Apple cider braised pork shoulder

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Tender, juicy, savory & sweet — this cider-braised pork shoulder roast is comfort food at its finest! The pulled pork recipe is perfect for a chilly fall evening after a day at the orchard — just let it simmer slowly in the oven or in a Crock Pot. Pair the meat with mashed potatoes or biscuits, or pile it high on sandwich buns. Everyone will love this cozy & easy dinner!

Cider Braised Pulled Pork

Braised meat refers lớn any tough cut of meat that is slowly and gently cooked in liquid until it becomes flavorful, juicy, và fall-off-the-bone tender. For this braised pork shoulder recipe, you’ll slow cook a pork roast in a Dutch oven (or in a Crock Pot) with a flavorful blend of onions, garlic, herbs, and apple cider for the best pork shoulder roast that you’ve ever tasted!

The Best Cut of Pork for Braising

The best cut of pork for braising is called a “pork butt,” “pork shoulder,” or “Boston butt.” Boston butt comes from high on the hog, above the shoulder blade. It has a lot of juicy, marbled fat, which lends itself well to juicy, slow-cooked meat.

Can I use a boneless pork butt for braising?

Yes! Using a bone-in pork butt adds even more flavor lớn your meat; however, you can certainly use a boneless pork shoulder roast instead. In general, a boneless pork butt will require slightly less time in the oven than a bone-in piece of meat, so keep an eye on it & adjust accordingly.


This is a quick overview of the ingredients that you’ll need for a succulent & delicious pork shoulder roast. As always, specific measurements và complete cooking instructions are included in the printable recipe box at the bottom of the post.

Bone-in pork shoulder roast: also called a “pork butt” or “Boston butt,” this inexpensive cut has a lot of marbled fat, which keeps the meat juicy and tender during the long cooking process. A boneless pork shoulder roast will also work well.Oil: to lớn sear the pork.Onions, garlic, cất cánh leaf, thyme, & rosemary: aromatics that flavor the meat as it slowly roasts.Apple cider: the braising liquid. This gives the pork a very subtle sweet, táo khuyết taste. It’s not a strong flavor at all. Táo bị cắn juice doesn’t have as strong of a flavor, but it will work as a substitute in a pinch.Chicken broth: additional braising liquid.Kosher salt và pepper: to lớn enhance the flavors in the dish. Don’t be shy — this is a large piece of meat, so season liberally.

How to Make Braised Pork Shoulder Roast

Braised pork shoulder roast is very similar to making a pot roast. Braising, which comes from the French word braiser, is a combination-cooking method that uses both wet and dry heats: typically, the meat is first seared at a high temperature, và then it’s finished in a covered pot with liquid at a lower temperature. The process is incredibly easy, but it does require patience, as slow-cooking is the name of the game. At least most of your effort will be completely hands-off!

Sear. Brown the pork on all sides in a large Dutch oven on the stovetop. Remove the meat lớn a platter and set aside.Add Onions and Garlic. Next, địa chỉ cửa hàng the onions và garlic khổng lồ the drippings in the pot. Sauté the onions until they are nice and tender — about 10-15 minutes.Pour in Liquid and Seasoning. Stir in salt, a cất cánh leaf, the thyme sprigs, the rosemary sprig, the táo khuyết cider and the chicken broth.Return Pork khổng lồ Pot. Nestle the pork into the cider và other ingredients, fat-side up.

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Braise. Cover the Dutch oven and cook the pork for about 3 – 3 ½ hours, or until it’s fall-apart tender. If using a meat probe thermometer, you’re looking for an internal temperature of about 205°F.Serve. Use two forks to shred the meat, và then spoon the delicious sauces và cooking liquids over the pork. It’s convenient to lớn put the roast on a rimmed baking sheet to lớn shred the meat. This prevents the juices from running off of a cutting board all over your kitchen. Serve and enjoy!

What temperature should you braise pork?

Braising requires a longer cooking time at a low temperature. This allows the tough meat fibers lớn break down & become tender. A typical oven temperature for braised pork shoulder is in the range of 275°F – 325°F . I suggest 325°F for this recipe, but if you have more time & you’d lượt thích to let the pork roast for even longer, you can phối the oven at 275°F & cook the pork for at least 5 hours.

Why sear the pork first?

Searing the pork before adding it lớn the liquid and other ingredients helps lớn brown the surface & enhance the flavor. A hot pan can creates a golden, caramelized crust through a process called the Maillard reaction, và will also lock in the meat’s juices. Whether you’re braising the pork in a Dutch oven or in a Crock Pot, don’t skip this important step!

Should braising liquid cover the meat?

No, the liquid should not cover the meat in the pot. You want just enough cider và broth lớn surround (but not submerge) the pork. We’re braising — not boiling.

Do you make braised pork shoulder roast with the lid on or off?

Keep the Dutch oven (or slow cooker) covered while the pork braises in the oven. This creates a moist environment, trapping the juices inside the pot.

Why is my braised meat dry?

This recipe shouldn’t turn out dry at all, because the braised pork shoulder just gets juicier and more tender as it cooks. If you find that your braised meat is dry, it’s likely that you’re using the wrong cut of meat (such as a lean tenderloin). It’s pretty hard to over-cook or braise the pork shoulder roast for too long. Just let the oven (or slow cooker) vì its job while you sit back & enjoy the delicious aromas wafting from the kitchen!

How to lớn Serve Braised Pork Shoulder Roast

This cider braised pulled pork is a versatile và easy meal. I love to simmer a pot in the oven on a crisp Sunday afternoon after a weekend at the hãng apple orchard! Nothing says cozy, Virginia fall comfort food more than this simple, hearty dish. It’s also great for tailgating, for entertaining, or for feeding a crowd. Pile it onto sandwich (or slider) buns, make braised pork shoulder tacos, stuff it in baked potatoes, địa chỉ your favorite veggie, or pair it with any of these sides:

Crock Pot Pulled Pork vs. Dutch Oven Braised Pork Shoulder Roast

If you’re going to lớn be out of the house for most of the day, you can braise your pork shoulder in the slow cooker instead of in the oven. To vì chưng so, sear the pork according lớn the recipe instructions. Sauté the onions và garlic in the pot according khổng lồ the recipe instructions, too. Transfer the onions lớn the Crock Pot, stir in the remaining ingredients, and địa chỉ cửa hàng the pork. Cover & cook on LOW for 8-10 hours or on HIGH for 4-5 hours.

The cast iron Dutch oven is always my preference over the Crock Pot, if you have a choice between the two. The Dutch oven is convenient (and requires fewer dishes) because you can sear the meat on the stovetop and move the entire pot to lớn the oven for braising later. The tight-fitting lid traps moisture in the pot, and the cast iron distributes the indirect heat from the oven more evenly than the heating element in a slow cooker does. Finally, it’s easier to control the oven temperature & time when using a Dutch oven than it is khổng lồ control the temperature of your Crock Pot.

Make Ahead

To make this dish in advance, refrigerate the braised pork (before shredding) in its cooking liquid with the onions overnight. The next day, when the dish is chilled, skim the fat from the top. Reheat the pork in a 325°F oven, and shred just before using.

If you want toreheat your cooked pork in a Crock Pot, place the cooked pork (and all of the reserved juices) in the slow cooker on the “WARM” setting for 2-4 hours.


Leftovers will stay fresh in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. Lớn keep the pork longer, you can wrap the cooked meat in foil, & then freeze in an airtight container or Ziploc freezer bag for up to lớn 3 months.

Recipe Variations

Use a boneless pork shoulder roast instead of a bone-in roast. You may need to reduce the cooking time slightly for the boneless roast.For a sweeter, more bold cider flavor, replace the chicken broth with extra hãng apple cider. You can also showroom sliced apples khổng lồ the pot.

Tips for the Best Pork Shoulder Roast Recipe

Searing the pork before adding it lớn the liquid & other ingredients helps khổng lồ brown the surface & enhance the flavor. A hot pan creates a golden, caramelized crust through a process called the Maillard reaction, & will also lock in the meat’s juices.The cast iron Dutch oven is always my preference over the Crock Pot, if you have a choice between the two. With the Dutch oven, you can sear the meat on the stovetop and move the entire pot to lớn the oven for braising later. The tight-fitting lid traps moisture in the pot, và the cast iron distributes the indirect heat from the oven more evenly than the heating element in a slow cooker does. Finally, it’s easier to lớn control the oven temperature và time when using a Dutch oven than it is to lớn control the temperature of your Crock Pot.If you’re using the Crock Pot, you may need lớn adjust the cooking time, depending on how hot your slow cooker runs (and how big your pork is). The pork will be fall-apart tender when it reaches an internal temperature of 205°F.If your pulled pork is tough, it’s probably because you haven’t cooked it long enough. The collagen in the meat is what keeps it tough, so you need to allow plenty of time for those fibers to break down. Just extend the cooking time & make sure that there’s enough liquid to lớn keep the pork moist as it simmers.Cooking for a Smaller Family? This meat freezes really well! I lượt thích to package leftovers in individual containers, label them, and stash them in the freezer for later meals. The pulled pork is delicious served on sandwich rolls, but it also works well on salads, tacos, stuffed in baked potatoes, in quesadillas, or on pizza! Get creative & enjoy the leftovers in a variety of ways.