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Cooking time for bone in vs boneless pork shoulder (Explained)

Most people wonder if there is a difference in cooking times for pork shoulders with or without the bones.

The answer is yes, and most people find the pork shoulder with bones has more flavor but is also cooked longer.

We will share valuable information about each and help you determine when the pork shoulder is finished and ready for serving.


Is There Any Difference in Cooking Time?

There is a difference in cooking time for pork shoulders with or without bones.

The pork shoulder with bones cooks longer because the bone helps to distribute the heat evenly.

That said, many people feel that the pork shoulder with bones has more flavor.

If you are looking for slightly more tender meat, go with the boneless pork shoulder. 

On average, the bone-in pork shoulder will take about 4 hours and 45 minutes to cook.

Make sure you check the internal temperature of the meat with a thermometer to ensure it is cooked through.

You are looking for a temperature of around 200 degrees if you smoke the meat.

The best calculation is 60 to 90 minutes per pound.

The bone adds to the weight, so it is still calculated.

The boneless pork shoulder cooks a little faster than the bone-in variety.

You will need to cook it for an average of 2 hours.

Again, make sure you check the internal temperature of the meat before serving.

The same rules apply as you are looking for an internal temperature of about 200 degrees if you smoke the meat.

It is recommended for 60 to 90 minutes per pound.


What Temperature to Smoke a Bone-In or Boneless Pork Shoulder

It’s time to get your smokers out and ready because we will tell you how to smoke both the bone and boneless pork shoulder.

You will want to start smoking it at 225 degrees for the bone-in pork shoulder.

Make sure the smoker is up to temperature before adding the meat.

The ideal time for this type of pork shoulder is around 4 to 5 hours.

You will want to baste the meat every hour with a mop sauce.

This will keep the juices inside the meat once removed from the heat.

Once the meat has an internal temperature of 200 degrees, it is ready to be pulled and served.

Please note you must leave it to sit for 30 minutes before cutting.

For the boneless pork shoulder, you will start smoking it at 225 degrees as well.

However, the cooking time will be shorter, clocking in at 2 hours.

Again, make sure you are using a thermometer to check the internal temperature of the meat before serving.

It is ready to be pulled and served as long as it is at 200 degrees.

Just like the bone-in, you will want to let it sit for 30 minutes before cutting, so the juices remain in the meat.


How Do You Know When Pork Shoulder is Finished?

Now that you know the cooking times for both the bone-in and boneless pork shoulder, it is time to determine when it is finished.

The best way to do this is by using a meat thermometer.

When the pork shoulder reaches an internal temperature of 200 degrees, it is fully cooked.

You can either continue smoking it at this temperature until it is ready to be pulled or take it out of the smoker and finish cooking it in the oven.

If you do not have a meat thermometer handy, here are some different ways to check the doneness of the pork shoulder.

The bone-in pork shoulder should be fork tender.

The boneless pork shoulder should be slightly pink in the center and not rubbery.

The internal temperature of the pork shoulder should reach an average of 190 to 205 degrees.

The pork shoulder should have a nice bark on it.

This is the crispy outer crust that is formed from smoking the meat.

Smoking a pork shoulder can be a great alternative to traditional barbecuing.

With just a little bit of preparation, you can create one of the most popular dishes around.

It produces delicious, succulent results that will have everyone asking for more.

There are several different options for cooking pork shoulder.

It can be cooked by a slow cooker, oven, stovetop in a pot (slow-cooked only), indirect heat on a bbq grill, and smoker.

The outcome is the same, and it’s delicious if cooked right, no matter how you cook it.

Most people find the shoulder, and the Boston Butt is used for pull-apart pork, making the best bbq sandwiches.

The primary thing to remember is to keep the sauce last because it will burn the outer edges of the meat before it cooks the inside.

It will leave you with a challenging piece of meat.

So, wait until the meat is almost done, then put your favorite sauce on it.


Final Thoughts

By now, your mouth should be watering, as is ours.

With such succulent and delicious meat, how can you resist?

Pork shoulder is a great dish to cook for large groups of people.

It is also very affordable, so you don’t have to break the bank to feed a large crowd.

Be sure to try out some recipes and techniques as you explore new options and perhaps different seasonings. Be creative and enjoy the cookout!