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May 15, 2012 01:24 PM

Boston Butt / Pork Roast , Roasted Low and Slow @ 200* for 8.5 Hours ( Pictures )

During my latest weekly shopping excursion, I spotted a very nice looking Boston Butt Pork Roast, rolled and tied and weighing in at 6.5 pounds. Prompted in part by a recent posters experience on a Bone-in Pork Sirloin Roast, where I made some recommendations, I decided to purchase this, roast it and share my results with you all here on Chowhound...Regrettably, I must admit that my suggestions were less than perfect for the other member....but hopefully they will forgive me and try the low and slow approach again...gaining some confidence in the method and credibility for me: 0) in the process.

The roast method was very simple.:

* Removed the roast from the refrigerator 2 hours prior to placing in the oven.

* Rinse the meat, and pat dry

* Seasoned with Kosher Salt and Fresh Cracked Black Pepper

* Preheat oven for 30 minutes @ 450*

* Place Roast on a rack into the oven @ 450* for 20 minutes

* Reduced the heat to 200*

* Set the Digital Temperature Probe for 160*

* Hit 160* in 8.5 hours total time including the 20 minute browning phase

* Oven temperature was reduced down to 140* and the roast was allowed to rest uncovered for an additional 2 hours

* The finished results, you can clearly see the fat and collagen was sufficiently melted and butter soft.

* The meat was white on one muscle and pink on the the other.

I recommend you give this a try....there is no need to bring the temperature to 190* as others suggest, unless you want the meat shredded. The meat was both moist and tender.

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  1. True, pork will be fully cooked at 160F. It won't be pullable until it hits 190F, but if you're going to slice and not pull, 160F is fine.

    1. Great looking roast fourunder. Pork shoulder really is the tasiest part of the tastiest animal, and somehow it's also the cheapest. Can you give out the details on what looks like a green chile sauce in your last photo?

      2 Replies
      1. re: RealMenJulienne


        Thanks for the kind words....and I agree with your thoughts on pork. This particular roast was priced at $1.49/lb., about half of what the regular price is when not on sale. For 10 bucks, it was a great meal.

        With regards to the was not a green chili sauce, but a mushroom & shallot sauce made with frozen reserved pork pan juices.....

        Shallots and White Mushrooms were sauteed in butter and Olive Oil. Reserved pork stock was used to deglaze the fond in the roasting pan. There were not any liquid pan drippings from the roast, due to the low temperature roasting. The fond was deglazed with the frozen reserved pork stock......then incorporated with the sauteed shallots and mushrooms. No flour, arrowroot or cornstarch was used, but you certainly could do so if desired. Seasoned with salt and pepper.

        If your desire is to make a green chili sauce......I would just add them instead of the mushrooms and follow the same steps.

        1. re: fourunder

          That's a classic, thanks for the sauce tip.

      2. Very nice, fourunder. Slightly undercooked for my taste but a beautiful job just the same. I'm gonna try this for a future family dinner (we do them monthly) when it's my turn again.
        Your plating is exemplary.

        7 Replies
        1. re: todao


          Thanks for the kind words....while I understand your preference for pork cooked longer, I will just like to say the white portion meat was probably more similar to your liking. I surmise the darker meat that roasted to a pink color is probably not. With that said, I recommend you roast no higher than 170* to give it a try and a chance.

          1. re: fourunder

            I've slow roasted maybe half a dozen pork shoulders this past year and have loved every one of them, but have been hesitant to try them at 160*. I'll give it a whirl on my next one, but I do have one question. Somewhere, someone (a chef) stated that it really wasn't safe to cook meat below 275* because the meat can't come up to temp quickly enough to stay out of the danger zone.

            You're obviously alive and well, so I'm wondering if anyone else has ever heard of this 275* warning?

            FWIW, the roasts I do are much larger and with the bone in, would this make any difference in the final temp?

            1. re: KSlink

              I'll simply say this.....most restaurant/commercial chefs think they are smarter than everyone else when it comes to cooking and food in general...... In the past 10-12 years, many books, periodicals and other published sources have printed varying temperatures as the best. i can only surmise this has to due with either reinventing themselves to be relevant ....or due to litigation. One of the more prominent manufacturers of low temperature cook and hold ovens is ...Alto-Shaam.. In the past, they used to recommend 225*, but now they recommend, or publish 250*, as the mark. The latter should sufficiently dispel or refute the chef's position. In the past, I used to reference Cook's Illustrated and their position searing or browning in the oven was not necessary, before or prior to placing in the oven, but I was informed by a former trusted and knowledgeable member that the National Beef Council cited that by not doing so it was not the proper food safety handling procedure to bring the roast to the safe zone. Subsequently, Cook's Illustrated revised all their future books and periodicals to represent the position and guidelines..... As a result, I now sear all small roasts and brown larger ones at 450* for 20-30 minutes to adhere to the safe food handling recommendations.

              For the record, this was for a boneless pork roast. Bone-In roasts, I do roast to 190-200*...In general, I roast until it;s done, which may take up 14-20+ hours depending on size.....but usually around 11-12 hours. You can reduce the time if you cover the roast with foil during the * stall phase *, but I do not take the effort.

              As for 275*.... it's fine, but I would tell you that the whole point of low and slow is the final results. I do not recommend anything over 250 for pork shoulders. If you can wait 7-8 hours, then you can wait 10-12. The extra time is worth it in the end..... and all you really are doing is putting it in the oven a couple of hours sooner.

              @275*, Its the temperature I use for small 12-14 pound turkeys......16+ pound turnkeys, I use 225*

              1. re: fourunder

                I'm getting hungry already...and the first sentence of your response broke me up, been in the biz about 30 yrs. now and truer words were never spoken!!!

                1. re: KSlink

                  and the first sentence of your response broke me up......


                  In the the best possible light....I consider them a necessary evil....much like eBay,.

              2. re: KSlink

                Forunder cooked it at 450 for long enough to kill surface bacteria which is the main culprit with a cut like this.

                Throwing a turkey in a 200 oven is a recipe for food poisoning. That's why many recipes have you cook the turkey at high heat and then go to 200.

            2. re: todao

              I agree, cutting into a pinkish pork roast would have me shoving it back in the oven. I really couldn't eat it. We have a tough time eating pork tenderloin that is supposed to be safe with a 'hint of pink'. But I do love the smell of a pork butt roasting away!

            3. Fourunder, I love when you do these types of posts, I have learned so much from you. Thank you. I am starving after looking at those pictures and dinner is nearly 4 hours away. :)

              1. I know this thread is old but I am hoping you will still respond.
                For an hour I have been cruising site to site trying to figure the BEST way to cook a >> 4.19 lb sirloin end bone in pork roast << my husband brought home yesterday, send the man for chopped meat he comes home w/ pork roast .... anyway, I haven't ever cooked this cut and need help.
                Any recommendations?

                13 Replies
                1. re: Saiorse

                  Two much time do you have and do you have a thermometer?

                  1. re: fourunder

                    Oh thanks so much for replying so soon!
                    I already have it out of the fridge. It has one of those store placed timers in it and I have a regular one but not one to put in roast as it cooks......... it's football Sunday so I have all day!

                    1. re: Saiorse

                      Don't rely on the timer in the roast unless you like your meat well done and dry. When you hit the 2.5-3.0 hour mark, just test the roast by pressing with your finger. It should be slightly firm and resilient with a spring back to shape.....not soft. Low temperature is really forgiving so it's hard to overcook the meat even if you leave it in for half hour too long. Conversely, if you are running short on time, you can raise the temperature setting for the last 20 minutes to put a slight char and crust on the roast..

                  2. re: Saiorse


                    The thread above will give you some ideas on how to roast at different temperatures....and what concerns to look out for. I generally roast this cut at 225-250 depending on time. If you have four hours available, this is what I do. Without removing from the oven, you can simply turn the oven down to 140-170 and you should not have any issues with pink meat near the bone.

                    My preference for slow roasting is simple....the meat cook more evenly and is more tender. At 250, you can expect the roast to take a minimum of 2.5 hours...probably 3.5 hours though. Your target temperature should be 145-150 depending on how you like your meat.

                    As for seasoning....I prefer simple Kosher Salt and Fresh Cracked Black Pepper.

                    1. re: fourunder

                      so, no searing first right? And will this have any pan juices for a gravy or should I come up with something like a sauce? I really appreciate your help. My husband loves roasted pork, he will be a happy camper even if his team loses today lol

                      1. re: Saiorse

                        I would probably sear a small roast like yours....right in the same pan I place in the oven. The ribs make their own rack.

                        Large's easier just to brown first in the oven....There really is no right or wrong.....just whether you mind cleaning the stove or not from the oil splatter and the smoke. to consider.

                        1. re: fourunder

                          Thanks so much. I will let you know how it turns out !

                          1. re: Saiorse

                            btw....I forgot to add with such a small roast and low temperature roasting, you will not have much in the form of pan'll probably need to come up with reserved stock to make a gravy...or a sauce.

                      2. re: fourunder

                        Sorry to revive an old thread. I have a 1.5 pound bone-in shoulder. At 250F, how long should I roast it for?

                        Edit: I do not have a thermometer and have about 3 hours tops.

                        1. re: zhiliang

                          Is it a roast, or a steak? 1.5 seems too small to be a roast with a bone. How thick is the meat?

                          1. re: fourunder

                            About 1.5 inches looking from the side?

                            1. re: zhiliang

                              The problem I see is that if you decide to roast as is, the bone is going to hamper the the cooking time and final result. the meat near the bone will not cook evenly and will be pink or bloody while most of the other meat is cooked through. The bone itself does not improve the roast in this instance., as there is not much meat around it.

                              If you were to remove the meat from the bone, @ 250*, it would probably reach 155 in 90-120 minutes, or even as soon as 60 minutes.. My general formula for estimation of time is about 50 minutes per pound for larger roasts. Allowing for unknown variables. 2 hours cooking time and 1 hour rest gives you a minimum 3 hours. If the roast hits your target sooner than expected, just hold it longer. I always try to hold my roasts for a minimum 2 hours, as I believe the longer resting time aids in tenderizing the meat....whether it is pork, beef, veal or turkey.

                              If you do go along with my suggestion to remove the meat from the bone....both will cook more evenly and more quickly. You can gnaw on the roasted bone....or save it for a soup or Sunday Gravy.

                              1. re: fourunder

                                Thank you kindly. I have heeded your advice and separated meat and bone, both are now in the oven at 250 for 2 hours. I might save the bone to make some stock :) Will update with the result, I did my first shoulder roast at 325 for an hour (abt 1lb) and it turned out pretty well, I expect this will be better!