Pork shoulder, low and slow, cooked until it falls apart with gentle pressure. Rotisserie roast, with a crispy crust on the exterior. Wet brined pork, seasoned all the way through. These are a few of my favorite things.1
And…OK, you got me. I need a video for my YouTube channel. Time to take my favorite cut of pork for a spin.2
Why rotisserie a pork shoulder? The combination of crispy exterior crust and tender, shreddable meat. “This tastes like bacon…wait…this is bacon!”is how my son put it during the taste test.3
Recipe: Rotisserie Pork Shoulder with Basic Wet Brine
- Grill with Rotisserie attachment (I use a Weber Summit with an infrared rotisserie burner. Here is the current version of my grill.)
- Aluminum foil drip pan (9“x13”, or whatever fits your grill. I use an enameled steel roasting pan.)
- Butchers twine
- Instant Read Thermometer
Rotisserie Pork Shoulder, wet brined, then cooked on the rotisserie until it is tender and shreddable.
- 6-pound boneless pork shoulder roast (aka Boston butt roast)
- 3 quarts water
- 1/2 cup fine sea salt (3/4 cup kosher salt)
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 2 fist sized chunks of smoking wood or 2 cups wood chips (hickory, cherry, apple, or pecan)
- Brine the pork: Combine the brine ingredients in a large container and stir until the salt and sugar dissolve. Submerge the pork in the brine. Refrigerate overnight, or for at least 4 hours.
- Truss and spit the pork: Remove the pork from the brine and pat dry with paper towels. Truss the shoulder roast, then skewer it on the rotisserie spit, securing it with the spit forks. Let the pork rest at room temperature until the grill is ready.
- Set up the grill for indirect medium-low heat: Set the grill up for indirect medium-low heat (about 300°F), with the drip pan in the middle of the grill. For my Weber Summit, I remove the grill grates and put the drip pan on the burner covers in the middle of the grill. Then I turn burners 1 and 6 to high, turn the smoker burner to high, and let the grill preheat for 10 minutes. Once the grill is going, I adjust the burners to keep the temperature between 250°F and 300°F. (I had to turn burners 1 to 6 down to medium to get the temperature down to 300°F.)
- Rotisserie cook the pork shoulder: Put the spit on the grill, start the motor spinning, and make sure the drip pan is centered beneath the pork roast. Add the smoking wood to the fire and close the lid. Adjust the burners on the grill to get a temperature of 300°F – I have to turn my burners down to medium-high. Cook with the lid closed, checking the grill temperature occasionally, until the pork reaches an internal temperature of 205°F in its thickest part, about 6 hours.
- Serve: Immediately remove the pork from the rotisserie spit and remove the twine trussing the roast. Be careful – the spit and forks are blazing hot. Let the pork rest for 15 minutes, then shred with a pair of forks. (The pork will pull apart easily.) Taste for seasoning, and stir in salt and pepper if needed. Serve.
- It’s hard to overcook pork shoulder…but it is easy to undercook it. If you are in a hurry, and can live with tender sliced pork instead of shredded pork, you can pull the pork roast once it reaches 185°F. This will cut the cooking time to about 4 hours.
- If you are using a charcoal grill, start with a half chimney of charcoal, and add 16 unlit coals to the fire every hour.
- Smoking wood: If you are cooking over charcoal, toss the chunks on the coals. If you are cooking on a gas grill with a smoker burner (like the one I use in the video), pour the chips in the burner; if you don’t have a smoker burner, wrap the chips in an envelope of aluminum foil, poke with a few holes, and set on top of the burner cover over one of the lit burners.
What do you think?
Questions? Other ideas? Leave them in the comments section below.
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