Perfect Pulled Pork

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Perfect Pulled Pork

Pulled Pork! Yep, I can honestly say we’ve never had it before until a couple years ago, when my husband and I were watching Diners, Drive-inns, and Dives on the food network channel and we saw a show where they showed these juicy and sinful pulled pork sandwiches. We knew we had to try it, we love pork, so pulled pork has got to be amazing.  So we did and, yes it was amazing.

Pulled pork must be an American thing because I can’t say I’ve ever seen it at a restaurant either or anywhere else. I feel I’ve missed out on it all my life, it really is a wonderful way of preparing pork, full of flavor, it’s just delicious. It’s a slow, long process, but in the end it’s worth it.

You start out by making the dry rub mix, because you need to use some of it in the brine. You need to make all of the dry rub mix in this recipe, because you will use it all to rub it on the pork. I know it looks like a lot of ingredients but trust me, they make for a wonderful flavor.

Perfect Pulled Pork

You need a nice piece of pork shoulder that’s roughly between 5 and 7 pounds. It’s probably better if it has the bone in, the meat will have more flavor, however mine did not.

Perfect Pulled Pork

Next you’ll need to mix all the ingredients together for the brine solution, place the pork shoulder in a big plastic ziploc bag and add the brine solution.

Perfect Pulled Pork

Place the ziploc bag in a large container and refrigerate this for at least 8 hours, preferably over night. The next day take the pork out of the bag and place it in a deep roasting pan. Take the remaining dry rub mix and thoroughly rub it all over the pork. Now, you’ll need a thermometer and you need to stick it in the thickest part of the meat, not touching the bone. Place the pan in a preheated 225 F degree oven and you’ll need to keep the meat in there for about 12 hours or until the meat reaches 200 F degrees. I know you’ll be tempted to take it out before, but you need to be patient with this one. After 12 hours you’ll have a gorgeous pulled pork that is worth all the wait.

perfect pulled pork

Before you’re tempted to eat, you need to let it rest for another 2 hours. I know, I know! But you need to let it rest. The next step is a lot of fun, take 2 forks and start pulling the meat apart, after 12 hours in the oven, it will be easy to pull apart. Trust me you are going to love this pork, it’s so spicy and smokey and just delicious.

Perfect Pulled Pork

You can serve it like I did, on a bun with cole slaw, or just by itself with some barbecue sauce.


Perfect Pulled Pork
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 8
  • 5lb to 7lb pork shoulder
Dry Rub
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 tbsp ground pepper
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • ½ cup brown sugar
Brine Solution
  • ½ cup salt
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 2 qts cold water
  • 3 tbsp dry rub mix
  • 2 bay leaves
  1. For the meat, you'll need a 5 to 7 lb pork shoulder with bone in, and a layer of fat on the bottom. Here's how you'll do this.
  2. The night before you want to eat the pork, prepare the dry rub mix. In a big pot prepare the brine solution and add the pork shoulder to the brine, throw in a couple bay leaves, cover the pot and put in the fridge overnight. You can also place the brine solution and pork in a big ziploc bag.
  3. Next day early in the morning, take the meat out and pat it dry. You'll need a big deep roasting pan. Put the meat in the pan, and start rubbing in the dry rub all over the meat. Make sure you put plenty of rub, and massage real well. Now, you'll need a thermometer and you need to stick it in the thickest part of the meat, not touching the bone.
  4. Place uncovered in a 225 degree oven on the middle rack. It will take about 12 hours, but you need to be patient, the meat needs to get to 200 degrees.
  5. Once it reaches 200 degrees, take it out of the oven and let it rest for another 1.5 to 2 hours.
  6. Now comes the fun part, using two large forks, begin pulling the meat apart. It will fall apart easily and it should not take you long at all to pull apart this whole roast. All that's left to do now is eat it, if you find you nix more flavor, you can add more of the dry mix over the pulled pork. The meat is so tender and delicious.
Recipe adapted from


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  1. says

    Delicious… so easy in a crock pot as well. But in a smoker, fantastic!

    The dish has it’s roots in American and Caribbean slave history. They would get the worst parts of a pig (too fatty), so they learned to cook it where all that fat renders out and tenderizes the meat. It is incredible. great spot on recipe!

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