An easy recipe for a juicy, succulent, very flavorful oven baked boneless pork roast. Rub with spices, then cook in the oven. It's easy, tasty and affordable!
I really like making roasts for dinner. Similar to casseroles (such as this kale casserole), they provide lots of food for minimal work. They practically cook themselves!
When it comes to pork, I do like making tasty baked pork chops, but I have to admit that this tasty roast is much easier to make. So I find myself making it often for my family - about every other week, usually on Sundays.
Tasty and affordable
Pork roast is delicious and affordable. And it's very easy to make. Simply rub the meat with seasonings, then bake it in the oven until it reaches an internal temperature of 145°F.
The only disadvantage to making a boneless roast is that once it's done, you don't have bones to use for a tasty soup.
The ingredients you'll need
You'll only need a few simple ingredients to make this tasty main dish (the exact measurements are listed in the recipe card below):
Olive oil spray: I love olive oil and use it frequently in my cooking. But if you worry about its relatively low smoke point, you can use avocado oil instead.
Kosher salt and black pepper: If using fine salt, you might want to reduce the amount you use, or the roast could end up too salty.
Spices: Garlic powder, paprika, dried sage, dried thyme. Make sure they are fresh! A stale spice can easily ruin a dish.
Boneless pork shoulder: I usually pick a 3-lb. one. I get them either at Whole Foods or at my local supermarket.
How to make a pork roast
It's so easy! Scroll down to the recipe card for the detailed instructions. Here are the basic steps:
1. Prepare the spice mixture: Mix together the kosher salt, black pepper, garlic powder, paprika, sage, and thyme.
2. Next, rub the spice mixture all over the pork. Now spray its top liberally with olive oil.
3. Cook the pork for 15 minutes at 425°F, then lower the oven to 375°F and continue cooking to an internal temperature of 145°F, about 75 more minutes.
4. Let it rest for 20 minutes before slicing and serving.
Why you should use a meat thermometer
As with all roasts, it's really important to use a meat thermometer (such as this) that you insert into the pork roast and that alerts you when the meat is fully cooked. There's really no other way to make sure that the roast is done.
With pork, this is especially important, because the lowest internal temperature you want it to reach is 145 degrees (medium).
After the first 15 minutes of browning the roast, a very rough estimate is to keep cooking it for approximately 25 minutes per pound. But this is a rough estimate, and really a meat thermometer is crucial.
I usually get a 3-pound pork shoulder. If your roast is bigger, simply increase the cooking time accordingly. If the top seems to be getting too dark, loosely cover it with foil.
It's OK if your pork is pink!
In 2011, the USDA lowered its temperature recommendation for cooking whole cuts of pork, from 160 degrees (dry, tough, completely white meat) to 145 degrees (juicy, and slightly pink in the center) with a 3-minute rest period.
This means that a cut of pork may still look pink when it reaches 145 degrees. That, says the USDA, is OK.
After years of being conditioned to expect pork to appear white when fully cooked, this change is not easy for many of us. But this is a good change: meat cooked to medium is nice and juicy, while well-done meat is very dry.
Allow the meat to rest after it's done!
It is also important to allow the fully cooked roast to rest for at least 20 minutes prior to slicing it. This allows the juices to redistribute and settle.
If you cut into the roast too soon, yummy juices will be lost, and the meat will end up dry and not as flavorful.
What to serve with a pork roast?
The roast is so rich and flavorful, that I like to keep the sides very simple. I usually serve it with simple microwave broccoli, dressed with lemon juice and melted butter.
Another side dish that goes really well with this main dish is roasted butternut squash. You can cook it in the same oven, 45 minutes at 375°F, tossing midway through cooking. While the roast stands for 20 minutes, lower the oven to the "keep warm" setting and keep the butternut squash, loosely covered in foil, in the warm oven.
What to do with leftovers?
You can keep the leftovers in the fridge, in an airtight container, for 3-4 days. Reheat them gently, covered, in the microwave on 50% power. They won't be as good as the freshly prepared dish, but they will still be tasty.
More tasty pork recipes
Another easy and tasty pork recipe that I make often is this recipe for pork tenderloin. It's leaner than pork shoulder, but it's tender and delicate. My family loves this recipe, so I make it often!
And slow cooker carnitas is another recipe that uses a 3-lb. pork shoulder. After cooking them in the slow cooker I crisp them up under the broiler. They turn out amazing!
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Boneless Pork Roast
- Olive oil spray
- 1 tablespoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt (not fine salt)
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon paprika (regular or smoked)
- 1 teaspoon dried sage
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 3 lb. boneless pork shoulder roast
- Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and fit it with a wire rack. Spray the wire rack with olive oil.
- In a small bowl, mix together the kosher salt, black pepper, garlic powder, paprika, sage and thyme.
- Pat the pork roast dry with paper towels. Place it on the wire rack. Rub the spice mixture all over the roast. Spray its top liberally with olive oil.
- Heat the oven to 425 degrees F. Allow the pork roast to sit at room temperature while the oven is warming, about 30 minutes.
- Insert a meat thermometer probe into the middle of the roast and place the pork in the hot oven. Roast for 15 minutes, then lower heat to 375 degrees F and continue roasting until the meat thermometer reads 145 degrees F. In my oven it takes 75 minutes (about 25 minutes per pound).
- Remove the pork roast from the oven. Loosely tent it with foil, and allow it to rest for 20 minutes.
- Carefully remove the butcher twine from the roast, slice and serve.