Pork shoulder is arguably the best joint that you can try of
the animal for smoking. The best thing to learn for the smoked pork enthusiast
is that shoulder is the easiest part to smoke
when compared with ribs or brisket. The idea here is to get everything right in
place so that you can enjoy the luxury of smoked pork shoulder with its most
precise cooking, which is neither undercooked nor overcooked, but just right as
per your liking.


In order to accomplish the mission of smoking the pork shoulder, you need to be in possession of your preferred and suitable smoking grill for accommodating pork shoulder. It should be in best working condition with temperature widget working with precision. This is a critical feature, especially when you are more concerned about the duration of smoking the meat’s shoulder with accuracy. For this discussion, we are assuming that the pork shoulder is brine-ready and just require to be smoked. On top of that, the following detailed points would give you a good indication of preparing yourself for smoking the pork shoulder the right way:

  • Instant Read Thermometer – When it comes to knowing the right smoking time for the subject joint to be cooked, then this instant-read thermometer for meat becomes the most critical equipment. It gauges the preparedness of the thick cut meat being smoked. The connective tissues of this thick cut meat are not known to break down that easily, until they achieve an internal temperature of around 190 degrees F roughly, or even more.
  • Pork Puller of Meat Claws – Although, you have the liberty of using any standard table forks for the sake of shredding pork, the most convenient tool for the purpose is the pork puller or the meat claws.
  • Insulated Gloves – Always beware when you are dealing with temperatures well above 225 degrees F. The insulated gloves are fabric lined thick gloves that shield your hands, especially when you are in the process of putting the hot pork meat into the meaty shreds.

Getting to know about the smoke duration for a pork shoulder:

Let us now get to the real meat of the matter and find out about the smoking duration of the shoulder joint. This particular situation demands you to go for a low heat coupled with a long cooking approach. Remember to use only the wood chips for smoking pork shoulder as most of the other available options are not just compatible with this meat joint. At best and for the most precise cooking, the temperature of your electric smoker should be in the range of 225 to 275 degrees F. While maintaining the said temperature inside the unit, the following two things could be done to ensure that the meat is properly smoked:

  • Look for signs of the dark and crusty exterior of the meat. You may also notice a ring of reddish smoke, just beneath the surface.
  • Use the internal temperature thermometer by inserting it into the flesh. The temperature should read at least 190 degrees F when it will be ready to be served.

You can achieve the above properly smoked status with a
tender meat achieved, after a cooking span of 8 hours or slightly above.

Best practices for
smoking pork shoulder:

According to the expert chefs, pork shoulder is one such joint that ideally should be overcooked to get the best taste out of it. However, in recent times, people usually go for the medium-rare or just medium cooking of the joint, just like the tenderloin in order to keep the meat a bit juicy. Try to make the shoulder meat well-done just one time and this smoking approach would definitely become a regular for you. Finally, it is best served after it rest for 30 minutes or so, which enhances the texture of the meat and also redistribute the juices throughout the cut.

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How long to smoke Pork Shoulder?