Roast Pork Shoulder: Need Help!

This is the first time I am making roast pork shoulder for a party. The meal is tonight, and, so far, so good.

I am working with two 3 lb., bone-in, skin-less shoulders that have marinated overnight in a mixture of fresh garlic, cumin, oregano, S&P.

Fear strikes my heart, however, when it comes to questions of timing and temperature.

Some recipes suggest a high temperature roast (425) for the first 30 minutes and then a lower temperature roast (325) for 3 hours under foil. Other recipes, however, advise an even longer roast time in a low oven, including some recipes suggesting 4 1/2 - 6 hours for the pork to become meltingly tender. The timing varies so widely that I'm feeling pretty confused!

Can those of you who successfully roast pork shoulder confirm that the longer time in a low oven is the way to go? I'm looking for crispy exterior and a tender - but not falling apart in shreds - interior consistency.

If the pork goes in at noon, will everything done by 3 PM? (ie too early for dinner...) Please save me from serving sad-looking, ice-cold, dessicated pork pucks to my guests!!!

Many thanks in advance.


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