Recipe: Grilled Pork Shoulder

by | May 25, 2018

Memorial Day weekend is when grilling season officially “heats” up in North Carolina. It’s a great time to gather with family and friends and grill steaks, burgers, hot dogs, seafood or, try the delicious pork recipe below from WRAL’s Local Dish.

North Carolina ranks 2nd nationally in pork and it accounts for almost 20 percent of North Carolina’s $10.6 billion total farm cash receipts.

Local Dish’s Lisa Prince likes this recipe because you don’t have to cook it as long as when you are making pulled pork.  It has the same great taste but it is sliced. Just add your favorite BBQ sauce and enjoy.

Grilled Pork Shoulder

  • 3 pounds pork shoulder
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 can apple juice

Dry rub: 

  • 3/4 cups brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup black pepper
  • 1/4 cup paprika
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon celery salt
  • 1 tablespoon hickory salt or smoked sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground sage
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

You may want to trim the fat cap. Rub pork with olive oil. Coat the pork shoulder with dry rub generously on all sides. You will have extra rub to use again. Lightly oil grill grate and preheat grill to 425 degrees with an area for direct cooking and an area for indirect cooking. Grill the pork over direct heat until well-seared, 4 to 5 minutes per side.

Move pork to indirect heat, cover and cook about 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or until tender and it reaches a range of 3 to 5 degrees before desired doneness. Baste with apple juice every 30 minutes to keep pork from getting to dry. Let pork rest for 10 minutes before slicing.

Recommended cooking temperatures:

  • Medium-rare: 145-150 degrees
  • Medium: 150-155 degrees
  • Medium-well: 155-160 degrees
  • Well: 160 degrees


For information about grilling safety, check out this video by the National Fire Protection Association.