BBQ112/17: Smoked Goat Shoulder

BBQ112/17 – Smoked Goat Shoulder:

After cooking the goat leg I wanted to do the goat shoulder next. I had a look on Google and found a recipe by Brad McDonald. I remember eating Brad’s food at Meatopia and chatting to him about how he had prepared and cooked the dish, he seemed a really nice guy and I remember the food being great. The recipe was quite different to anything else I have cooked as it used treacle and matches the meat with a Cajeta (sweet caramelised goats milk) based BBQ sauce. I liked the sound of this one!

The Meat:

The goat shoulder was part of a half goat order from Cabrito Goat. I butchered it as documented on this page:

Butchery: Half a Goat

You don’t need to buy half a goat to cook this. Cabrito sell shoulders or you can add them to your Turner and George order too.

The meat looked great. Good quality and a nice colour it looked like it had been cut well 😉

Smoked goat shoulder

The Prep:

I made the Cajeta BBQ sauce the night before. The Cajeta is described as a “Mexican confection made from sweetened, caramlised goat’s milk – similar to dulche de leche.”

I put goats milk, sugar, a vanilla pod, cinnamon stick and salt in a pan then took it to boiling point. I added in a bicarb of soda and water mixed paste then simmered it slowly, stirring constantly for 55 minutes until it turned into a thick, caramel colour sauce that resembled toffee sauce. It felt a bit odd using goats milk as Cabrito sell goat meat to combat the issue of “waste” (male kid goats) from the goat milk industry. I thought cooking the goat shoulder would cancel out the goats milk and keep me goat neutral?

The BBQ sauce was made by mixing tomato ketchup, tomato puree, apple cider vinegar, yellow mustard, garlic powder, salt, water and light brown sugar in a pan on a low heat. I kept stirring it until it was the thickness of tomato ketchup at which point I mixed equal amounts of both sauces together.

Smoked goat shoulder

I lit half a chimney of lumpwood charcoal and whilst it was heating up I salted the goat shoulder.Smoked goat shoulderOnce the charcoal was up to temperature I poured it into the middle of the smoker on top of 2 bags of heat beads. I left it to settle and light the heat beads whilst I got the meat ready. 

I put on some latex gloves and applied the treacle all over, rubbing it in thoroughly.Smoked goat shoulderWith the treacle applied I added a good covering of pepper.Smoked goat shoulder

The Cook:

The smoker was up to 225F so it was time to put the meat on.

Smoked goat shoulder

As it was an American recipe I added a couple of chunks of hickory wood from Smokewood Shack.

After an hour the meat was taking on a good colour.

Smoked goat shoulder

2 hours in the treacle had dried out a bit but it was looking good.

Smoked goat shoulder

The recipe says 2 hours uncovered and 3 hours wrapped. I know from previous goat shoulders it’s going to take closer to 9 hours to hit 90C internal so I left it 3 hours unwrapped.

Smoked goat shoulder

After 3 hours I wrapped it in butchers pink paper.

Smoked goat shoulder

Back on the smoker for around 6 hours.

Smoked goat shoulder

After 6 hours wrapped (9 hours total) the meat was at 90C internal so time to come off and rest for a bit.

Smoked goat shoulderI opened it up – what a great colour! There was a gleam from the treacle.Smoked goat shoulderAs I moved the meat around it felt very soft. I was looking forward to pulling it apart.Smoked goat shoulder

That bone was crying out to be pulled out!Smoked goat shoulder

All the bones came out with no resistance but were also clean too.Smoked goat shoulder

Time to Eat:

The meat rested for about half an hour and it was time to pull it. As before, I prefer bigger chunks than thin strands so the meat doesn’t dry out as much. This came apart easily and was very moist. I sneaked a few tastes as I went along and it was fantastic! The meat has a sweet taste to it, minimal fat and very tender. The treacle and hickory really added to the overall taste too.Smoked goat shoulder

Smoked goat shoulder

I wasn’t quite sure the best way to serve it up. We had some wraps that need using up so I just put some refried beans in topped with the goat meat and some of the Cajeta BBQ sauce on top. Very tasty!Smoked goat shoulder


I enjoyed this cook as it was a bit different for me using the treacle and the sauce was new to me as well. Great to cook some meat that I had chopped myself, feels like an achievement making good use of half a goat!

The meat was great quality, easy to eat, nice and juicy plus the treacle with the hickory smoke worked well together. The Cajeta sauce was slightly too sweet for me but my wife enjoyed it. It’s a very tasty sauce but I just had a small amount. Plenty of meat and sauce for leftovers the next day which was a nice treat in the office!

Cook Equipment: Weber Smokey Mountain
Cook Method: Low and Slow
Charcoal: Heat Beads
Smoking Wood: Hickory
Cook temperature: 225F
Cook time: 9h plus 30m rest
Internal temperature: 90C



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