I have always made pulled pork with the shoulder, but this time I want to make it with the leg of pork.

Will turn out dry, does it need less cooking time?

1 Answer 1


Pork leg (fresh ham) is quite amenable to the low and slow techniques used to make pulled pork, such as braising, slow roasting, or barbecuing, just like pork shoulder (butt).

The final product may have a slightly different texture, as the ham is a little leaner than the shoulder.

Questions of cooking time are very difficult to answer, as they depend on the specific temperature, shape of the cut being cooked, method, and the individual characteristics of the individual cut. You are looking for an outcome, which is that the connective collagen is fully gelatinized. This means holding at internal temperatures of around 180 F for some time. You will know that it is done when it pulls apart easily with a fork. Fortunately, low and slow techniques tend to be very forgiving, and while possible, it is difficult to overcook using them.

I would recommend checking the fresh ham about the same time you would check a pork butt of the same thickness in your recipe or technique. Pulled pork also holds and reheats exceptionally well.

  • Keep in mind, a lot of that texture and the reason for the "low and slow" approach is because all the connective tissues (which make for tough and less pleasant eating when cooked other ways) break down under those conditions. A leg isn't going to have as much, so you might want to ask yourself why cook a more expensive cut this way? Or, if you have the cut and want to use it, is this the best use for that? I say "ask yourself" because I'm not saying it is, one way or the other. I'm certainly not above experimentation. Aug 17, 2016 at 20:32

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