Pulled pork is kinda a labor of love.  I throw the kinda in there, because while it does take a long time to make…it’s not hard and most of that time, it’s just quietly doing its thing in the oven – rather than “active” cooking.  Now, I don’t use a smoker, and I know based on that statement alone some of you have already left.  But, 1) I don’t have a smoker, and 2) It feels like a lot more work.  For me a low and slow oven does a great job, and requires little effort….so why not embrace it.  In this recipe video, I show you how to slowly roast a pork shoulder, that we’ve brined and then coasted with a dry rub, until its so tender it falls off the bone and melts in the mouth.  Served with some coleslaw and maybe some classic mac ‘n cheese and I’m in heaven.  Hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Recipe Overview and Keys to Success

To make the best pulled pork, there are several things you should do; all of which are important but none of which are that hard:

  • First, make sure you buy pork shoulder, Boston Butt – call it what you like. This cut has the right mix of meat, fat, and connective tissue and I think it makes the best pulled pork
  • Brine the pork over night
  • Use a rub.  Dry rubs add a ton of flavor, and as the pork slowly cooks will seep inside the meat
  • Cook low and slow.  I keep my oven temp at about 225 and never go higher. At that temperature, it will take 8 – 10 hours to cook a 4 or 5 lb shoulder, so you need to start cooking early in the day

RECIPE FOR PULLED PORK

Ingredients (for 7 – 8 servings)

  • 1 5–7 lbs pork shoulder
  • 1 gallon brining liquid
  • 1 cup apple juice
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • For the rub
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1/2 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon Chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon Cumin
  • Salt and pepper

How to Make Pulled Pork:

  • The night before you want to cook the pork, make a pork chop brine, and brine the shoulder overnight…up to 12 hours would be great
  • In the morning, remove the shoulder from the brine, and pat dry
  • Heat your over to 225 degrees
  • Make the rub and distribute it evenly over the shoulder, rubbing it into all the nooks and crannies
  • Place the shoulder on a rack in a roasting pan (if you don’t have a rack, don’t worry about it), and put the shoulder in the oven
  • Pour about half the apple juice and chicken stock into the roasting pan
  • Now forget about it.  Check the pan every couple hours to make sure the juice/stock isn’t evaporated, if it is, just add some more
  • It will probably take more than 8 hours, but at the 7 hour mark you can start to check for doneness
  • The pork is done when you can easily use a fork to pull the meat apart, and it’s clearly very tender
  • Once tender, remove the shoulder from the oven, and let it rest for about 20 minutes
  • Using two forks, and a knife if needed, pull the meat apart shredding it as you go (if you like you could cut and serve in slices or even chunks)
  • I like serve mine with barbeque sauce; and if you separate the fat from the drippings in the roasting pan, those dripping make a great addition to a store bought bbq sauce

Serve and enjoy!!

Wine Recommendation:  For the sweet flavors of the rub, sauce and meat, I like a nice jammy zinfandel.