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Whole pork shoulder


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Hi peeps,

Looking for a bit of help please.

Picking up 2 whole pork bone in shoulders tomorrow, going in the freezer for now but I do have an upcoming party that they are allocated for.

Just wondering roughly how long 1 would take to smoke low & slow on a wsm.

8kg from butchers but guessing once skinned and trimmed I’m guessing around 7kg.

Done loads of the usual standard boneless shoulders but nothing this big.

Thanks muchly 

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Collected today, not bad for £82. Two full pork shoulders @8kg each, they are now sitting in my freezer after I removed remaining ribs, spine bone and skin.

I like to freeze larger joints and defrost them in a brine solution before cooking. These will be the largest joint I have ever smoked so am still looking for a little advice regarding time to cook. Half tempted to smoke for 4 hours and then bung in the oven to cook out but feels a little  Cheaty.

I will only be cooking 1 and saving the other to use as an excuse for another party later.

Bones will be roasted and boiled down to be used as a stock that will be added back to the pork once it’s shredded and the skin will be roasted on its own for a little self indulgent crackling.

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I’m thinking it might be best to give it good smoke for a few hours and then oven, seeing as it’s suggested that smoke only lasts 3 hours or so before you’re just burning charcoal for the sake of it. Don’t want people turning up and it ain’t ready.

Not afraid of an all nighter if it’s worthwhile.

In truth I’ll probably bung it on at midnight and see how far it gets.

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  • 2 weeks later...

You do get further effects of the smoke after the 3 hours but it obeys the law of diminishing returns. After the 3 hours the added effect becomes marginal. If you want to foil it and place it in the oven during the night that is fine. You could always partially unwrap it and put it back in the smoker the next morning to crisp up some bark.

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I definitely find that bark only properly develops towards the back end of a cook, so while 3 hours is enough for the smoke flavour, the bark won't be there if you go straight in the oven at that point. I would guess you're also going to want to foil it if you put it in the oven. If you don't then it'll probably dry out, and if you do then it might sweat off any bark you do have.

What about separating the shoulder into 2? This will mean a quicker cook time and even more bark surface area. Well aware I'm starting to sound barking mad by this point.

I guess given the date this might be too late, in which case how did you get on?

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