Delicious, tender, juicy pulled pork packed with delicious BBQ flavor, cooked to perfection in your oven. No special expensive equipment is required for this recipe. Just a few simple ingredients to create an incredible pulled pork that everyone will love!
This pulled pork recipe might just be one of the most impressive recipes you can make. Prepare to serve pulled pork sandwiches at your next party, gathering, event or meal.
How to make pulled pork in the oven
Traditionally, the production of pulled pork is a lengthy process that usually involves smoking the meat for hours in special smoke ovens. It's quite a big deal to duplicate this process, it takes a lot of knowledge, equipment, time and space. Of course, slow cookers and pressure cookers like the Instant Pot make the process a lot easier. But let's go further. Maybe you don't own a slow cooker or instant pot...no problem. You can use your oven to make this recipe and the results are spectacular.
What you need
Our Oven Pulled Pork must be cooked in a large ovenproof pan with a lid or Dutch Oven. Both will work fine. All the magic happens in the same vessel: searing the meat on the stovetop and then roasting it in the oven. The lid is important because we will be using a liquid to achieve much of our flavor profile and juiciness. For this recipe I have a5qt deep frying pan with non-stick coating.
Pork shoulder is best for pulled pork
Pulled pork is commonly made with cuts of pork from the shoulder region: pork shoulder, pork butt, Boston butt, picnic roast. While they all work for pulled pork, there are small differences. Pork labeled as butt generally has more marbling and extra fat, making it the best cut of meat for a very tender and juicy pulled pork. Any of these cuts will work for this recipe. If you get bones, it's just a little more work cutting the bone away.
How much pork to use?
With this recipe we cook a total of 4-6 pounds of meat that has been trimmed. That means our original purchase was a few pounds more. Keep in mind that most pork shoulders have a fat cap (which we trim away), some may have a bone (again, we trim it away), skin (you can do that too), and larger areas of fat. Therefore, buying a 7 to 9 pound cut should be ideal.
Our Oven Cooked Pulled Pork starts with the pork shoulder/rump mentioned above. Then we make a delicious Pork Rub consisting ofbrown sugar, paprika, ground mustard, onion powder, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, kosher salt and black pepper. This is a pretty standard list of spices and ingredients for a BBQ rub. It's great for the great taste and also because it uses common ingredients that you probably already have on hand.
The pork is then oven cooked while in a large skillet/covered stove or Dutch oven. It is boiled in a liquid consisting ofChicken broth or chicken broth, Worcestershire sauce and liquid smoke. The liquid smoke is one of the key ingredients here. Since we're not using a smoker to cook the meat, we need that nice smoky flavor. Liquid smoke comes in small bottles and is available at most supermarkets or online retailers. i really likeStubbs liquid smokethat you can get online.
Finally, at the end of the process, we have a wonderful juice that can be added back to the pork. The juice is awesome on its own, but feel free to add 1/2 cup or so of your favorite tooGrillsoßeand simmer to create an absolutely amazing sauce for your pulled pork.
Start by trimming your pork. Make sure to use a sharp knife as it makes the job so much easier! After unwrapping the pork, trim off the fat cap and any skin. Then start by slicing the pork into several pieces (about 5-8), which should be about the size of your fist. Cut away large chunks of fat when slicing and trimming. If using bone-in pork, start by trimming away the bone. It's not always a pretty process, just do your best to cut and remove it. You can actually save it to make a broth or use in other recipes, but that's a discussion for another day.
Mix all the dry ingredients in a small bowl to make the spice rub. Then place the pork in a large bowl and add the rub. Use your hands and get all those pork cuts well coated with the rub.
Use a large 5 qt sauté pan (with the lid that will be used later) or Dutch oven and place on the stovetop over medium-high heat. Add the meat and brown well on all sides. This should only take a few minutes per side. We are now building our flavor profile!
When all the meat is seared, set aside on a plate and deglaze and set on the bottom of the stove. Just pour in some broth and then scrape off the pieces with a wooden spoon. This is called deglazing the pan. Don't throw any of it away! It's all part of the taste. (Non-stick pans/stoves may not need this step)
When the skillet or Dutch oven is deglazed, add the chicken broth, Worcestershire, and liquid smoke. Now add the pork and cover with the lid. We want the lid to be as secure and airtight as possible. You should always cover pulled pork when cooking it in the oven! If the lid has a vent hole, cover it with a piece of aluminum foil.
Now place it in an oven preheated to 300°(F) for 3 hours.
Ready to pull!
After the 3-hour cooking time is up, it's time to see and taste the result. Carefully remove the pot from the oven and remove the lid. Ahhh… just look at the meat! Use a fork and gently prick one of the pieces. You will see how fragile it is. Try it if you like. Whoa, right?! Ok, use tongs and carefully remove the pork into a large bowl. Scoop out about ½ cup of the juice and pour into the bowl with the pork. Use two forks ormeat clawsto shred the meat. You'll see how easily it falls apart.
Now we still have the pan full of juice that cooked the meat. We have a few options: Use the juice as is, which is amazing! Or add 1/2 cup of your favorite BBQ sauce and simmer for about 15 minutes to reduce. There is no right or wrong answer. Personally, once you've tried the sauce as is, you'll be amazed at how good it is. But if you like a thicker sauce, add the BBQ sauce and let it simmer. Again both are really good.
time to serve
Your pulled pork is now ready to serve. This is the best part! Your first decision will be to toss all of the pulled pork with sauce or leave the sauce aside? It's entirely up to you. When serving for a crowd, I usually just mix in a little more juice with the pork, then keep the juice/sauce on the side for optional use. Pulled pork tastes best when served on an equally good bread or bun. love to useBrioche Bun. They are soft, slightly sweet and stick well to the pork. Pretzel buns are also an excellent choice. Another great way to serve pulled pork on Texas toast! This might be my favourite. Texas toast is simply thickly sliced white bread. It is commonly used to make French toast. Place a slice in the toaster to lightly toast, then fold over a bunch of pulled pore. Oh my goodness! You won't believe how good it is!
In my book there are really only 2 options for toppings: coleslaw or cucumber. The crunch of both goes great with the pork's savory BBQ flavors. Of course, you can just stack the pulled pork directly onto the bun or bread and leave the sides on the side. But of course I LOVE having cucumber slices on the side.
frequently asked Questions
Can this recipe be doubled?
Answer: Yes, just double everything. You need to make sure you have a big enough pan/pot for a lot more. If you want more than 6 pounds of meat, consider using a larger Dutch Oven as the cooking vessel.
Can you freeze pulled pork?
Absolutely yes! Place the pork in airtight containers and freeze for up to 4 months.
Best damn oven pulled pork
- Author: recipe teacher
- Total time: 3 hours 20 minutes
- Yield: 8 servings
Delicious, tender, juicy pulled pork packed with delicious BBQ flavor, cooked to perfection in your oven. A simple recipe with ingredients and steps that anyone can make in their oven.
- 4–6lbs pork shoulder, trimmed and cut into pieces (see notes below)
Ingredients for the dry rub:
- ⅓ TaxBrown sugar
- 1THE PAPRIKA
- 2 TLkosher salt
- 2 TLground black pepper
- 2 TLonion powder
- 1,5 TLground mustard
- 1 teaspoongarlic powder
- ¼ TLCayenne
- 2 Bagschicken soup
- 1EL Worcestershire-Sauce
- 1 teaspoonliquid smoke
- ½ taxBBQ-Sauce (optional)
- Preheat oven to 300°(F).
- Mix all dry ingredients.
- Trim the pork from the fat cap, skin, and other large portions of fat. Then cut the area into roughly fist-sized pieces. You don't have to be tidy here, just do your best.
- Place the pork chunks in a large bowl and mix with the spice rub. Use your hands and get all the pieces well coated.
- Place a Dutch Oven or deep ovenproof skillet/stove (with a lid for later use - preferably 5 quart size) on the hob over medium-high heat. When hot, add the seasoned pork and sear for about 2 minutes on each side. Again, you don't have to be super neat, just make everything as golden as possible. When all the pieces are seared, transfer to a plate and set aside.
- After removing the seared meat, scrape any clinging bits off the bottom of the pan. Pour in some broth and scrape up with a wooden spoon. (If you are using non-stick cookware, this step may not be necessary.)
- Pour the broth, Worcestershire sauce, and liquid smoke into the cookware. Add the pork back in, cover with the lid and place in the oven at 300°(F) for 3 hours. If the lid has a vent hole, cover it with foil. We want it to be as airtight as possible.
- When the cooking time is complete, carefully remove the cookware from the oven and then remove the lid. Using tongs, place the pork in a large bowl and shred with 2 forks or meat claws. Add ½ cup of the cooking liquid while chopping.
- Optional: Serve juices as is with pork. Or, add 1/2 cup of your favorite BBQ sauce to the liquid and simmer on the stovetop over low heat until the sauce has reduced. About 15 minutes.
For 4-6 pounds of pork, the roast you buy will be closer to 7-9 pounds. You usually trim off a few pounds of fat/bone.
- Preparation time: 20 minutes
- Cooking time: 3 hours
- Category: Dinner
- Method: Oven
- Kitchen: American