Roast Pork

easy tender pork roast with pork shoulder or pork butt

The Spruce / Diana Rattray

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 3 hrs
Rest Time: 15 mins
Total: 3 hrs 25 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. The longer roasting time is worth it!

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.


  • 3 to 5 pounds pork shoulder roast

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons coarsely ground black pepper

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder

  • 1 cup chicken stock

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

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

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

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

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

  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.

  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.

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

Recipe Variations

  • Slow Cooker: Rub the roast with olive oil and seasonings as directed. Place the pork in a 6-quart or 7-quart slow cooker and add 1 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.

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 4 months.

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.