Pork shoulder is mostly considered basic, frequently ignored despite its affordability. However, this cut of pork meat emerges as the preferable choice for slow-cooking pork recipes. The shoulder becomes a luscious and soft entrée when cooked at 250F or lower temperatures for an extended period, ensuring maximum satisfaction.
In this article, you’ll learn how to cook pork shoulder at 250F and benefit from all the goodness that this cut of meat has to offer when it is cooked slowly. Also, watch out for recommended cooking times and helpful tips that greatly enhance your final results.
Pork Shoulder Nutrition Facts
Tips for Cooking Pork Shoulder in Oven
The following tips should help you get really tasty results when cooking a pork shoulder:
Crisping the skin of your pork shoulder – If you’d like your pork shoulder to possess a more crispy quality, after cooking the roast at 250F for 6 to 8 hours undisturbed, remove the roast from the oven, increase the temperature to 500 degrees F, and return it to the oven for 15 minutes at the higher temperature.
The secret to tasty pork shoulder – Pork shoulder is a little trickier to prepare than pork loin. The pork shoulder can be cooked like a regular pork roast and eaten when the internal temperature reaches 145°F or 160°F, although the dense muscles and connective tissues will remain chewy.
The connective tissues will disintegrate, the muscle fibers will melt, and your pork shoulder will develop its notoriously rich and luxurious texture if you allow it to cook until it reaches an internal temperature of 180 F to 200 F.
Variability of the cooking duration – Shoulder roasts take different amounts of time to cook depending on the cut and how it’s prepared. Shoulder roasts will normally take 1 1/2 to 2 hours per pound at 250 F or lower.
Because a deboned and tied roast cooks faster, expect your cooking times to be on the shorter end of the scale. Bone-in roasts take longer to cook, especially if the thick rind of fat is left on to keep the meat from drying out. Those cooking times assume you’re cooking the roast to a fully done state to fully appreciate the flavor of the shoulder.
Other pork cuts that work – Pork shoulder and other similar recipes can also be made with a pork butt roast or Boston Butt pork roast, both from the shoulder area but a little higher up, but fundamentally the same cut of meat.
For pork shoulder roasts smaller than 6 pounds – If your roast is less than 6 pounds, reduce the cooking time by a few minutes. In a preheated 450°F oven, you’ll still want to start it on high heat. Roast the pork for 20 minutes, then reduce the heat to 250°F and continue to cook for 4 to 7 hours, or until an internal thermometer reads 180°F in the center of the roast and you can feel the meat is very soft throughout when you slide the thermometer in.
For pork shoulder roasts larger than 6 pounds – Use the instructions below as a guideline:
7-pound pork roast: Preheat the oven to 450°F and cook the pork shoulder for 20 minutes, then reduce to 250°F and cook for 7 to 8 ½ hours, or until the roast registers 180°F in the center.
8-pound pork roast: Preheat the oven to 450°F and cook the pork shoulder for 20 minutes, then reduce to 250°F and cook for 7 ½ to 8 ½ hours, or until the roast registers 180°F in the center.
9-pound pork roast: Preheat the oven to 450°F and cook the pork shoulder for 20 minutes, then reduce to 250°F and cook for 8 to 10 hours, or until the roast registers 180°F in the center.
10-pound pork roast: Preheat the oven to 450°F and cook the pork shoulder for 20 minutes, then reduce to 250°F and cook for 8 ½ to 10 ½ hours, or until the roast registers 180°F in the center.
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Cooking Time for Pork Shoulder in Oven
When cooking the pork shoulder in the oven, constantly monitoring the internal temperature is very important. The cooking time for pork shoulder is described in the table below:
|Cooking temperature||Cooking time|
|225 F||2 hours per pound of pork|
|250 F||7 – 8 hours, 90 minutes per pound|
|275 F||About 8 hours for a large pork shoulder|
|300 F||40 minutes per pound|
- Mix the garlic, anchovies, rosemary, salt, and pepper in a small food processor. Scrape down the edges of the food processor as you process the olive oil until it forms a paste.
- Remove the blade and whisk in the mustard with a fork or spoon. Refrigerate the pork shoulder for 2 to 24 hours after applying the paste all over it. and cover it loosely with plastic wrap.
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit and bring the pork to room temperature as the oven heats up. Put the pork in a shallow roasting pan and roast it for 30 minutes, uncovered, until the top begins to brown. Reduce the heat to 250°F and continue to cook, uncovered, for 6 to 8 hours, or until the center of the roast registers 180°F on an internal thermometer, and you can feel the meat is extremely soft throughout as you slide the thermometer in. If there is any fluid left in the pan, pour it into a heat-proof container, (a Pyrex measuring cup, for instance). While the pork rests, place the fluid in the fridge, where the fat will rise to the top.
- When the meat is done, if you think the exterior part of the pork shoulder roast could be a little more crusty or brown, increase the heat of the oven to 450°F and cook for another 15 to 20 minutes to give the outside a bit more crunch.
- Remove the pan from the oven and set it aside for 20 minutes. Pour the cooking liquids into a serving pitcher or bowl after removing the fat from the conserved juices in the fridge (warm it a bit in the microwave or in a small pot if you like). Slice the pork as thinly or as thickly as you desire, noting that the meat will at least partly break apart. Before serving, season the sliced meat with salt and leave the pan juices on the side to drizzle over.
This recipe yields delicious pork shoulder that can serve 12 people. The total cooking time is 8 hours and 20 minutes, with 20 minutes preparation time, 6 hours cooking time, and 2 hours marinating time. If you’d like even more ideas on how to prepare a pork shoulder roast and arrive at the most delicious results, check out this video recipe.