Low And Slow Pork Butt Roast Recipe

When it comes to cooking big, fatty cuts of pork, the best way to get tender and delicious meat is by cooking it low and slow. This recipe requires a few hours of cooking, but the result is some incredible meat that would go well on anything from sandwiches at a barbecue, a bed of rice for a quick lunch, some tortillas on taco night, and pretty much anything else you want.

Recipe developer Michelle McGlinn came up with this delicious recipe that's easy for a beginner to make. "It is very hard to mess up, especially if you prefer to be very hands-off! Marinade, pop in the oven, and let the heat do the work. You could leave it for hours, and it should only get more tender," McGlinn shares.

This wonderful recipe has a lot to love, but McGlinn explains it best: "I love that this recipe is foolproof, juicy, and delicious. It takes a long time to make, but I love recipes like this." A lot of care, she says, goes into this thoughtful preparation, which draws inspiration from Cuban mojo. "You can taste the effort that goes into low, slow roasts in the tenderness, the juiciness, and of course — the bark!"

Gather the ingredients for this low and slow pork butt

Kick things off by making sure you have all the necessary ingredients. For this mojo-inspired pork, you will need to grab a bone-in pork shoulder roast, sazón (a Latin-American spice blend that typically contains achiote, aka annatto), cumin, cinnamon, chili powder, olive oil, salt, black pepper, lime, orange juice, a sliced orange, and garlic cloves.

Once you have those items, you can make this low and slow pork butt roast. 

Make the marinade

Take out a small bowl and begin adding your spices for the marinade. This includes the sazón, oregano, cumin, cinnamon, chili powder, olive oil, salt, black pepper, and lime juice. Use a whisk to mix everything together. Meet your delicious, Cuban-inspired marinade for your pork butt.

Marinate the pork

Place the pork butt on a clean surface and pour the marinade over the top. Using your hands, massage the marinade into the meat, making sure to evenly coat all sides and crevices, which will help add flavor to every bite.

Add orange and garlic

Transfer the pork butt to a shallow baking dish or a dutch oven. Pour the orange juice over the top of the pork butt. Next, add the orange slices and the garlic to the meat. Use plastic wrap to cover the meat and then stick it back into the fridge for at least 8 hours, ideally overnight.

"Mojo uses lime and orange combined with spices like oregano, cinnamon, and cumin to provide a juicy, bright flavor to the pork," McGlinn explains, but the citrus does more than add flavor: The dish also "uses orange juice to tenderize and moisten the pork overnight."

Prep the pork butt

Once you're ready to cook the pork butt, preheat your oven to 450F. Remove the pork from the fridge and let it sit out at room temperature for as long as it takes the oven to preheat. Then, arrange a wire rack over a large sheet pan and place the pork butt on the wire rack. Arrange some of the orange slices underneath the pork butt.

Cook the meat

Once the oven finishes preheating, it's time to get cookin'. Pop the pork into the oven and cook for 20 minutes at 450 F. The pork will start to brown during this time. Once the 20 minutes are up, lower the heat to 250 F and roast for anywhere from 5 to 9 hours, or until the pork has a crispy, black bark and you can easily pull it apart.

If you're cooking two smaller roasts, the cooking time will be around 5 to 6 hours. If you have one massive roast (like a 5-pounder), you're looking at 6 to 9 hours.

Serve and enjoy your pork

Once you remove the pork from the oven, use a knife to cut it into large pieces. Alternatively, shred it with two forks if you're going for pulled pork. The great part about this recipe is that there are so many ways to serve it. "My family loves stuffing the pork into salty-soft arepas with cilantro and onions, and it is easy to have leftovers in soft taco shells with salsa and avocado," McGlinn says. "This pork, built like a mojo pork, would also make delicious Cubano sandwiches!" You could also go the American barbecue route and serve it on hamburger buns.

Leftovers keep very well. "I'd recommend refrigerating in an airtight container and eating within a week. This makes for excellent meal prep since it reheats so well and lasts safely for a good work week," McGlinn shares.

Low And Slow Pork Butt Roast Recipe
5 from 24 ratings
Some recipes are celebrated for their speed. This is not one of them. But after hours of slow-roasting, you'll have irresistibly succulent and flavorful pork.
Prep Time
Cook Time
low and slow pork butt roast
Total time: 13 hours
  • For the marinade
  • 2 packets sazón (preferably Goya-brand with coriander and annatto)
  • 2 tablespoons dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • juice from 1 lime
  • For the pork
  • 1 5-pound bone-in pork butt shoulder roast (or 2 2 ½-pound roasts)
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 6 thin orange slices
  • 5 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
Optional Ingredients
  • taco shells or tortillas, for serving
  • arepas, for serving
  • sandwich buns, for serving
  1. Whisk the sazón, oregano, cumin, cinnamon, chili powder, olive oil, salt, black pepper, and lime juice together in a small bowl until fully combined.
  2. On a clean surface, pour the marinade over the pork butt and massage into the meat, evenly coating all sides and crevices.
  3. Place the pork butt in a shallow baking dish or dutch oven and pour orange juice over meat. Add orange slices and garlic, then cover and place in the refrigerator for 8 hours, or overnight.
  4. Preheat the oven to 450 F. Remove the pork from the refrigerator and allow it to come to room temperature as the oven heats. Arrange a wire rack over a large sheet pan and place the pork butt on the wire rack. Arrange orange slices under the pork butt.
  5. Place the pork in the oven and roast at 450 F for 20 minutes.
  6. Lower heat to 250 F and roast for 5 to 9 hours, or until pork has a crispy black bark and is pull apart tender. (For 1 5-pound roast, plan for 6 to 9 hours. For 2 2 ½-pound roasts, plan for 5 to 6 hours.)
  7. To serve, cut pork apart with a knife into large pieces, or pull into pulled pork using two forks.
  8. Serve in taco shells, in arepas, between buns for sandwiches, or however else desired.
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