This oven-cooked pulled pork recipe with homemade BBQ sauce is simple and delicious, making it the perfect dish for a weeknight dinner or weekend gathering with friends and family. It's made low and slow for the tenderest meat and flavored with a sweet and spicy rub that tastes amazing on tacos, burritos, or enchiladas.
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🌟 Why this recipe works
This oven pulled pork recipe is perfect for anyone who loves slow-cooked, tender meat with a sweet and spicy kick. It's made low and slow in the oven so that the pork shoulder roast gets nice and tender, and the flavor comes from a simple spice rub made with pantry staples.
This recipe is very easy to prepare. The low cooking method ensures that the pork stays mouth-wateringly tender throughout, making it easy to shred and perfect for Mexican recipes.
The rub uses flavorful pantry spices like paprika and brown sugar to give the pork sweetness, and the chili powder, onion powder, and cayenne pepper provide the spicy kick.
Pork is a very affordable meat, making this dish a great option if you're on a budget. Whether it's pulled pork with pork shoulder or pulled pork with pork butt, the results are amazing with this easy dry rub and tossed in homemade BBQ sauce. And if that isn't enough try one of the best sauces recipes for pork and enjoy.
So if you're looking for a simple and delicious pulled pork in the oven recipe, give this one a try! It's the perfect dish for a weeknight dinner or weekend gathering with friends and family.
🍽 Key ingredients
The key to getting melt-in-your-mouth results from the pork is in the slow cooking method and the right spice rub to give it flavor.
Pork - Costco has budget-friendly pork butts on sale most of the time to save the extra pennies, and the meat is super tender with this slow-cooker method.
Seasonings - The smokey rub is a sweet and spicy BBQ-style mixture of smoked paprika, onion powder, chili powder, brown sugar, black pepper, and cayenne pepper.
If you want that crispy texture on the outside, use pork shoulder as a substitute for pork butt. The flavor will not change, but if you love crispy pork skin, the shoulder is perfect for it.
🔪 How to make
This easy pulled pork recipe is one of my personal favorites, and it's so easy to prepare and cook in the oven at a low temperature. Just put the pork roast in the oven and relax.
Prepare the rub mixture in a medium bowl by combining the smoked paprika, onion powder, chili powder, cayenne powder, brown sugar, and black pepper.
Trim the pork roast of excess fat and rub the mixture into the meat thoroughly, getting into any crevices.
Preheat the oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit (125 degrees Celsius).
Place the pork on a rack in a baking tray and place the thermometer into the thickest part of the meat.
Place the tray into the preheated oven and cook for 3 to 4 hours until the internal temperature reaches 170 degrees Fahrenheit.
Take it out of the oven and wrap it in aluminum foil to enhance the texture and flavor. Return the pork roast to the oven for half an hour or so until the internal temperature reaches 190 degrees Fahrenheit.
Remove the pork from the foil and allow to rest on a rack for 10 minutes before shredding it with a fork.
Place the pulled pork in a large baking pan and remove the fat cap of the pork butt.
Tip: drain the fat juice and keep about ¾ - 1 cup to mix it with the bbq sauce. This will give the pulled pork extra flavor. Trust me!
Once removed, start shredded the pork with forks.
Mix the drained fat with 1 cup of homemade barbecue sauce. Distribute evenly over the pulled pork and combine.
Serve the juicy cooked pulled pork with tacos, nachos, and sandwiches.
💭 Cooking tips
Let the pulled pork rub infuse into the meat.
Allow the pork roast to sit for 2 or more hours with the spicy rub to enhance the flavor of the meat.
Using the thermometer
Using a food thermometer during cooking is the best way to control the internal temperature of the meat to give you perfect results every time. You can pick them up online or in stores for less than $10 or up to $20 for a professional one.
Make it juicy
Add liquid to the tray to create steam and help tenderize the meat as it cooks. Add a cup of chicken broth, coca-cola, or water.
📖 Recipe Variations
Pulled pork absorbs many flavors and tastes excellent with different flavored rubs and sauces. Try some of these variations if you want to taste something different.
Spicy pulled pork
Increase the amount of chili powder or cayenne powder in the spice rub and mix the pulled pork meat with hot sauce instead of BBQ sauce.
Glazed honey pulled pork
Make a glaze by mixing ⅓ cup of honey, 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar, and 1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard. Rub the pork with the mixture and cook uncovered for the last 30 minutes to give it a lovely sticky sweet flavor.
Asian-style pulled pork
Mix the spice rub with 1 tablespoon of sesame oil, 2 tablespoons of soy sauce, and 1 teaspoon of ground ginger and garlic powder. Rub the pork with the mixture and cook as usual. Shred it and mix it with hoisin sauce before serving when the pork is cooked. If you like lamb you should try my slow cooked sticky asian lamb shoulder.
🥗 What to serve with
The great thing about slow-cooker pulled pork is that it's so versatile and goes with lots of different dishes like, baked beans, mashed potatoes, or Mexican dishes. Here are some ideas to serve pulled pork with.
Use a generous portion of pulled pork and add shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, sliced avocado, and grated cheese on soft tacos shells. Try my easy pulled pork tacos for busy days.
Load some tortilla chips with pulled pork, melted cheese, diced tomatoes, and jalapenos. You can replace the chicken for the pulled pork in my chicken nachos recipe.
Make a pulled pork sandwich by layering the tender meat high on a hamburger bun or crusty roll with some fresh coleslaw and BBQ sauce.
🙋 Frequently asked questions
What's the best cut of meat for pulled pork?
The best cut of meat for pulled pork is the pork butt or shoulder. It has plenty of fat which keeps the meat moist and juicy during cooking.
Can I cook pulled pork in the crockpot?
Yes, you can cook pulled pork in the crockpot by placing the seasoned meat into the slow cooker with a bit of water and cooking on low for 6 to 8 hours or on high for 3 to 4 hours until the pork is cooked through.
Why doesn't my pork meat shred with a fork?
If your pork meat is tough and not shredded with a fork, it needs to be cooked for longer at 175 F. Try cooking it for another hour and check the internal temperature with a food thermometer before shredding.
🧊 Storing and ♨️ reheating
Pulled pork is delicious eaten fresh from the oven or stored and reheated the following days. You can even enjoy eating it cold for packed lunches!
Fridge - Pulled pork can be stored in the fridge for up to 4-5 days. Just be sure to cover it with plastic wrap or store it in an airtight container to prevent it from drying out.
Freezer - You can also freeze pulled pork for up to 3 months. Simply pack it tightly in a freezer container with a lid or ziplock bags and freeze it.
Reheating - When you're ready to enjoy your pulled pork, reheat it in the oven at 350 degrees until it is warmed. You can also reheat it in the microwave, but be sure to do so in short intervals to prevent the meat from drying out.
🍳 More Amazing Oven Baked Recipes
👪 Serving size
A 10lb pork butt will yield about 10-12 cups of cooked shredded pork. This will be enough to serve 25-30 people as an appetizer or 10-12 as a main dish.
This is also fantastic for quick kid-friendly meals. Store in the freezer, reheat and serve. Kids love it and it is super quick and easy!!
This easy and delicious dish is perfect for any occasion, whether you're looking to impress your family and friends with tender pulled pork or just want to enjoy a tasty meal. We hope you enjoy it as much as we do!
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Try one of my quick, easy, and affordable dinner recipes for your next family meal! And if you have any questions, I'm here to help!
Oven-Cooked Pulled Pork with "Homemade BBQ Sauce"
- Prepare the rub mixture in a medium bowl by combining the smoked paprika, onion powder, chili powder, cayenne powder, brown sugar, and black pepper.
- Trim the pork roast of excess fat and rub the mixture into the meat thoroughly, getting into any crevices.
- Preheat the oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit (125 degrees Celsius).
- Place the pork on a rack in a baking tray and place the thermometer into the thickest part of the meat.
- Place the tray into the preheated oven and cook for 3 to 4 hours until the internal temperature reaches 170 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Take it out of the oven and wrap it in aluminum foil to enhance the texture and flavor.
- Return the pork roast to the oven for half an hour or so until the internal temperature reaches 190 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Remove the pork from the foil and allow to rest on a rack for 10 minutes before shredding it with a fork.
- Place the pulled pork in a large baking pan and remove the fat cap of the pork butt.
- Once removed, start shredded the pork with forks.
- Mix it with 1 cup of homemade barbecue sauce and the drained fat.
- Serve the juicy cooked pulled pork with tacos, nachos, and sandwiches.