Rotisserie Pork Shoulder Roast
This recipe is a happy accident; I meant to bring you a pork loin roast today, but I confused my wife* by asking for a “blade end” pork loin roast; she brought home a blade shoulder roast instead.
*Normally, I do the shopping, but I’m coaching my son’s soccer team, and we had a game.
**OK, I’m a control freak; I really WANT to do the shopping. It pains me to let someone else do it. They’re going to get it wrong! But that was a good thing in this case.
***If you’re looking for a rotisserie pork loin recipe, click here.
Pork shoulder (often called “boston butt”, or in this case ” blade shoulder”) is my favorite cut from the pig, so I wasn’t very upset about this mistake. Pork shoulder, unlike the very lean pork loin, has a lot of fat in it. This helps it cook up nice and juicy, even when you cook it well done. And you must cook it to well done – there’s a lot of connective tissue in there with the fat. If you don’t cook it enough, that connective tissue makes this a very tough cut of meat. But…if you get the connective tissue to melt (by cooking to AT LEAST 180*F), the result is tender, melt in your mouth porky goodness.
The rotisserie adds a crispiness to the outside of the roast that…well, Diane put it best while we were eating:
“Oh, my. This is soooooo good. It’s like bacon on the outside, and juicy on the inside.”
Recipe: Rotisserie Pork Shoulder Roast
- Grill with Rotisserie attachment (I used a Weber Summit 650 with an infrared rotisserie burner. Here it is.)
- aluminum foil drip pan (9″x12″, or whatever fits your grill)
- butcher’s twine
- 3-4 lb Boneless Pork Shoulder Roast, trimmed of any excess fat
- 3 quarts water
- 3/4 cup table salt (1.5 cups kosher salt)
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 tsp whole coriander seed
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp dried lemon peel (or lemon zest)
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
2. Prepare and rest the roast: One hour before cooking, mix the rub ingredients in a small bowl. Remove the pork from the brine, and pat dry with paper towels. Sprinkle the rub evenly over the entire roast, working it into any nooks, crannies and seams you can find. Truss the roast with butcher’s twine, tying it every inch and a half.* Skewer the roast on the spit through the center of the roast, then let it rest at room temperature.
*When trussing, you’re trying to get a nice cylinder shape. The pork shoulder cut may not cooperate, so do the best you can. I had to fold mine in half, then I trussed it to hold it together. See the pictures above and below.
3. Prepare the grill Set your grill up for rotisserie cooking at high heat. For my Weber Summit, this means preheating my grill for 15 minutes with all the burners on high. (Make sure you remove the middle grill grate before you do this, so you don’t have to juggle a hot grate.) Then I turn off all the burners except for the two outer burners (burners 1 and 6), and I light the infrared burner and turn it to high as well. I put my drip pan in the middle of the grill, over the unlit burners. (See here for more rotisserie setup details.)
4. Cook the roast Put the spit on the rotisserie, and cook with the lid closed. Cook the pork roast until it reaches 185*F to 190*F in the thickest part of the meat. This should take 1 to 1.5 hours; assume about 25 minutes per pound of meat.
5. Rest, carve and serve. Remove the spit from the grill, and allow to rest for 10-15 minutes before removing the roast. Remove the roast to a cutting board, remove the twine from the roast, and slice the pork into 1/2″ thick slices. Serve and enjoy!
*Easy: Skip the brining, and step 1; add 1 tsp kosher salt and 1 tsp brown sugar to the rub in step 2 and continue with the recipe as written.
*Overnight salt: Instead of brining, do the “easy” variation (above) 1 to 3 days ahead of time, and store in the refrigerator. Continue with the trussing and skewering in step 2 one hour before cooking.
*Italian style: Replace the rub with a garlic-herb paste of 4 cloves of minced garlic, 1 tsp minced thyme, 1 tsp minced rosemary, and 1 tbsp olive oil, mixed.
*I can’t get boneless pork shoulder roasts in the meat case at my local grocery; they always come bone-in. That’s no big deal; I just cut the bone out before cooking. It gave me more nooks and crannies to get the rub into before I trussed it up.
*Make sure you trim the fat cap off the top of the roast – there’s plenty of fat throughout this roast, so that big hunk of fat on top will just make it greasy.
*Again, this is not the time to go for medium-rare, slightly pink pork. The connective tissue in the shoulder will make it jaw-achingly tough. Cook it to well done and beyond. In fact, you’d have a hard time overcooking this roast. If you have any questions about “is it done?” you should err on the side of cooking it more.
Questions? Comments? Other ideas? Leave them in the comments section below.
Click here for my Rotisserie Pork Shoulder, Char Siu style
|Check out my cookbook, Rotisserie Grilling.
Everything you could ask about the rotisserie,
It’s a Kindle e-book, so you can download it and start reading immediately!
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