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How to Cut a Cooked Pork Shoulder

by Zora Hughes, studioD

Pork shoulder is one of the more flavorful cuts of pork, laced with ribbons of fat and connective tissue throughout. As roast, it's packed with flavor, but difficult to carve uniformly, primarily because of the oddly shaped shank and blade bone stuck in the middle of it. However, with the proper use of a sharp carving knife and fork, you can get most of the meat off of the bone neatly for a winning presentation.

Hold a carving knife in your dominant hand and a carving fork in the other.

Wedge your knife underneath the pork crackling, or skin, of the cooked pork shoulder and gently push through, slicing through the connective tissue, so that the crackling comes off in one piece. Use the carving fork to steady the pork shoulder as you remove the crackling. This step is only necessary if the crackling was left on the pork shoulder before roasting.

Place the carving knife near the shank end of the pork shoulder, and make a diagonal cut with the carving knife down to the bone.

Make a second diagonal slice downward on the exact opposite side that you cut, also down to the bone to create a wedge. Remove the wedge of meat and set it aside.

Slice the rest of the pork shoulder into thick, 1/2-inch pieces, working your way backwards from the wedge, using long, sweeping strokes. Slice the pork close to the bottom, but do not cut the whole way through.

Make a horizontal cut underneath the slices to remove them from the rest of the pork shoulder.

Turn over the remaining pork shoulder and continue to make even slices, wherever possible, around the bone.

Items you will need
  •  Carving fork
  •  Carving knife
  •  Serving platter


  • Save any chunks of meat that you can't slice up neatly for a pork sandwich.
  • Purchase a boneless pork shoulder for easy carving of uniform slices.


About the Author

Based in Los Angeles, Zora Hughes has been writing travel, parenting, cooking and relationship articles since 2010. Her work includes writing city profiles for Groupon. She also writes screenplays and won the S. Randolph Playwriting Award in 2004. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in television writing/producing and a Master of Arts Management in entertainment media management, both from Columbia College.

Photo Credits

  • Eising/Photodisc/Getty Images