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boneless pork shoulder - how long?

j
jenking13 Jun 27, 2008 01:12 PM

I have an 11lb. boneless pork shoulder. I put some liquid smoke on it and a great rub. I'm making a BBQ sauce for pulled pork sandwiches. I have seen that I should cook it anywhere between 5 and 10 hours?!? HELP! It's currently in the oven at 325. It's actually two fairly evenly sized pieces - will that make a difference in how long it cooks? Or do I still consider it to be an 11 lb piece? Any suggestions for how long and at what temperature?
thanks in advance.

  1. mrshankly Aug 1, 2008 10:34 AM

    I have smoked pork shoulder and also cooked it in a crock pot, and I loosely adhere to 1-1.5 hours of cooking time per pound of pork cooked slowly at low temps (225-250). Foiling the meat will accelerate the breakdown of the connective tissue (the stuff you want to break down so the meat gets tender) and decrease the cooking time. A good option would be to by a probe thermometer and use it to gauge exactly where you are with the cooking times rather than rely on phyiscally testing the meat if you're unsure. And as others have said, it's virtually impossible to overcook pork shoulder.

    1. s
      SSqwerty Jun 30, 2008 07:38 AM

      I faced this just yesterday. My husband rubbbed an 8-lb pork shoulder with rub and cooked it in the oven at 250. We had no idea how long it would take. Ultimately, it took 8 hours and we cooked it to 195 degrees. I know that sounds overcooked, but it was perfect. The outside was a little charred and the inside "pulled" like a dream. No doubt it would have tasted better on a hickory-stoked smoker, but the oven heat was nice and even so the pork turned out sweet and moist.

      From now on I'm going to figure one hour per pound and start taking its temperature from the halfway point onward. That means that when I buy it, I'll know how long to cook it --approximately-- by its weight. Eight lbs. will take approx. 8 hours, and I'll start checking with a meat thermometer at 4 hours, looking for 195.

      This roast was much too big for 8 people, BTW. It would have fed 16 easily. Next time I'll buy a smaller pork shoulder, like 4-5 lbs. and we won't sit around all afternoon waiting for it to be done, either.

      2 Replies
      1. re: SSqwerty
        e
        ElissaInPlaya Jul 4, 2008 11:10 AM

        If I do a pork shoulder like this, in the crock pot - how long should it cook for?

        Should I add the bbq sauce at the beginning or the end?

        1. re: ElissaInPlaya
          DiveFan Jul 4, 2008 06:36 PM

          The cooking time in a crock pot is about the same. I've found that after 3/4ths of the time you should check the meat for doneness; it will go from to firm to falling-off-bone surprisingly quickly.
          Serve the sauce on the side, Never add to the cook pot.

      2. todao Jun 27, 2008 07:24 PM

        I'll have to agree with rahnsibley. Covering the smoker or BBQ by closing the lid would be OK but I wouldn't wrap it in foil. And I'd cook it VERY slowly; slower the better, looking for a proper interior temperature to signal when it's done rather than setting a time. Anywhere between 225 and 250 degrees would be a temperature I'd look for in the cooking environment. Cooking a pork shoulder or other cut for pulled pork allows for a lot of flexibility. It's still very good (some say even better) if it's cooked a day ahead of time and refrigerated until time to prepare the sandwiches.

        1. r
          rahnsibley Jun 27, 2008 04:30 PM

          I have never covered (wrapped a pork shoulder) but I have wrapped a beef brisket in foil. I would vote for no foil. In the oven it should cook in five to six hours; on a wood fired bar-b-que the longer the better.

          1. DiveFan Jun 27, 2008 03:10 PM

            Cook it........................................................................until it is done :-).
            I can't remember ever Overcooking pork shoulder.
            I vote for 275 degrees. Check every half hour by poking. If your finger goes in one half inch, it's done about right.
            You must have a great butcher, I've never come across a boneless piece that big.

            1. j
              jenking13 Jun 27, 2008 01:53 PM

              Thanks for the advice. I forgot to mention that I have it covered in foil - my recipe said to cover it tightly and cook for four hours but that would have been for a 4lb shoulder. I'll check it at 5 hours, like you said. Should I leave it covered?

              1. j
                jeanmarieok Jun 27, 2008 01:30 PM

                I'd drop the temp to 275, and check it at 5 hours, to see if you can pull it apart with a fork. If you can't, put it back in for another 45 minutes to an hour.

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