How to cook pork shoulder

November 13, 2023
by Nadine F. In de keuken

    Pork shoulder, available in bone-in or boneless options, is a versatile and comforting meat that effortlessly complements a variety of cuisines. Discover the art of cooking pork shoulder with this easy guide, and explore a range of delicious recipe ideas.

    How to cook pork shoulder

    Pork shoulder can be cooked in a number of different ways depending on whether it’s boned or boneless, and whether you’re preparing it as a whole joint or cutting it into smaller pieces.

    Pork shoulder cooking time

    If you’re looking for a speedy and delicious way to cook pork shoulder, try slicing it up and pan-frying, cooking it for 6-7 minutes per side. Alternatively, cooking a pork shoulder in the oven will take 30 minutes, plus an additional 30 minutes for each half kilo. When preparing a pulled pork recipe, the cooking time for the pork shoulder will typically range from 2 to 4 hours. The exact duration depends on the size of the joint and whether you’ve opted for a boned or boneless shoulder of pork.

    All cooking appliances vary. These are guidelines only. Ensure the food is piping hot before serving. Do not reheat.

    Cooking safety precautions

    When it comes to cooking pork shoulder safely, it’s important to make sure that it is cooked both thoroughly and correctly. To check if the pork shoulder is fully cooked through and safe to eat, you should measure the thickest part of the cut with a thermometer, making sure it meets 76°C for at least 30 seconds.

    How to roast pork shoulder

    If you’re cooking roasted pork shoulder on the bone, this simple recipe (for a 2kg pork shoulder) will give you great results.

    1. Remove the pork shoulder from the fridge an hour before cooking. Preheat your oven to 220°C or equivalent.
    2. Score lines across the pork skin, around 1cm apart, cutting through the skin to the fat, but not reaching the meat. Rub the skin with sea salt, making sure to get the salt into the score lines you’ve just made.
    3. Place the pork shoulder in a roasting dish and roast for 30 minutes – you should see the skin start to puff up. After half an hour, turn the heat down to 170°C, cover firmly with two sheets of foil, and roast for another 4.5 hours.
    4. Once cooked, baste the meat with some liquid from the bottom of the tray, transfer to a serving dish, cover with foil and leave to rest for 15-20 minutes.

    How to cook boneless pork shoulder

    Here’s a simple boneless pork shoulder recipe to try.

    1. Remove the pork shoulder from the fridge an hour before cooking. Preheat your oven to 220°C or equivalent.
    2. As above, score lines across the pork skin, around 1cm apart, cutting through the skin to the fat, but not reaching the meat. Rub the skin with sea salt, making sure to get the salt into the score lines you’ve just made.
    3. Place in a large roasting tin and roast for 25 minutes. Reduce the heat to 180°C, and roast for a further 25 minutes per 500g, plus an extra 30 minutes. 45 minutes before the end of the cooking time, baste with the juices from the bottom of the pan and cover with foil if the crackling is becoming too dark.
    4. Check that the juices running from the meat are clear and not pink. Once cooked, transfer to a serving dish, cover loosely with foil and rest for 15 minutes.

    How to fry pork shoulder

    For a faster way of preparing boneless pork shoulder, slice it into thick steaks and pan-fry them for a meal ready in minutes.

    1. Season the pork shoulder steaks on both sides with salt and pepper. Drizzle a frying pan with oil, and place over medium-high heat.
    2. Once hot, add the pork steaks and cook, turning occasionally, for between 8 and 10 minutes. The steaks should be cooked until they are no longer pink inside and reach a minimum internal temperature of 76°C for at least 30 seconds.

    How to boil pork shoulder

    Cooking pork shoulder in a simmering pan of water on the stove will achieve a succulent and flavorful joint.

    1. Remove the pork from the fridge half an hour before cooking. Pat dry with paper towels.
    2. If you prefer, you can sear the pork shoulder. Heat oil in a large pan over medium heat and cook the pork joint until it is sealed on all sides.
    3. Place the pork in a large saucepan and cover it completely with cold water. The water level should be a few inches higher than the top of the meat. Heat over medium-high until boiling, while skimming and discarding any foam that forms on the surface.
    4. Once boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer, cover with a lid and cook for 20 minutes per 500g of weight.

    What to serve with pork shoulder

    Enhance your Sunday dinner with a pork shoulder roast, perfectly complemented by classic sides and a generous serving of apple sauce. HelloFresh’s recipe development manager Mimi Morely loves cooking pork shoulder and recommends accompaniments such as sautéed kale or cabbage and creamy spinach. These green vegetable sides beautifully complement the flavours of the main dish. Try cooking up some homemade chips – either using regular potato or sweet potato – or buttery corn on the cob. In the autumn, the combination of apples, pears and plums all pair well with pork shoulder, as their sweetness and slight acidity help to cut through the pork fat.

    Pork shoulder recipes

    Explore these mouthwatering pork shoulder recipes to kick-start your culinary journey.

    You can also find plenty more kitchen inspiration on the HelloFresh blog – take a look for more meal ideas and recipes!

    What is pork shoulder?

    As the name suggests, pork shoulder comes from the leg of the pig. It’s a fairly inexpensive joint which, as it’s so muscular, has the potential to become tough if not cooked in the right way. You can buy your pork shoulder with the bone in or boned and rolled. You can also buy pork shoulder with the skin on or off. Pork shoulder steaks are also an option, or you can cut your own!

    All food products vary. The instructions printed on the food packaging always supersedes those printed in this article and must always be followed.
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