Crispy Pulled Pork Shoulder

By • July 15, 2014 • 10 Comments

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Author Notes: A simple slow-roasted pork shoulder, perfect for pulled pork sandwichesCara Nicoletti

Serves 10

  • 6 pounds bone-in, skin on pork shoulder
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons coarse black pepper
  • BBQ Sauce (optional)
  1. Using a sharp knife, cut the skin on your pork shoulder into a crosshatch pattern, leaving about an inch of space between the cuts. Be sure to slice through the layer of fat below the skin, but not into the meat.
  2. Whisk sugar and salt together and rub all over pork shoulder. Allow the shoulder to sit in the refrigerator, uncovered, for at least 24 hours and up to 72.
  3. Before cooking, rub black pepper all over the pork shoulder and allow it to sit out at room temperature for 1 hour to come up to temperature.
  4. Pre-heat oven to 275°F. Place shoulder in a roasting pan and cook until the internal temperature reaches 180° F to 190° F -- about 6 hours. Once it reaches this temperature, remove it from the oven and crank the oven up to 500° F.
  5. Cook, rotating every 5 minutes, until skin is blistered, crispy, and deeply golden brown -- about 15 minutes.
  6. Remove the shoulder from the oven and allow it to sit for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, remove the layer of crispy skin and chop it roughly.
  7. Pull meat away from the bones and shred it using a fork. Toss cracklings in with meat, season to taste, and pile onto a bun.
  8. Mixing with barbecue sauce is optional, but delicious. Get a recipe for homemade barbecue sauce here https://food52.com/blog/10485-how-to-make-all-natural-barbecue-sauce-from-scratch
  9. If you want to cook this shoulder on your grill, just place it over indirect heat (on a gas grill this means turning on the burners on one side and off on the other, and on a charcoal grill it means piling the coals on one side). Place a disposable aluminum drip pan under the shoulder to avoid flare-ups. Make sure your grill doesn't exceed 300° F or go below 150° F. Cook until internal temp is 180° F to 190° F, roughly 6 hours.
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Comments (10) Questions (0)

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12 days ago pvanhagenlcsw

This dish is outstanding. I placed a special order from my butcher and I ended up with the whole shoulder so now I have another roast in my freezer to the delight of my family and friends. My butcher did remind me that everyone at the butcher shop loves pulled pork! This was as tasty and succulent as one would have hoped. Thanks for sharing this.

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2 months ago Jacquelyn Russell Tunstall

I can only find a whole picnic at my grocery store. Its about 12lbs. Can this be used instead?

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about 1 month ago Cara Nicoletti

Cara is a butcher at The Meat Hook in Brooklyn, the blogger behind Yummybooks.com, and the author of Voracious, coming 2015.

Yes absolutely, Jacquelyn! Just double the recipe for the rub. The general rule is an hour per pound, so get it started in the early am!

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2 months ago barry strydom

Made this at work... stunning....

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about 1 month ago Cara Nicoletti

Cara is a butcher at The Meat Hook in Brooklyn, the blogger behind Yummybooks.com, and the author of Voracious, coming 2015.

So glad to hear that, Barry!

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2 months ago loubaby

I have made the Oven Barbecued Pork from this site with a 7 lb pork bone in shoulder and used 2 Tablespoons black pepper and it was fine...this sounds really good buying the skin on shoulder--I have to go to a Spanish Market usually for that and I will use the 2 Tablespoons Pepper cause I do like pepper...but I know not everyone does...thanks for sharing the recipe...

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3 months ago pamelaf

Two tablespoons of coarse ground pepper is way too much for a 6 # roast, and the pepper became way too prominent in the finished pork. Maybe this is an error in the recipe. I did use 2 T., but I would not do so again. Also, if you use a dry brine such as this, you will need to adjust the salt in your barbeque sauce. I used the minimum amount in my recipe, but the end result was still too salty.

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3 months ago Reengh

Oh I just finished the crispin' part-- this looks so good! Could never be a vegetarian:)

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3 months ago Reengh

Cook uncovered, yes?

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3 months ago Cara Nicoletti

Cara is a butcher at The Meat Hook in Brooklyn, the blogger behind Yummybooks.com, and the author of Voracious, coming 2015.

either way will work fine! If you do want to cover it with foil, just make sure you take it off when you blast it under the heat at the end so that the skin gets crispy