The Meat

1 (8 pound) pork shoulder roast
1 quart apple Juice, or as needed

The Rub

5 tablespoons white sugar
5 tablespoons light brown sugar
2 tablespoons kosher salt
2 tablespoons paprika
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 onion, chopped
3 cups hickory chips, or more as needed, soaked in water


  1. Place pork shoulder in a large pot and add enough apple juice to cover.
  2. Combine white sugar, brown sugar, salt, paprika, onion powder, black pepper, and garlic powder in a bowl. Mix about 1/4 cup sugar rub into cider; reserve remaining rub.
  3. Cover pot and refrigerate for 12 hours.
  4. Prepare smoker to about 210 degrees F (99 degrees C). Add enough wood chips to smoker.
  5. Pour juice brine into the water pan of the smoker; add onion and about 1/4 cup more sugar rub. Spread remaining rub over pork shoulder. Transfer pork to the center of smoker.
  6. Smoke pork until very tender, about 8 hours. Monitor hickory chips and liquid, adding more wood and water, respectively, as needed. Transfer pork to a large platter and cool for 30 minutes before shredding with forks.