fastest way to thaw pork shoulder

What is the fastest way to thaw pork shoulder? If you have a pork shoulder that needs to be thawed, you’re probably wondering the fastest way to do it.

You can use several methods, but some are faster than others.

This blog post will discuss the different ways to thaw pork shoulder and which is the quickest.

Putting pork in cold water to thaw is faster than putting it in the fridge, but you must be careful. Fill the sink with enough cold water from the tap to cover the pork, put the pork in a bag that won’t leak, and put it in the cold water.

What is the Fastest Way to Thaw Pork Shoulder?

way to thaw pork shoulder

Pork shoulder thaws more quickly in cold water than in the fridge.

However there are several methods for thawing frozen pork shoulder, but some are considerably quicker than others.

We’ll go through all of them below so you can decide which one works best for you.

How to Thaw a Pork Shoulder

thaw a pork shoulder

There are several methods for thawing pork shoulder safely. For best results, use one of the methods described below.

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1. Refrigerator

This is the best way to take pork shoulder out of the freezer. But it takes a lot of time, so plan. Here are steps by steps on how to do it

Step#1. Put It on a Paper Towel-Lined Baking Dish

After taking the pork shoulder out of the freezer, put it on a paper towel-lined baking dish.

You can also put a wire rack on top of a sheet pan to help the air circulate better.

In either case, ensure the pan’s sides are high enough to catch any juices that run out as the meat thaws.

Step#2. Put the Pork on the Bottom Shelf of the Refrigerator to Thaw

pork on the bottom shelf

This will help keep the food from getting dirty if the juices leak out of the pan.

Please don’t touch the pork in the fridge until it’s completely defrosted.

The whole process should take one hour for every five pounds of meat.

That means that a pork shoulder that weighs 10 to 12 pounds will take 50 to 60 hours to thaw.

Tip: Using the refrigerator method, you should eat the thawed pork within three to five days. 

This helps if your plans for cooking aren’t set in stone. Still, we’d suggest cooking it as soon as possible to keep the meat fresh.

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2. Cold Water

a cold water

This is a great way to get things done quickly. All you need is a big enough container to hold the pork shoulder and a lot of water.

Here is how to do it:

Step#1. Wrap the Pork and Fill the Container with Water

Put the pork in the container that has been wrapped, and then fill the container with water: It helps if the water goes all the way up to the pork.

If it doesn’t, you’ll have to switch the meat around whenever you change the water.

Step#2:  Empty the Container and Fill It with Cold Water Again

empty container

After 30 minutes, empty the container and fill it with cold water again: Make sure to turn the pork often.

About 30 minutes per pound should be enough time for the meat to thaw.

That means, depending on when you took the pork out of the freezer, you can start cooking it the same day.

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One important thing to remember is that you should never freeze cold-water-thawed pork again.

It's not a good idea to freeze meat that has already been thawed, but this is an important rule.

Step#3: Cook as Soon as Possible after It Has Been Thawed

cook as soon as possible

Also, make sure the pork is cooked as soon as possible after it has been thawed.

Even though this method is safe, it’s possible that some parts of the pork shoulder got hotter than others.

To be safe, it’s better to cook it off right away.

Tip: You might think warm water will help speed up the process, but don't believe that. Pathogens that spread through food are more likely to grow in warm water.

3. Microwave

a microwave

Nowadays, a lot of microwaves have special settings for thawing meat and a lot of other things.

Your microwave’s manual will tell you how to do this the best way for your microwave.

It might even have specific instructions for different cuts of meat, which are very helpful if you want to keep the meat from cooking in the microwave.

If you haven’t, here’s how to thaw your pork shoulder safely in the microwave.

Step#1. Put the Pork in a Microwaveable or Plate-Safe Bag

Put the pork in a bag that can go in the microwave or on a plate.

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Set the microwave to defrost, and then check it every few minutes to see if it’s done.

Step#2: Keep Turning the Plate

turn the plate

Turn the plate over every minute if you don’t have a rotating tray.

If you’re defrosting more than one piece of meat at once, you may need to switch around the order in which they’re placed on the tray, even if it rotates.

Step#3: Switch Them

Halfway through the process of thawing, you should switch them. Take out each piece of frozen pork as it thaws.

The pork’s smaller layers will begin cooking as the bigger layers thaw, so keeping an eye on them is essential.

Pork that has been thawed in the microwave shouldn’t be put back in the fridge. Instead, it should be cooked right away.

Tip: Never let pork shoulder thaw at room temperature. This is the most important thing to remember. 

That’s true of all meat products. If the meat sits at room temperature for too long, it will attract harmful pathogens that can spread through food.

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4. Oven

the oven

The oven is the fastest way to thaw pork shoulder if you’re in a rush.

  •  Preheat the oven to 275 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Place pork shoulder on a baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes per pound, or until the internal temperature of the pork reaches 140 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Keep an eye on it, and check it every so often to ensure it’s not starting to cook.
  • Remove from the oven, let rest for five minutes, then slice and serve.

5. Air fryer

Another quick option for thawing defrost pork shoulder is using an air fryer.

  • Set the air fryer to a low temperature around 200 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Place the frozen pork shoulder in the air fryer basket.
  • Cook for about 30 minutes or until thawed. Again, keep an eye on it to ensure it’s not cooking too quickly.

6. Pressure Cooker

a pressure cooker

If you have a pressure cooker, you can use that to thaw pork shoulder relatively quickly.

  • Set the pressure cooker to low pressure.
  • Add the frozen pork shoulder and cook for 30 minutes per pound.
  • Once the time is up, let the pressure release naturally for five minutes before a quick release.
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7. Slow Cooker

If you have a slow cooker, you can use that to thaw pork shoulder relatively quickly:

  • Set it to low
  • Cook for 15-20 minutes
  • Check to see if it is thawed. If not, repeat step two until it is thawed.

FAQs About The Fastest Way To Thaw Pork Shoulder

popular questions

Do you have any other questions about the fastest way to thaw pork shoulder?

Here are some of the most commonly asked questions about pork shoulder.

Can Frozen Pork Shoulder Be Cooked?

You could cook pork that was still frozen. But it will take much longer than the recipe you follow says it should.

There is also a chance that the pork won’t cook all the way through and will still be pink in the middle, which is also dangerous.

How Long Does It Take to Thaw a 10-Pound Pork Shoulder?

Don’t touch the pork in the fridge until it’s completely defrosted. The whole process should take one day for every five pounds of meat.

That means that a pork shoulder that weighs 10 pounds will take 48 to 60 hours to thaw.

Is It Faster for Frozen Pork Shoulders To Thaw in Hot or Cold Water?

Putting frozen pork shoulder in cold water is the best way to get it to stop being frozen.

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Water will quickly and effectively thaw pork, but you have to wrap the pork in plastic to keep the water out.

This is because water is a better heat conductor than air.

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Final Verdict

So, what is the fastest way to thaw pork shoulder? If you’re in a hurry, the microwave is your best bet.

But if you have some time, defrosting in the fridge is the safest method.

And if you're short on time, cold water thawing is faster than letting it sit out at room temperature. 

Just remember to cook your pork shoulder ASAP after thawing, as bacteria can start to grow quickly at warmer temperatures.

Thanks for reading!