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Smoked Pork Roast Recipe

Let me tell you a little secret. If you want fall-apart, tasty smoked pork roast, it all starts with the preparation. A well-balanced brine penetrates to the deepest part of the meat, enhancing the meat’s moisture and flavor. When you put it in the smoker, the low, slow cooking finishes the meat perfectly. 

smoked pork roast

This is one of my smoked recipes that takes 8 hours to cook suited for a weekend cookout. Don’t have that much time for cooking? Try this chicken breast or pork loin recipe.

The first few times I tried smoking a pork roast, the meat came out a bit dry, low on flavor, and just didn’t have the texture I expected. I knew I was doing something wrong. I had eaten smoked pork roast that was juicy, packed with flavor, with the perfect smoke ring surrounding it.

What was I doing wrong? I forgot to brine the meat.

I had used brine solutions on other types of meats before smoking them. Why I forget it with the roast pork, I don’t know. I guess I thought a good sized pork shoulder should retain plenty of moisture. 

A basic brine solution combines water and salt. However, brining can be done with different combinations of liquids, salts, and flavorings. 

Our solution combines apple juice and vinegar, with salt, sugar, and soy sauce. All of these ingredients penetrate into the deepest fibers of the meat, bringing a ton of moisture and flavor into the final product.

smoked pork shoulder

What Makes A Good Pork Roast Recipe

Any good pork roast recipe starts with the meat itself. Pork shoulder is a tougher piece of meat with plenty of fat. It tends to be less expensive than other pork roasts and can be purchased whole or partial.

Selecting a good pork shoulder starts with looking for meat that is a pinkish-red color. It should have some marbling as well. Stay away from cuts that are too light or have dark spots in the fat. Those are signs that the meat is not as fresh as it should be.

You can store the roast in the fridge for up to three days. It’s best to cook it as fresh as possible to preserve the texture and flavor profile.

The shoulder can be cooked in many ways, though its fat content and tough fibers make low and slow the better option. Any recipe that includes pork roast should take its time and use a moderate temperature for maximum flavor and tenderness. Think smoking, braising, or slow cooking. 

You can find pork shoulder roasts in your local grocery, shopping club, or butcher.

How To Make The Best Smoked Pork Roast

I like to start by brining the pork roast before smoking. I brine it with just simple ingredients. Let it soak in overnight. This gives the meat that extra flavor. 

The rub that I used for this recipe is very simple. No exotic ingredients, just 5 basic spices that you already have in your pantry. Coat the meat generously.

I used hickory wood for this recipe, but you can add any type of wood that you prefer such as apple or oak.

Start early in the morning as this recipe takes 8 hours to complete. Believe me, it is worth the wait!

smoked pork shoulder roast

Smoked Pork Roast

Tender and delicious smoked pork roast

Course Main Course
Prep Time 1 day
Cook Time 8 hours


  • 1 piece Pork Shoulder Roast (5-8 pounds)


  • 1/2 quart Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1/2 quart Apple Juice
  • 1/2 cup Sugar
  • 1/4 cup Soy Sauce
  • 1/4 cup Salt


  • 2 tbsp Salt
  • 2 tbsp Ground Black Pepper
  • 1 tbsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 tbsp Onion Powder
  • 2 tsp Paprika


  1. Prepare the brine by mixing apple juice, salt, sugar, vinegar, and soy sauce in a large bowl.

  2. Immerse the pork into the brine mixture.

  3. Add water to the brine to cover the pork completely.

  4. Refrigerate the pork in the brine overnight.

  5. When ready to smoke the pork, remove it from the brine solution.

  6. Prepare the rub by mixing salt, ground black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and paprika in a small bowl.

  7. Coat the pork in the rub. Be generous and make sure the entire roast has a good coating.

  8. Preheat the smoker to 275F. Use hickory or apple wood as desired.

  9. Place pork roast in the smoker. Smoke for 5 hours.

  10. Remove pork roast from the smoker and tightly wrapped meat with aluminum foil. Place back in the smoker and cook for 3 hours.

  11. Let the meat rest for 30 minutes before serving. Using forks, shred the roast and serve on buns. Top with your favorite BBQ sauce.

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