Sous vide pork shoulder is the easiest way to make the most tender, fall-apart pulled pork. This recipe is almost entirely hands-off, yet gives you juicy meat that can be enjoyed on its own, or as a pulled pork sandwich, carnitas tacos, and more!
- Why You Will Love This Recipe
- Step-By-Step Instructions
- Expert Tips
- Serving Suggestions
- Frequently Asked Questions
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Why You Will Love This Recipe
Pulled pork is my favorite way to prepare pork. But traditional cooking methods require a lot of attention! The sous vide process is almost completely hands-off!
Reading: Sous vide pork shoulder roast
Once the pork goes into the water, you can walk away! And when you return the next day, you have juicy, tender pork ready for you to enjoy!
The key is in the way that the sous vide cooker works! When you are smoking your pork or cooking it following traditional methods in the meat temperature has to hit 205° in order to melt the connective tissue. The lower temperatures used with sous vide achieve this same melting point by maintaining the temperature over a long period of time.
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No more dry meat! This pork shoulder is fall-apart tender, and easy to shed, right out of the bag!
Pork Shoulder: Also called picnic roast, this cut of meat is the lower part of the pig’s front leg. It is most commonly used for sliced pork, but with the sous vide it is easy to transform into pulled pork. Pork butt, also known as Boston butt, is the higher part of the leg and is interchangeable with this recipe.
Dry Rub Ingredients: The combination of spices makes a really delicious rub! If you do not have coriander on hand then cumin makes a good substitution.
Liquid Smoke – If you want the flavor of a smoker, simply add a little bit of liquid smoke to the bag before cooking. This is an optional ingredient for those who love a smoked flavor.
- Mix the spices together in a small bowl.
- Set aside ¼ cup of the spices and rub the remaining spices all over the pork shoulder.
- Vacuum seal pork in a large sous vide bag (first add liquid smoke, if using), then place in a 165°F sous vide water bath for 18-24 hours.
- Remove from bag and pat dry with paper towels. Rub remaining spices on the pork and place in a roasting pan. Finish in a 400°F oven for 30 minutes, or until the spice crust has turned dark brown.
- Your pork should be fall-apart tender when you remove it from the sous vide. If for some reason it is not, follow the instructions for patting the pork dry and adding the finishing spices, but instead of placing it in the oven at 400°F, heat your oven to 300°F and roast for up to 90 minutes, or until the pork is tender.
- Vacuum seal the pork instead of using the water displacement method. Because of the long cook time the plastic bag is at a higher risk of leaking and this risk is reduced when vacuum sealing.
- When cooking sous vide for as long of hours as we are with this pork, it is helpful to cover the lid with plastic wrap or aluminum foil, to reduce water evaporation.
- If you are new to sous vide, check out How to Get Started!
There are so many ways to enjoy pork shoulder!
Pulled pork served with a little bbq sauce. It is delicious with Western North Carolina BBQ Sauce, or my favorite store barbecue sauce is Head Country). Then just add a baked potato and green beans. Or for a little more of an elegant meal, try this Maple Roasted Butternut Squash and Cranberries or Gruyere and Leek Mashed Potatoes with your pulled pork.
Pork sandwiches with some potato salad, baked beans, and a few pickles.
I like to add some chili powder and cumin to leftovers and crisp them in oil to make carnitas tacos!
Depending on the size of your pork shoulder this one recipe can give you a lot of meat! It is an easy main dish to serve at a big party! Just have everyone bring their favorite side dish! It is such an easy dinner for any occasion!
Frequently Asked Questions
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