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Smoked Pork Shoulder In Dry Rub

serves 8-10

When smoking Boston butt, figure an hour and a half per pound. A 4-pound boneless shoulder takes a long time to cook, but it's mostly unattended. Get it going by noon and you'll have dinner ready on time.


2 tablespoons kosher salt
2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
3 tablespoons garlic powder
2 tablespoons onion powder
3 tablespoons paprika
1 tablespoon ground sage
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 (4- to 5-pound) Boston butt (pork shoulder)


prep: 15 minutes
total: 6 hours 15 minutes


smoker (or charcoal or gas grill)
wood chunks
meat thermometer


1. Mix together all the spices and rub thoroughly into the pork. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 8 hours.

2. Take the pork out of the refrigerator and unwrap. Let it rest at room temperature for half an hour to an hour. Meanwhile, prepare your smoker or indirect grill as you normally do to keep a steady 225F heat. This will require multiple infusions of charcoal. Wood chunks work better than chips for the long cooking time.

3. When the temperature of the grill has reached about 225F, put the pork on the grate. Cover the grill, with the vents open. Cook, turning the pork every hour or so and replacing charcoal and wood chunks as needed so that the temperature inside the smoker/grill stays between 225F and 300F.

4. Cook until the meat is tender and reaches an internal temperature of 185F-195F, about 5-7 hours. Let the pork rest for 30 minutes before shredding, pulling, chopping or slicing. Serve with your favorite barbecue sauce or as is.

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