Roast Pork

Roast Pork slices and broccoli on a plate, and Roast Pork on a platter

The Spruce Eats / Christine Ma

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 3 hrs 25 mins
Rest: 15 mins
Total: 3 hrs 50 mins
Servings: 6 to 10 servings
Yield: 1 roast
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
686 Calories
50g Fat
1g Carbs
54g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6 to 10
Amount per serving
Calories 686
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 50g 64%
Saturated Fat 18g 90%
Cholesterol 205mg 68%
Sodium 315mg 14%
Total Carbohydrate 1g 1%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Total Sugars 0g
Protein 54g
Vitamin C 1mg 6%
Calcium 57mg 4%
Iron 3mg 17%
Potassium 782mg 17%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This roast pork is a snap to prepare and cook. All you need is about 10 minutes for prep work and then you can do other things (or put your feet up) while it roasts to tender, juicy perfection. Simple pantry spices flavor the pork shoulder perfectly but feel free to add your own special blend of seasonings. Crushed red pepper flakes, dried herbs, paprika, or a seasoned salt blend are excellent options.

The pork starts at a high temperature for a brief time to give the surface browning a head start, and then it roasts low and slow. Plan on about 40 minutes per pound, or look for an internal temperature of 180 F to 205 F, depending on whether you want to slice it or shred it. While leaner cuts such as loin or tenderloin can become dry after they reach 145 F, the pork shoulder needs to be roasted to a higher internal temperature to render the fat and break down the connective tissue. If you have a bone-in pork shoulder roast, plan to add about 30 minutes to an hour to the cooking time. Either way, the longer roasting time is worth it!

Since the pork is roasted at such a low temperature, plan to make side dishes on the stovetop. Serve pork roast with boiled or mashed potatoes or sweet potatoes, steamed vegetables, and a salad for an extra-special meal. Roast pork makes an excellent Sunday dinner as well.

"The seasonings may be simple, but this recipe creates an utterly delicious pork shoulder roast with a crispy crust. It’s a great prep-it-and-forget-it main dish that produces minimal kitchen mess and lets you take on other tasks for a few hours while it roasts." —Colleen Graham

Roast Pork - Tester Image
A Note From Our Recipe Tester


  • 3 to 5 pounds boneless pork shoulder roast

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons coarsely ground black pepper

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder

  • 1 cup chicken stock

  • A few sprigs of fresh herbs, such as rosemary and thyme, optional

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Roast Pork ingredients in bowls

    The Spruce Eats / Christine Ma

  2. Take the pork roast out of the refrigerator 30 minutes before roasting. Place the rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 450 F.

    boneless pork shoulder roast on a platter

    The Spruce Eats / Christine Ma

  3. Dry the pork roast with paper towels and then rub with olive oil.

    Boneless pork shoulder roast covered in olive oil on a platter

    The Spruce Eats / Christine Ma

  4. In a small bowl, combine the black pepper, garlic powder, salt, and onion powder.

    Black pepper, garlic powder, salt, and onion powder in a bowl

    The Spruce Eats / Christine Ma

  5. Rub the mixture over the pork and place it in a roasting pan. Add the chicken stock to the roasting pan. If desired, add a few sprigs of fresh herbs.

    Pork roast in a roasting pan with herbs

    The Spruce Eats / Christine Ma

  6. Roast the pork shoulder at 450 F for 30 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 300 F and continue roasting the pork for about 35 to 40 minutes per pound. Look for an internal temperature of at least 180 F or up to 205 F for a more tender, pull-apart roast.

    Roasted pork roast in a roasting pan

    The Spruce Eats / Christine Ma

  7. Let the roast rest for 15 to 20 minutes before slicing or shredding.

    Sliced Roast Pork on a platter

    The Spruce Eats / Christine Ma

Recipe Tips

  • The recipe relies on a considerable amount of black pepper, and that means more grinding than usual. One trick to measuring freshly ground pepper is to do it before the other spices: Place your measuring spoon in the bottom of the bowl (it will be at a slight angle), then grind the pepper into the spoon and bowl until you get the amount needed.
  • There are several roasting pan alternatives that will work if you don't have one, including a 9 x 13 cake pan or casserole dish.

Recipe Variations

  • Slow Cooker: Rub the roast with olive oil and seasonings as directed. Place the pork in a six- or seven-quart slow cooker and add one cup of chicken stock. Cover and cook on low for about 8 to 10 hours or on high for 5 to 7 hours.
  • Roast Pork With Vegetables: Toss about 1 1/2 to 2 pounds of scrubbed baby potatoes with a few teaspoons of olive oil and a dash of kosher salt. Add them to the roasting pan around the pork about 1 1/4 hours before the roast is done.
  • If you're using a bone-in pork shoulder roast, add an extra 30 minutes to 1 hour to the total cooking time. Check the meat with an instant read thermometer to confirm when the roast is done (180 F to 205 F).

How to Store and Freeze Leftover Roast Pork

  • Refrigerate leftover sliced or shredded roast pork in a shallow airtight container within 2 hours and eat within 4 days.
  • To freeze leftover cooled roast pork, place it in an airtight freezer container or zip-close freezer bags. Label the container with the name and date and freeze the pork for up to 3 months.
  • When reheating leftover pork roast in the oven, cover the dish with foil, add a little water or stock, and bake for 30 minutes at 350 F, or until heated through. Let rest for 15 minutes.
  • For smaller portions, the roast can be heated in the microwave: Cover the pork with a wet paper towel and cook for two minutes, then in 30-second intervals until hot.

How do you keep roast pork from drying out?

  • For a moist roast pork shoulder or butt, it's best to cook it low and slow. Adding about 1/2-inch of water or stock to the pan also helps keep the roast moist. Roast it to an internal temperature of 180 F to 205 F.
  • For leaner roast pork, such as pork loin, roast it fat-side up and remove it from the oven when the internal temperature reaches 145 F.
  • Always rest roast pork for at least 15 minutes. This helps the juices settle and distribute throughout the meat.
  • Searing the pork—or roasting it at a high temperature for a brief period of time—does not "seal in moisture." However, it is an excellent way to brown it quickly and create a flavorful crust.