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Nick Diller
A slow-grilled pork shoulder in honor of National Barbecue Month.

NICK DILLER: Celebrating National Barbecue Month

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By Sunday, May 13, 2018 Farm and Table

Great Barrington — May is National Barbecue Month. It’s a time when we get out our grills for the summer and grill away. Burgers, hot dogs, chicken: You name it and we grill it.

So, I decided to get out my red Weber charcoal kettle grill and get the celebration started.

My goal was to cook something more substantial and challenging than burgers and chicken. I went for a pork shoulder cooked “low ‘n slow.” That means cooked over a long period of time at a low cooker temperature of 225–250F.

Nick Diller checks the temperature of the pork shoulder.

It wasn’t a picture perfect day for outdoor cooking, but I had planned on this day. I had the pork shoulder, 9 pounds and bone-in, all prepared and ready to put on the grill. The night before, I injected the meat with my GRILLER DILLER’S DOWN YONDER SOUTHERN STYLE BBQ SAUCE and sprinkled some of my KILLER DILLER ALL-PURPOSE BBQ RUB.

I started early that morning. I knew temperatures would only be in the 50s for most of the day so that would necessitate more time needed to cook this bad boy to an internal temperature of 200F. So I figured one and a half hours per pound times 9 pounds was about 12 hours start to finish. I was up early to start the charcoal at 5 a.m. I used the SLOW N SEAR grill accessory, a moon-shaped charcoal holder.

I placed the pork shoulder opposite the coals using an indirect method. Then I placed a probe thermometer to monitor temperature, then put the lid on and walked away to do other things.

Nick Diller adds apple cider vinegar to the pork shoulder.

What you do is start some coals on one end of the SLOW N SEAR, then add unlit coals and the fire will burn slow across over several hours, nice and slow. I would adjust the bottom vents to control air flow and the cooker’s internal temperature.

After six hours, the internal temperature of the meat hit about 155F— it did not need anymore smoke, so I spritzed it with cider vinegar, wrapped it in foil, added some more charcoal, put the lid on and left it for another five hours.

Now it was almost 11 hours into the cook, so I unwrapped the meat and took its temperature and — wow! — the internal reading was 204F. That was just what I wanted for pulled pork.

My mouth was watering. I could hardly wait. I brought it to the kitchen and put it on the cutting board to cut and pull apart.

Before slicing and pulling, I went down to my brewery for some cold GRILL-DILL PALE ALE. It really hit the spot — so refreshing!

The finished pork shoulder.

Delicious pulled pork tacos topped with slaw and a dill pickle and some home-brewed beer to wash it down — what a way to begin National Barbecue Month.

Pork Shoulder Recipe
  • 7- to 9-lb. bone-in pork butt
  • Salt
  • Dry rub
  • Maybe some injection sauce


The day before grilling: Salt the meat all over using a 1/2 teaspoon of kosher or sea salt per pound or 1/4 teaspoon of table salt per pound. Then put the meat on a wire rack on a sheet tray and refrigerate until ready to cook.

On the day of the cook, set up your cooker for indirect grilling according to your grill’s manual. While the grill is heating up, take the meat out of fridge and blot dry with a towel. Then sprinkle with your favorite rub and, if you can inject, some sauce into the meat. Depending on the weather, cook at a rate of one to one and a half hours per pound, keeping the grill’s interior between 225F and 250F. Aim for a finished temperature of 205F.

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