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Gourmet Hacks: 5 BEST Substitutes for Pork Shoulder

Sure, you’re after that perfect pork shoulder for your next cook-off, and bam—you find your fridge missing the star player.

We’ve all been there, staring into the depths of our kitchens, thinking, “Now what?” No sweat.

It turns out there are some killer swaps that can step in and save your dish.

You won’t believe how simple these substitutes can be.

Maybe you’re prepping a slow-cooked stew or firing up the grill; we’ve got the lowdown on what to use instead of the elusive pork shoulder.

And trust us, these alternatives are so good, you might just forget what you were originally after. Ready to turn a kitchen mishap into your next culinary win?

what is pork shoulder

The 5 Best Substitutes for Pork Shoulder

For those who don’t eat pork, finding substitutes for pork shoulder can be a challenge. But never fear.

We’ve compiled a list of the five best substitutes for pork shoulder, so you can enjoy your favorite dishes without compromising on flavor or texture.

SubstituteKey CharacteristicsSubstitute Ratio
Beef Chuck RoastTender and flavorful cut of beefUse as a 1:1 substitution for pork shoulder
Lamb ShoulderRich and savory meat with a distinct flavorUse as a 1:1 substitution for pork shoulder
Chicken ThighsMoist and tender meat with a mild flavorUse as a 1:1 substitution for pork shoulder or adjust cooking time
Pork ButtSimilar texture and flavor to pork shoulderUse as a 1:1 substitution for pork shoulder
Boneless Pork LegLeaner cut of pork with a mild flavorUse as a 1:1 substitution for pork shoulder or adjust cooking time

When preparing delicious pork dishes and seeking substitutes for pork shoulder, consider the following options:

1 – Beef Chuck Roast

beef chuck roast

When it comes to comfort food, beef chuck roast is hard to beat.

This hearty cut of meat is packed with flavor and nutrients, making it a favorite among home cooks.

Chuck roast comes from the shoulder of the cow and is well-marbled with fat.

This gives the meat a rich flavor that is perfect for slow cooking.

Chuck roast is also relatively inexpensive, making it a great option for budget-minded cooks.

When cooked properly, chuck roast can be tender and juicy, with a rich depth of flavor.

Cook chuck roast slowly in a Dutch oven or slow cooker for best results.

This classic cooking method will help break down the tough connective tissue in the meat, yielding a delicious and tender final product.

2 – Lamb Shoulder

lamb shoulder

The shoulder is one of the most versatile cuts of lamb.

It can be braised, roasted, or grilled, and its rich flavor pairs well with a variety of seasonings and sauces.

The shoulder is also relatively lean, making it a healthy option for those looking to limit their intake of saturated fat.

When shopping for lamb shoulder, look for pink meat in color and free of bruises or blemishes.

The meat should also be firm to the touch.

Shoulder chops are a great way to get the most out of this versatile cut of meat.

When cooked properly, they are tender and juicy, with just the right fat.

Shoulder chops can be pan-fried, grilled, or roasted, and they make an excellent addition to any weeknight meal.

3 – Chicken Thighs

chicken thighs

Chicken thighs are often overlooked in favor of chicken breasts, but they have a lot to offer.

For one thing, they tend to be more moist and flavorful than chicken breasts.

They’re also cheaper and easier to cook, making them a great option for weeknight meals.

Plus, there are endless possibilities for recipes for chicken thighs.

Whether you’re looking for something simple or something more adventurous, you’ll find a recipe that suits your taste.

4 – Pork Butt

pork butt

Pork butt, also known as Boston butt, is a type of pork that comes from the upper part of the pig’s shoulder.

This cut of pork is well-marbled with fat, making it ideal for slow cooking methods such as braising or smoking.

When cooked properly, pork butt can be incredibly moist and tender, with a rich flavor that pairs well with various seasonings.

As a result, it has become a popular ingredient in dishes such as pulled pork sandwiches and carnitas.

While it may take some time to cook, pork butt is worth the effort.

5 – Boneless Pork Leg

boneless pork leg

Boneless pork leg is a cut of pork taken from the pig’s hind leg.

It is a lean cut of meat high in protein and low in fat.

The boneless pork leg can be roasted, grilled, or baked.

It is a popular choice for many people because it is easy to cook and can be used in various recipes.

When cooked properly, the boneless pork leg is juicy and tender.

It is an excellent source of protein and makes a great addition to any meal.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Pork Shoulder

Looking to switch up your pork shoulder recipe? Your quest ends here! Explore our carefully curated list of the 5 best substitutes for pork shoulder, each offering a unique twist to elevate your culinary creation.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Substitutes
Servings 1 Serving


  • Beef Chuck Roast
  • Lamb Shoulder
  • Chicken Thighs
  • Pork Butt
  • Boneless Pork Leg


  • Pick your favorite substitute from the list above.
  • Follow cooking directions for your selected substitute with the proper ratio of ingredients.
Keyword substitutes for pork shoulder
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5 from 1 vote (1 rating without comment)

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