Chef John's Paper Pork Shoulder


This 'paper pork' was inspired by a technique for smoking beef brisket that involves wrapping the meat in parchment paper after a certain point in the cooking process, in an effort to keep the meat moist and succulent. I decided to try it for an oven-roasted pork shoulder, wrapping it from the beginning, and it came out so perfectly tender and juicy, I've been doing it that way ever since.

Prep Time:
15 mins
Cook Time:
12 hrs 30 mins
Total Time:
12 hrs 45 mins
8 servings



  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt

  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika

  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar

  • 2 teaspoons onion powder

  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Roast & Wrap:

  • 1 (7 pound) pork shoulder roast

  • Unbleached parchment paper

  • Heavy duty aluminum foil


  1. Preheat oven to 225 degrees F (110 degrees C).

  2. Mix salt, black pepper, paprika, brown sugar, onion powder, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper together in a bowl.

  3. Sprinkle rub mixture evenly and thoroughly on each surface of the pork roast, pressing it onto the surface.

  4. Cut a 4-foot piece of unbleached parchment. Place roast at one end and roll roast tightly in the parchment. Cut a second piece of parchment and roll the roast, positioning it in the opposite direction before rolling.

  5. Cut a long piece of heavy duty aluminum foil and tightly wrap the parchment-wrapped roast. Wrap the roast in a second piece of foil, and then a third, rotating the position of the roast each time. Place wrapped roast in a roasting pan with folded edges facing up to minimize leaking.

  6. Place in preheated oven and roast until tender, about 12 1/2 hours (or 1.75 hours per pound of pork).

  7. Remove pan from oven and allow the wrapped roast to rest at least 1 hour before unwrapping. Brush roast with accumulated juices in the parchment paper.

    close up view of Paper Pork Shoulder garnished with green onions on a platter
    Chef John

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

696 Calories
50g Fat
5g Carbs
54g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 6
Calories 696
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 50g 64%
Saturated Fat 18g 92%
Cholesterol 209mg 70%
Sodium 2080mg 90%
Total Carbohydrate 5g 2%
Dietary Fiber 1g 3%
Total Sugars 3g
Protein 54g
Vitamin C 3mg 13%
Calcium 68mg 5%
Iron 4mg 21%
Potassium 823mg 18%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

You’ll Also Love