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Nov 10, 2008 01:01 PM

Cooking Pork Shoulder (or anything) Low and Slow in Gas Oven - Risky?


I have a thawed pork shoulder with a nice chile rub already on it ready to be cooked tonight for tomorrow's dinner. It won't fit in my slow cooker, and I'd prefer to do low and slow (200-250 for 8-9 hours) in my oven vs. 350 for shorter duration. However, my wife is a bit nervous about having the old gas oven in our apartment on at such a low temp while we sleep, for fear that the pilot could go out.

Is this fear justified? If so, has anyone had luck cooking pork shoulder (bone-in) at relatively higher temps for 30 min/pound, as recommended on the packaging it came in from Fresh Direct?

Thanks in advance.

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  1. If the pilot light fails on your oven the gas valve safety device should render the system safe.

    Take a look at:

    High temperatures will produce a tighter and crustier outer layer on your roast. Slower temperatures will not give you that flavorful advantage.
    This recipe might interest you:

    As for cooking times, they're simply a guide. You can never rely exclusively on "X minutes per pound" to determine when your roast is at its best. Use a meat thermometer (preferably instant read) to make those decisions. If you have (or can get) one with an alarm that informs you when a specific temperature is achieved you're likely to appreciate that convenience. Any time you get something with one of those pop-up sensors, either throw it away or ignore it. They are inherintly inaccurate and, in my exprience, tend to produce an over cooked roast/turkey, etc., than anything worthy of serving.

    2 Replies
    1. re: todao

      Fantastic. I assume cooking with fatty side up is the way to go.

      1. re: KevinM76

        If I were going to do the low and slow method I would probably reduce the fat layer by about half. Yes, I would start it with fat up and use at least a low rack to avoid having the roast sit in a fat bath during the cooking cycle..

    2. I've cooked things overnight in my gas oven while I slept and have not had a problem, but I understand the concern. You could crack a window if it would make you feel better.

      I've also had good luck cooking a bone in pork shoulder at 350. I followed (more or less) the Zuni procedure for a boned butt, but it worked the same bone in. It took about 3 hours for a 5 pound roast to get super tender. You don't even need to sear it. Just preheat the pan along with the oven and slap it on the hot pan. Turn once. If you use a good size pan, you can throw in potatoes and other veg to roast and baste with the meat.