Pork Roast

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This Pork Roast slow cooks in the oven, keeping the pork tender and moist. A spice rub and brown sugar mixture add a sweet and savory flavor. Serve with vegetables and potatoes for a hearty, complete dinner.

Slices of pork roast on a plate

Juicy & Tender Pork Roast

Tender and moist with the most incredible flavor, this pork roast recipe is what Sunday dinner dreams are made of.

Pork picnic roast is slowly roasted in the oven with a savory spice rub and sweet brown sugar mixture, plus a little bit of rum. The combination creates a melt-in-your-mouth flavor. And the best part is, the only hands-on work is simply seasoning the pork!

If desired, you can cook some potatoes, carrots, and onions right in the pot with this roast. I often do, so dinner is ready in one pan with little effort on my part.

Overhead view of a pork shoulder roasted in a skillet with vegetables

Why You’ll Love This Pork Shoulder Recipe

This is one of our favorite pork recipes. Here’s why.

  • Tender, juicy pork. Slow roasting the pork picnic roast really allows it to become tender, while still staying moist.
  • Sweet, savory flavor. The spice mixture and the brown sugar rub combine to create a flavor that’s savory with hints of sweetness underneath.
  • Perfect for Sunday dinner. This roast is the ultimate comfort food. Cozy, hearty, and easy to make!
Pork picnic roast recipe ingredients

What You’ll Need

Besides the roast you’ll need a handful of seasonings, some brown sugar, rum, and lime. See the recipe card below for measurements.

  • Pork roast – See notes below.
  • Seasonings – Salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, ginger, allspice, and coriander give this roast a warm, savory flavor.
  • Brown sugar – Brushed on the pork halfway through cooking to caramelize and give it a hint of sweet flavor.
  • Dark rum – Helps keep the roast moist during cooking.
  • Lime – Balances out the sweetness of the sugar rub.
  • Garlic – For added flavor.

What Is A Pork Picnic Roast?

A picnic roast is another name for a shoulder roast. You may also see it referred to as “Boston butt” or “picnic ham”, depending on where you are. The names tend to be regional so if you’re unsure, ask the butcher.

Pork picnic roast is super flavorful but it’s a cut that needs to be cooked slowly, as it can be tough otherwise, due to the muscles running through the meat.

How to Make Pork Roast

This pork shoulder roast recipe requires just a few minutes of hands on prep. Perfect for a lazy weekend dinner!

  • Prepare and season the roast. Bring the pork roast to room temperature. Pat dry with paper towels. Combine the spices in a small bowl then use to generously season the pork.
  • Cook the pork. Place the roast in a large cast iron pan. If desired, you can place it on top of carrots, potatoes, and onions for a full meal. Pour 1/4 cup of rum into the pan. Cover with foil and cook for 2.5 hours.
  • Add the brown sugar rub. Whisk together the remaining rum, brown sugar, lime juice, and minced garlic. Spread over the pork.
  • Finish cooking. Continue cooking the pork for an additional 1-1.5 hours, uncovered.
  • Enjoy. Let the pork rest for 10 minutes, then slice and serve with the pan drippings. Enjoy!
Overhead view of a pork picnic roast in a cast iron skillet with vegetables

Tips for Success

Here are a few helpful hints to make the best pork roast.

  • Bring the picnic roast to room temperature. A half an hour or so before you begin the recipe, set your roast out on the counter to bring it to room temperature.
  • Use chicken stock instead of rum. I like the addition of rum for the flavor – the alcohol itself cooks off in the oven. However, if desired, you can replace it with chicken stock.
  • How do you know when picnic pork roast is done? The best way to tell when your pork roast is done is to use an internal thermometer. The temperature should be between 180-185F.
  • Should this picnic pork roast be cooked covered or uncovered? Both. We begin with the roast covered, to prevent it from drying out, but the second half of the cook time should be uncovered. You don’t want it to steam too much and it allows the brown sugar mixture to caramelize and crisp up.
Slices of pork roast on a plate

What to Serve With Pork Shoulder Picnic Roast

You have many options when it comes to what to serve with this pork roast. If you want to make an easy dinner in on, you can actually cook potatoes, carrots, and onions right in the cast iron skillet with the pork.

Alternatively, you can serve this with sides like mashed potatoes (brown butter mashed potatoes pair nicely with roast too!) and glazed carrots.

A bite of pork roast on a fork

How to Store & Reheat Leftovers

  • Fridge. Leftover pork shoulder roast can be stored in the fridge for up to 4 days in an airtight container.
  • Reheat. If you’re just reheating an individual portion, the microwave is perfect. If you want to reheat the whole roast, you can cover it and reheat it in the oven at 350. You may want to add some chicken stock to the pan to stop it from drying out.

More Pork Recipes:

Slices of pork roast on a plate
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Cast Iron Pork Roast

This Pork Roast slow cooks in the oven, keeping the pork tender and moist. A spice rub and brown sugar mixture add a sweet and savory flavor. Serve with vegetables and potatoes for a hearty, complete dinner.
Servings: 6 servings
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 4 hours
Total: 4 hours 15 minutes


  • 4 pound Picnic Pork Roast
  • 1 Tablespoon Salt
  • 1 Teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 1 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 1 Teaspoon Onion Powder
  • 1 Teaspoon Paprika
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoons Ground Ginger
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoons Allspice
  • 1 Teaspoon Ground Coriander
  • 1/2 Cup Packed Light Brown Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup Dark Rum 1/4 cup separated
  • Juice From 1 Lime
  • 4 Cloves Garlic Minced


  • Allow the pork roast to come to room temperature before cooking. Preheat oven to 350℉.
  • In a small mixing bowl, mix together the salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, ground ginger, allspice and ground coriander. Set aside.
  • Place the pork roast on a cutting and pat dry with paper towels. Season the pork roast all over with the spice mixture.
  • Place the pork roast into a 10” or larger cast iron pan (place on top of carrots, potatoes and onions if desired). Pour ¼ cup of the dark rum into the bottom of the pan.
  • Roast the pork in the oven covered with foil for 2.5 hours. Meanwhile in a small mixing bowl, whisk together the other ¼ cup of dark rum, brown sugar, lime juice and minced garlic. Set aside.
  • After 2.5 hours remove the pork roast from the oven and uncover. Spread the brown sugar mixture all over the pork and return to the oven uncovered. Continue to roast for another 1-1.5 hours until the outside is nicely browned and the internal temperature of the pork reaches 180-185℉.
  • Allow the pork to rest for 10 minutes before slicing. Serve with the pan drippings and garnish with fresh parsley. Enjoy!

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Calories: 527kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 68g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 191mg | Sodium: 1318mg | Potassium: 1201mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 18g | Vitamin A: 169IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 45mg | Iron: 2mg


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