Right when you wake up in the morning, remove the shoulder from the fridge and allow to come up to temp on the counter.
Blend together your spices-- always include salt, and about 1-1.5 tsps of whatever else you're using. Rinse the shoulder and dry well with paper towels, and then rub in the rub. Allow to rest for 15-30 mins while you get lunches packed and your hair dried.
You can also now chop up your aromatics (smashed garlic cloves, quartered or smaller onions, carrots in 2" chunks) and put in the bottom of your crock pot. Select your braising liquid/s.
Get a braising pan or a skillet (cast iron is great for this) hot with some oil (olive has too low of a smoke point; use coconut or sunflower instead.) Sear the outside of the pork shoulder until it is just browned, about 2 minutes per side.
Transfer the shoulder to the crockpot nestled on top and among the veggies, and then cover only about half way up with a braising liquid. You do not want the pork shoulder to be submerged or even mostly covered, otherwise it'll get tough-- the steam from the liquid will slowly cook the shoulder but not boil it.
Set your crock pot to low for 6-8 hours, but if you can, check on it occasionally if your crock cooks fast. When it's done, the meat will fall apart and shred easily with a fork and knife. Remove the roast from the juices and shred it with fork and knife, removing any gristle and discarding as you work.
Strain the juices and try to remove much of the fat that collects on top-- quick popping it into the freezer or pouring it through a fat separator will do it instantly. Pour some of the juices back onto the meat and serve warm, with or without a few tbsp of BBQ sauce. Also freezes really well in zip lock bags for an quick weeknight dinner.
We served this with a quick homemade Mac n' Cheese: cook 1.5-2 cups of pasta according to directions, reserve a 1/4 cup of the water when draining. Melt 2 tbsp of butter in a pan, and when it foams add in 2 tbsp of flour. Whisk constantly, cooking off bitter taste, for about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in 1 cup of milk until thickened. Whisk in 1-1.5 cups of grated cheese (cheddar, smoked cheddar, gouda, asiago or a mix.) Put pasta back into cooking pot and add in most of the cheese mixture and the reserved cooking liquid, stir to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Serve alongside pulled pork for a true Southern feast.