The picnic shoulder is a popular cut of pork for barbecue. That’s because it’s a little leaner than the butt portion of the shoulder but still has great flavor. The picnic comes from the upper foreleg, so it is smaller in circumference than the butt, and better for a smaller crowd. We like this recipe with some smoke, but if you don’t have any wood, it’s delicious smoke-free as well.
Indirect heat, medium (325° to 350°F)
3- or 4-burner grill – middle burner(s) off
2-burner grill – 1 side off
Clean, oiled grate
Indirect heat, medium ash
Split charcoal bed (about 2 dozen coals per side)
20 replacement coals
Heavy-duty drip pan set between banks of charcoal
Clean, oiled grate on medium setting.
BBQ TOOLS AND EQUIPMENT
– 4 fruitwood chunks or 2 cups chips if using a smoker box
– Smoker box or foil packet, if using a gas grill
– Long-handled tongs
– Long-handled spatula
– Long-handled basting brush.
INGREDIENTS (MAKES 6 SERVINGS)
1 boneless pork shoulder (picnic ham), about 2¾ pounds
2 tablespoons Fragrant Chile Rub
1 tablespoon canola oil
¾ cup Sweet, Hot, and Sour BBQ Sauce
½ cup maple syrup
Oil for coating grill grate.
1. Soak the wood chunks or chips for about 1 hour.
2. Heat the grill as directed.
3. Rub the pork with the chile rub. Coat with the 1 tablespoon oil. Mix the barbecue sauce and maple syrup in a bowl; set aside. 4. Put the wood chunks directly over the coals. If using a gas grill, put the wood chips in a smoker box or in a foil packet directly over one of the heated burners.
5. Brush the grill grate and coat it with oil. Put the pork on the grill away from the heat, cover the grill, and cook until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the meat registers about 165°F, about 2½ hours, turning the meat a quarter turn every 40 minutes or so for the first 2 hours. Baste with the barbecue sauce mixture every 5 minutes during the last 30 minutes of cooking. If your grill has a temperature gauge, it should stay at around 350°F. If you are using charcoal or wood, you will probably have to replenish the coals or wood after each hour.
6. Remove the pork to a serving platter, using tongs and a spatula for support. Let rest for 8 to 10 minutes; slice and serve.