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Dec 18, 2009 06:56 AM

pork shoulder question

i want to cook a pork shoulder this weekend, pernil style. all the recipes call for 6-8 pounds, but i can only find cuts that are 2-3 pounds. will it work with a smaller cut? how do i adapt the recipe?


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  1. Yes, you can use a smaller cut, just adjust the seasoning or not depending on how much of it you like...keep in mind that it will cook faster than the larger cut so I'd recommend using a thermometer to keep it from drying out. Cook at the same temp for a shorter time and it'll turn out fine. Good luck!

    4 Replies
      1. re: rubys

        I cook my pork shoulder, as Pernil, at 300*. I bet you could even do it lower than that. I put a little water or stock in the bottom of the roasting pan, something my Dominican ex-roommate taught me. I temp it but also check the bone, when it wiggles very loosely, it's done.

        1. re: bushwickgirl

          I cook mine at around 200 and remove it when the internal temperature is 171 - 6 hours for a 6 lb roast, so perhaps 3 for a 3 pounder.

        2. re: rubys

          I cook mine at 325F. degrees and cover it with foil. When it's nearly fork tender, I uncover it and turn it up to 350F. to get the crusty can cook it at a lower temp if you want but I see no need personally....

      2. By coincidence, last weekend I had friends over for pulled pork that I had done in the slow cooker. I used 1 cup balsamic vinegar, 1 cup orange juice, then rubbed the meat with salt pepper and smoked paprika and garlic. It, too was a little smaller cut, and it was done in less time than the recipe called for.

        But now you've got me thinking about making pernil with this not so healthy but delicious cut of meat. I think that Mark Bittman's instructions here on simply how to tell when it's really ready, whatever seasoning you're using, would make sense to follow.

        Feliz Navidad