What Are the Best Tips for Roasting Pork Shoulder?

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  • Written By: Lori Kilchermann
  • Edited By: Lauren Fritsky
  • Last Modified Date: 22 November 2019
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One of the best tips for roasting pork shoulder is to cook it for a long time. A good pork shoulder should be cooked for five or six hours to properly tenderize the meat and create a fall-off-the-bone treat. Another tip when roasting pork shoulder is to score the skin side of the meat to create cracklings on the finished roast. Rubbing salt on the pork's skin aids in the formation of the cracklings and creates a nice crust on the finished pork roast. A tip for setting oven temperatures when roasting pork shoulder is to begin with an uncovered roast in a hot oven and then switch to a cooler oven and cover the dish for slow-roasting.

Roasting pork shoulder can be intimidating if attempting to do so for the first time. The complex cut of meat requires several hours of roasting time to break down the connective tissues and create a tender and delicious meal. One of the best tips concerning roasting pork shoulder is to take a minimum of six hours to cook the meat. The roast should be left uncovered to brown in a 425°F (about 220°C) over for no less than 30 minutes. Once browned, the oven should be turned down to 325°F (about 170°C), the pan should be covered with foil and it should be allowed to roast for no less than four and one-half hours.


When roasting pork shoulder with the skin attached, a tip to produce the best cracklings is to score the skin with a knife. The skin should be sliced through until the score reaches approximately halfway through the fat layer under the skin. Once scored, rubbing salt on the skin is one method of creating a thick crust on the finished meat. The tip here is to use kosher salt and to actually hold the scored skin open to allow the salt to get inside.

Once the roast has cooked for four and one-half hours, it should be taken out of the oven and removed from the roasting pan. A tip to get the roast out of the pan without a mess is to use two firm spatulas to lift the roast. The drippings should be removed from the pan, saving a small amount to add as lubrication for vegetables. Carrots, celery and onions can be placed into the bottom of the pan and the roast can be placed on top of them. The pan should then be placed back into the oven, where the roasting pork shoulder is cooked for another hour.


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