Easy Roasted Pork Shoulder

I’ll be honest, this post is more about the pictures than the recipe.  Because seriously, Vegetarians aside, who doesn’t love looking at photos of roasted meat?  Not this chick, I could stare at these pictures all day!  It’s like a beautiful, meaty landscape where crispy crust meets tender, succulent shreds of porky goodness!  And of course I actually got to eat it – the memory of which almost brings a tear to my eye.  It was pork-tastic! Excuse me while I indulge this memory with a moment of silence……

Soooo you’re probably wondering how you can recreate this masterpiece of Porcine perfection, and the good news is, I’m here to tell you!  This recipe is so easy, there is no excuse not to be putting this on your dinner menu ASAP!  All you need is time – for some of you that will mean making it on the weekend but it’s totally worth it I promise!  And once you shred the meat, it can be used for all kinds of delicious dishes. 

I served it to our guests with corn tortillas, salsa verde, chopped cilantro, lettuce, sliced avocado, Greek yogurt and shredded cheddar cheese.  It was a huge hit!  Since I’m doing the Whole 30 this month I ate mine salad style with no dairy – it still tasted amazing! 

I ate the leftovers cold out of the fridge for 2 days and then I put the rest in the freezer where it’s destined to turn into a green chili sometime later this month.  You don’t have to go the Mexican route either – this would be equally tasty served alongside Cheesy Cauliflower Puree and your favorite vegetable side dish or salad.

Recipe Ingredients:

8-10 lb pork shoulder

Spice rub:

2 Tbl Salt
1 Tbl pepper
1 Tbl cumin
1 Tbl onion powder
2 Tbl garlic powder
1 Tbl dried oregano

Combine all of the ingredients for your spice rub in a small bowl.  Remove pork shoulder (or other pork roast) from packaging and rinse under cold water.  Using your hands, pat the dry rub all over the surface of the meat.  Place in a large roasting pan skin side up.  Roast in a preheated 500 degree (F) oven for 20 minutes.  Reduce heat to 300 degrees and roast for an additional 30 minutes per pound. 

Total cooking time for an 8lb roast should be about 4hrs and 20 minutes.  Remove the pork roast from the oven and let rest for 30 minutes.  The hard outer shell should lift right off like a cap and can be broken or chopped into delicious meat chips!  The meat should be tender enough to pull apart with forks.  Shred, adjust seasoning if necessary, and serve!

Approximate nutrition information per 4 oz serving:   275 calories, 15g fat, 0 carbs, 33g protein


  1. Rachel says

    So I was the guest….. Loved it!!! Greek yogurt was a great idea and definitely do the salsa verdae! I think it made for a great evening : ) Thanks Melissa!!

  2. says

    Oh, my, that’s gorgeous. I did one a couple weeks ago, too. I just have to eat some of the crispy crust, too. My Dad and I always said that was just about as good as sthe meat underneath…….maybe even better! :) Your spices here sound good together, too. I’ll have to try this!

  3. says

    I have a 10Lb pork roast that was given to me…but it doesn’t have any skin on it. Do you think this recipe would still work with those temps even though there’s no skin? Thanks…looks like it was delicious!

    • says

      As long as it’s a fatty cut you should be fine! If it’s a pork loin and really lean, you make have to cook it a little less. In this case a meat thermometer is definitely your friend!

  4. Don Wan says

    I guess I’m an idiot because I removed the skin/fat from my 8lb Pork Shoulder before searing it. It’s not finished cooking yet so I don’t know how it turned out. I figured they left the skin/fat on it to make it weigh more (more weight = $$) I seem to recall seeing other recipes that called for removing the skin but I could be mistaken. Anyway, thanks for the recipe! Maybe I’ll leave the skin on next time we’ll see. i know it was a pain to remove that’s for sure (very thick and tough not to mention ugly!)

    • says

      You should be OK Don – there is a lot of fat in the shoulder already so it will hopefully not dry out too much. I usually leave the skin on because the fat renders out (and into the meat nom nom) and it gets crispy and delicious, it also protects the meat from drying out during cooking – just a thought for next time!

  5. Frankie says

    Hi Melissa,
    I’m making this tonight, but am not searing the meat since I figure the high temp for 30 minutes is all that is necessary for searing.
    But I don’t know if I should put the 4lb cut on a rack to keep it off the bottom of the pan.
    what do you think?

    Love you site, BTW. I’ve made some truly wonderfully tasty culinary delights!


      • Frankie says

        well, I don’t know. Maybe because the pork shoulder was from a pastured pig, the whole thing sort of seized-up and got all tight and rubbery. Not to fear! I’m always up to a challenge. So, I stuck it in a dutch-oven, tossed in some onions, a small amount of chix broth, covered it and let it cook another 4 hours at 275°.
        It was one of the most delicious pieces of pork I’ve ever had; pull apart tender.

        Thank you for your wonderful recipes Mellissa. And a Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.


  6. Stefanie says

    Found this recipe today and trying it for the first time. It’s only been in the oven 20 minutes and it smells amazing! Can’t wait to taste. Thanks for the recipe.

  7. Vee says

    This picture just melted my mouth jus by looking at it, so l have decided to do this for my Christmas dinner instead of the beef rib joint. l will let you all know how my Christmas dinner go. you all have a wonderful Christmas and please don’t drink and drive……:)

  8. Tracy Rodriguez says

    This is similar to how I make Pernil. Mine has a little more seasoning. I cut slits in it and stuff with slices of fresh garlic and a little sofrito. The fresh garlic and sofrito and the dry seasoning (same as yours, but I don’t measure) goes on the day before and I let it marinate with the spices in the fridge for 24 hours before cooking. Pernil is the best pork roast. Ever.

  9. Andrea says

    This is by far the best (and easiest) roast recipe I have ever tried. Everyone in my family loves it. Thank you so much

  10. DGay says

    I am putting mine in the over in a few minutes. This is my first time on your blog, but not my last. I’ve lost 187 lbs by cutting carbs alomst entirely out of my diet and so now I look for yummy low carb ideas for meals. Wish me luck.

  11. gwmax44907 says

    hi hiMellissa,

    Although a good cook, i never cooked a picnic shoulder before. (my 8 lb. shoulder was given to me)

    Like Don, I removed the skin before I was finished reading the complete recipe.

    Glad i did not throw it in the trash because after searing, I draped the largest part of the skin back over the top, then turned temp down to 300° F.

    As with a all my pork roasts, I coated roast with a thin layer of vegetable oil & used dry onion soup mix as the rub.

    I also placed the roast in a “V” shaped cooking rack over a lasagna pan. (I use the drippings for gravy)

    I have another 3 hours before it comes out of the oven.

    Serving with Au Gratin potatoes & broccoli with cheddar cheese sauce. (if i would have thought in advance, i would have baked a loaf of bread)

    Thank you for the cooking technique, I would have not known how to cook this without you !!!

  12. Adam says

    I have a 10 lb shoulder to roast. I have seen that a lot of other people cover it for part of the time. Do you ever cover it?

    • says

      I don’t Adam because I like the skin super crispy and it’s a fatty enough cut not to dry out uncovered for the entire time. That being said it won’t hurt anything if you do cover it!

  13. Cynthia says

    Bought a 9lb pork butt roast @1.05 a lb I had to! Never made one before so found your blog. Am making it tonight. I’ll be sure to post the results tomm. It smells delish. Wont be done until around 9 pm. Ugh lol

  14. Cynthia says

    OMG! this was soooo simple and so delish, this is definitely a regular dish I’ll be making, thank you so very much!


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