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Rotisserie Smoked Pork Shoulder

Rotisserie Smoked Pork Shoulder

This post is sponsored by Omaha Steaks. Sponsored posts, along with affiliate links, are what enable bloggers like me to maintain and operate sites that are free to the public. That said, I only work with products and brands that I personally use and would feel proud to give as a gift.

Pork shoulder roast, aka Boston Butt or pork butt, isn’t something that’s traditionally cooked on the rotisserie. Generally, this large cut of meat is cooked low and slow in a grill or smoker. When done properly, pork butt is my favorite of the traditional American style BBQ foods, but too often it’s pretty dry.

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Today we’re going to combine two of my favorite styles of cooking in what is at the very least non-traditional BBQ, but trust me—it’s outstanding and anything but dry. I love low and slow smoking. I’m also enamored with rotisserie cooking. Why not combine the two and create a pork shoulder that self-bastes and stays moist, while taking on some amazing apple and hickory wood smoke?

Rotiserie smoked pork resting on wood table

You can use just about any grill that has a rotisserie. Most grills these days either come with or offer a rotisserie as an option. The key for this recipe, like for any recipe, is to start with great ingredients. So I’ll be starting with a pork shoulder from Omaha Steaks where I get the majority of my proteins. Seriously, check out the marbling on this butt…

marbled pork shoulder

What Is the Proper Way To Smoke a Pork Butt?

This depends on who you ask; it’s a very subjective question to be sure. Some folks swear by the hot ‘n fast method and while I do love that style of cooking for my Memphis style ribs, I prefer low and slow for pork shoulder. Again, this is personal preference, and with this smoked rotisserie pork shoulder we’ll be rolling pretty slow. Keep in mind that with this method you won’t achieve a super crusty bark like you would if you were going a more traditional method, but this is some seriously tender and juicy pork.

How Long To Smoke a Pork Butt

Unwrapped, with the traditional low and slow style cooking, you can expect about 1.5 to 2 hours of cook time for each pound of pork. That’s a ballpark estimate and will depend on a number of things, but generally speaking that’s what you should plan on. For this recipe, we’re wrapping the pork after 6 hours of smoke, so the cook time will be reduced. 

What Is the Best Way To Keep Pulled Pork Moist?

The majority of the pork butt (it’s actually cut from a hog’s shoulder, not its rear end) is pretty lean, and the long cook times required to get it tender will oftentimes make it dry as well. There are tricks of course to prevent that, like injecting the pork, etc. One of the best tricks, however, is to put it on the rotisserie.

One of the most prominent benefits of rotisserie cooking is that the meat bastes in its own juices as it spins. Of course, it’s just very primal and soothing to watch this process as well, but the most important thing about rotisserie cooking is the self-basting that can be achieved via this process.

rotisserie smoked pork butt on cutting board

Tips For Making Rotisserie Pork Butt

The Mustard: This provides little to no flavor, it’s only used as a binder for the seasoning and to help build the crust or “bark.”

The Seasoning: This is a big hunk of meat and is going to be pulled and mixed together, so it can take more seasoning than you might think is normal.

The Order: Don’t season before putting pork on the spit; the seasoning will most likely come off while you’re setting up the forks, etc.

The Temperature: Keep your cooking temperature at about 250° F. If you’re using a gas grill with an infrared rotisserie burner, that probably means the lowest temperature setting. For a charcoal grill, it means using very few coals, and replenishing as necessary. As always, I highly recommend using a reliable leave in thermometer to monitor your grill’s temp. The thermometer that comes in the lid of most grills is notoriously unreliable.

The Smoke: If you’re using a gas grill, set up a large smoke tube with a combination of apple and hickory wood pellets. If you’re using a charcoal grill, be sure to use quality wood chunks added to the hot coals.

Rotisserie Smoked Pork Shoulder Recipe

Prep Time: 20 Minutes | Cook Time: 8 hours | Serves: 16

Ingredients
1 7 lb bone in pork shoulder
2 tbsp yellow mustard
2 cup Eastern Carolina mop sauce, divided equally

For the rub:
½ cup light brown sugar
½ cup paprika
1 tbsp fresh ground black pepper
1 tbsp kosher salt
1 tbsp ground savory
1 tbsp chili powder
1 tbsp garlic powder
1 tbsp onion powder
1 tsp ground cayenne pepper, optional

How To Make Rotisserie Smoked Pork Butt

Step 1: Mix all ingredients for the rub, breaking up any clumps of brown sugar and pour into a shaker bottle.

Step 2: Unwrap and rinse pork shoulder under cold water. Pat dry with paper towels and truss the roast with butcher’s twine. If you’re not familiar with this style of trussing, you can also just tie a series of loops around the roast to keep it uniform in shape while it spins. Be sure to tie both sideways and end to end.

pork shoulder wrapped in twine from side to side and top to bottom

Step 3: Slide the roast onto the rotisserie spit, avoiding the large shoulder-blade bone in the roast. Alternatively, you can use a boneless pork shoulder; it will just require some extra tying to keep it in shape. Lock rotisserie forks into place.

Step 4: Lightly coat the entire pork shoulder with yellow mustard and then season liberally, being sure to cover all surfaces of the roast.

pork roast on a spit and then coated with yellow mustard and seasoned on all sides

Step 5: Light your grill and set up for rotisserie grilling, establishing temperature at 250° F. For a gas grill, light your smoke tube at this point and for charcoal grill, add wood chunks to coals.

Step 6: Place a disposable drip pan in the middle of the grill under where the pork will spin to catch any drippings. Insert spit into rotisserie motor and turn on. 

Close the lid and let the rotisserie go to work. Mop pork once an hour with mop sauce for 6 hours.

Pork roast on rotisserie coated in mop sauce

Step 7: Remove pork from grill. After 6 hours it will be in the neighborhood of 160 °F. Verify this with a reliable quick read thermometer. 

Testing temperature of pork roast with a quick-read thermometer

Step 8: Increase grill temperature to 300 °F. While the grill is heating up, remove pork from the spit and place it on a triple sheet of aluminum foil. Pour drippings from the drip pan over top of the pork and wrap as tightly as possible in foil.

Wrap the pork roast in foil.

Step 9: Place wrapped pork into the drip pan (to prevent leaks). Insert a reliable leave-in thermometer into the roast, being careful not to touch the bone. Place pork back on the grill until internal temperature reaches 203 °F (about 2 hours for a 7 pound butt).

Place foil wrapped pork shoulder in drip pan

TIP: Once wrapped, you can also place the pork into the oven at 300°F if that's more convenient.

Step 10: Remove pork from grill or oven and cut a small hole in the foil to let out any steam. Allow pork to rest for one hour. Pour off drippings into fat separator and discard grease. Shred pork and drizzle with drippings. Serve on a bun with Eastern Carolina mop sauce for incredible tangy pulled pork sandwiches, or with Kansas City BBQ sauce for a sweeter option with your favorite BBQ sides.

shredded pork sandwiches

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Rotisserie Smoked Pork Shoulder

4.71 from 31 votes
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 8 hours
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 16

Ingredients

For the rub:

  • ½ cup light brown sugar
  • ½ cup paprika
  • 1 tbsp fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt
  • 1 tbsp ground savory
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp ground cayenne pepper optional

Instructions

  • Mix all ingredients for the rub, breaking up any clumps of brown sugar and pour into a shaker bottle.
  • Unwrap and rinse pork shoulder under cold water. Pat dry with paper towels and truss the roast with butcher’s twine. If you’re not familiar with this style of trussing, you can also just tie a series of loops around the roast to keep it uniform in shape while it spins. Be sure to tie both sideways and end to end.
  • Slide the roast onto the rotisserie spit, avoiding the large shoulder-blade bone in the roast. Alternatively, you can use a boneless pork shoulder; it will just require some extra tying to keep it in shape. Lock rotisserie forks into place.
  • Lightly coat the entire pork shoulder with yellow mustard and then season liberally, being sure to cover all surfaces of the roast.
  • Light your grill and set up for rotisserie grilling, establishing temperature at 250° F. For gas grill, light your smoke tube at this point and for charcoal grill, add wood chunks to coals.
  • Place a disposable drip pan in the middle of the grill under where the pork will spin to catch any drippings. Insert spit into rotisserie motor and turn on. 
    Close the lid and let the rotisserie go to work. Mop pork once an hour with mop sauce for 6 hours.
  • Remove pork from grill. After 6 hours it will be in the neighborhood of 160 °F. Verify this with a reliable quick read thermometer. 
  • Increase grill temperature to 300 °F. While the grill is heating up, remove pork from the spit and place it on a triple sheet of aluminum foil. Pour drippings from the drip pan over top of the pork and wrap as tightly as possible in foil.
  • Place wrapped pork into the drip pan (to prevent leaks). Insert a reliable leave-in thermometer into the roast, being careful not to touch the bone. Place pork back on the grill until internal temperature reaches 203 °F (about 2 hours for a 7 pound butt).
  • Remove pork from grill or oven and cut a small hole in the foil to let out any steam. Allow pork to rest for one hour. Pour off drippings into fat separator and discard grease. Shred pork and drizzle with drippings. Serve on a bun with Eastern Carolina mop sauce or with Kansas City BBQ sauce for incredible vinegar pulled pork sandwiches or just plain with your favorite BBQ sides.

Notes

Pork shoulder roast, aka Boston Butt or pork butt, isn’t something that’s traditionally cooked on the rotisserie. Generally, this large cut of meat is cooked low and slow in a grill or smoker. When done properly, pork shoulder is my favorite of the traditional American style BBQ foods, but too often it’s pretty dry.
Today we’re going to combine two of my favorite styles of cooking in what is at the very least non-traditional BBQ, but trust me—it’s outstanding and anything but dry. I love low and slow smoking. I’m also enamored with rotisserie cooking. Why not combine the two and create a pork shoulder that self-bastes and stays moist, while taking on some amazing apple and hickory wood smoke?

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