Eastern Nc BBQ Pork Shoulder for New Year's Day

READY IN: 6hrs 15mins




  • Rinse shoulder and pat dry. Make several slashes on all sides - into muscle as well as through skin.
  • Mix first 7 ingredients and rub all over shoulder, slipping rub up under skin. Let sit 1 hour (minimum - can be overnight if you wish - the shoulder will "sweat" if left overnight in fridge with rub on it - no worries, just put it in a roaster or something with sides so it won't leak) while you prepare the grill.
  • Load grill (must have a lid or cover - ours is a cut drum with hinges and smokestack) with 8 pounds of good quality charcoal. Place the charcoal in two piles or around the edges with central open area. Place an aluminum drip pan there. Put a quart of water or preferred liquid). Light the coals and let burn until evenly coated in grey.
  • Place shoulder, skin side down over drip pan and cover grill. The goal is a temp of 225 if your grill has a lid thermometer. Adjust vents to maintain this temperature. Keep covered 2 hours. After 1 1/2 hours add 6 to 8 more coals on each side and re-cover. Repeat in an hour. When adding second batch of charcoal, grab roast with heat resistant mitten and tug to see if meat is beginning to slip and feel like it's giving. Another 1 - 2 hours will get internal temp to 180 degrees F and the meat falling apart tender when grabbed with mitt. You want to cook, adding coals periodically until you feel the "slip" of the meat from the skin & bone. You will know it when you feel it.
  • Pull roast from grill & let cool overnight (we cooled in cold oven as Buster was observed eyeing the roast & plotting with the dogs).
  • In the AM (Happy New Year!), shuck off skin and discard and do likewise with all bones. Chop and pull apart pork into shreds and put in 9 x 13 inch pan.
  • Heat next 6 ingredients (starting with vinegar) in microwave for 5 minutes. Using 1/2 cup measure, pour 1 cup of mop sauce over the pork. Pour an additional 1 1/2 cups water over pork.
  • Cover pork in pan tightly with aluminum foil and place in 325 degree F oven for 45 minutes. Ready to serve! Serve additional mop sauce at the table. Enjoy!