Smoky Pulled Pork Without The Hassle Of A Wood Fire

Read Time3 Minutes, 33 Seconds

Can you make a tender and smoky pulled pork on your gas grill,offset smoker Yes! Traditionally, this amazing dish is slowly cooked over a smoky wood fire. The problem is, keeping a fire going for 8 hours straight while making sure it never gets too hot is quite labor intensive. And the process uses a lot of wood, so I tend to only use this method when I am cooking several pork shoulders or other smoked items for a party. The rest of the time I use my gas grill <weber genesis>.

The pork shoulder still cooks all day; there is no way around that. But the cooks involvement during this time is minimal. Obviously, you can’t get the same smoky flavor from a gas grill that you get from a fire, so I came up with a few substitutions to help me get that smoky flavor that I love. The result is an incredibly smoky and tender pulled pork without the hassle of a wood or charcoal fire.

First, I use smoked sea salt. This is natural sea salt that has been dried over a smoky fire. People who cook on gas grills should try this great product, since it adds a great smoky flavor to food without a wood or charcoal fire.

I also use smoked black pepper and smoked paprika, although those two don’t add nearly as much smoky flavor as the smoked sea salt does. All three of these products can be found online, from many different spice suppliers. One of the best sources is Mountain Rose Herbs, you will find a link to them at the bottom of the page. I also find that cumin has a naturally smoky flavor, so I often use it liberally in recipes for items that would traditionally be smoked.


1 bone-in pork shoulder, 5 to 6 pounds

2 tablespoons of smoked sea salt

2 tablespoons of smoked paprika

1 tablespoon of dried garlic granules or garlic powder

1 tablespoon of dried onion granules or onion powder

1 tablespoon of ground cumin

1 tablespoon of dried thyme

1 tablespoon of dried rosemary

1 teaspoon of ground cayenne pepper

1 teaspoon of ground celery seeds

1 teaspoon of ground mustard seeds

2 cups of apple cider vinegar

1 cup of apple juice

1/4 cup of brown sugar

1/4 cup of ketchup


Combine the smoked sea salt with all the spices and mix well. Set aside one tablespoon of the spice mixture. Rub the rest of the spice mix all over the pork shoulder, massaging it into the meat. Put the pork into a leak proof bag and refrigerate for 24 to 72 hours. This will allow the smoky flavor to permeate the pork shoulder before cooking even begins. It will also tenderize the meat.

Heat your gas grill to a low heat; you are looking for a temperature of 250 degrees F in the cook box. Place the pork shoulder directly on the cooking grates in an area with indirect heat.

Combine the apple cider vinegar with the apple juice, brown sugar and reserved spice mix. Stir till well combined. Set aside 1 1/2 cups of this liquid mixture for later use. The remaining amount will be used to baste the pork shoulder during the long cooking process; do this about every 45 minutes and turn the pork shoulder over at the same time. You want to cook the pork shoulder until it reaches an internal temperature of 190 degrees F; this should take about 8 hours. Remove the cooked pork from the gas grill and let it rest for 20 minutes, then shred with two forks. Place the pulled pork into a serving dish, along with any drippings from the resting dish.

Take the reserved liquid mixture and combine it with the ketchup. Bring to a simmer over low to medium heat, stirring occasionally. Cook at a simmer for two minutes while stirring occasionally. Pour the cooked sauce over the pulled pork. Stir. Serve immediately. This pulled pork is great as is or served on whole grain buns with creamy Cole slaw. Enjoy!

Click on the Mountain Rose Herbs banner below to go to their site, which has lots of great teas, spices and salts (including an incredible smoked sea salt.) They have high quality products, many of which are organic, at low prices (especially if you buy in bulk.)

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