So you have a nice, big, beautiful pork shoulder, but don’t quite know what to do with it. This large, very cost-effective piece of meat is great for feeding a lot of people, or a family for many meals. It is also great for freezing, so eat some now and freeze the rest for later.

When it comes to pork shoulder (A.K.A. pork butt), there are so many amazing ways to cook it. It can be smoked, cooked in an instant pot or pressure cooker, slow cooker for pulled pork, sous vide or even sliced into steaks and grilled.

pork shoulder with herb rub

My go-to “set it and forget it” method is to slow roast the shoulder using a low-temperature oven. A digital probe thermometer is essential to not having to stress or even open the oven until it’s actually done cooking. Applying a garlic-and-herb marinade paste the night before really infuses those flavors deep into the meat, but doing it an hour or two before while the meat comes to temperature (tempers) is just fine, too. Especially since it will be roasting for such a long time.

Once you have it cooked, there are virtually endless uses for this succulent pork. From slicing and eating like a holiday roast to shredding and crisping up in a pan for tacos, enchiladas, or salads, sandwiches and everything in between. Even eat it for breakfast, as pork and eggs — might be even better than bacon. Maybe. 😉

It’s like a prime rib roast, but not even close to being comparable when it comes to cost. Pork shoulder is way cheaper, and one of the best things is you really can’t mess it up. There aren’t many pieces of meat that are this delicious and can feed this many people for less than $1 per person. This 11-pound pork shoulder (pictured in this post) was just $16 on sale. Crazy, right?

roast pork shoulder at 180 degrees

“Low and slow” the roast to perfection. And perfection to you might be different than perfection to me. Maybe you like it “fall-apart tender” for shredding, or maybe you like it a little firmer and sliced thin. The longer you cook it, the higher the internal temperature will reach, resulting in a more tender and “fall-apart” meat. For a standard “roast,” bring it to a finished temperature of 185 degrees F. For fall-apart pulled-pork perfection, continue to cook it until the internal temperature reaches 195 to 205 degrees.

Either a Bone-In or a Boneless Pork Shoulder Will Work

While some may say the bone adds flavor, I generally opt for boneless pork shoulder because it is all usable and you don’t have a bone to deal with. If you do have a bone-in roast, removing the bone with a boning knife after it is cooked is super easy. It should just slide right out if it is cooked enough.

roast pork shoulder overhead

Useful Tools & Equipment

Pro Tips for Roasting Pork Shoulder

  • Score the Skin: Create a crosshatch pattern by scoring the skin with a sharp knife. This helps render the fat for crispy crackling, enhances the presentation, and allows the marinade and salt to penetrate the meat better.
  • Use Ample Salt: Don’t be afraid to generously season this large cut of meat with kosher salt.
  • Temper the Meat: Allow the pork shoulder to come to room temperature before roasting, which can take a few hours. This promotes even cooking throughout.
  • Prep for Easy Cleanup: Double-line your baking sheet with heavy-duty foil to prevent rips and make cleanup easier.
  • Elevate the Roast (Optional): Placing the pork shoulder on a wire rack allows hot air to circulate underneath, but it’s not strictly necessary for a successful roast.
  • Ventilate During Cooking: Turn on your kitchen’s vent hood or crack a window to help exhaust the delicious aroma while roasting.
  • Roast Overnight (Optional): If you don’t have time during the day, you can roast the pork shoulder overnight while you sleep and enjoy it the next day.
  • Serve Warm: Due to the high-fat content, pork shoulder is best served warm when the fats are rendered. Reheat leftovers in a low oven or crisp them up in a skillet before serving.

Meal Plan Your Week Around This Roast Pork Shoulder

You can easily get a week’s or more worth of meals out of one large roast. From slicing and eating like a holiday meal, to making tacos, pulled pork sandwiches, to other endless options (check out all our leftover pulled pork recipes. It’s fun to see the variety you can come up with and it’s so much less work on busy weekdays. And still have some leftovers to freeze.

Perfect Sides for Your Pork Roast

roast pork shoulder with potatoes and green beans
sliced roast pork shoulder on cutting board

Roast Pork Shoulder

Garlic and herb-crusted, roasted pork shoulder is a craveable delight that effortlessly feeds a crowd or provides multiple delicious meals. The low and slow roasting method gives a heavenly combination of crispy, flavorful crackling on the outside and meltingly tender, juicy meat on the inside.
5 from 9 votes
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Course: Main
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 7 hours
Total Time: 7 hours 15 minutes
Servings: 20
Calories: 133kcal
Cost: 17.00


  • 6 to 12 pound Bone-In Pork Shoulder (this one is 11.6 lbs)

Garlic & Herb Rub

  • 4 Chopped Garlic Cloves
  • 2 tbsp Chopped Fresh Rosemary
  • 1 tbsp Chopped Fresh Thyme
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 2 tbsp Diamond Kosher Salt
  • 2 tsp Sugar
  • 2 tsp Ground Black Pepper


  • Make the rub by combining the ingredients in a small bowl or use a mortar and pestle to make it into a paste.
  • Pat the pork shoulder dry with paper towels and trim off any excess fat. With a very sharp knife, score the fat side with a 1/2" crosshatch pattern going all the way through the fat, but not into the flesh.
  • Make the garlic and herb rub by combining all the rub ingredients in a small bowl.
  • Apply the rub evenly over the pork shoulder. For best flavor, refrigerate overnight uncovered or let it marinate at room temperature for a few hours.
  • Preheat the oven to a low 275° F / 135° C.
  • Cook the roast: Place the pork roast on a double foil-lined rimmed baking sheet or roasting pan and then into the oven. You can also use a wire rack to set the roast on so the air circulates all the way around.
  • When the internal temperature of the roast reaches 175° F, remove it from the oven. Use an instant-read probe thermometer to verify doneness.
  • Rest uncovered for at least 30 minutes. The temperature will rise another 5 to 10 degrees.
  • Optional sear for even crispier skin: If your roast didn't get super crispy, you can sear it in a hot oven for a short period of time. After resting the pork shoulder for 30 minutes, preheat your oven to 450° F. Place the roast back in the oven to sear. This will require rotating every 5 minutes or so until it is seared on all sides: 10 to 20 minutes total depending on your oven.
  • Serve it by slicing it against the grain or shredding it. Serve warm.


  • Temper the meat (bring to room temperature) before roasting. This will promote even cooking.
  • Either a bone-in or boneless pork shoulder will work.
  • Cook time will be approx 35 to 60 minutes per pound in a 275° F oven (yes, there are a lot of variables of cook time). This 11.6 pound shoulder took 6.5 hours.
  • For pulled pork, cook until the internal temperature reaches 200°F-205°F.
  • Rest uncovered and unwrapped to preserve the crispy skin.


Calories: 133kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 16g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 56mg | Sodium: 761mg | Potassium: 292mg | Fiber: 0.1g | Sugar: 0.4g | Vitamin A: 29IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 16mg | Iron: 1mg
5 from 9 votes (1 rating without comment)

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  1. This sounds great. I’m going to make it tomorrow. I want to roast it to slice and eat that way first. I plan on shredding the leftovers for pulled pork sandwiches later. I’m not sure how long to cook it. It is a bone in shoulder weighing 8.54.

    1. Hi Shanna,

      That sounds great. For the cook time, figure approximately 60 minutes per pound for a bone-in shoulder in a 275° F oven. Do you have a meat thermometer. Definitely is best to just cook to the temperature. If you do plan on shredding it, cook it to around 203° F so it easily shreds. For slicing, roast it to around 175° F. Cheers!

  2. This sounds so delicious and easy. Can I use my electric roaster? so I can free up my oven? I can put it in my oven to crisp it up after it rests. I want to make this for Easter.

    1. It definitely is both of those things.
      Yes, you can use an electric roaster. I have used my Breville countertop oven numerous times to cook one of these. Let me know if you have any other questions.

      1. 5 stars
        I just wanted to thankyou for this wonderful pork roast recipe. I roasted it in my electric counter top roaster, and followed your recipe exactly as written. The roast was so flavorful, moist, and tender. I served it on Easter with your sauteed green beans. Everyone raved how good the dinner was..thankyou again.

        1. I am so happy to hear that, Debbie! Sounds like a seriously wonderful holiday feast.
          And countertop ovens do such a great job with roasts. Highly under rated. Cheers!

  3. 5 stars
    I’ve made this several times. It’s absolutely delicious! The only problem I have is that the cut takes FOREVER to cook through. So I always cut the roast in half and basically cook them side by side.

  4. 5 stars
    I made this bot cut slits for small whole garlic cloves. Rubbed with remaining rub ingredients. Cooked and froze part. My son came in late night and made “delicious pork sandwiches”. Enough said. It was sooo good. Very versatile. Can go southern pulled pork, Caribbean pork, Mexican carnitas. Thank you for a great recipe!

  5. Any suggestions for making for a large crowd maybe 50? How many roasts would I need to do? Just serving in a bun for a drop in no other sides.

    1. Hi Ardina. That sounds delicious! I figure around ¾ pound (12 ounces) of uncooked pork shoulder per person (for a boneless pork shoulder) since there will be fat that gets trimmed off or is melted away. So you would need around 37 pounds of pork shoulder for 50 people. I would imagine you would still have some leftovers, so be sure to check out my leftover pulled pork recipes. Cheers!

  6. This recipe sounds amazing. And all the comments make it sound even better. I’m a beginner cooker you could say. So I need all the help I can get is there any kind of video that I can watch that would help me figure this out? Or is it as easy as it says mix the ingredients then rub it all over and pop it in the oven? Nervous don’t want to mess it up. Thanks

    1. Hi Liz! Sorry I don’t have a video for this one, but yes, it is as easy as it sounds! Just follow the basic steps and it’s going to come out great!

  7. 5 stars
    Sooooo Good!
    I made this for a Sunday roast and it was delicious – it made even my brothers happy (normally they only sing praises for chicken nuggets and chips!).

  8. 5 stars
    Absolutely incredible. My husband was DYING over the amazingly flavorful and perfectly cooked crust. Super moist inside. I DID baste twice in the last couple hours of cooking but that’s the only thing I did differently than instructed. This will be a staple for sure!

  9. 5 stars
    I made this roast last night and it turned out so moist, tender and delicious. I normally do not comment on recipes but this is 10 stars worthy hands down. Thanks for sharing.

  10. 5 stars
    Get a photo? I would be forced to beat the vultures back with a wooden spoon. Family were burning their fingers to snitch pieces of the roast during the 30 minute resting period! The whole time it was in the oven they were wandering past me, “That sure smells good” Tasted fantastic, thank-you!

  11. Should I cook thick fat side up or thick fat side down the best results?

  12. Hi there, for a smaller roast, would you know the approximate length of time for roasting? I think the one I want to make is about 4 lbs. I’m sure it is still doable just for less time?

    1. Hi Sherilyn! Yeah, still totally doable and. yep, just less time. 35 to 60 minutes per pound. Should be about 3 to 4 hour, but go based off of temp and not the time. I hope it comes out great!

  13. Going to try tonight but can you estimate the timing? Is this 7 hrs in the oven for 11 lb roast? Thank you!

    1. Hi Elizabeth,
      Yep. that’s about how long it should take. But it’s all about the temp and not necessarily the time. I hope comes out perfect. 🙂

  14. 5 stars
    I made this tonight for my family and they all loved it! Thank you so much, this was so delicious! Next time I’ll take a picture and share.