How long does it take to cook 8lb pork shoulder in a slow cooker?

In this article, we will answer the question “How long does it take to cook 8lb pork shoulder in a slow cooker?”, and how to make Crockpot pork shoulder for Pulled-pork Sandwiches.

How long does it take to cook 8lb pork shoulder in a slow cooker?

Generally, 4 lb. bone-in pork shoulder takes about 6-8 hours on the low setting and 3-4 hours on the high setting to tenderize in a manual slow cooker. 

Pork shoulder, which is double in size, that is 7 to 8 lbs., will need to be cooked for 12-14 hours on low and 6-8 hours on high. 

The size of the meat and the temperature/setting you are cooking it at are the factors that determine the cooking time of the pork shoulder. 

The following take shows the cooking time of the pork according to the meat cut and weight. 

Meat-cut Meat weight Low cook time 
Large pork roast 6-7 lbs 9 ½ 
Pork loin 3-4 lbs 
Poultry 6 lbs 7 ½ 
Beef roast 3-4 lbs 8 hours 

How to make Crockpot pork shoulder for Pulled-pork Sandwiches?

Ingredients 

  • 1 (4- to 7-pound) pork shoulder or Boston butt, bone-in or boneless
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 dash kosher salt
  • 1 dash freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 large onion, chopped, optional
  • 1/2 to 1 cup barbecue sauce, plus more for serving
  • Sandwich buns, for serving
  • Coleslaw, for serving

Instructions 

  1. Dump the pork shoulder into the slow cooker along with the water, salt, and pepper. Although optional, you can stir in chopped onions at this stage. 
  1. Cover and cook on high for 1 hour. Once the time is up, turn to low and cook 7 to 9 hours longer, until soft and tender. 
  1. Transfer the meat to a plate and shred it using 2 forks. Spoon out the cooking juices from the slow cooker and return the shredded meat to the cooker. 
  1. Stir in ½ to 1 cup of the BBQ sauce. Cover and cook on low for 30 minutes to 1 hour longer, until piping hot.
  1. Sandwich the pulled pork along with the coleslaw between a warm split bun. Serve alongside BBQ sauce.

Tips

  1. If the pork roast is too large for your slow cooker, chop it into smaller chunks that easily fit your slow cooker crockery insert.
  1. To cook juice and tender pork shoulder, a low and slow cooking method is the way to go.

Recipe variations

The flavoring agent in this recipe is the sauce. You can use any type of BBQ sauce that you prefer. For example, opt for mustard-based sauce for a bolder flavor and use a ketchup-based Memphis barbecue sauce for a sweet and sour balance.

How to store?

  1. Leftover pulled pork should be stored within 2 hours of cooking. Use an air-tight container to store your pulled pork in the fridge for up to 3 days. Reheat the pulled pork in the microwave or on the stovetop. Add a splash of water to avoid the meat from drying out.
  1. You can extend the shelf-life of the leftover pulled pork by freezing it in a zip-top freezer bag. Make sure the meat has cooled down before you pack it away in the freezer bag. Squeeze out as much air as possible from the bag before chucking it in the freezer. Store up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight before use.

Can you overcook a pork shoulder in a crockpot?

Pork shoulder is a tough cut of meat. This means that pork shoulder has a significantly high percentage of fat and connective tissue. Tough cuts of meat require prolonged cooking and are seldom at the risk of being overcooked. 

The key to always getting it right is to cook your pork shoulder in a small amount of liquid and do not extend the cooking time beyond 10-11 hours.

Can you put raw meat in the slow cooker?

Yes, you can put raw meat in the slow cooker without any prior cooking. However, you can brown tough cuts like pot roast, pork shoulder, and stew meat before putting them in the slow cooker for better texture and flavor. 

Similarly, browning the ground meat before slow cooking helps improve the flavor profile of the meat as it allows you to drain the excess fat.

Why isn’t my pork shoulder shredding?

There may be two reasons why you are unable to shred your pork shoulder.

1) it was not cooked long enough or to a high enough temperature (the temperature should be at least 190 degrees) 

OR

2) You are slow-cooking a tender cut of meat such as meat-tenderloin (like pork tenderloin). Remember that slow cooking is only viable for tough cuts of meat. 

Other FAQs about Pork that you may be interested in.

Can you cook kabana?

Can you cook a joint of pork from frozen?

Can you cook a joint of pork in a slow cooker?

Conclusion 

In this article, we answered the question “How long does it take to cook 8lb pork shoulder in a slow cooker?”, and how to make Crockpot pork shoulder for Pulled-pork Sandwiches. 

References 

https://theinfinitekitchen.com/advices/readers-ask-how-long-to-cook-8lb-pork-shoulder-in-slow-cooker/

https://www.thespruceeats.com/crock-pot-pulled-pork-sandwiches-3059928

https://www.therisingspoon.com/2017/03/slow-cooker-pork-shoulder.html#:~:text=bone%2 Din%20 port%20 shoulder%20typically,%2D8%20house%20on%20high). 

Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.