• 1 or 2 eight pound Pork shoulder(s) (AKA pork butt).
  • Olive oil
  • Rub (one or more of the following): Pork barrel BBQ Spice Rub, Penzey’s 3001, Penzey’s Jerk Pork
  • 2 gallon apple juice
  • Charcoal
  • (optional) whiskey
  • (optional) fruit wood, such as apple, cherry, or maple


  • Grill capable of indirect heat. I use a charcoal grill with added firebox, which ends up being something like this.
  • Marinade injector
  • Spray bottle
  • Basting brush
  • Digital probe thermometer
  • Large mixing bowl
  • 3 Large aluminum food trays
  • (optional) gecko gloves
  • (optional) wireless thermometer
  • (optional) metal meat claws. Plastic meat claws don’t work as well


Night before:

Place pork in aluminum pan Baste the pork butts with olive oil and rub with liberal amounts of pork rub. This will help to create the “bark” on the outside of the pork as well as create flavor In mixing bowl, mix apple juice, olive oil, rub and optionally one shot of whiskey. The sugars and oils will help render the fat and break down tissues while cooking to make the pork tender Inject the pork with mixture about every 1-2 inches Let sit in fridge over night Grill Day:

Depending on when you want to serve, you’ll want to start the grill 9-10 hours prior, as cooking can take that long. So if you’re planning on serving in mid-afternoon, start this around 6AM.

Start the fire in the fire box. There are a lot of different ways to start a fire, such as putting a small pile of hot coals on a larger pile, but as long as it gets going it really doesn’t matter from what I’ve found. After the charcoal gets hot, that’s when I would put the fruit wood on the coals. Put an aluminum tray in the bottom of the charcoal grill and pour 1 gallon of apple juice in the pan. This helps keep the pork moist and also adds some sweet flavor Wait for cooking surface to reach 300-350 degrees and put butts on the grill. This would be the time to hook up the wireless thermometer if you have one Keep an eye on the temperature of the grill, ensuring it stays above 300. Some people like lower and slower cooking, but I find that it works good enough to cook at 350 and it’s faster. Once per hour, spray apple juice on pork with spray bottle. You may need to add additional charcoal and/or fruit wood to the fire. The temperature of the pork will stall around 150-180 degrees and slowly cook. The reason for this is because the fat in the meat is starting to render at this temperature and slows down the heating process until the collogen has rendered. Keep on grill until the meat has been at 200 degrees for a few minutes. Pull off grill into aluminum food tray and carve. I prefer using metal meat claws because they don’t dull as easily as the plastic variety, but you don’t need to use claws. Serve with BBQ sauce. I prefer Stubbs off the shelf, but there are definitely good ones to try.