How long can pork shoulder stay in the fridge?

In this brief guide, we are going to answer the question “how long can pork shoulder stay in the fridge” with an in-depth analysis of the shelf life of pork shoulder. Moreover, we are going to discuss different ways to spot bad pork shoulder.

So without much ado, let’s dive in and figure out more about it.

How long can pork shoulder stay in the fridge?

Uncooked pork shoulder lasts for about 2-3 days if stored properly in the fridge all the time at or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. 

On the other hand, cooked pork shoulder lasts for about 3-4 days when stored properly in an air-tight container or plastic zipper bag in the fridge at or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

Thus, the cold temperature of the fridge will decrease the rate of bacterial growth and will subsequently prolong the shelf life of your pork shoulder.

What is the optimum temperature to store pork shoulder?

You should always store your pork shoulder at 40 degrees Fahrenheit or below. Bacterial growth takes place at a faster pace between the temperature of 40 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit, therefore it is always advised to store your pork shoulder at a lower temperature to preserve its freshness for a long time.

How long can pork shoulder last at room temperature?

Raw as well as cooked pork shoulder lasts for about 2 hours when left out of the fridge at room temperature. 

You should discard the pork shoulder that has been left in open for more than 2 hours as bacterial growth takes place at a faster pace between the temperature of 40 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit, therefore there are greater chances of the pork shoulder being already contaminated with bacteria when left out for more than 2 hours.

Moreover, if the temperature of the surroundings is about 90 degrees Fahrenheit, then the process of spoilage takes place at a faster pace and it is recommended to discard pork shoulder that is left out in the open for more than an hour at 90 degrees Fahrenheit.

How long does pork shoulder last in the freezer?

Properly stored raw pork shoulder lasts for about 6 months in the freezer if stored in a heavy-duty freezer container or plastic freezer bag. Cooked pork shoulder lasts for about 2-3 months if stored properly in the freezer.

Thus, the shelf life of pork shoulder increases owing to the cold temperature of the freezer that halts the microbial growth on it.

How to thaw frozen pork shoulder?

The recommended way to thaw the frozen pork shoulder is to leave them in the refrigerator overnight and let them thaw there. The previously cooked pork shoulder thawed this way can stay in the fridge for additional 3-4 days before reheating and eating it while raw pork shoulder thawed in the fridge lasts for about 2-3 days before cooking.

Conversely, you can thaw the frozen pork shoulder in a bowl of cold water or microwave but you should reheat/cook it immediately after thawing till its internal temperature reaches 145 degrees Fahrenheit. 

You can read how to cook pork shoulder here.

Different ways to spot bad pork shoulder

There are a couple of indicators that point out the bad pork shoulder. You should consider the appearance, texture, and smell of the pork shoulder to reach a  final verdict on whether or not they have gone bad.

Appearance

If you can see some off-color or if you can spot molds or dark spots on the surface of the pork shoulder then it is the indication that it has gone bad and the best thing to do in this scenario is to discard it.

Texture

If you can feel something slimy or gooey while touching the pork shoulder then it means that it has gone bad as the fresh pork shoulder has a firm texture.

But keep one thing in mind that rinsing the pork shoulder won’t help you in this scenario as you won’t be able to get rid of the bacteria. Rinsing the bacteria-laden pork shoulder will put you at risk of cross-contamination as the bacteria will spread in the utensils and other food items that will come in contact with the water from the pork shoulder that has gone bad.

Smell

If you can smell something acidic, or some ammonia-like or sulfur-like putrid smell while taking a sniff test of your pork shoulder then it means that your pork shoulder has gone bad and you should discard it. 

If microbes somehow found their way to your pork shoulder and have spoiled it then the best thing you should do is to discard it.

Conclusion

In this brief guide, we answered the question “how long can pork shoulder stay in the fridge” with an in-depth analysis of the shelf life of pork shoulder. Moreover, we discussed different ways to spot bad pork shoulder.

Citations

https://www.thekitchn.com/heres-everything-you-need-to-know-about-pork-shoulder-4-ways-to-cook-it-242362#:~:text=Store%20pork%20shoulder%20in%20the,for%20up%20to%20six%20months.
https://www.stilltasty.com/fooditems/index/18060
https://www.stilltasty.com/Fooditems/index/18059

Mahnoor Asghar is a Clinical Nutritionist with a bachelor's degree in Nutrition and Dietetics. She is compassionate and dedicated to playing her part in the well-being of the masses. She wants to play a fruitful role in creating nutrition and health-related awareness among the general public. Additionally, she has a keen eye for detail and loves to create content related to food, nutrition, health, and wellness.