How to Do a Rub on a Pork Shoulder

by Melissa Hamilton

Items you will need

  • Pork shoulder
  • Spice rub

A pork shoulder is one of the most popular cuts of meat on a pig. It is often used for a pulled pork barbecue. The shoulder is technically the shoulder and front leg of a pig. Many stores cut the shoulder into two pieces, known as the picnic and the Boston butt. Adding a spice rub to a pork shoulder gives the meat added flavor. You can use lots of seasonings in a rub since the spices are dispersed throughout the entire shoulder, seasoning all of the meat as it cooks.

Step 1

Make a large amount of spice rub using the spices of your choice. You won’t be lightly sprinkling seasoning on the meat; you will be rubbing it in to get as much flavor as possible, so be sure you have plenty or rub.

Step 2

Rinse the pork shoulder and dry it with paper towels. Clean meat will hold the seasonings better.

Step 3

Add the rub liberally. Since a pork shoulder is thick, you will need to use lots of spice rub.

Step 4

Use your hands to work the rub into every part of the pork shoulder. This particular cut of meat usually has crevices and folds of meat, so use your fingers to rub the seasoning into these areas. Cover the entire pork shoulder with the spice rub.

Step 5

Cook according to the recipe of your choice.

References (5)

  • “Bruce Aidells’s Complete Book of Pork: A Guide to Buying, Storing & Cooking the World’s Favorite Meat”; Bruce Aidells; 2004
  • “Pig: King of the Southern Table”; James Villas; 2010
  • "Herbs & Spices"; Jill Norman; 2002
  • "The Spice Lover’s Guide to Herbs & Spices" Tony Hill; 2004
  • “Williams-Sonoma: The Best of the Kitchen Library: Meats & Poultry; Chuck Williams; 2004

Photo Credits

  • Polka Dot Images/Polka Dot/Getty Images

About the Author

Melissa Hamilton began writing professionally in 2007. She has enjoyed cooking creatively in the kitchen from a young age. In addition to writing cooking articles for various publications, she currently works in the restaurant industry as a food and beverage trainer.