No-Fail Air Fryer Pork Shoulder Roast Recipe

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Prepare for a culinary adventure with our tantalizing Air Fryer Pork Shoulder Roast. This recipe brings the magic of the air fryer to your kitchen, delivering a succulent and flavorful roast that will leave your taste buds dancing.

air fried pork shoulder roast, served on a chopping board

Note: While this recipe doesn’t deliver the extended “fall-apart” tenderness that requires over 4 hours of cooking, I’m actively exploring ways to replicate that effortless tenderness in the air fryer. 

In the meantime, embrace this straightforward yet delectable method to relish pork shoulder roast in your air fryer. Rest assured, you’ll still want to try this delightful recipe.

Moreover, we are currently in the development and testing stage for this air fryer pork shoulder blade roast recipe. Stay tuned for more updates. If you have any tips on making this dish even better, please leave us a comment below. We appreciate your input!

Happy frying!

air fryer pork shoulder roast, recipe bite-shot, served on a chopping board

Ingredients for air fryer pork shoulder roast

Here are all you need to make easy air fried pork shoulder roast.

  • Boneless pork shoulder roast
  • Olive oil
  • Smoked paprika
  • Garlic powder
  • Dried thyme
  • Salt and pepper
  • BBQ sauce (optional)

You can find the exact measurements of the recipe ingredients and customize the serving size in the recipe card after the detailed step-by-step instructions section.

Substitutes

Don’t have smoked paprika? Regular paprika works just as well, though you’ll miss out on that smoky flavor.

If you’re out of dried thyme, consider experimenting with rosemary or oregano for an intriguing flavor variation. Fresh herbs aren’t the best fit here, but that’s alright since dried herbs are quicker to prep.

Recipe Video

Here’s a video of a similar recipe that we’re going for.

How to Cook Pork Shoulder Roast in an Air Fryer?

Cooking this air fryer pork shoulder roast is as easy as it gets, and trust me, you won’t believe the mouthwatering results! The only difficult thing is waiting.

Step 1: Preheat your air fryer to 360ºF (182ºC).

Preating Instant Pot Vortex Plus Air Fryer to 360°F (182°C).

If your air fryer doesn’t have a preheating option, set your desired temperature then let it cook for 5 minutes without food.

🚨 Important: Reduce the cooking temperature to 380°F (193°C) if you’re using a 4-quart air fryer or smaller. They are hotter due to the heating element being closer to the food.

Step 2: Prepare the ingredients.

Create a flavorful seasoning blend by combining smoked paprika, garlic powder, dried thyme, salt, and a hint of black pepper in a small bowl.

Now, gently pat your boneless pork shoulder roast dry using paper towels. If you’re aiming for an extra infusion of flavor, consider scoring the meat slightly to allow the spices to penetrate deeper – though this step is entirely up to you.

If the fat is too thick, you can trim some of it off.

Afterward, work your culinary magic by giving the roast a light massage with a drizzle of olive oil. This step is vital to achieving that coveted golden crust.

Next, sprinkle the freshly prepared seasoning blend over the roast, ensuring every inch is coated with the aromatic spices. Apply a gentle press to help the flavors adhere, setting the stage for a mouthwatering experience.

🚨 Important: If the pork shoulder doesn’t fit in your air fryer, you must cut it in half or thirds. Then, simply cook by batch.

Step 3: Air fry pork shoulder roast.

Place the seasoned roast in the air fryer basket, ensuring it’s not touching the sides. This allows hot air to circulate and cook the pork evenly.

Cook at 360ºF (182ºC) for an initial 35 – 40 minutes. Then, flip the roast over to ensure even cooking and let it continue for another 40 – 50 minutes. 

Your goal? An internal temperature of 160ºF (71ºC) checked with a trusty meat thermometer. 

If it has yet to reach the goal temp after 1 hour and 30 minutes, continue cooking until it’s achieved. The recipe aims for a tender pork shoulder roast, though technically, the safe temperature is 145ºF (63ºC).

Here’s the deal:

As the aroma fills your kitchen, you’ll know it’s almost time to feast. About 10 – 15 minutes before the roast is done, brush on some BBQ sauce for that irresistible glaze.

Step 4: Serve & Enjoy!

air fried pork shoulder roast, served on a chopping board

Once cooked, carefully remove the roast and let it rest for 5 – 10 minutes. This resting period facilitates the even distribution of juices within the meat, enhancing your pork shoulder roast’s overall flavor and tenderness.

Next, slice the pork shoulder roast into portions according to your preference. You can also cut it into smaller pieces like the one in the picture.

Serve and enjoy your air fried pork shoulder roast. Pair it with your favorite sides, perhaps fries, mashed potatoes, or steamed vegetables? No matter what you choose, it’s bound to complement the dish wonderfully.

Consider serving it with additional BBQ sauce for extra flavor. 

Ultimately, your air fryer pork shoulder roast will be a culinary triumph, with your friends and family begging for seconds. So, what are you waiting for? Get ready to fry it to believe it!

What to serve with Pork Shoulder Roast?

Pairing your air fried pork shoulder roast with the right sides can elevate your meal to a whole new level. Here are three delectable options, including a nutritious twist:

  • Air Fried Broccoli: Enhance your meal with a nutritious touch by serving air-fried broccoli. Crispy and flavorful, this vegetable side offers a delightful contrast to the tender roast. Season it with salt, pepper, and olive oil before air frying for a perfect pairing.
  • Creamy Mashed Potatoes: Indulge in the comforting embrace of creamy mashed potatoes. The velvety texture and buttery flavor of mashed potatoes harmonize beautifully with the rich taste of the pork shoulder roast. Add a dollop of butter or a splash of gravy for an extra layer of decadence.
  • Garlic Roasted Potatoes: Consider serving garlic-roasted potatoes for a more robust side. These crispy, golden-brown spuds seasoned with garlic and herbs complement the savory notes of the roast, creating a satisfying combination of textures and flavors.

Whether you opt for the wholesome goodness of air-fried broccoli or the comforting allure of mashed or roasted potatoes, your pork shoulder roast will be delightfully accompanied by these delectable sides.

Freezing & Storage

Freezing: Want to savor the deliciousness later? You can freeze your cooked (and sliced) pork shoulder roast for up to 3 months. When ready to enjoy, simply reheat in the air fryer at 350ºF (177ºC) for 10 – 15 minutes, depending on how thick your cuts are.

Fridge: As for leftovers, the air fryer pork shoulder roast keep well in the fridge for about 3 – 4 days. Reheat in the air fryer for 5 – 7 minutes at 350ºF (177ºC) or microwave for a quick and satisfying meal.

prep time10 minutes
cooking time1 hour 15 minutes
total cooking time1 hour 25 minutes

Easy Air Fryer Pork Shoulder Roast

courseDinner
cuisineAmerican
Elevate your cooking game with our Air Fryer Pork Shoulder Roast, a showcase of simplicity and taste. Embrace the convenience of air frying as it transforms this cut of meat into a succulent delicacy. From prep to plate, enjoy a journey of flavors that will have you savoring each delectable morsel.
air fried pork shoulder roast, served on a chopping board
5 from 1 vote
number of servings6

This ingredients checklist is interactive; you can use it as your grocery list.

Ingredients
 

  • 3 pounds boneless pork shoulder roast
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons BBQ sauce for brushing

Instructions
 

  • Preheat your air fryer to 360ºF (182ºC) for about 5 minutes.
  • Prepare the dry rub. Mix the smoked paprika, garlic powder, dried thyme, salt, and black pepper in a small bowl.
  • Prep the pork. Pat the pork shoulder roast dry with paper towels. Then, rub the olive oil all over the roast. Next, sprinkle this seasoning blend evenly over the pork, pressing gently to adhere.
  • Air fry the pork shoulder roast. Place the seasoned pork shoulder in the air fryer. Cook at 360ºF (182ºC) for 1 hour and 15 minutes to 1 hour and 30 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 160ºF (71ºC). Flip the roast halfway.
  • Brush with BBQ Sauce. About 10 – 15 minutes before the roast is done, brush a generous layer of your favorite BBQ sauce all over the pork. Let it cook for the remaining time, allowing the sauce to caramelize.
  • Check the meat for doneness. Check the temperature of the pork shoulder roast using an instant-read thermometer. Once the internal temp reads 160ºF (71ºC), remove the pork from the air fryer. Otherwise, continue roasting.
  • Rest and slice the pork shoulder. Let the roast rest at room temperature for about 10 minutes before slicing. This helps the juices redistribute for maximum flavor. Once rested, cut the pork roast into your preferred portions.
  • Serve and enjoy your air-fried pork shoulder roast. Partner it up with your favorite sides and savor the irresistible flavors.

Notes

  • If the pork shoulder doesn’t fit in your air fryer, you must cut it in half or thirds. Then, simply cook by batch.
  • You can go past 160ºF (71ºC). Therefore, you can brush the BBQ sauce after it’s cooked and add more cooking time to caramelize the barbecue sauce.
  • Considering that cooking time varies depending on the meat’s thickness (and your air fryer’s specs), always check with a meat thermometer if your pork is cooked thoroughly. The pork’s safe internal temperature is a minimum of 145ºF (63ºC).
  • If your air fryer doesn’t have a preheating option, you can set the temperature to 380°F (193°C) and then let it cook for 4-5 minutes without food. 
  • You can skip preheating by adding 2-4 minutes to your cooking time. Increment gradually to prevent burning the pork shoulder roast.
  • I used a 6-quart (air fryer) to test the pork shoulder roast. Cooking time and temperature may vary depending on your air fryer and the number of servings you are making. For optimal results, begin with the lower end of the suggested cooking time.

Nutrition

Calories: 265kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 27g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 93mg | Sodium: 584mg | Potassium: 517mg | Fiber: 0.5g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 364IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 28mg | Iron: 2mg
Keywords: air fryer pork shoulder roast, pork shoulder roast in air fryer

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