How many calories are in a Pork Roast shoulder?

Quick Answer

The number of calories in a pork roast shoulder depends on the size of the cut, but on average a 3-ounce serving contains around 210 calories. A typical pork shoulder roast weighing 5 pounds contains approximately 3,500 calories total.

What is Pork Roast Shoulder?

Pork shoulder, also known as Boston butt or pork butt, refers to the upper portion of the front leg of the pig. This cut contains parts of the neck, shoulder, and upper arm of the pig.

Pork shoulder is a flavorful and inexpensive cut of pork that is often roasted, braised, smoked, or slow cooked for pulled pork. It contains a good amount of fat, which keeps it moist during cooking. The name Boston butt is said to come from the way pork shoulders were packed into barrels called “butts” for storage and shipping in New England.

Nutrition Facts of Pork Roast Shoulder

Here are the nutrition facts for a 3-ounce serving of roasted pork shoulder according to the USDA:

Calories 210
Protein 22g
Fat 12g
Carbohydrates 0g

As you can see, pork shoulder is a high-protein, high-fat cut of meat. A 3-ounce serving provides about 22g of protein. It has a good amount of B vitamins including niacin, vitamin B6, and vitamin B12. Pork is also a source of important minerals like zinc, iron, phosphorus, potassium and selenium.

However, pork shoulder is relatively high in fat and calories compared to leaner cuts of pork. About 43% of the calories come from fat. It provides both saturated and unsaturated fatty acids.

Calories in a Pork Shoulder Roast

The number of calories in a pork roast shoulder depends on the weight and size of the cut.

Here are some estimates for the total calories in common pork shoulder roast sizes:

Roast Size Total Calories
3 pounds 2,100 calories
4 pounds 2,800 calories
5 pounds (typical roast size) 3,500 calories

A 3-pound roast contains about 700 calories per pound.
A 4-pound roast contains around 700 calories per pound.
A 5-pound roast contains around 700 calories per pound.

So in general, you can estimate a pork shoulder roast has about 700 calories per pound. This can vary slightly depending on the exact size, shape and trimming of the roast.

Calories Per Serving

To determine the calories per serving, you need to divide the total calories by the number of servings the roast provides.

A typical serving size of roasted pork is about 3 ounces.

So for example, a 3-pound pork roast with 2,100 calories total would provide about 14 servings (3 ounces each).

By dividing the total calories by 14 servings, there are approximately 150 calories in each 3-ounce serving.

Here are the estimated calories per 3-ounce serving for different roast sizes:

Roast Size Calories Per 3oz Serving
3 pounds 150 calories
4 pounds 200 calories
5 pounds 250 calories

You can use these estimations as a guideline when calculating the calories if you know the total weight of your pork shoulder roast. Keep in mind that the actual amount can vary based on cooking methods, trimming of fat, and accuracy of your portion sizes.

Typical Calorie Count of Pork Shoulder Cuts

Different cuts and styles of pork shoulder will contain slightly different calorie amounts.

Here is an overview of the typical calorie counts in 3 ounces of common pork shoulder cuts when roasted or braised:

Cut Calories
Boston Butt Roast 210 calories
Blade Boston Roast 205 calories
Arm Picnic Roast 200 calories
Smoked Picnic Roast 215 calories
Shoulder Steak 235 calories

As you can see, most pork shoulder cuts contain around 200-235 calories in a standard 3-ounce serving. The Boston butt roast tends to be slightly higher in calories than a picnic roast.

Factors Affecting Calories

Several factors affect the actual calorie content of pork shoulder:

Cooking Method

The cooking method can alter the fat content. Roasting, braising, baking, and slow cooking tend to preserve most of the fat. Grilling, broiling or pan frying may cause more fat to render out.

Portion Size

The calories will be lower if you consume a 2-ounce portion versus a 4-ounce portion. Be mindful of your serving size.

Fat Trimming

Trimming excess outer fat before cooking can reduce the overall fat and calories per serving. However, take care not to over trim as some fat bastes the meat during cooking.

Weight of Roast

The calories per serving will be higher for a 6-pound shoulder roast versus a 3-pound roast. Estimate 700 calories per pound.

Ingredients Added

Ingredients like oil, butter, marinades and rubs added during preparation can increase the calorie content. Glazes added toward the end of cooking also increase calories.

Tips for Serving Pork Roast

Here are some tips to keep calories in check when serving pork roast:

– Stick to reasonable serving sizes around 3 ounces or the size of a deck of cards. Avoid oversized portions.

– Carve and portion the pork ahead of time instead of serving family-style.

– Skip higher calorie sauces and glazes. Enjoy the pork roast with mustard, salsa, chimichurri or chimichurri for fewer calories.

– Load up on non-starchy vegetables like broccoli, green beans, asparagus or salad as sides.

– Go easy on starchy sides like potatoes, rice or pasta which can quickly add calories.

– Use lean cooking methods when reheating leftovers like roasting in the oven or poaching instead of frying.

Healthiest Ways to Cook Pork Roast

Here are some of healthiest cooking methods for pork roast to help decrease the calories, fat and sodium:

– Roast in the oven at a high temperature (425°F) to allow the fat to render and drip away from the meat. Place a rack in the roasting pan so the meat does not sit in the rendered fat.

– Braise or slow cook in broth, wine, barbecue sauce or other liquid to add extra flavor. This tenderizes the meat but still allows some fat to cook off.

– Grill over indirect low heat turning frequently and moving to direct heat at the end to crisp the exterior. This allows fat to render away from the cut.

– Poach in simmering water, chicken broth or marinade to fully cook the pork while keeping it moist and tender.

– Bake in a marinade first to boost flavor, then uncover and bake at high heat to finish cooking and brown.

– Skip frying, breading or battering which can significantly increase the calories and fat.

Low Calorie Pork Roast Recipe Ideas

Here are some tasty and nutritious ways to prepare pork roast:

Chimichurri Pork Roast

– 3 lb pork shoulder roast
– 2 Tbsp olive oil
– 3 cloves garlic, minced
– 1 cup fresh parsley
– 1/4 cup fresh oregano
– 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
– 1 tsp red pepper flakes
– 1 tsp salt
– 1/2 tsp black pepper

1. Make chimichurri sauce by combining garlic, parsley, oregano, vinegar, red pepper flakes, salt and black pepper in a food processor. Pulse until finely chopped but not completely smooth.
2. Rub pork roast evenly with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
3. Roast at 425°F for 30 minutes. Reduce heat to 325°F and continue roasting for about 1 hour and 15 minutes until internal temperature reaches 145°F.
4. Remove roast from oven, tent with foil and let rest 15 minutes.
5. Slice roast and top servings with chimichurri sauce.

Apple Cider Pork Roast

– 2 lb boneless pork roast
– 1 tbsp olive oil
– 1 tsp smoked paprika
– 1 tsp salt
– 1/2 tsp pepper
– 1 cup apple cider

1. Pat pork roast dry and rub with olive oil, smoked paprika, salt and pepper.
2. Sear roast on all sides in a skillet over high heat.
3. Place in slow cooker and add apple cider.
4. Cook on low heat for 7-8 hours until fork tender.
5. Shred pork with two forks and toss with cooking liquid to moisten.

Citrus Pork Roast

– 3 lbs boneless pork roast
– Juice and zest of 1 orange
– Juice from 1 lime
– 2 garlic cloves, minced
– 2 tbsp honey
– 2 tbsp olive oil
– 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

1. In a small bowl whisk together orange juice, lime juice, garlic, honey, olive oil and cayenne.
2. Place pork roast in a baking dish and pour marinade over the top. Turn to coat evenly.
3. Cover and refrigerate 1-2 hours.
4. Roast at 400°F for about 1 hour until internal temperature reaches 145°F.
5. Let rest 10 minutes before slicing. Pour pan juices over meat.


The number of calories in pork roast shoulder depends primarily on the size of the cut, with an average of 700 calories per pound. For a typical 3-ounce serving, expect around 210 calories on average.

When cooking pork roast, choose healthy low-calorie cooking methods like roasting, baking or poaching instead of frying. And stick to reasonable portion sizes for controlling calories. Enjoy pork as part of a balanced diet along with plenty of vegetables, fruits, whole grains and lean proteins.

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