Culinary FYI: Knowing When Your Pork is Done

pork cooking time

Meat is “done” when it has met the following conditions:

1. When it has reached the appropriate internal temperature.
2. When it is at a level of doneness to be palatable.

This is especially important for pulled pork because of the amount of connective tissue that is present in a shoulder cut. When the shoulder cut has reached an internal temperature of 160°F (71°C) it is not done yet, this is because the meat is not yet palatable. It is not yet edible because the connective tissue has not had enough time to break down, meaning the cut is still tough. The connective tissue needs to cook long and slow with heat to break down. This is a perfect example of how you need both specifications listed above. The pulled pork needs to cook way past the internal temperature of 160°F (71°C) before it is actually done because it needs that time to become palatable. This is a good tip to keep in mind when cooking all tough cuts of meat.

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