What To Do With Pork Skin From Shoulder? [Explained]

Pork shoulder cut can be used to make several scrumptious dishes. It’s in fact quite a budget-friendly way to satisfy your cravings. 

But you always end up cutting and throwing away the skin from the pork shoulder. You can’t help but wonder if there is a good way of utilizing the pork shoulder skin, right? 

What to do with pork skin from shoulder? 

The pork skin can be left on the pork shoulder meat if you want a crispy skin or if you’re using a slow-cook pork recipe. The skin can be used individually to make a crispy pork rind. Or you can fry it and use it in pasta or as a topping on salads. 

It’s just a tiny insight into the entire matter. I’m here to provide you with a detailed answer to this question. 

Keep reading!

Pork Shoulder: Which Part of the Hog is it? 

First, let’s see if we’re fully clear about the meat cut we’re talking about. 

What do you think, exactly which part of the body of a hog is the pork shoulder?

Often, most people confuse the pork shoulder with the pork butt or the opposite. Also, maybe the part you think is the pork shoulder is not from where the pork shoulder cut is taken. 

The pork butt or the Boston butt is not the rear end of a hog. It’s actually the upper part of the hog, which most of us mistake for the shoulder. 

In all the cuts of a pork diagram, you’ll see that the pork shoulder is the part right above the hock. Or sometimes below the pork butt. And just be sure to not get confused, the pork shoulder is called the picnic shoulder as well.

Now, unlike the pork butt, the shoulder cut has a layer of skin on it. It’s sometimes sold without the skin, and sometimes the skin is left as it is. 

In this article, we’re going to talk about how to make good use of the skin.

Keep reading to know all about it!

Keep or Throw the Skin of Pork Shoulder? 

When you’re analyzing what to do with pork shoulder skin, the first question that comes in the way is whether to keep the pork shoulder skin on or off

Well, the direct answer would be that it depends on the recipe or what you’re wanting to make. 

You don’t have to cut and throw away the skin if your recipe lets you benefit from it. But it’s better to throw the skin away if it hinders the quality of your dish.

For example, let’s say you’re making pulled pork. For that, it’s better to use the pork butt rather than the pork shoulder. Or you can use the pork shoulder after removing the skin from it.

That’s because the skin of the pork shoulder won’t let the seasoning properly penetrate into the meat. This implies that you may not get the best results. If you leave the skin on for some pork recipes.

However, the skin may as well be something you’d love to keep on the meat. Leaving the skin on is a must if you’re making a pork shoulder roast with crackling

Like that, there are many pork shoulder recipes you can try to avoid wasting away the skin.

Below, I’ve mentioned some of the most popular pork shoulder cut dishes that you can look up and try for yourself. 

Pork Shoulder Skin Uses: Popular Recipes

Now that we know you don’t have to toss away the pork shoulder skin, we’ll now talk about what we can do with it.

Scroll down to see some of the most popular pork shoulders with skin recipes you must try making.

Recipe 1: Pork Shoulder Skin-on Roast with Crackling

There is no denying that a pork roast with crackles on the outside would be the star of the show on a dinner table. 

A pork shoulder is the best cut for making this. Because the skin on pork shoulder is a vital ingredient for this recipe. 

Leaving the skin on is the key to getting the crispy outer crust, which is the most enjoyable part of this pork roast. A boneless pork shoulder cut is ideal for this dish.

You can make this recipe in many ways. You have the Puerto Rican Pernil. And there also is the Cuban-style roast pork shoulder with mojo

You can also try this unique recipe by this Twitter user as well-

But a common thing for all of them is that the meat cut is slow-cooked. As I’ve said before, pork shoulder fits most recipes that involve slow cooking of the meat. 

Some of the spices and condiments you’d be needing for making the Cuban-style roast pork shoulders are given below:

Ingredients Where To Get
Minced GarlicGet Now from Amazon!
CuminGet Now from Amazon!
OreganoGet Now from Amazon!
Orange JuiceGet Now from Amazon!
Lime JuiceGet Now from Amazon!
Mint LeavesGet Now from Amazon!
Pork ShoulderGet Now from Amazon!

Using these ingredients you can make delicious Cuban-style pork shoulder roast at home. 

Follow the perfect recipe and cook it in a ceramic or aluminum slow cooker. The final outcome would be a dry but pulpy inside and a mouthwatering crispy crackle on the outside.

Recipe 2: Crispy Pork Rinds

Now we know how we can make a super delicious pork shoulder roast with the skin on. But guess what? The skin of pork shoulder is also amazing on its own. 

You can separate the skin from the meat and make some crispy pork rinds that are amazing as snacks.

All you have to do is trim the skin off. Cut it into bite-sized pieces, and bake them for 3 hours at 250 degrees F. You will see that the skin has significantly puffed up after baking. 

Once you’re done baking, fry them up in a good amount of neutral oil. And that’s it! You can serve the pork rinds hot or even store them in an airtight container.

Recipe 3: Season and Stir-fry for Garnish

Apart from making pork rinds with pork shoulder skin, you can always season it. Try baking, and stir-fry it for instant use.

Season and add spices according to your liking. Then bake the pieces of skin just how you do for the pork rinds. After that, stir fry them and add them to your pasta Fagioli or as toppings on salads. 

Recipe 4: Pork Skin for Gelatinous Stock Base

We all know that pork is a great source of gelatin. You can make a gelatinous stock base and use it in other dishes as a thickener or taste enhancer. Just like you can use chicken or beef stock for pork gravy

You can make the stock by boiling the pork shoulder skin and the bones together in an Instant Pot. Then you can add it to stews, soup, noodle broth, dumpling soup, etc. 

On that note, here are some of the best Instant Pot models currently available in the market:

Product Where To Get
Instant Pot Duo Plus 6 Quart 9-in-1Grab Now from Amazon!
Instant Pot Pro Crisp XL 8Qt 11-in-1Grab Now from Amazon!
Instant Pot Duo Crisp 9-in-1Grab Now from Amazon!

These instant pots can melt the pork skin easily.

That’s all!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is it necessary to remove the fat cap on pork shoulder?

The fat cap can add to the flavour and texture of your meat. So instead of removing it entirely, you can remove a quarter of it. However, if you don’t like your dishes to be fatty, then you have to remove the fat cap. 

At what temperature does pork fat melt?

It takes up to 200 or 250 degrees F for pork fat to melt and the collagens to gelatinize. Any temperature less than this won’t melt the pork fat. 

Are lard and bacon grease considered a similar food?  

Bacon grease and lard are basically the same things, as both are rendered pork fat. So you can use any one of the two when a recipe calls for using lard or bacon grease.

Final Thoughts

That’s all we had to say regarding “what to do with pork skin from shoulder?” We’ve tried our best to give you a good idea of the ways you can utilize the pork skin. 

Hopefully, after reading this article you’ll be able to utilize the skin from pork shoulder that you once may have considered useless. 

Happy cooking your delicacy with, pork skin!