• Marnie

Cherry Wood Smoked Pork Shoulder (Pork Butt)

Updated: Jan 19, 2021

We love to smoke in our house. Meat and fish that is!

If you have a smoker (and if you don't, you need to get one stat!) then you'll love this smoked pork shoulder. You get the spiced crispy bark and juicy meat that you dream of - well, I do! And I prefer to use cherry wood chips as they are the best for pork, in my humble opinion. It's pretty easy to make. Make the rub the night before and let it sit overnight in the fridge. Then smoke it the next day and bam! You have the best pork you'll ever taste. I promise. And you can eat it as is (with or without BBQ sauce but you really don't need it), or put it on a bun (or my garlic rosemary focaccia!) or a baked potato. You can even make tacos or a burrito if you're craving Mexican food. Any way you serve it, your family will thank you.

Here's how to make it:


  • 3 to 5 lb boneless pork shoulder (also called pork butt, but it's really not the butt).

Dry Rub

  • 1/8 cup paprika

  • 2 TBS packed dark (light is okay too) brown sugar

  • 2 TBS kosher or sea salt

  • 1 TBS chili powder (I used 1 TSP since my family isn't crazy about spicy food. It works!)

  • 1 TBS cumin

  • 1/2 TBS dried oregano

  • 1/2 TBS granulated sugar

  • 1/2 TBS black pepper (ground)


  1. Mix the dry rub ingredients in a small bowl.

  2. Trim the excess fat from the pork shoulder. Score the fat side with a sharp knife.

  3. Rub a good amount of the dry rub all over the pork. You may have some left over that you can save for another time.

  4. Put the pork in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight, or for at least 12 hours.

  5. Remove the pork shoulder from the refrigerator at least 1 hour before you're going to start smoking it.

  6. Follow your smoker's instructions and bring the temperature up to 250° F and add the wood chips. Place a water-filled aluminum drip pan under the grates to catch drippings.

  7. Place the pork shoulder on the grate above drip pan after the smoker begins to smoke and is at 250°.

  8. Smoke for about 60 to 90 minutes per pound, or until the internal temperature reaches 195-205 degrees. Be sure to continuously monitor the temperature with a meat thermometer. You don't want to overcook it or it will dry out.

  9. Remove the pork shoulder from the smoker and wrap it in parchment paper or aluminum foil and let it rest for at least one hour.

  10. Shred the pork using or a large fork or meat forks and enjoy!

Did you make it? Share pics in the comments!

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