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pork shoulder is tough-- keep cooking or deal with it?

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first time making braised pork shoulder. I seared it first and then put all of my seasonings and liquid in a La Creuset casserole. I put it in (convection oven) for about 5 hours @200. I checked it out today and it seems pretty tough. Oh wise ones, should I put it back in the oven?

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  1. Do you know how accurate the temperature setting is? If, for example, it was closer to 160 than 200, there may not have been enough heat to 'melt' the connective tissue. BBQ sources talk about needing an internal temp of something like 190deg for 30+ min.

    How about liquid in the casserole?

    Is there skin on the shoulder? What is that like?

    2 Replies
    1. re: paulj

      I have a new Blu Star, so it should be pretty accurate. Do you think I should put it back in there? That wouldn't make it tougher, would it? Maybe I should put it in for another 1 or so @250? There is skin, but it was really only on one section. Liquid was in the casserole. I did just realize that it was uncovered for part of the time. is there a way to recover this? It smelled amazing while cooking.

      1. re: cookingthatworks

        If you cover it, and have liquid, IT WILL EVENTUALLY FALL APART. I PROMISE YOU!! Although at 200, it might take more like 8 hours, depending on how large it is. If part of the pork dried out because it was exposed, turn it upside down to submerge the dry part.

        I cook a lot of pork and you could easily bump it up to 225. As the other posters are stating, unless the internal temp gets high enough, for long enough, the collagen and other stuff in the pork won't break down (when that happens, the pork gets tender).

        Good luck!

    2. Did you check the internal temp? It should have been around 185-190ish. How big was the roast? Here's my favorite recipe that perhaps you can check your technique and see if anything screams at you. I'm guessing too low an internal temp but who knows?

      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/582610

      1. Forgot to mention that it's the Will Owen recipe that I cook.

        1. You need to get that roast back into the oven......five hours @ 200* was simply not enough time. Now that it has been cooled, depending on when you wish to serve the roast, I would increase the temperature to accelerate the cooking process, When you can tug at the bone and it separates from the meat...it's done.

          When I cook a 6-8 pound pork shoulder in a conventional oven @ 225*, it usually takes at least 10 hours.

          1. I usually figure close to 1 1/2 hours per pound at between 225-250. I cook them then to an internal of approx 190-200. They are falling apart then.

            1. sounds raw to me. cook it to an internal temperature that you've researched, not an oven temp/time thing.

              as others have stated, if it's not 180 for slicing, 195 for pulling, it's not done. don't let anyone tell you otherwise. i've never heard of anyone overcooking a shoulder, so don't listen to that either.

              you'll likely be enjoying it for breakfast tomorrow. let us know how it goes.

              1. update: success! thanks for the tips. you guys are great. With about 3 hours in at 225, it was/is awesome!

                1 Reply
                1. re: cookingthatworks

                  So glad it worked out! If you don't have a meat thermometer, you might want to consider one. Digital and can be had for under $15, I'm pretty sure. For meat cooking, it's THE most indispensable things I have.