How Long to Smoke Pork Shoulder at 225F
By: Jack Mancuso
How long to smoke pork shoulder 225
You look at the size of a pork shoulder roast and think, “wow” how can I use all that meat (12-18 pounds whole!)? Thankfully, smoked pork is fit for many flavorful uses, including
- Pulled pork
- Pork sandwiches
- Topper for stuffed potatoes
- Burnt ends
- Baked Beans
- Stuffing for lettuce wraps
- Filler for cabbage rolls
- In pasta or fried rice
- Pork Mac n Cheese
- Making ground pork
What is Pork Shoulder?
Pork shoulder (and Pork Butt) both come from the pig’s shoulder. It’s a budget-friendly meat perfectly suited to braising, Instant Pot, and of course, smoking and barbecue. Generally, it’s sold with a layer of fat on top. If you love crisp kin, pork shoulder is your cooking buddy.
When your smoker is set at 225, you can figure out how long to cook it. One to two hours is a good starting point. Stop and check the temperature. You’re looking for 180F for slicing meat and 195 for pulled pork. If your shoulder is boneless, cook for 1-1 ½ hours per pound. For bone, cook it 1 ½ l- 2 pounds per hour.
Tip: Bone-in pork shoulder takes slightly longer to cook.
Factoid: 225F is the preferred temperature for most pork cuts, including butt, ribs, and loin
Why Use the Smoker?
The fat cap on pork shoulder and the connective tissue make it an ideal contender for smoking. Cooking pork shoulder too quickly, you end up with tough meat. As the pork shoulder smokes, the fat renders, and the collagen becomes like gelatin. This is a built-in benefit pork shoulder offers.
As an example, a 5-pound pork shoulder takes 7-8 hours to fully cook at 225 a 7 pound piece taks 9-12 hours.. Keep watch on your smoker. If it starts running hot, set the temperature to 200F
Tip: Don’t be tempted to peek in the smoker a lot. It increases cooking time.
Pre-Seasoning the Pork Shoulder
One question that comes up frequently is whether or not you should pre-season your pork for smoking. The answer is absolutely yes. If you can get the rub on the pork the day before, all the better.
At Cuso Cuts, we have several seasoning blends to make your job a little easier:
You can also tinder with additions to the blends. Take a peek in your pantry and get creative. Make sure the entire shoulder is evenly coated. Once the meat is done smoking, tent it with aluminum foil and let it rest for 30 minutes.
Potential condiments afterward include honey barbecue sauce, Alabama white sauce, coarse ground mustard, cilantro lime cream, cheese, or apple sauce or butter.
For pulled pork sandwiches toppers, consider coleslaw, bacon, onions, jalapenos, horseradish sauce.
When you want to produce the best pork shoulder, you need a quality product. Get to know your butcher who can offer suggestions. Believe it or not, Costco and Sam’s Club have really good products at great prices.
Take a look at the wrapping on your selection. If it’s loose, it’s been exposed to air. Look for another piece. The meat should also be firm with relatively even marbling. Get it directly into your refrigerator when you get home. Let it sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before smoking.
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