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The no-trouble barbecue-style pork shoulder recipe your cookout needs

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Pretend you slaved over a BBQ pit when you serve this luscious pork

If you’re Latina like me, you know that pork shoulder — aka pernil — lives on your cooking roster. You’ll find it at every special occasion, and when family comes to visit, it’ll be on the dinner table. At my house, it’s always served the same way: marinated in mojo (a citrusy-garlic mixture) and roasted.

For that mojo recipe, check out these pork shoulder marinades.

I decided to try something a little different and create a dry-rub, barbecue-style pernil perfect for a cookout. Roast the shoulder before your event, or try grilling it over a low flame, covered, for four to six hours. Slather on barbecue sauce if you want, and serve it on potato rolls. Top with chopped onions, cheese and cilantro for a hearty summer sandwich.

More: 20 Latin-style dishes for your next BBQ

Barbecue pork shoulder recipe

Serves 4 – 6

Prep time: 1 hour | Cook time: 4 – 6 hours | Total time: 5 – 7 hours


  • 4 pounds pork shoulder
  • Salt, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1/2 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 16 ounces barbecue sauce (optional) 


  1. In a medium bowl combine the salt, pepper, paprika, chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder and brown sugar. Season the pork shoulder with the spice mixture. Let sit for 1 hour up to 24, refrigerated.
  2. Heat your oven to 200 degrees F.
  3. Cook the pork shoulder for 4 – 6 hours, until tender, falling off the bone and cooked through.
  4. Once cool enough to handle, slice, and add barbecue sauce, if desired.
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