar 5 Tablespoons
Brown Sugar 5 Tablespoons
Kosher Salt 2 Tablespoons
Paprika 2 Tablespoons
Onion powder 1 Tablespoon
Garlic powder 1 Tablespoon
Black pepper 1 Tablespoon

I put this in a container that will hold the brine and cover the entire pork shoulder. Adjust as needed for your container. I brine the pork shoulder for 12+ hours in the fridge. BOOM!

I have a Daniel Boone from Green Mountain Grills. For this pork shoulder I use Black Cherry Pellets that I get on Amazon. I heat the smoker to 250 and let it sit for 30 minutes or so to even out.

While the grill is warming I remove the shoulder from the brine. I put it on a tray and start patting it down with the remainder of the dry mix. Once I have it coated it is ready for the smoker. I place it toward the firebox in the smoker and insert my temperature probe from the GMG into a thick part of the shoulder. Preferably somewhere away from the bone. Sometimes I place a little bowl of the brine inside the smoker to raise the humidity a bit. Dealers choice…

Now we wait…

I set the temp on the smoker to alert when the shoulder reaches 165 degrees internal temp. I also use my instant thermometer to check different spots on the shoulder as needed. Once the shoulder hits 165 I remove and wrap in foil. I know that wrapping is a long discussion, but I do it for my pork shoulder. I like it and it makes me happy. I then place it back in the smoker until it hits 190 degrees internal temp, again checking with the thermometer to verify in other spots.

And we are done. This has worked well for me every time I have smoked a shoulder and I have yet to receive any complaints from the family. I hope it helps you in developing your own recipe!

Thanks for reading!

Here are a few pictures for good measure.


Pork Shoulder in brine.

After Brine

Pork shoulder after brine.


Prepared pork shoulder placed into smoker.


Pork shoulder finished and the foil opened.


Pork shoulder shredded in pan.