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I have a pork shoulder cooking in the oven right now at 100° C (212° F). I was planning on roasting it for 7 hours, will this be long enough to cook it safely?

I saw the FDA chart about minimum internal temperatures - but am not sure how to translate that to oven temperature/time.

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I edited the temperature assuming that the C one was correct, since that one was in the title as well; if you've actually got it in there at 180° F (usually the lowest any oven will go), then that is way too low, you'll probably have to leave it in there for a whole day. –  Aaronut Jan 23 '11 at 16:16
    
Thanks - conversion error, oops! –  lainie Jan 24 '11 at 15:00

4 Answers 4

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100°C for 7 hours sounds just about perfect. The meat will be meltingly tender by then. In fact I think you could go even lower on the temperature if you like, say 80°C or 90°C. Of course, if you want to be absolutely sure, check with the thermometer, but unless you know that your oven is unreliable or you happen to be in possession of the largest pig shoulder in the world I am 100% sure it will be more than done in 7 hours on 100°C. Good luck!

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Thanks for the reply, after 7 hours, the meat was just beautiful! (And I checked with the thermometer jic, it registered 170, so yes, I maybe could have gone a little lower.) –  lainie Jan 24 '11 at 15:03

100°C seems a little low. I've done a bone-in pork shoulder at 120 for 8 hours before now, I think the norm is 2 hours a pound (450 g) at that temperature.

To be safe you should really use a meat thermometer, trichinosis is not something you want to have.

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+1 For the thermometer –  johnny Jan 23 '11 at 15:24
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I've made pulled pork (boneless) at 275° F for 4-5 hours; that's all it takes to get the meat to fall apart completely. So I'd definitely agree that 180° F is low. Your 120° C corresponds to 250° F which sounds about right to me. –  Aaronut Jan 23 '11 at 16:14
    
Thanks for the reply, the thermometer set my mind at rest! –  lainie Jan 24 '11 at 15:04
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@lainie: The goal is always to get the meat to the correct internal temperature. Trichinosis dies instantly at a mere 63C, so don't worry about it: long as you don't like your pig rare, you're fine. You should take it to ~75C to kill other things, but again, that's not that hot. –  Satanicpuppy Jan 24 '11 at 15:52
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I disagree that 100C seems too low. It might be too low to cook a large shoulder in 7 hours, but it's not too low if you're prepared to be patient and let the meat get done when it gets done. It all depends on what you want your meat to be like when you're done, I guess. –  bikeboy389 Jan 24 '11 at 16:21

Strictly from a food safety perspective, 7 hours at 100°C will very probably get you to where you want to be.

HOWEVER... if that is your target, you will be left with a tough hunk of meat with lots of fat and connective tissue, and I'm almost certain you will not be happy with the result. To achieve tenderness, you need to go pretty far past the safety recommendation.

For slicing, you'll most likely need to hit around 77°C (170°F) internal, give or take a couple of degrees. For pulling, your internal will probably have to get upwards of 90.5°C internal (195°F), or even higher -- again give or take a couple of degrees.

To get there, I don't know if 100°C is going to cut it, especially in 7 hours. I did some pulled pork yesterday out of a Boston butt (part of a whole shoulder), and it cooked 8-9 hours at 122°C (250°F).

If I were to offer some advice, I'd say crank up your cooking temperature by about 25-30%. Also, use the thermometer as a general guideline for when to start checking for doneness, not as an absolute measure. Once you come within a few degrees of your target, use your eyes as well as the feel of the meat to determine whether you're ready or not.

Check out some barbecue forums for better, more detailed advice. Even if you're roasting your meat in the oven, the same concepts still apply (sans the smoking aspect). I recommend:

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At 200-225 degrees F, I plan for about one hour per pound on my Big Green Egg. Using an electronic probe thermometer is ESSENTIAL. It takes out all the guess work. 200 F degrees internal temp is perfect for pulled pork.

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