Slow Roasted Pork Shoulder

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Slow-Roasted Pork Shoulder recipe, a must-have for any gathering! Slow-roasted in the oven until the skin reaches a shatteringly crisp texture and the meat achieves melt-in-your-mouth porky perfection, this dish is sure to impress.

For this specific pork cut, we generously season it with coarse Kosher sea salt up to 2 days ahead. Consider it a dry brine that enhances the skin’s crispiness and infuses the meat with flavor. While optional, I highly recommend this step if time allows.

Side photo of Slow Roasted Pork Shoulder used on a pulled pork sandwich with red cabbage slaw and pickles off in the background. Mean Green Chef
  • Versatility: Pork shoulder is a versatile cut that can be used in various dishes such as roasts, stews, tacos, sandwiches, and more.
  • Flavorful: Pork shoulder has a rich and robust flavor, making it ideal for slow cooking methods that allow the meat to become tender and absorb flavors.
  • Economical: Pork shoulder is an affordable cut of meat, making it a budget-friendly option for feeding a crowd or meal prepping.
  • Moisture: Pork shoulder has a higher fat content compared to other cuts, which helps keep the meat moist and tender during cooking.
  • Feeds a crowd: Pork shoulder is typically sold in large cuts, making it perfect for feeding a group of people or for batch cooking meals to enjoy throughout the week.
  • Leftovers: Cooked pork shoulder leftovers can be repurposed into various dishes such as tacos, sandwiches, soups, and salads, making it a practical choice for meal planning.

Guidance for Handling Pork Shoulder

Pork shoulder is a dream to work with, due to the location of the cut (obviously the shoulder) it gets a lot of blood flow. Which means it’s loaded with flavor and cooking it slow allows this tough cut of meat to shine. It’s also significantly cheaper than pork loin per pound.

You’ll find this cut separated into 2 primal cuts; butt (also known as Boston butt) and picnic. After years of preparing both, we’ve found that both cuts cook beautifully with the method. The butt is slightly meatier and bit more tender, but both have dynamic flavor and I’d cook with either cut.

Roast Pork | Mean Green Chef

Try to get a cut that still has the skin and bone attached, and a thick fat cap. These keep the meat moist throughout the long cook time and add major flavor too!

  • Slow cook the pork shoulder in a 250°F/120°C oven or on the grill over indirect heat until the internal temperature reaches 180°F/82°C, typically about 8 hours. This method allows for a “set it and forget it” approach, with the meat becoming incredibly tender and easily pulling away from the bone.
  • Once cooked, remove the pork from the oven and tent it with foil, allowing it to rest for 1-2 hours. Then, increase the oven temperature to 500°F/260°C and return the pork to the oven to roast until the skin is crackling and crisp. After removing from the oven, let it rest for 20 minutes before shredding the meat from the bone using two forks. Optionally, chop up the cracklings and add them to the pulled pork or enjoy them as a snack.
  • Season the meat to taste with Kosher salt and pepper, and top with sauce if you like. It’s amazing piled high on a soft bun, topped with slaw!

Preserving the Flavor: Proper Storage of Pulled Pork for Extended Freshness

Storing pulled pork properly can help maintain its flavor and texture for future enjoyment. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Cooling: Allow the pulled pork to cool down to room temperature after cooking. Avoid leaving it out for too long to prevent bacterial growth.

  2. Divide and Conquer: If you have a large batch of pulled pork, divide it into smaller portions for easier storage and reheating. This also helps in maintaining freshness as you only thaw what you need.

  3. Airtight Containers: Transfer the cooled pulled pork into airtight containers. Glass or plastic containers with tight-fitting lids work well. Make sure the containers are clean and dry before adding the pork to prevent contamination.

  4. Refrigeration: If you plan to consume the pulled pork within a few days, store it in the refrigerator. Properly refrigerated pulled pork can typically last for 3-4 days. Ensure that the refrigerator temperature is set below 40°F (4°C) to prevent bacterial growth.

  5. Freezing (Optional): For longer-term storage, you can freeze pulled pork. Place the pulled pork into freezer-safe bags or containers, removing as much air as possible before sealing. Frozen pulled pork can maintain its quality for up to 3 months.

  6. Labeling: Properly label the containers with the date of storage to keep track of its freshness. This helps you identify how long the pulled pork has been stored and when it should be consumed by.

Shelf Life: When stored properly in the refrigerator, pulled pork can last for 3-4 days. If frozen, it can maintain its quality for up to 3 months. However, for the best flavor and texture, it’s recommended to consume pulled pork within a reasonable timeframe.

By following these storage guidelines, you can enjoy the succulent flavors of pulled pork for longer periods, ensuring that it’s always ready for your next meal or gathering.

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How to Make Slow Roasted Pulled Pork

Slow Roasted Pulled Pork

Our Slow Roasted Pork Shoulder is perfect for any get together! Roasted low and slow in the oven till the skin is shatteringly crisp and the meat is melt in your mouth porky bliss!
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 8 hours
Total Time: 8 hours 5 minutes
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 8 hours
Total Time: 8 hours 5 minutes
Servings: 12 people
Author: Mean Green Chef

Ingredients

  • 1 8-12 lb whole bone-in, skin-on pork shoulder
  • Kosher sea salt

Instructions

  • Generously salt the pork roast with coarse Kosher sea salt, place back in the fridge up to 2 days. (optional but increases flavor) 
  • Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 250°F/121°C. Line a baking sheet with heavy-duty foil and set a wire rack on top. Place in the oven and roast until the until you can insert a fork with no resistance, about 8 hours in total.
    Side photo of Slow Roasted Pork for pulled pork sandwiches. Mean Green Chef
  • Once the pork is cooked pull it from the oven and tent with foil, allow it to rest for 1-2 hours. Then increase the oven to 500°F/260°C, return the pork to the oven and roast until the skin is crackling and crisp. Remove from the oven and allow it to rest for 20 minutes, then shred the meat from the bone with 2 forks. 
    Overhead photo of Slow Roasted Pulled Pork in a gray Dutch Oven with sandwich off the the side in the background. Mean Green Chef

Notes

  • Safely store leftover pork in the refrigerator 3-4 days.
  • To freeze, package in flat heavy-duty freezer bags then wrap in heavy-duty foil. Will store safely 6-8 months depending on how well it's been packaged. 
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Creative Recipe Inspiration

Ham Hock Stock, is a rich and flavorful base perfect for enhancing soups, stews, and sauces. Made with tender ham hocks, aromatic veggies, and fragrant herbs, this stock adds depth and complexity. 

Texas Pinto Beans – a hearty and flavorful dish that’s a staple of Texan cuisine. Slow-cooked with savory bacon, aromatic spices, and a touch of smoky chipotle, these beans are simmered to perfection for a rich and satisfying meal.

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    Join the Conversation

    1. This looks yummy, particularly for the fall months coming up. The tips on getting the best cut of meat are also appreciated.

      1. Thanks, Patrice, glad the tips were helpful too! 🙂

    2. I love how much detail you provide in your recipes, it’s very helpful! The next time I head out to the store I’m picking up a Pork butt & going to try out! Printing the recipe right now 🙂

      1. Awesome, Simone! I hope you love it as much as we do 🙂

    3. Oh my goodness, I was drooling as I was reading this. Can’t wait to try this amazing roasted pork shoulder recipe. Just perfect!!!! I bet it falls off the bone after it’s slowly cooked.

      1. Thank you so much, Sonila, it’s fall off the bone goodness! 🙂

    4. Hi Angela! This looks amazing! Do you know if the process would be similar in a roaster (like a Traeger)? I’ve been wanting to make something like this for a long time but didn’t know how!

      1. Thanks so much, Heather! If you’re referencing a Traeger grill then I would imagine the cooking time would be increased to about 20-30 minutes depending on the size of the squash. Let us know how it turns out!

    5. My mouth is watering! This slow roasted pork shoulder looks spectacular. This would be something to cook on Sundays and use up during the week!

      1. Thank you so much, Jacqueline! Definitely perfect for eating throughout the week 🙂

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