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Temp for a 7hr dutch oven pork roast

Hi Chowhounds! I've been viewing your community for a while now, and I'm glad I joined. Love the web site! I got my first dutch oven (lodge cast iron), and I'm cooking for a party at my place Friday (< 2 days). And It's going to cook while I'm at work. So, about 7 hrs cook time. Is that too long for 350? Should I take it down to 300? Even lower? I'll be picking it up tomorrow. I was looking for a 7-8 pound range bone in, but I'd be willing to go as high as 9 lbs (I can't be picky: small town, not much selection). It's to feed 6 people, and to have left overs for me during the semester.

Secondary question: This is how I plan to cook, does it sound good? I'll put a rub on it and let it season over night. Rosemary, thyme, anise, fennel, garlic, salt, pepper, paprika, sage, maybe a packet of onion gravy mix. After browning veggies, and roast add white cooking wine, chicken broth, and water (two cups total liquid) to dutch oven. Or, should I not marinate, and just brown it, and add the seasonings to the broth, wine mix? Is that enough liquid, or too much? Thanks for helping the noob!

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  1. i would cook it at a lower temp for that long a time. 275 even?

    as to your second question, i think you have a lot of conflicting seasoning there, for me. i would maybe get rid of the paprika, sage and onion gravy mix (the latter for sure) and keep the rest. you're not putting your veggies in for 7 hours, are you? i think they will be a bit mushy. but maybe at that low a temp they'll be ok.

    your pork should be super tender! have a great party!

    1. I would absolutely not bake something for 7 hours and not be home to monitor it. It's not worth the possible fire risk.

      1. Are you roasting a fresh ham or shoulder?

        1. 250-275, but agree should not cook with no one at home. If you have a Crock pot, I'd do everything you were planing in that rather than the oven unmonitored. No need to marinate, but I would brown it first.

          2 Replies
          1. re: NavyMom89

            +1 on all counts.

            Roast it at a lower temp. I agree on 250-275

            Absolutely brown it first. That's where all the flavor is. I'd still rub it with salt, pepper, garlic and briwn sugar the night before.

            And DONT leave something cooking in your oven unattended, especially for 7 hours.

            Also skip the "cooking wine.". It's vile stuff. Use a drinkable real wine or just stock/broth

          2. Just me, but I would trust my home oven better than a crockpot.......the latter catching fire before the oven would. I regularly roast Pork Shoulder overnight while I'm sleeping.....I'm home, but not monitoring it at all.

            7 hours at 350 would make the roast inedible and the vegetables like baby food. A covered braise will also cook much faster than uncovered.....I suggest even lower at 200-225.

            1 Reply
            1. re: fourunder

              This.

              Roasting uses dry heat, while braising uses moist heat, such as is created in a dutch oven when liquid is added. It sounds as though you actually want to braise the meat.

              If cooking for that length of time, you need to use an appropriate cut of meat. It needs to be high in fat and connective tissue, because they will help to retain the sensation of the meat being moist, even as it cooks for a long period. If you use a lean cut, the meat will be dry after 7 hours, even if braised. A pork shoulder is fine.

              Once the surface has been browned, there's no need for it to be cooked at anything higher than a temperature sufficient to denature collagen into gelatin. That occurs over a range of temperatures, but 160F (which is higher than strictly necessary) can be used.

              If you cook it at 350F, you'll destroy it. It 'fall off the bone', but only because you'll have annihilated the protein so thoroughly that no structure or texture remains. Even if you do cook it at a low temperature (<200F), I doubt that it will retain enough structure to carve it. As FED said, it's going to be pulled pork.