Thai-Inspired Slow-Roasted Pork Shoulder Feast Recipe

For a fresh take at your next pig-out, keep the pork prep simple, and elevate your fixings game with traditional Thai ingredients and garnishes.

Photograph: Vicky Wasik

Why It Works

  • Seasoning the pork with a mixture of salt, sugar, and a little baking powder, and letting it rest, uncovered, overnight means deeper seasoning, plus a drier surface for more crispy skin.
  • Starting the pork in a low oven breaks down tough connective tissue, for extra-tender meat.
  • Finishing the pork under high heat rapidly crisps up the skin.

The next time you need to cook for a crowd, switch it up from the usual American-style barbecue, and pull out all the stops with this crackling and tender roast pork shoulder feast, bursting with bright Thai flavors, that's perfect for sharing.

Recipe Facts

Active: 15 mins
Total: 17 hrs
Serves: 8 to 10 servings

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For the Pork Shoulder:

  • 2 tablespoons (18g) kosher salt

  • 1 tablespoon (12gsugar

  • 2 teaspoons (7g) baking powder

  • 1 (8- to 10-pound; 3.5 to 4.5 kg) bone-in, skin-on pork shoulder (see note)

For Serving:


  1. The Day Before Roasting, For the Pork: In a small bowl, whisk together salt, sugar, and baking powder. Set aside. Using a sharp knife, score pork skin in a crosshatch pattern, with scores spaced 3/4 inch apart. Flip pork shoulder over, skin side down, and repeat crosshatch pattern on flesh side. Pat pork shoulder dry with paper towels, then sprinkle all over with salt mixture. Use your hands to rub salt mixture all over the shoulder. Transfer pork shoulder, skin-side up, to a wire rack set in a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet, then refrigerate, uncovered, at least overnight and up to 2 nights.

  2. When Ready to Cook: Adjust oven rack to center position and preheat oven to 250°F (121°C). Place baking sheet with rack and pork shoulder in oven and roast until until pork shows almost no resistance when a metal skewer or knife is inserted into it, about 8 hours.

  3. Remove pork from oven and tent with foil. Increase oven to 500°F (260°C) and allow to preheat. Let pork rest at room temperature for at least 15 minutes and up to 45 minutes. Return pork to the oven and roast until skin is blistered and puffed, rotating every 5 minutes, about 20 minutes total. Remove from oven and rest, uncovered, for an additional 15 minutes. Transfer to a serving platter.

  4. For Serving: Bring the pork shoulder to the table, and use a pair of tongs and a meat fork to break skin into bite-size pieces and pull meat apart. Serve right away with accompanying garnishes.

Special equipment

Rimmed baking sheet, wire rack


Bone-in, skin-on pork shoulder is also sold as picnic shoulder or Boston butt. Culantro is also sold as sawtooth coriander.

Make-Ahead and Storage

This dish is best enjoyed right away.

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Nutrition Facts (per serving)
835 Calories
42g Fat
37g Carbs
73g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8 to 10
Amount per serving
Calories 835
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 42g 53%
Saturated Fat 13g 66%
Cholesterol 229mg 76%
Sodium 1585mg 69%
Total Carbohydrate 37g 14%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Total Sugars 6g
Protein 73g
Vitamin C 20mg 101%
Calcium 155mg 12%
Iron 4mg 24%
Potassium 1124mg 24%
*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.)