No ImageBarbecued Pork Shoulder on a Gas Grill

Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. L

    How do I reheat my ribs without drying them out??

    • Emma Christensen

      Hi, L! Emma here, managing editor for Simply Recipes. I’d recommend putting your ribs (or pulled pork shoulder) in a baking dish, covering loosely with foil, and warming in a 300F oven. If you have some leftover cooking liquid, toss that with the pulled pork if it seems dry. If you’re doing ribs, you might want to baste them with a little more BBQ sauce. Enjoy!

  2. Dana Morse

    Tried for the first time last week. Came out really good had to finish in the oven,trying again this weekend. I think I’ve got the bugs worked out looking forward to perfection this time. Great for first timer like me. Thanks

  3. Ted Balstein

    Delicious recipe! Had a six pounder and it only took 5.5 hours to smoke to perfection. No oven time, kept the heat at 230*.

  4. cody hobbs

    so ive followed the steps as said. my problem was with a 4lb shoulder @250 for 6hrs on the grill and only opening every hr to check the smoke/bowl of water the middle was not cooking at all. transfered to the oven @300 for roughly an hour and a half and still the center wasnt cooking… i dunno what yall have done differently but this hasnt worked out in my favor! started at noon and still cooking!

  5. Mary Una

    Man oh man I be telling you, this is a great method! To think my husband wanted to ditch the BBQ we got with the house. He’s liking it now!

  6. D. K

    Looks wonderful. Wish mine was fall off the bone, but it wasn’t. Cooked by indirect heat for 7 hours. Maybe it wasnt long enough? I let it rest too. Didnt finish in the oven. Does that make the difference? Cooked at 250-275

  7. Catherine

    Hi there,

    I’ve always wanted to try smoking meat but have never found such an exptensive how to when using a grill, thanks! Multiple family members of mine own Green Eggs and they have all this equipment to go with it, don’t get me wrong, it’s delicious but I wouldn’t want to invest all that money into something I’m not even sure I’ll enjoy doing.
    Anywho, to the point: one thing I do have a question about it the size. I love the bark of the meat, do you think I could take a 4 lb butt, cut it in half and smoke 2 smaller butts for half the time? I’d like to get more bark and not have to be glued to my house as long.


    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Catherine, good question! I think smoking smaller butts may take less time, but not half the time. No idea on the specifics though, you’ll have to experiment!

  8. George

    I have made this recipe twice. Used both rubs each time, and all I can say is THANK YOU. I followed the recipe to the letter, and I cannot tell you how superb both came out.

  9. Elise A

    Made my Pork Shoulder yesterday. It was spot on! started it at 1:00 after marinating over night but I used a dry and a fresh herb rub, all the herbs from my garden. ( Purple basil, Fresh oregano, Parsley, Fresh garlic minced fine, and a little Lemon basil, olive oil, splash of red wine. For the dry part; Paprika, cumin, fennel seeds,& red chilly flakes ( a little pat of butter.) Blended all together and rubbed all over. (24hrs) I used chicory wood chips. Then followed your steps. I did not finish in the oven, I was not pressed for time. I did loosely cover the shoulder with foil. (just a top) Then I shut the grill and at 6PM my husband and I were in our glory! Definitely going to do again. Thanks for the yummy tip!

  10. John K

    This was May first try at this followed your plan exactly as peresented here, turned out perfect! Running out to buy another roast to cook for our friends now that we have more confidence. Thank you

  11. Carrie

    When i cant bbq or bear to use the propane bbq for 6 & 1/2 hrs i make mine in the oven…I like to put Montreal seasoning on the skin side up & seasoning salt& pepper on all sides,, wrap it tight as I can in tinfoil.. Poke 1 hole in the top, so it doesn’t bust on a side from thebsteam expanding. &put it in a roasting pan skin side & poked hole up! a 500 degree oven & turn it to 450for 30 minutes to sear it a little then turn it to down to 300& cook for 6 hours,, this is for the 8 lb roast, comes out a carmalized&fall aprart deliciousness!

    • Carrie

      Make that 8 hours like 8am to 4pm from start to pulling it out of the oven, let it rest for 30 minutes, drain(save juices if u want to make gravy),&shred.. I make green chili burritos, enchiladas, and BBQ sandwiches all out of the same roast .. Or just whip up the gravy and eat it on the meat !

  12. Jason

    My personal favorite thing to smoke is duck. Also, experiment with your smoking material – I like to smoke with tea also.

    185 seems to a really high temperature to cook meat to…especially if it’s left on the grill til then, considering meat will still gain temperature once removed from the heat. That may be your preference, though – FDA site says non-ground (and non-poultry) meat can be safely removed at 145; .Ground meat should be 160 minimum, poultry 165 minimum. I’ve noticed celebrity chefs and cookbooks sometimes give you lower numbers. Your mileage may vary.

    Hi Jason, you only need to cook the pork to 145°F for it to be safe to eat. But you do need to cook it to 195°F if you want it to be fall apart tender. Otherwise, your pork shoulder is going to be rather tough. ~Elise

  13. Juicingpedia

    Thank You!

    This summer I have been eating so many bbq smoked pork sandwiches at get togethers and outings. I have never smoked pork myself and did not even know where to start.

    This guide was perfect.

    Thanks again!

  14. joe

    Great job! I followed your recipe and it was superb! I gave you 4 stars, what else can I say.

    Bon Apetite!

  15. Terry


    A little hint. You can easily add an internal thermometer to your grill. They are readily available as replacement equipment but all you need to do is have a hole the size of the thermometer stem, stick the new thermometer into the hole and secure it with the included bolt.

    Well worth the bother and very easy to control the temp inside your grill box.

    I use mine all the time for rotisserie grilled chicken @ a perfect 400*. Better than store bought and you can use your own rubs making the chicken your own creation.

  16. tom

    sounds good to me, i was suprised to see you mention “santa maria style” rub. is this also good on tri tip?

    Yes, it is designed for a tri tip, but you can also use it on a pork shoulder roast. ~Elise

  17. chip

    That is a nice looking butt, great bark, almost better looking bark then alot of smokers I have used. If you go the Materbilt route make sure you inspect the door before you take it out of the store, some have hadith door alignment. I wouldo recommend the digital thermostat . Keep in mind It may be off by as much as 10 to 20 degrees so you need to test it with a QUALITY thermometer and adjust the reading in your mind accordingly. As for smoke, rule of thumb, a handfull of chips an hr for the first three hours. At hour 4 to 7 (dependng on size and color (get a barrst) pull meat out and wrap in heavy foil for remainder of cook time. this is for a cook temp of 225, a 7 to 9 lb butt should be good to go in 12 to 14 hrs. let it come to about 205 degrees…you will be rewarded. You can also cook the butt a bit hotter, 350 for 4 to 6 hours again depending. Myron Mixon does his competition pulled pork in this manner tender and not quite as juicy I think.

  18. cardshoot

    You might also try using a couple of disposable aluminum pans to aid in clean up and to collect drippings to make an awesome sauce with real smoke flavoring. The size I use come in packs of two. If you use the pans you can simply use one for helping to maintain a lower temperature by putting water in it as suggested. In the other use a roasting rack to hold the meat up out of the liquid and use apple juice in this pan, a half gallon bottle of juice will do and the apple juice will pick up the smokey flavor from the drippings as well as from just being in the grill. Use as much as possible under the meat, just so the meat isn’t sitting in the juice, more can be added later if needed, and if the other pan is directly over the heat put some apple juice in the water in it too or just use apple juice instead of water, but be aware it can raise the boiling point and thus the grill temperature slightly. If you are spending the time and money a couple of more dollars for a bottle of juice is well spent.

    After the meat is removed from the grill take the pan of apple juice and drippings and put in a separator and let sit until the oil and fat form a layer on top. Pour off the broth into a pot or large pan and add a can of tomato paste, a little can will probably be enough but depending on taste you might want to use two small cans of paste. Boil to reduce liquid content by about half the initial volume or until sauce thickens as much as you want. Or for a milder taste and just more sauce use a thickener such as corn starch instead of reducing the sauce as much. Let your own taste be the guide. If you don’t have a separator put the juices in a pot and let it cool and separate and then pour and spoon off the oil and fat.

    Depending on the rub and personal taste, you may want to sweeten the sauce with some brown sugar(white sugar will work) or it might need a touch of salt. Of course you should feel free to add any other spices but I’d recommend going lightly on them until you taste the reduced sauce as they could seem stronger after the sauce reduces. And you can divide it and make a sauce selection by adding more sugar, mustard, hot pepper, pepper sauce, or whatever you wish to each portion as desired.

    Great tips, thank you! ~Elise

  19. Lillianne

    Great post, Elise. I love smoked meats but can’t afford to lose the deck space to another piece of equipment. This method is do-able.

  20. Carla @ Gluten Free Recipe Box

    I usually make pulled pork in my crock pot, but I love the idea of grilling it this summer. Thanks so much for the tip about the water. That makes total sense and has encouraged me to give this a try. Thanks again. Love you blog!

  21. Dawn

    We have a Weber Smokey Mountain smoker and love using it. We always use the Minion method, mentioned by red sweater above. To save on clean up, we actually put the whole (bone-in for us) shoulder into an aluminum tray inside the smoker. We still get great smoke penetration and a nice pink smoke ring on the meat. I agree with Elise though – wrapping in foil and finishing in the oven is the way to go, although we use 250F oven temp. The aluminum tray makes the transfer to the oven easier. One more thought, this meat freezes beautifully after smoking, but we cut the smoked meat into large chunks (don’t pull it), wrap in foil, then freeze. When you want some, defrost, reheat in a 250F oven for an hour or two, then pull and add sauce if desired. One of our favorite meals!

  22. red sweater

    We’re new home owners, and we couldn’t grill at apartments because of fire codes. So I’m new this summer to smoking meat. But I’ve already done it three times: a beef brisket, a turkey breast, and (just this past Saturday) an 8 lb pork shoulder.

    Yes, with the 8 lb shoulder, you need to get an early start on it. My cookbook said about an hour a pound, but I’d budget a couple extra. I started at 9 am, and hoped to be done by 5:30 pm (we were having company for dinner). Nope. I had to wrap it in foil early and raise the grill temp, and managed to get it to about 185 by dinner time. I used a charcoal grill, and maintaining temperature can be a bit of a chore. Use the vent to control air flow. More air burns the briquettes hotter (and faster), and vice versa. Add briquettes before the temperature starts dropping. I add them cold, and let them gradually catch from the hot ones. There’s also the Minion method, which I’ve been meaning to try: fill the grill with unlit briquettes, save for the middle; put well lit (gray all over) briquettes in the center. That’s supposed to be the best way to keep even heat for several hours, as the fire gradually spreads. I imagine it takes some experimentation with amounts of briquettes and airflow.

    Every hour that I added wood chips, I also sprayed the meat with apple juice, per my cookbook. I don’t know how it would have turned out without spraying, but the juice kept the meat moist and added a nice flavor.

    Now I have plenty of meat for sandwiches to take to lunch for a while! I was pleasantly surprised to see how little bone comes in a shoulder roast.

  23. Sue

    I like the whole pork shoulder too. My method is a little easier with great results. I also marinate it overnight with Worcestershire sauce and a rub. I let it sit out for about 30 minutes while I preheat my gas grill to medium high. Then I put it on direct heat and sear it on all sides. It doesn’t take long so don’t walk off and leave it. Then I put it in a roasting pan with a lid and cook in the oven at 300 degrees for 3 hours with more Worcestershire sauce and a little barbeque sauce just to keep it moist. After it starts getting tender I cut it in chunks and transfer it to a large crock pot and continue cooking on low for another 3 hours or so. I stir it with a big fork while it is cooking in the crock pot. It will fall apart when it is done. Even my picky eaters love it! Freeze the leftovers and heat it up in the crock pot again when you need a quick meal.

  24. Terrie Crawford

    Can this be done with beef? Like a brisket? Maybe you could suggest another cut of beef. I love pork, but I get migraines when I eat it.

    I’m guessing that a brisket with that Santa Maria rub I listed would be great. Just watch the meat’s temperature. I suggested the timing on this recipe for a pork shoulder roast. Not sure about a brisket, given it’s a different shape. Also, I do suggest finishing it in the oven, wrapped in foil to catch the moisture and fat. ~Elise

  25. jim austin

    Elise, this is a very good bit of information for the novice, with much sensible easy to follow advice. I have been smoking pork shoulders for many years, and without going into many details, I would offer a few observations.
    First and foremost I also recommend the shoulder, but even though it will take longer I stongly urge the use of the WHOLE shoulder with the BONE IN . I just do not get as good a result from the smaller cut , but even more importantly without the bone. It usually takes about 8 to 10 hours to smoke the whole shoulder, and there is NEVER a problem getting rid of the leftovers as many of my guests ask for leftovers BEFORE the meal begins ! I hope this will encourage others to try the whole bone in shoulder. It is NOT difficult, just keep the heat down [225 degrees or less], start early , and be patient. Thanks, Jim

  26. Ron

    I’ve used this technique with a few modifications. Before applying the rub, I use a steak knife to stab the roast around the entire surface. Then pour Worcestershire sauce over the entire roast, place in gallon sealable plastic bag and refrigerate over night. I place the water pan under the roast which supplies moisture and catches drippings. I smoke it for only four hours and finish in a Crock Pot on low for five hours.

  27. Sheila

    We love smoked pork around here. I usually just do mine in the crock pot with a can of smoked chipotle peppers and call it good, yours looks soooo good, but I have to admit, I would never have the patients to do it. I want a green egg smoker…..I think you need one too Elise! Go get yourself one girl, you earned it!

  28. Joe Cunha

    I own a carry out bbq business here in Travelers Rest, SC. I use a Masterbuilt electric smoker,(purchased at Sam’s club for around $200, or you can buy online)
    It is a God-send. You set the temperature, the time and voila…The only thing necessary is to add your wood chips approximately every hour. That’s it!

    Yes, I’ve been considering a Masterbuilt smoker. Certainly makes it easier! ~Elise

  29. Jill

    Looks delicious! Any suggestions for how to arrange a gas grill that has three burners? Should I use the heat on one or two? It might be hard to fit a large roast on just a third of the grill.

    I would put the heat on just one burner and leave the other for the meat. ~Elise

  30. phil

    From personal experience, smoking meats when the internal temperature is >122F is a waste of time and money. The proteins have already coiled and the smoke will not permeate the proteins anymore.

    Great site. Keep up the good work.

    Thanks for the advice! Next time I’ll use a remote meat thermometer to measure the internal temp of the meat while smoking, and see how long I need to smoke to get it to 122°F. ~Elise

View More