Sweet and Savory Overnight Roast Pork

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Merrill Stubbs

Serves: 8 to 10
Prep time: 45 min
Cook time: 8 hrs


  • 1 4-ib boneless pork butt (from a butcher you know, well-marbled, and with a good layer of fat on top)
  • 3 pinches or more Kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped thyme leaves
  • 3 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground chipotle (plus more to taste)
  • 3 pinches or more freshly ground black pepper
In This Recipe


  1. Tie the pork butt with twine in several places so that it cooks evenly. Salt it generously all over and let it sit at room temperature for about an hour.
  2. In the meantime, combine the maple syrup, brown sugar, mustard, thyme, garlic and chipotle powder in a small bowl. Add a few pinches of salt and several grinds of pepper.
  3. Heat the oven to 475° F. When the pork is at room temperature and the oven is hot, smear the sugar, mustard and garlic mixture all over the pork, concentrating a good amount of it on the top of the roast, where the fat is. Nestle the pork (fat-side-up) into a roasting pan or cast iron baking dish just big enough to hold it, and put it in the oven. When you start to smell garlic and sugar burning, and after no longer than 15 minutes, turn the heat down to 200 degrees. (Do not open the oven door to peek!)
  4. Leave the pork in the oven overnight, for at least 6 hours and up to 8. When you wake up in the morning your house will smell intoxicating, and the pork will be ready to shred and pack up for lunches for the whole family -- all you need is a soft roll and some coleslaw or pickled fennel, or a big pile of mashed potatoes.

More Great Recipes:
European|American|Mustard|Pork|Thyme|Maple Syrup|Make Ahead|Slow Cook|Cast Iron|Entree

Reviews (93) Questions (7)

93 Reviews

Linda M. January 1, 2019
Made this for New Years Day!! The smell is intoxicating throughout the night!! Love love love this!! Will be making it again!! Thanks so much!!
IngridHeather October 24, 2018
I have a bone-in pork butt I got from Butcher Box. Can this work with a bone-in roast?
The P. October 24, 2018
Janice May 3, 2018
Any suggestions on how to make this for 80 campers/staff?
Mark O. May 5, 2018
EASY but it takes some work. As Troop Chef for more than 1 Boy Scout troop And a member of the Council Cook Team, If you are truly camping:<br />1. Figure out how many pork butts you need.<br />2. Get 1 cast iron Dutch Oven per butt. Prepare the butts as per recipe. Put into the Dutch oven, cover the top with heavy duty tin foil and place lid on top of tin foil. This creates a very good seal.<br />3. Old School Pot Hole Cooking Method (This method pre-dates the Revolutionary War) - Dig a long wide hole big enough to comfortable place all you Dutch Ovens with plenty of room to spare. (The bigger the hole the better. Reserve the dirt.) Line hole with rocks. Build a fire on logs over the hole. Keep the fire going until the hole is filled with ashes, cinders, and coals. When the hole is filled dig out holes in the ashes, place the Dutch Ovens in the ash holes, cover the Dutch Ovens with ashes. Cover the ashes with the dirt you save from digging the hole.<br />4. Leave the pork in overnight or at least 8 hours or just leave in the ground until you get ready for dinner. (Believe me, the residual heat will keep the food cooked and warm.)<br />5. Dig out the Dutch ovens and remove meat, shred and serve. Guaranteed done to perfection.<br />NOTE - Cooking method may be found in very old recipes for Pot Hole Beans. Those come out just Yummm! too. Just a variation of Hawaiian luau pig cooking, New England clam/lobster bake, etc., etc.<br />
ezachos November 21, 2017
Making me think my oven’s having temp troubles: the meat wasn’t even close to being tender and pullable, and while the outer crust was very tasty, it was also HARD. Add that the delicious rub barely infused the meat at all...so bummed!
pimimond July 12, 2017
Made this exactly as directed but with a 5 lb bone-in roast with a nice ring of fat on it. It never wanted to get about internal temp of 170 but it smelled so great we sliced it up and ate it anyway. I made a reduction sauce with the pan juices, rendered of the fat, chicken broth, and marsala. The next day, heated again, it got more tender and made amazing sandwiches. I took what was left and am very slowly simmering a tomato-based pasta sauce with carmelized onions, white wine, and chicken broth. I'm going to serve it with paparadalle topped with grated parmesan. I'll let you guess how THAT will turn out! Merrill, I love all your recipes!
Bill M. November 30, 2018
You hit 'The Stall' something that is very common in smoking dense meats. The stall can be accelerated by a few methods but can still take some time. I have had brisket take 10-12 hours through a stall before it starts to raise the meat's temperature. If you want it "pull apart", you will need to hit 200+ internal meat temp. Anything below that and it will be slicing (I would make sure that internal temp hits at least 185 for slicing) and let the meat rest 30-40 minutes under foil (preferably in a cooler with towels filling in the air gaps inside cooler. Resting the meat will allow all juices to redistribute. No resting: you probably had most of the juice on your cutting board. Your reheating the following day allowed the meat to reach a higher temp (smaller cut of meat cooks faster and you probably had this on higher temp to re heat).
Dflip January 23, 2017
Chipotle will give you more heat and a smoked flavour. There is also smoked paprika which will give you the smoked flavour, but with the same heat as paprika. You are adding so little here, I don't think it will make a big difference.
Nancy M. January 23, 2017
I was wondering if this version of the recipe i.e. with chipotle vs the paprika (from the cookbook) would work for pork tacos? There is another pork recipe specifically for tacos in the cookbook that uses a different combination of spices. Just unsure what to do.
The P. October 30, 2016
I used a boneless rolled skin on leg. I scored the skin before I put the marinade/glaze on it. I, then, pulled it with two forks and stored it in the fridge. When I wanted to serve it I re-heated it in a sauté pan with some homemade BBQ sauce. I served it on toasted brioche rolls with red cabbage coleslaw and Brie. It was amazing!!
Lindsey August 23, 2016
I've made this recipe multiple times with success and have also adapted it to a more "lazy" way of cooking. I tend to use 9lb bone in pork shoulders, cook only at 200, double the rub and I leave the lid on the Dutch oven when cooking. Falls apart and is delicious. I reheat leftovers in the drippings.
AntoniaJames January 4, 2016
I made this recently. Overall, people liked it, but the next time I make it, I'm going to use the "reverse sear" method in this Genius recipe: https://food52.com/recipes/32581-lynne-curry-s-prime-rib-with-mustard-and-herb-butter (which recipe I used for our Christmas roasted beef). <br /><br />Searing first and then slow cooking this pork roast resulted in somewhat bitter pan juices, which I'd like to avoid. Stay tuned. ;o)
Jennifer O. December 24, 2015
Any recommendations for how to store and then reheat this if I won't be serving right away? I plan to have it cook overnight and be done with it by the morning but won't be serving until the evening. Thanks!
Mark O. December 24, 2015
Instead of cooking it overnight, I cook it during the day so it will be ready for dinner. If you have to cook it overnight, wrap it tightly in heavy duty tin foil and refrigerate. Reheat in the foil at a low temp.
Amy February 5, 2016
When we reheat our pork roast, we place in a large pan, sprinkle with apple juice and like Mark cover with aluminum foil and reheat at a low temp.
Lorenzo December 20, 2015
not my favorite it was tasteless and dry too bad i tried it at a dinner party!
bakedziti November 13, 2015
Ok. It's 6:30 a.m. 8,5 hours of cooking. Looks and smells great. But don't want this for breakfast. What can anyone suggest as far as reheating this beautiful hunk of meat for consumption in the early evening?
SD November 9, 2015
I want to make this, but the butcher that I know, is not well-marbled, with a good layer of fat on top! :) <br />After reading all of these reviews, I'm dying to try this recipe.
gabby November 7, 2015
Flavor was bang on. Butcher deboned a roast for me (out of boneless) so it needed extra twine. I left it in the oven for about seven hours because 5am is a ridiculous time to get up and deal with a butt. (Has anyone tried the skin crisp with this method? I've done the serious eats recipe a few times and its awesome ... http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2011/12/ultra-crispy-slow-roasted-pork-shoulder-recipe.html)
kwade October 5, 2015
Hi. I would slice thin and put on a well-buttered soft roll. And, you could add to the slow cooker with a low sodium, good quality teriyaki sauce and a cup of water, until it will pull apart.
barbara C. October 5, 2015
can i just put all this in the slow cooker?
Karen October 13, 2015
Yes! I made this today for the first time and it was delicious! I put it in my crockpot in the morning because I didn't want to keep the oven on all day while I was out. It created about 1 1/2 cups of juices. I took the meat out while I made mashed potatoes, and poured the pan juices into a 2-cup measure and let them cool so the fat would separate. Then I put about 1 1/2 cups chicken broth and 1/2 cup of apple cider in a saucepan and boiled it down by about half. Then I discarded the fat from the pan drippings and added the drippings to the broth. I thickened the gravy with a corn starch slurry and added a couple tablespoons of apple cider to the gravy, as well as some fresh thyme. It was the best gravy I think I have ever made, and the pan drippings made it so rich! My family loved this and I will make it again.
Suzanne D. October 14, 2015
Hector L. October 5, 2015
julianne: Why not try several things? Pasta sauce. BBQ sauce. Look up a recipe for Vaca Frita. Flavor canned beans with some. Or green beans. Or rice. Stuff into tamales. Or pocket pies. Add any herb or spice a dab of butter and dash of stock and process into a spread. Stuff any vegetables with the spread tomatoes, zucchini, celery... or serve on toast. Use to flavor any soup. Or Faux Pho =Asian noodles. Slice it, dry it further; powder it and use as a spice (see Sal de Jamon). Feed what's left to the dog.
julianne July 30, 2015
I've made this two times before with GrEAT success. My new oven cooked it at 300 degrees for 8 hours! Any suggestions of how to salvage this rather dry meat. All juice, gone. But I hate to throw it away. Pasta sauce? Juice it up with stock/juice/wine?? Thank you
James C. October 6, 2015
Try 200 degrees. If your oven cooks at 300 buy an oven thermometer so you get a true reading.. 200 for 8 to 10 hrs. might be your solution. Or you can tent it with aluminum Foil tightly to hold in the moisture.
Kimberly W. March 9, 2015
After 3 tries I've got this!! And, will use this recipe forever. So versatile & flavorful and easy! I follow the directions pretty close with a few minor tweaks that I think are needed due to differences in oven temps. On the 3rd attempt, i bought an almost 5 lb roast, with more dark meat, than my previous ones. I cut the roast in half to have maximum crispy edges. I prepared exactly as written, after 7 hours on 200, I added 3/4 c. of water, a lid and increased to 325 for 2 hours. The result is magical! It<br /> shredded and it was even better than my 1st attempts where there was not shredding. I served with bakery hogie rolls & a chopped Thai salad - a total crowd pleaser. I used my le cruset this time too.
Kristopher S. May 26, 2015
I have to admit, your comment saved the day. I pulled roast after 8 hours. Internal temp was over 160, but it was not even close to shreddable. I put it in a Le Cruset with the pan drippings and about 3/4 cup of water, turned the oven up to 350 and cooked covered for two more hours. Result was awesome. Fell apart easily. Very tasty. Given this last step, I'm wondering if I could have gotten the same result with 2-3 hours less oven time. Maybe roast for 4 hours, then an additional 2 hours covered?
kwade October 5, 2015
Just seeing your comment now! So glad to see I could assist! It's the time of year I'll be making this more often. Happy cooking : )
Robert W. January 24, 2016
Thanks for posting this. I've done this recipe about 6 times with varied results, usually getting delicious and tender but not shred-able pork, and hesitated to keep cooking and possibly dry it out.