Acacia-smoked pulled pork shoulder

Acacia-smoked pulled pork shoulder

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  • 4 to 6
  • Easy
  • 10 minutes, plus fire preparation
  • 3½ hours
  • Oak Valley Pinot Noir 2012

You only need four ingredients – plus a fire built with Acacia wood – to make this smoked pork shoulder recipe. The result is pull-apart soft meat.


  • 2 T Santa Anna’s spice rub
  • 2 t sea salt
  • 2 t agave syrup or honey
  • 2 kg pork shoulder, skin and bone on

Cooking Instructions

Make a fire in a Weber or smoker using 5–6 pieces of Acacia wood. Combine the spice rub with the sea salt.

Rub the meat side of the shoulder with the agave syrup or honey, then coat with the spice rub to form a thick coating. Just before the wood burns down to coals, place the pork shoulder on the grid, skin side down, and cover the smoker, leaving the vents open. If using a Weber, lift the grid and place coals in a heap on one side. Place a pan of water next to the coals. Replace the grid and place the pork on the grid above the water. Cover and open the vents on the lid. Add fresh coals every 30–45 minutes.

If using a smoker, make another fire in a separate chimney 20 minutes after adding the pork. Keep the temperature in the smoker at between 90 and 120°C by adding smouldering coals when necessary. The ideal smoking temperature is 105°C. Measure the temperature using an oven thermometer. You can keep water-soaked wood chips handy and add them to the coals from time to time for a smokier flavour.

Smoke until the internal temperature of the meat reaches 90°C on a digital meat thermometer. This should take 3–3½ hours. Open the smoker and add an even layer of hot coals below the meat to crisp the skin. Remove from the fire, allow the meat to rest for 20 minutes, then pull apart. You can use the same method with any cut of meat adjusting the final temperature accordingly.

Click here for Santa Anna's spice rub

Frik Oosthuizen and Piet Marais Recipe by: Frik Oosthuizen and Piet Marais
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