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Perfect Pulled Pork Recipe

This pulled pork recipe is requested at every get-together we go to. It’s so fall-off-the-bone tender and packed with flavor you don’t even need BBQ sauce. It honestly makes the best pulled pork sandwich ever. Come see how easy it is to make this pulled pork oven recipe.

Pulled Pork Recipe

Pulled Pork Recipe

Pulled Pork Recipe

Remember last week when we were talking about company recipes? This pulled pork recipe is one of those recipes. I’ll never forget the first time I had this perfect pulled pork. I was a guest in someone’s home and this was their company recipe. And true to company recipe fashion, I immediately fell in love with it and begged for their recipe.

This pulled pork recipe is SO tender and packed with flavor — it just melts in your mouth. It’s so good it doesn’t even need BBQ sauce! And it really is perfect for company because everyone I’ve ever made this for has said it’s the best pulled pork recipe ever. You have to try it, at least once. You’ll be hooked on this pulled pork recipe!!

What is the best cut of pork for pulled pork?

Let’s pick out the perfect pork shoulder for your perfect pulled pork. The best piece of meat for this pulled pork recipe is a 4 to 7 pound whole boston butt.

Pulled Pork Recipe

Make sure your pork shoulder has a layer of fat on the bottom:

Pulled Pork Recipe

It should also have a bone going about halfway through it. (It doesn’t go all the way through. Just halfway.)

Pulled Pork Recipe

Pulled Pork Recipe Equipment

After you pick out your perfect pork shoulder, you may want to pick up a few other items for this easy pulled pork recipe.

Pulled Pork Recipe

Roasting Pan

For this pulled pork recipe you’ll need a 3″ deep roasting pan that’s big enough to hold your pork shoulder so that there is at least 1″ of extra room on all sides. Of course you may have a nice roasting pan at home that you can use. I just pick up one of these disposable ones at the grocery store for easier clean up.

Brining Bag

You’ll also need something LARGE to brine the roast in. I use a 2 gallon ziploc bag for this pulled pork recipe.

Meat Thermometer

The last thing is a digital thermometer with an alarm. You don’t have to have one, but I find this digital thermometer to be an extremely useful piece of equipment in my kitchen. The thermometer stays in the meat, in the oven while the digital reader sits outside on top of the stove. You set the alarm and it will go off when the meat has reached the desired temp. I LOVE it because I don’t have to constantly keep checking on the pulled pork. I just put it in and forget it!

You can pick one of these up pretty cheap (less than $20) at the grocery store (and almost anywhere- Amazon, Target, Walmart, etc). And you can use it for everything- chicken, steak, burgers, and especially this pulled pork recipe. I love it for baking chicken because you know exactly when the chicken is done and it doesn’t get dried out.

Step 1: The Pulled Pork Rub

Now that you’ve got all your equipment, let’s start out by making the special pulled pork rub that makes this pulled pork recipe so perfectly seasoned.

Pulled Pork Recipe

Dry Rub Ingredients

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
1/2 cup brown sugar

Pulled Pork Recipe

Mix all ingredients together well and store in an air tight container.

Pulled Pork Recipe

This smells absolutely divine. Cover it and set it aside.

Step 2: The Pork Shoulder Brine

A brine solution gives this pulled pork recipe the extra moisture it needs for a long, slow cooking process so you don’t end up with tough, dried out meat.

Pulled Pork Recipe

Brine Solution Ingredients

1/2 cup salt
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 qts cold water
3 tbsp dry rub mix
2 bay leaves

Add salt to cold water and stir very well until all the salt is completely dissolved. Then add the brown sugar and dry rub and stir well to combine.

Rinse the pork shoulder in cold water and place in a 2 gallon ziploc bag (or a container big enough so the shoulder is completely covered in the pork shoulder brine solution).

Pulled Pork Recipe

Carefully pour in the pork shoulder brine solution…

Pulled Pork Recipe

And add in two dried bay leaves.

Pulled Pork Recipe

You can find these in the spice section of the grocery store.

Pulled Pork Recipe

Refrigerate the pork shoulder in the brine for at least 12 hours. For this pulled pork recipe, 24-36 hours of brining time is best. I usually brine about 24 hours. I like to clean out a spot in my refrigerator door and keep the pork shoulder there because it helps keep the pork shoulder completely covered in brine.

Pulled Pork Recipe

Step 3: Preparing the Pork Shoulder

After the pork shoulder has finished brining, preheat oven to 225 degrees Fahrenheit. Yes, 225 degrees, that is not a typo! We cook the meat “low and slow” in this pulled pork recipe. Remove the pork shoulder from the brine solution and place in the roasting pan.

Pulled Pork Recipe

Pat the skin dry with paper towels so you’ll get a nice, crisp crust.

Pulled Pork Recipe

Generously, generously, cover the WHOLE pork shoulder in your dry rub mix.

Pulled Pork Recipe

And massage the dry rub mix into the skin really well. Be sure and get it up under any flaps you may come across.

Pulled Pork Recipe

It should look like the picture below when you’re done massaging. If you have dry rub mix left, that’s okay. We will be using it later.

Pulled Pork Recipe

Make sure the fat layer is facing UP and stick the thermometer into the thickest part of the shoulder, but not touching the bone.

Pulled Pork Recipe

Place uncovered in a 225 degree Fahrenheit oven on the middle rack.

Pulled Pork Recipe

Why 200 degrees?

Set the alarm on the thermometer for 200 degrees. For this pulled pork recipe, we don’t want to take the pulled pork out of the oven until the center of the shoulder reaches at least 200 degrees. The first time I made this, I was like what?? 200 degrees?? Are you kidding?? Isn’t a roast usually done at 170 degrees?? Won’t my meat be tough and dried out??

But here’s what I found out. The pork is finished to the point of being sliceable at 170 degrees, but to get that tender, falling apart, melt-in-your-mouth shredded pork, the ideal internal temperature should reach at least 200 degrees. The pulled pork is still just as tender, juicy and flavorful because you brined it first. That’s what makes this pulled pork recipe so amazing!

Planning Ahead

This 8 pound pork shoulder took 13 hours to reach 200 degrees. Your shoulder will reach 170-180 very quickly, but those last 20 degrees will take much longer. Plan for at least 12 hours, and maybe 15+ hours for this pulled pork recipe.

Here’s how I normally do it… Two days before I want to serve this, I prepare the brine solution and let the shoulder brine over night and all day the next day in the fridge. That night right before bed, I season the shoulder with the dry rub and put it in the oven and let it cook overnight. Even a small shoulder will take at least 10 hours to cook, so you don’t have to worry about the alarm waking you up the next morning.

Check Your Oven!

Some ovens automatically turn off after 12 hours. Note the time you put the shoulder in the oven, and you may want to set an alarm to alert you 12 hours later so you can check and make sure your oven is still on. A large shoulder could easily take 13-16 hours to cook with this pulled pork recipe.

When the thermometer alarm goes off and the pork shoulder has reached 200 degrees, turn off the oven and let the pork shoulder rest for about 2 hours before removing from the oven. Turn off the alarm, but keep the thermometer in the meat, so you can monitor the temperature. If the bottom of the pan is dry (or crusted with dried spices) cover the pan with foil to retain internal moisture of the meat during the resting period.

Pulled Pork Recipe

After a couple hours, when the temperature drops to 170 degrees or slightly lower, remove the pork shoulder from the oven.

Remove the large sheet of crusted fat on the top. Using two large forks, begin pulling the pork shoulder apart. It will fall apart very easily and it should not take you long at all to pull apart the entire pork shoulder.

Southern Pulled Pork. This is the real deal.

Pulled Pork Recipe
Pulled Pork RecipePulled Pork Recipe

The inside will be fall-off-the-bone tender, and the outside will have a deliciously seasoned crispy crust. Feel free to add any leftover seasoning if you want a little more seasoning.

How many people will this pulled pork recipe serve?

How much does your pork shoulder weigh? Multiply that by 1.5 for an estimate of how many people it will serve.

For example if your pork shoulder is 4 pounds, it will serve around 6 people. If your pork shoulder is 7 pounds, it will serve around 10.5 people.

To be more precise, you want to have about 1/3 to 1/2 pound of meat per person. But remember that a bone-in pork shoulder will only yield around 60% of its weight when cooked. So if you buy a 5-pound pork shoulder at the grocery store, when cooked it will yield around 3 lbs of meat, which will serve 6-9 people.

Calculate How Many People Your Pork Shoulder Will Serve:

Type this into Google:
What is 60% of (weight of pork shoulder)?

Multiply that number by 2 for a low estimate of how many people it will serve
Multiply that number by 3 for a high estimate of how many people it will serve

Southern Pulled Pork. This is the real deal.

How To Make The Best Pulled Pork Sandwich

Put a little butter on some hamburger buns, toast under the broiler until lightly browned, and top with pulled pork. It’s so juicy and flavorful, you won’t even need BBQ sauce.

Southern Pulled Pork. This is the real deal.

How to Reheat Pulled Pork

Just pop it in a 350-375 degree oven for about 5 mins. You’ll know when it’s done because the whole kitchen will start smelling so good! Pulled pork also freezes really well, just thaw it and reheat in the oven.

This pulled pork oven recipe is the best pulled pork recipe ever! Makes the best shredded pork!.This pulled pork oven recipe is the best pulled pork recipe ever! Makes the best shredded pork!.This pulled pork oven recipe is the best pulled pork recipe ever! Makes the best shredded pork!.

This pulled pork oven recipe is the best pulled pork recipe ever! Makes the best shredded pork!.

How to make authentic southern, slow roasted, dry rubbed, pulled pork.

See how easy it is to make this Pulled Pork Recipe!

Watch the video below to see how easy it is to make this pulled pork recipe!

 

Print

Perfect Pulled Pork Recipe

  • Prep Time: 12 hours
  • Cook Time: 12 hours
  • Total Time: 24 hours
  • Yield: 3-4 pounds
  • Category: Pulled Pork
  • Cuisine: Barbeque

Description

Best ever pulled pork recipe made in the oven.

Ingredients

  •  1 (4-7 pound) whole Boston Butt or pork shoulder (bone-in with a layer of fat on the bottom)

Dry Rub

  •  1 tablespoon ground cumin
  •  1 tablespoon garlic powder
  •  1 tablespoon onion powder
  •  1 tablespoon chili powder
  •  1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
  •  1 tablespoon salt
  •  1 tablespoon ground pepper
  •  1 tablespoon paprika
  •  1/2 cup brown sugar

Brine Solution

  •  1/2 cup salt
  •  1/2 cup brown sugar
  •  2 quarts cold water
  •  2 bay leaves
  •  3 tablespoons dry rub mix

Instructions

FOR THE DRY RUB

  1. Mix well and store in an air tight container.

FOR THE BRINE SOLUTION

  1. Add salt to cold water and stir very well until all the salt is completely dissolved. Then add the brown sugar, dry rub, and bay leaves and stir well to combine.

PORK SHOULDER PREPARATION

  1. Rinse the pork shoulder and place in a large container, pour in the brine solution until the shoulder is completely covered. Cover the container and place in the refrigerator for at least 12 hours.
  2. Remove pork shoulder from brine solution, pat dry with paper towels, place in baking pan that is bigger than the shoulder by at least a inch in length and width and at least 3 inches deep. Sprinkle dry rub onto the surface of the shoulder and massage in such that it adheres to the surface. Coat all sides. Make sure the fat layer on the shoulder is facing up before cooking! Place baking pan uncovered in a 225 degree F oven on the middle rack. Insert a probe thermometer into the center or thickest part of the shoulder, but not touching the bone. Monitor the temperature throughout cooking (a digital thermometer with an alarm function is the easiest way to do this). Do not remove from the oven until the center of the shoulder reaches 200 degrees.
  3. When the shoulder has reached 200 degrees, shut off the oven and let the roast cool for a couple of hours before removing from the oven. If the bottom of the pan is dry (or crusted with dried spices) then cover the pan with foil to retain internal moisture of the meat during the cooling period. When the temperature drops to 170 degrees or slightly lower, remove from oven. Place on a large, clean work surface such as a cutting board, and remove the large sheet of crusted fat on the top. Pull apart with two forks, it will pull apart very easily. Serve for friends and family!

Keywords: pulled pork sandwich, how to make pulled pork, pulled pork oven, pulled pork recipe oven

This pulled pork is so delicious, it earns two pages in the recipe book.

Pulled Pork Recipe


Pulled Pork Recipe

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1,109 Responses
  1. Jennifer

    I bought a pork shoulder with a fat cap. I just want to make sure I am doing it right: Do I put the shoulder fat side up when cooking? And I am supposed to cut it off after cooking right? I just didn’t see that part in the video and I am new to this! ?? Thank you!

  2. A

    Would it be ok to put the rib on the pork several hours before I put it in the oven? I want to cook it overbite tomorrow but it will be late before I get home to do that

  3. Linda S Schmidt

    This is absolutely the BEST. I made it once and my family went nuts over it. Now my daughter makes it when she has birthday parties for her kids because between both families there is a large crowd and this is easy and feeds us all. I am getting ready to put one in the brine tonight to cook this weekend for the Super bowl It will be PERFECT for our crowd. Thanks you!!!!!!

  4. Missy

    This is in my oven now! I have made this recipe too many times to count, and it always comes out perfect!! It’s the only recipe I’ll use now! Just wanted to say thank you for sharing this recipe!!
    Happy Holidays!!

  5. kory

    This is the only pulled pork recipe I use. I’ve made at least 6 different roast over the years that I have found this recipe. I never changed the ingredients nor have I altered the cooking still and each time it’s been perfect. For Christmas this year I will make it again. This time using a two 6lb neck cuts at the same time (no bone, German butchers don’t do boston butt style) and a Traeger grill.

  6. Holly

    This is a Family Favorite. I make for every family gathering. Love them as sandwiches and tacos. I have to use the largest pork roast I can find and it still disappears.

  7. Martin

    Hi from Germany. I just wanted to let you know that I have prepared Pulled pork for the first time with your recipe and instructions. It was delicious, and I was absolutely surprised how everything worked out exactly as described! I will now try your other recipes and, if they will be only half as good as this one, they will be great!

    Thanks for your site!

  8. Tia

    I found this recipe when looking for ideas to feed my daughter’s varsity volleyball team. Every week during vb season the parents take turns making a meal for the girls. Team supper isn’t supposed to be a competition, but…. 
    Anyway, I made this using both pork butt & pork sirloin as my little grocery store didn’t have quite enough of either on hand at the last minute. I ended up using several smaller pieces of meat instead of one large. Still took about 12 hours to reach temp. 
    The girls loved it!! So did my hubby & he usually doesn’t care for pulled pork. Guess what I’m making for graduation next year!!! Thank you for the great recipe!

  9. Daniell

    Good Evening,
    My daughter is getting married in 3 weeks. Her and her fiance has requested pulled pork as their main dish. We are expecting to feed around 175 to 200 people. I have bought 130 pounds of pork shoulder roasts. What would you suggest is the easiest way to cook all of this? I know I will probably need to cook up now and freeze until wedding or cook closer to wedding and reheat. Also, what is the best way to keep this nice and warm without drying out throughout the reception? Thank you.

    1. Donna

      I had this for my son’s graduation party. I cooked it and froze it until a day or so before the party. I heated it up in the oven and put it in a couple turkey roasters and it was fine. I used it for tacos so I did add lime juice and taco seasoning, but when I use it for pulled pork sandwiches I sprinkle in some of the rub. Definitely get started ASAP..it takes forever to cook but it is sooooo worth it.

  10. Kate

    I made this with an 8.5# pork butt. I forgot to buy paprika, so I used Tangine spice as a substitute. Mine took 13hrs. After 2 hours, it was only at 90 degrees, so I turned up the oven to 375 for about 40 minutes to get the temp up to 140, then turned back to 225. When it was done and rested, I pulled it apart but there was a fair amount of gooey fat throughout, so I scraped that out. I had plenty of juice in the cooking pan, so I poured it into a large glass measuring cup and threw it in the freezer to solidify the fat. I popped the fat layer off and poured the defatted juices into the bowl with the pork for more flavor. Great recipe!

  11. LaVorna J Tester

    Made this for our family last summer. EVERYONE loved it- even the one who dislikes barbecue. Definitely making it again.

  12. Susan Morris

    This recipe is THE BEST! I’ve made it several times and hubs requests it regularly. Thank you so much! You stepped up my BBQ game big time!????

  13. Chris Ludwig

    Great recipe cooked 10 shoulders last week for my dad’s birthday instead of getting the smoker out. Everything turned out great and everybody really enjoyed the food. Extremely glad I found this site and used the recipe. Thanks

    1. Daniell Sunderland

      Do you mind sharing how u cooked all 10?. Over several days or in different ovens? Thank you have around 15-20 to cook up soon for a wedding

    2. Chris

      Read your post above. We ended up feeding 110 people and had meat left. I used 2 roaster on low temp. 1 to serve out of and 1 to keep meat warm and ready to add to the serving roaster. I used Minors pork base to make a broth to add to the meat to keep it moist. Hope this is helpful.

  14. Ann

    You should not go to this blog if you are very hungry …. After all, you can salivate here, because there are so many tasty ideas and great recipes. I was looking how to cook pork interesting and simple, and finallyI found this recipe! This is one of my favorite recipes now. Each guest who tried this dish at my place, always asked how I managed to achieve such a taste and aroma, and asked for a recipe, of course :))) Thank you for the idea! It looks, smells and tastes fantastic!

  15. Wendy

    I’m trying this recipe for the first time this weekend. My concern is with the rub having 1 Tablespoon each of chili powder & cayenne pepper in it, that it might be too spicy ? for children.  Any thoughts on this?

    1. Amanda

      I like spicy but not too spicy. This recipe is not too spicy for me. But I’d you’re concerned you can always reduce! Good luck!!

    1. Brandy

      I always make this recipe in the crockpot and it’s fantastic. I cook it on low for 9 hours, drain off liquid, shredThe meat, then add barbecue sauce and cook on high for 30 more minutes.

  16. JEREMY

    Just trying out the recipe! Tried to find a comment about someone with 2x 3.5lb shoulders instead of 1 larger one and no such luck! How many hours can I expect to cook 2 smaller shoulders at compared to 1 larger one? Thanks in advance!

    1. Cherith Massa

      Hi Jeremy
      My 2 x 3.5 shoulders are literally in the “cooling off” period as I type this. I did 12.5 hours. The center reached 200 which is, what I think, the goal. As long as it reaches 200, it’s done. I also brined for just over 24 hours.
      I did realize too late that this recipe doesn’t have the skin on and mine did and it was already an hour into cooking. Oops!
      It doesnt look bad at all, although they say you should score the skin in a diamond pattern before dry rubbing, to get that flavor in from the top.
      So Im hoping for the best!
      Good luck with yours! :)

  17. Elizabeth

    I was undecided about whether to use the Bake or Roast or Convection Roast setting on my oven for this recipe. Any thoughts? I ended up using Roast.

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  19. Benavente

    This recipe is fantastic. It is a family favorite. I use larger roasts for parties. I do change the recipe a little to make it even spicier. My husband cannot let it cool in the oven. The moment it’s done my family is all over it. Thank you so much for posting this recipe.

  20. Rick

    I’m a very novice cook, but this recipe made feel like an Iron Chef!  For the first I did a 10 pound shoulder (I doubled the rub recipe due to the size) and followed the recipe and viola! OMG this is sooo delicious.  For those novices out there do not hesitate to try your skills on this!

  21. Tracy

    So excited to try this. I gave it brining right now. My piece of pork is about half of the size you recommend does that mean I should cut the cook this in half?

    1. Amanda

      Not necessarily.. You should cook the pork shoulder until the internal temperature reaches 200 degrees. Hope this helps!

  22. Gerry

    Have cooked this over and over for my Celebrate Recovery Ministry in Huntsville, AL. People love it. So many compliments. Thanks for sharing with us.

  23. NE Mom

     I used this recipe to make pulled pork for our child’s graduation party. It was incredible! I have used many pulled pork recipes but this one is by far the best and really not that hard to do.  We used four roasts, two of them boneless, which I did separately. The boneless did not separate as easily, but tasted the same. Our house smelled incredible for three days! We reheated them slowly in the oven and served them in electric roasters. I had way too much leftover, but it froze and re-heated well. Eating these leftovers  was no problem!

  24. Shanna Smith

    I followed this recipe and marinated my 9.5 lb pork shoulder for 48 hours and baked it at 225 for 16 hours to reach an internal temp of 200 degrees. Then I let it rest for the 2 hours and easily pulled it apart with two forks. My grandson and his mom loved it as do I. Just follow the recipe and you will have tender, flavorful pulled pork. It was hard sleeping Sunday night because I could smell the shoulder roasting. You don’t need BBQ sauce because the meat is so great with the seasoning in the rub. This is a no fail recipe. My daughter in law is making it over Labor Day weekend because she loved it.

  25. Ann

    I have been using this recipe for years and it has become part of our family’s tradition. It is truly perfect and I get compliments every time. Thanks so much for sharing.

  26. Jeannie Bogan

    I made this recipe and received rave reviews!! I’m convinced it’s the brining process is what makes this dish so delicate. I did it in my slow cooker on low for 6hrs and then turned it up on high for 2 more hours. Added Sweet Baby Ray’s barbque sauce after I shredded the meat
    This is a keeper!
    Thank you

  27. Diane

    I made this for a BBQ and everyone loved it. Will definitely be making it again. Do you think I could use this same recipe for beef brisket?

  28. Pamela Steele

    Hi! I was looking to make this ahead of the party I’m hosting and wanted to know if when you talked about REHEATING the pork. Do you suggest shredding it up when its done resting or to keep it as a whole and then REHEAT it? I was thinking of having it cooked/finished a day before I served it. Thank you so much for the great post!

  29. Alicia

    This looks AMAZING!!! I’m drooling, will definitely try this at home.
    Thank you so much for sharing this Mouth drooling recipe.
    Keep sharing:)

  30. Mary

    This is the first time I will be making pulled pork in the oven. Cooking for a large crowd so I need some help. I went to Costco and they only had the boneless pork shoulder. How is this going to affect the flavor?

    Also each roast is about 14 lbs. For best results, should I double the brine recipe for each roast as well as the rub? Should I cut the roast in half and work with 4 7lb ers?

    Do I need to allow for more time to brine than the 24 hours? What about the cooking time? Increase, decrease? I know I need to watch it but wondering if the boneless will cook faster?

    1. Amanda

      Hi Mary! I think with the bone-in, you get a little more flavor from the bone. I would start with the original brine recipe, but if it’s not enough water to cover the entire roast, I would double it! Same for the rub… You will probably have enough with just the original recipe. But if you want to double it, you can save the leftover rub and it’s really good on everything! Especially chicken :) You probably don’t need to cut the roast in half. Brining for 24 hours would be perfect. The cooking time will probably increase with the size of the roast. Good luck!!! :)

  31. Nancy

    Hi Amanda, this is the second time I’ve made this recipe and its fantastic! I have 4 butts resting in the oven. My question is, there is a lot of liquid/grease in the bottom of the pans. Do I drain before I shred the meat? Thanks so much!

  32. Wendy Kendrick

    Love this recipe! We have done it many times now. Has anyone tried it in a smoker only? My husband wants to try it. 

    1. Kristine

      My boyfriend recently got a new smoker and I was JUST thinking the same thing yesterday!! I’m new to smoking and BBQing, but it seems like it would work. I was thinking it doesn’t need to be in a pan.

  33. jules

    I’ve been making this incredible recipe to the letter for several years now and it’s about time I leave the review it deserves. This is the best pulled pork you will ever make. Change nothing. Do not skip the brine. Never again will I put a pork roast in the crock pot. This is PERFECTION!

  34. Jeff

    Made a 12 pounder using this recipe. Brined it for 48 hours. Cooked for 13.5 hours to reach 200 degrees. Absolutely delicious. So much better than crock pot method which is BBQ sauce dependent.

  35. maria

    I’ve made this recipe about 3x now. My husband prefers this recipe over the slow cooker and raves about it but he is a salt/spice addict and likes the cache that comes along with telling people that we slow cooked the pork in the oven for xx hours. Honestly, as a bigger foodie than my husband (but also busy mom), for the convenience, the extra flavour obtained from the slow roast in the oven, doesn’t warrant the extra effort. It’s better but not by that much.

    My main comment about this recipe is that ***there is absolutely no way*** that roasting/baking a 4lb pork butt/shoulder with bone-in, in the oven at 225F will ever get the centre of the meat to 200F. Absolutely. No. Way. You must increase the temp to 350F for the last two hours at least. it makes extra dry rub and I end up throwing it out because I don’t make pulled pork often. I had mine in the oven for 15 hours, and the internal temp registered about 185. Folks, just use your slow cooker, the results are very similar, particularly if you plan on making pulled pork burgers and add BBQ sauce to the pulled pork in a bowl. P.S. There is nothing wrong with our oven, it is calibrated and I tried 2 different meat thermometers, and both gave the same reading.

    1. Dwayne

      Sorry, but you’re wrong. Your meat will ‘stall’ at around 180 degrees, and stay there for up to 2 hours before climbing to 200. I just finished my 7 lb pork shoulder, 12 hours at 225, and it was exactly 200. Covered for the first 9 hours, then uncovered for the last 3.

    2. Sybil

      Seems very odd! My 4.5 pound pork shoulder was at 200 when I checked at twelve hours. I did not check earlier, not wanting to cool the oven temp given that the cooking temp is so low anyway.
      Will be making this again later this week with a larger pork shoulder which I expect to take a couple hours longer….or more. 

  36. Midmodtom

    I’ve been making my pulled pork in an old slow cooker, until the lid broke and I couldn’t find a replacement. I wanted a recipe that dictated it was done in the oven ‘low and slow’. What I particularly love about this recipe is that it states a CORRECT temperature for done-ness. If you’ve ever seen someone on food television try to pull a butt that was ‘done’ at 170 you would be witnessing a struggle. I also love the idea about adding some of the dry rub to the brine. I used to brine one day then dry rub a second day, then cook the third day. This was a game changer for me; thank you for sharing!

  37. Riki

    I am a just so many times! Everybody’s always wanting to know the recipe! It is definitely a family tradition in my household. I still make the sauce with a pickle juice too :-)

  38. Brittany

    I am cooking this recipe for a large crowd. I am cooking two roasts, one is 8lb and the other is 7lb. I’m unsure how long to cook them. Should i cook based on the total combined weight or just cook based on the weight of the larger one? Thanks!!!

  39. Chris

    I just stumbled on this recipe last week. I made the recipe and cooked an 8lb butt which was eaten Sunday afternoon. It was delicious. Thank you very much for sharing the recipe

  40. Donna

    Use this recipe a lot. During hunting season pork goes on sale for $0.99 / lb and I get a couple 20 pound roast. I freeze a lot of it in quart size baggies and defrost for an easy supper of pulled pork sandwiches, pork tacos (I add lime juice, cilantro and taco seasoning), pork nachos or quesidillas. Its great!

  41. Jillian

    Ok!!! If you’re looking for THE BEST PULLED PORK EVER, look no further!!! This was seriously the BEST I have ever had!!! My pork shoulder picnic roast was 10 pounds and took about 20 hours to reach temp but it was worth every single second of the process!! 

  42. Jennifer

    So I randomly googled “oven pulled pork recipe” because it was on sale and I needed a recipe for it. This was the only recipe I clicked on and boy am I glad I did!! It was PERFECTION!! I love me some pulled pork and this recipe was exactly what I needed. Thank you so much!! I will definitely save it and use it over and over again. Absolutely delicious!! And my whole family loved it so…even better!! ???

    1. Angel

      I am also wondering  about this in the slow cooker. My oven won’t stay on at that low of a temperature!

    2. Sherry Hannam

      Hi… I’ve cooked this recipe 8 or 9 times… always in the slow cooker. Always perfect. It’s my signature bbq dish now and everyone asks for it.

  43. Garth

    This was very informative and detailed recipe. I am new to slow cooking and this was my 1st try of any. I told my family it might be a pizza delivery night while I was cooking figuring I would mess it up some how. The instructions given were clear , easy and my pork turned out perfect. The flavor was wonderful and didnt use any BBQ sauce either. Thank you so much for not hiding and saving this recipe and how too cook it. I was always scared to try a slow cook or even know how to begin. Now I can’t wait to do it again. Thanks.

  44. Kycal

    This really is perfect!  First time I made this was for a graduation (40#) and I was a little worried when it wasn’t done 10 hours before the party. It looks like a lot of steps, but it really is easy. It took 18 hours but I couldn’t believe how melt-in-your-mouth good it was. So much so, it shredded within seconds. And the taste…Amazing!  Every single guest who ate it raved about how it was the best flavor/tenderness they’ve ever had. Including restaurants. I was so proud and have of course have shared this recipe. Thank you!

  45. Mary E Combs

    I am cooking 3 bone in pork shoulders on Friday and they weight,12 lbs, 9 lbs and 8 lbs.

    What adjustments do I need to make for the pork rub recipe. Also what adjustments do I need to make for the Brine.
    Thank you so much.

  46. Jessica

    It sounds like everyone’s gotten great results, but my roast has been in the oven for 19 hours now (only 6.5 lb) and I’m worried :( it’s at 192 F. I’m not really sure what to do I thought it would be done a few hours ago and I’m worried it won’t be right when I take it out.

  47. Teresa

    I was in “hog” heaven until I read the recipe. For those of us who have allergies and asthma and can’t use hot spices and msg, do you have any suggestions for substitutions? I also have a question that is probably going to seem lame, but why is pepper always in all recipes following salt.

  48. Tricia

    I was looking all over for this recipe, and YAY, I found it while NOT lookimg for it. ? I made this last year around the same time actually. I was making it to bring along to our friends cabin for the week with 2 of my kids so I needed something easy enough, and could feed us all (crowd of 10-15) Oh my gosh, this was by far the best I’ve ever tried, made ate. So delicious, flavors, moist and everyone loved it. I am So happy that I can make this again., tonight
    Thank you.
    ,

  49. Juraj

    This was indeed the best pulled pork I’ve ever eaten. Thank you Amanda and Jevin for sharing this recipe.
    Wish you all the best!

  50. Tom Crist

    This recipe works exactly as described. It really is a perfect pulled pork recipe. You just have to be patient and get the low and slow process work. Have not tried in the crockpot but the oven method is spectacular. 

  51. Emma

    Hi not sure if you are receiving comments but I’m making this receipe and it’s for 10kg pork shoulder off the bone. It’s all ready 12 hours and only at 102 degrees inside the meat. Should I alter the heat or just wait? Thanks 

  52. Barbara Proctor

    Hi Amanda –

    I’ve made this many times to rave reviews, but the first time using a different oven. I’ve always cooked them ~ 1.75 hrs per lb, allowing another two hrs after turning the oven off and they have turned out perfect. The time, a 7.5 lb pork butt has been in for only 8 hrs and the internal thermometer is showing it has reach 200 degrees. I was anticipating it would need another 5 hours before I turn off the oven. Should I just let it continue to cook the amount of time I originally planned?

    Thanks,
    Barbara

  53. Martha Westphal

    This is a fantastic recipe. I love, love, love pulled pork, but don’t know how to slow cook on the grill and we don’t have a smoker so this is perfect. I make this recipe at least 3 to 5 times a year. In fact I think it is about time we had it again.

  54. Martha Malavey

    Any one else having different cooking times then the recipe? Mine took twice as long (just as delicious) but I don’t know what i may be doing wrong. 

  55. Robin

    My mother and I made this last year for my uncle’s funeral. We made pulled pork sandwiches with homemade coleslaw (for everyone to make their own sandwiches) Everyone raved  on this!! We had to plan food forabout  60 people and made 4 roasts. A perfect amount with even a little left for the family to eat again later that evening. Was so delicious! I am actually making it again for tomorrow…it’s 1:30 am and I am getting ready to put in oven! Yum!

  56. LTPartyof6

    Sounds amazing! The reviews have me really excited to try it.  But I have a question. If I need it ready by 6pm but know it’s going to take 12-15 hrs total with the rest time – is it better just to cook it the day ahead and reheat it?  I would much rather it be freshly cooked when served but I don’t think I want to be up at 3 am getting it in the oven.  Suggestions?  Thank you in advance!

    1. jessica

      for future reader trying to get this question answered, I’ve almost always had to cook it an extra couple of hours. I usually put mine in at 11pm, check on it in the morning, and turn the oven off at about 3. I’ve made this probably 70 times in the last 6 years. the first few times I timed it so it would be ready at 5pm, but I had to keep in a couple of hours longer and ended up with pizza the first night.

  57. Jennifer Wilson-Pines

    Just pulled it out of the oven and it looks great. Tastes great too. Next is whipping up some cole slaw, which I should have done yesterday. My only? is why discard the fat layer bark? It’s the tastiest part.

  58. Jill

    I have made this 4-5 times, usually for a large group (cooking 25-30 pounds!). It is always amazing and so much better than cooking it in the crockpot! I even managed to do it on vacation last April—pulled pork tastes even better on the beach! Thanks for a great recipe!

  59. JASON HILL

    Hands down the best (and simplest) pulled pork recipe out there!! I make this often and have never had a complaint! If you want a traditional pulled pork, (crock pot makes them too moist and mushy) try this recipe. There is a science behind the low and slow method that makes the meat super tender and the oven creates an awesome bark on the outside. Great Recipe!!!

    1. JASON HILL

      P.S.-

      Leftovers are so versatile!! Great on home made Mac-N-Cheese, quesadillas, nachos, home made pizza…..the options are endless!!

  60. Krissy

    Kevin & Amanda… IDK who you guys are but when I tell you this recipe is BOMB- IT’S BOMB! It’s a family favorite and almost every holiday my family request it. I love it. As long as you plan ahead and follow step by step, you can’t mess this up. (Which is another reason I like it) Keep em coming you guys! And thanks for sharing! I usually don’t take the time to leave reviews/comments but this recipe is A-1 and deserves the attention!

  61. Charles Merriman

    I have been using this recipe for a couple of years. I recently tried it on a pellet grill/smoker with apple wood pellets. I had 2 8lb Boston butts that took 13 hours to cook. The rich smoke flaver on top of the already amazing seasoning was a hit for Thanksgiving. Going to do it again for New Year’s.

  62. Brigette

    I made this last week and am going to a Christmas Pot Luck Friday and am making it again!! The best pulled pork recipe by far. The only thing I changed was I had a really thick fat layer and being a bit more health conscious I trimmed it back. It was still so juicy and moist. I squirt a bit of barbeque sauce on the bun then added the warm pork. What a hit. Thank you, I have already printed out copies to distribute Friday.

  63. Sarah

    I have done this in the oven many times but the last two times I needed oven space so I did it in the crockpot.  It was so so good!! I’m converting to always using a slow cooker, it’s easier and falls apart more easily. 

    1. Angel

      So, you just put that dry rubbed covered meat in the crock pot with no added liquids? On low? Thanks!

    2. Amanda

      Yes, if you have brined it the liquid will come from the brine. But it’s better in the oven! Good luck! :)

  64. Laurence

    Hi,

    I’d love to make this recipe (in Belgium ;-)) but can you tell me if it’s 200 Fahrenheit or Celsius degrees ?
    Thank you in advance!
    Laurence

  65. Helen

    I have been making this for years since a co-worker put me onto the recipe, and it took me a little research to work out what type of meat it is (I’m in Australia) and the temperatures etc, but it is Always a hit! I have been generous enough to pass the recipe onto a few people, but I like having a recipe that everyone else craves too lol
    My very picky eating son will happily sit there and eat a bowl or it by himself, so I always have to do the biggest piece of meat I can find lol
    Many thanks for the recipe!

  66. Barbara Proctor

    I LOVE this recipe and have made it many times. Can I use all the instructions but cook it in an InstaPot instead of the oven?

    1. Amanda

      I haven’t tried it in an Instant Pot, but if you do, please let me know!! I would love to know the results!! :)

  67. Dusten Bowden

    I made this exact recipe for my wedding it was amazing and everybody did rave over it. Thank you! My questioquestions is have you ever tried cooking it in a smoker?

  68. Dusten Bowden

    Have you ever tried smoking you Boston butts?
    I made this exact recipe for my wedding it was amazing and everybody did rave over it. Thank you! My questioquestions is have you ever tried cooking it in a smoker?

  69. Lisa May

    This recipe is ABSOLUTELY AMAZING!!!!! Made this last week for the second time for a friend and her mom who came over for my daughters 10th birthday dinner. Her mom is like 80 yrs old and said that it was the BEST meal she has EVER had!!!! 

  70. Gretchen O'Neill

    Trying this out tonight!
    Since I am trying this out for preparation for a Sunday dinner, my church goes for 3 hours long- so I’m cooking it tonight, into the morning, and then will shred and put in the crock pot to stay warm. Hopefully it will work- I’ve been so dang excited to try this! Excited to report!

  71. Steve

    Don’t ever take this recipe off your website!! Every time I make this (ever couple months) i just google “kevin amanda pulled pork” and click the first link. This is so good it makes anything from a restaurant seem lame.

  72. E L

    Last time I used this recipe, I used my GE elec. roaster it was really good!!!
    then I lost the recipe, so glad I found it

  73. Diane

    Absolutely, the BEST PULLED PORK ever!  I purchased a Williams & Sonoma remote roasting thermometer & followed recipe directions from start to finish! Except, my butcher only had boneless pork shoulder but it did have the fat! Everyone wants this at every get together now! I made barbecue sauce & Cole slaw on the side but it was perfect on its own!??

  74. Sarah

    I’ve been meaning to write a comment on this recipe for a long time. It is perfect! I’ve made it many many times with great success. I finally decided to do a little experiment, and while brining the shoulder this last time, I used Dr. Pepper instead of water. Omg, the shoulder ended up being even more tender and juicy (didn’t think that was possible)! I brined for about 36 hours.

    Thanks for this wonderful recipe!!!

  75. Nicole

    Today is the 3rd time I’ve made this I love this recipe! Every time it turns out delicious. I follow all the instructions and haven’t even tried adding anything else since it’s perfect as is. Thank you so much for sharing.

  76. Ping

    Kevin & Amanda
    Thank you for a great recipe, I have two questions in regard to the two statements you made:
    (1) “pop it in a 350-375 degree oven for about 5 mins. “ do you cover the roast?
    (2) “add any leftover seasoning if you want a little more kick” you mean by just sprinkling on top or do you do something to the seasoning first? The brown sugar crystals is crunch if not dissolved, isn’t it?
    Thanks,
    Ping

  77. Maria Boles

    Amanda – I am brining a 5 pound Boston Butt as we speak to cook tomorrow.  I have a party next weekend with ~50 guests.  If I used boneless pork shoulder would it still have the same flavor or do you prefer the Boston Butt?  Also, about how long would it take to cook a couple pieces meat totaling about 15 pounds?  Thank you for sharing the recipe… very excited about trying this tomorrow.

    1. Diane

      I used a boneless shoulder & it was perfect. My opinion is if you cook that many pounds at once it will take longer because the oven has to reach temperature. A remote thermometer eliminates all guessing. My 7 lb boneless pork shoulder from start to cool down took 14 hours. 

  78. Rebecca Buller

    I have made this numerous times, always turns out great. I have started making it on our smoker. I do it on the grates at 225 deg for 3 hours then put it in a pan and bake for 5-6 hours till it reaches 200 deg.  The flavor is incredible.!!

  79. Pamela Lalonde

    I have to tell you that this is THE recipe I turn to for pulled pork. I’ve lived away from the US for 20 years and when I was overcome with a desire for American pulled pork, I looked online and after much searching for the perfect recipe found you. Now you are my recipe and my Spanish husband gets so excited when he sees me making the brine. Thank you so much.

  80. Shannon

    Anyone know the calories or fat in this recipe!?  I don’t care personally, but have friends and family that do!

  81. Bridget

    Thank you! My son requested shredded pork sandwiches for his graduation party & the stress began.  I don’t consider myself a good cook but felt like I could do this. Found your recipe & it is so delicious & really very easy. All the stress is gone & I can’t wait to tell guests to try it.  Thank you again for this wonderful recipe.

  82. Mat Hill

    This is my go to recipe form my smoker. I follow everything above with a couple of exceptions:
    – remove the fat cap. Science has proven fat doesn’t penetrate the meat so instead it just acts  as a barrier. Plus when you peel it off as outlined above you pull off the bark
    – cool to 203 degrees and serve at 170. 203 is the manic number for pork. 
    – remove and wrap in tin foil and towels in a cooler if smoking
    – add Apple or cherry wood in the first hour and no more. 

  83. Andrew B

    What are the dry rub and brine salt amounts for Kosher salt versus table salt? (I see Kosher in the photos, but the ingredients lists don’t mention Kosher, which usually means table salt.)
    Thanks!

  84. Pat Ashe

    I have made this three times and it is now requested. It is the best pulled pork I have ever had. I love it and so do all my friends. I had a close friend whos girlfriend committed suicide and no one had time or even thought of food for after the service so I did a pulled pork and fixings and it seemed to help make every one relax and enjoy it. Good food is always food for the soul. Thanks for sharing this.

  85. Pam

    Decided to try this pulled pork for my son’s graduation party. I began the brine process too early, but just pored it off after 24 hours, rinsed the pork and put it back in the bag for a day or so. It still turned out perfectly. Everyone at the party raved about how good it was, and although I had BBQ sauce available, no one really used it. I’ll definitely save this recipe for future picnics, Super Bowl parties, and other family gatherings.

  86. Amanda

    I have made this recipe, without a single substitution, at least 10 times now for family and friends.  EVERYONE (even my kids) LOVES THIS!! This is my go to pulled pork recipe. 

  87. Sue Burtch

    I wanted to thank you for this most excellent recipe! I’ve made this pulled pork about 6 times so far, and every time it’s been a total hit. The best thing is how good the house smells when I wake up in the morning! :-) 
    I follow the directions pretty much exactly as written, and it comes out perfect every time (and I’m sort of a ‘medium’ level cook). Delicious! 

  88. Kate

    I went to the store and the only pork shoulders that seemed like the right cut were 10 pounds! I hope this works okay with a bigger cut of meat.

  89. Josh

    I’m cooking 3 (4lb) shoulders 2 in one roast pan and another in separate roast pan but cooking all three at same time. How long you suggest I place in oven? 

    1. Mat

      Still 1.5 to 2 hours per lb of the individual butts not the total. So if each is 4 lbs, you are 6-8 hours. 

  90. Nan

    You say you are serving 6 with lots of leftovers using a 7.9lb butt.  What if I need to feed 70 people with no leftovers?  How many butts would you recommend? 

    1. Pamela

      I bought one 8 lb and one 10 lb roast for my son’s party. We had about 75 people. That amount worked well. We had about a one-gallon freezer bag full left over after the party.

  91. Joe

    I love this recipe! I’ve made it numerous times and it always turns out perfectly. It never fails to get lots of compliments.

  92. Diane

    Add about a half teaspoon of apple pie spice to the dry rub, you would not believe the flavor it gives to the meat, you dont even need barbecue sauce.

  93. Justine

    OMG I made this last weekend, so so good. So juicy and mouth watering. Thank you for the tip on planning ahead. 5.84 lbs took 10.5 hours so I’m glad I started it early. Thank you for sharing this awesome recipe. I have been wanting to find an indoor pork butt recipe because my smoked ones always fail. More practice is needed but it’s get’s costly so this will be my go to when I get the mouth watering craving!

  94. Pat

    This is the recipe I’ve been looking for for years and it was absolutely worth the wait!!  I have always brined chicken & turkey, but not pork, but that is the key!  Everyone raved over this, I only fixed a 5 pound, but my son wants me to fix a ten pound one this weekend!  Thanks for such a wonderful and easy recipe!  

  95. Krystol

    Thank you for an amazing recipe. I went out on a limb and made this for my sister’s engagement party, having never made pulled meat or slow cooked before (I was a vegetarian for a longggg time). Not only was it phenomenal, but it has become a required recipe in the family for holidays and get-togethers and even bachelorette party stuffed into tacos!! Thank you!

  96. Jeannie

    I made this once for a crowd and it was eaten up so quickly that this time I need to make two Boston butts! Has anyone ever made two at a time and know how to adjust?! Thanks! This recipe is AMAZING. Totally worth waiting for!

    1. Pam

      I made two, the larger was 10 lbs. Cooking time was 15 hours with both roasts in the same pan. It didn’t hurt the smaller (8 lb.) roast.

  97. Chris

    I set my oven for 12 hours and it would not let me do that. So, I set it for 11 hours and it let me do that. However, I got up at 6 AM to check the oven and it had turned off. I then checked my oven directions and it said it automatically shuts off after SIX HOURS!  In the garbage it goes!! So ? 

  98. Patty

    This was awesome!  I followed (very well layed out) directions exactly as written and it came out PERFECT!!!  I had 8 guests for dinner….there was plenty for all , plus lots left over.  I made a 7 lb shoulder.  
    One addition I made was that I reduced 4 bottles of hard root beer down to approx 1 cup and added it to the pork after it was pulled.  It gave the spice a nice little, and very understated “sweet” kick.
    This will be my new go-to recipe.
    Thank you so much for sharing
    XOXOXO
    Patty

  99. bill

    Amanda, can you please confirm that by “salt” you mean the coarse kosher salt that you show in the photos? I noticed this inconsistency too but didn’t see a definitive answer in the comments. I’ve been burned in the past over that distinction so I wanted to make sure I knew which one to use before I go through the cooking process. Thanks.

  100. Kristi

    This looks amazing! I have several pulled pork recipes, but definitely look forward to trying! I’m hosting a Grad Party for my daughter this summer and have planned to make Turkey Gravy sandwiches as well as Pulled Pork. Can you please tell me the approximate number of sandwiches you would get from this recipe or “number of servings”? I’m sure I’ll need to multiply the recipe, just not sure how much. Thank you!

  101. Anne

    Hi Kevin and Amanda,
    I have a 9 lb. bone-in pork shoulder picnic and want to try your making pulled pork.  All meat cookbooks say to braise this cut of port.  Can I cook it at 250 and covered to mimic a crockpot?  I don’t need a “crust.”  And won’t this help cut the time a bit?  Should I add a little chicken stock or apple juice to the pan so it helps braise it as crock pot recipes suggest? 

    Thank you.

  102. Anna

    I had made a Boston butt in the crockpot before and just didn’t like the way it turned out. I was searching for a way to do it in the oven and came across your recipe. So glad I found this – it came out perfectly! This will be my go-to from now on. You have to plan ahead for all the marinating and cooking time, but it couldn’t be easier. We eat low-carb so I just left out the brown sugar and it was delicious. My husband couldn’t stop raving about it!

  103. Mike

    Very good recipe! This is the second time I am making it. I added a little liquid smoke to the brine to see if it will add a smokey flavor to the meat. Made some BBQ sauce and added liquid smoke to it so it does add some smokey flavor. Awesome pulled pork!!!

  104. Andrea

    I’ve made this half a dozen times and it is always perfect.  The seasoning is so good you don’t really need barbecue sauce. It is my son’s favorite dish so  I’m making it again tomorrow… can’t wait!

  105. Carole Cudnik

    I’ve made this about six times now—family loves it! Getting ready to prep another roast today. The only thing I do differently is to add a bit of liquid smoke to the marinade.

    1. mike

      I am doing two 5.5 lb butts now. I am at 13 hours and 187 degrees. I am assuming a couple more hours to go. I put them in at 1000 pm last night its now 1100 am.

  106. Michelle Meehan

    This is a MUCH overdue message but better late than never. My husband and I have been making this the last 3 years for our annual Super Bowl get together. Simply fantastic! We also make enough to freeze and heat up as we crave….our favorite is using it for Pulled Pork Eggs Benedict. Thank you so much for this recipe, it’s truly part of our family!

  107. C. Bixby

    Many thanks for this step by step recipe for pulled pork. It turned out perfectly and I really appreciate the help. It was moist and tender and just fell off the bone. 

  108. Zsolt

    Holy smoke…. I don’t have an oven which I could operate only on a 100 degress celsius, it spins on around 160 minimum and it still took 8 hours to cook a ~4 kg (about 8 pound) piece of shoulder, after a 24 hour brine bath. I let it rest for 3 hours, and if you let me be a little vulgar I have to say this turned out to be the single most fucking best meat dish I ever tasted…. Thank you for the detailed instructions!!!

    About the brine: at first I was like, THAT MUCH SALT???? NO WAY… no It must be some kind of joke… but then I was like, okay You live only once, I’ll do it :D Another example that you have to follow the recepie.

  109. Amanda

    Hi Amanda!

    I’ve made this twice now and we absolutely love it! My pork butts that I have used have always been over 8lbs and I’ve never used a thermometer. I cook them at 225 for 14 1/2 hrs, and they come out so freaken delicious. My husband was so impressed with how they both came out because he only smokes his porks and briskets in his smoker. 

    Thank you so very much for sharing your recipe!

    ?-
    Amanda

  110. Angela Giglio

    Hi – This recipe looks amazing! I plan on making it for New Year’s for around 10 people. Would an 8lb cut be enough meat or should I try to make two?

    Thank you!!

  111. Lauren Meacham

    I really hope you’re still seeing comments on this thread!! I’ve made this MULTIPLE times and it’s always a hit. It’s my favorite and so easy. I wish I would’ve made better notes on the sizes I’ve used in the past and how many it fed. I’m feeding about 20 (only a couple of those are children). Can you cook two at the same time? Would I be better to just go with the bigger roast (8+lbs) or two smaller ones? Or should I just go with an avg size roast that I know will work and make more sides? haha! :)
    Thanks for any ideas you can give and have a Merry Christmas!

  112. Sheneese

    I added this to my Christmas party menu last year and it was such a hit. Everyone was asking me how I made it!! It was so good that I decided to make it again this year. I followed the recipe to a Tee with the exception of adding a hint of Angry Orchard to the mix:)

  113. Laura

    Has anyone cooked two in the oven at one time? Any changes?

    I had mine brining for about 30 hours, then drained the bags most of the way-left them in the fridge to go to work (so they’ve been in the fridge with minimal brine for 8 hours-I didn’t want them to get too salty, although I’m not sure that matters). I plan on putting the dry rub on when I get home, letting sit for a few hours, then cooking overnight for dinner tomorrow.

    Any suggestions or corrections that would help?

  114. Jessica M.

    Hi Amanda! I just bought a big old butt for this recipe and the fat covered end still has the skin intact-do you think I should remove the skin while leaving the fat layer? So excited to make this!! 

  115. Mya

    I made this for Thanksgiving and it came out AMAZING! I added some Cameroonian red pepper because I didn’t have any chili powder on hand. It was deliciously spicy. My husband said that I had outdone myself with this meal! l will definitely make this again.

  116. Larry

    Thanks for this great recipe. We love smoked pork in our family, but I was out of hickory, so what I did was add 1 Tbsp of liquid smoke to the brine, along with a can of Dr. Pepper, and I brined it for 30 hours before cooking it.

    Succulent and tender, fall apart tender, neighbors begging me for the recipe (and leftovers) tender, Food Network wanting to film it tender, and it gave me a chance to use my new stainless steel Bear Claws I had just gotten last week. Took me 5 minutes to shred a 10# roast. Sure beats using forks! Served it with home made Jack Daniels BBQ sauce (I actually managed to get MOST of the Jack into the sauce this time :-) )

    Thanks again for a great recipe!

  117. Gale

    When I made this recipe, it was for a get together with friends. I tweaked it a little to make it a little spicier The recipe was delicious!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Everybody loved it. I make it at every gathering we have when food is involved, Thank you so much for this recipe.

  118. deborah

    I am making this right now. It just sounded so good. I also smoke on the smoker, but i just put it in the oven at 10:30 PM, we’ll see how it comes out. So excited to try it. Thank you for sharing.

  119. Leanna

    I’ve got a pork roast in the oven as we speak, trying out this recipe… I hope it turns out as great as everyone else’s… it’s a 6.5lbs roast… I did not change any of the measured ingredients for bribe and rub.. so I hope it’s not too salty, as others have commented.  I’ll let everyone know how it turned out, so far it’s smelling amazing!

  120. JCM

    I have never in my life left a comment on a recipe I’ve tried but I have to say, thank you for such an amazing one!!!  This was, without question, the best pulled pork I’ve ever had (and I live in Memphis, TN which is known for their BBQ)! I followed your directions to the letter, with the exception of adding a couple of ramekins of liquid smoke/water to the roasting pan hoping to get a little smoked flavor.  It turned out sooooo good!.  I had the exact Kroger shoulder you have in the picture, just slightly under 8lbs. Brined it in a large bowl covered with plastic wrap for about 13 hrs, then cooked in the oven at 225 about 10.5 hours then let it rest in the oven for another 1.5 hours (approx). I was going by the digital thermometer, which I have one similar to yours.  It was so flavorful, juicy and tender.  Definitely a permanent addition to the repertoire!  Thank you!!!

  121. Shaunte

    I’m just a little confused. How do I add the dry rub in the solution and rub it on the shoulder after it’s been sitting in the solution and doing ry rub mixture. Do I make 2 dry rub mixes 

    1. Amanda

      Hi Carole!

      You only add 3 tablespoons of the dry rub to the brine solution. You use the leftover dry rub for rubbing on the shoulder. The dry rub recipe makes about 1 cup of dry rub. Hope this helps!

  122. Bebo

    Hi, please if  you you guys can help me figuring for how to slow cook 40 kgs of pork shoulder in the oven, but I don’t how long is it gonna take me… I have 3 ovens at home,  and my event is on next Saturday..this is my first time cooking for a big crowd..
    Please help me anyone..
    M planning to cook it according to this exact recipe…

    Please guys ..
    It will b much appreciated..

    My name
    Bebo
    From SOUTH AFRICA, JOHANNESBURG.

  123. Maria

    I found the rub a little too sweet, so I would reduce the brown sugar the next time. I love the process, and thanks for the tip about starting a couple of days ahead of time.

  124. Cathy Page

    I add 1 tbsp of dried smoke powder for a smokier flavor. Place in Louisiana has it. (targil in opelòusas- mesquite, hickory… and they ship it!) Very inexpensive and folks think it was smoked on a smoker! One huge container is cheaper than a bottle of liquid smoke! And much less is used to get the same flavor! Slowcooker is high for 7-9 hours. Comes out moist and delicious!

  125. TMc

    Getting ready to make this for the 2nd time around – made it once for a small party (8 people). It was so delicious that now I’m making for a larger party (20 people). Does anyone know if I could cook 2 of these pork shoulders/butts at the same time in separate pans. Would I need to adjust temp or would it take longer to cook?
    Thanks!

  126. Lonnie

    So well done on this recipe guys! Crispy, juicy with lots of flavor. Brine and cook time is the key. Kevin and Amanda I applaud you for the best pulled pork I’ve made. Yum!

  127. Judy

    this is the first and last recipe I will use for pulled pork. Absolutely wonderful! Watch you oven when cooking for over 12 hours, mine cuts off! Try this recipe you wont be disappointed. I am thinking about trying it with a Beef Brisket.

  128. Tina

    Awesome recipe. Having a family of three, this can last several days, which is great for a tight budget. The first day or two we eat it as sandwiches, then the next couple days we eat it as tacos, which is a hit. The last time we made it, we froze about a third of it, and it tasted just as good when we ate it later. Even my picky eater will eat this.

  129. Pero Dennis

    Wow this was amazing, I made with my instant pot for about 75 min and used a 7 pound Boston butt. I added a little liquid smoke and served with hawaiian rolls and my party of friends went nuts over it! They quickly devoted almost all of it. Thanks this rub is my go to now.

  130. Zeba

    when i started searching for pulled pork recipes online, this was the best one i found. i have a silly question though. i don’t have the long hour. will it work if i put it in a crock pot for 8 hours ?

  131. Shawna

    Love this recipe! Your spice blend has turned into my go to for many dishes, chicken, pork chops even my Christmas turkey! I’ve also tried pulled pork in my pressure cooker then crisp it up in a heavy skillet, works well and definitely better in a time crunch! Thanks!

  132. Norma Cheung

    Yum, thank you! This is one of my all-time favorite recipes that I come back to again and again. Also, your photography is beautiful.

  133. Carl

    It was great only thing everyone who eat it said it was too spicy. I loved it. But next time will cut down on chilly powder and cayenne pepper   

  134. Michelle Valle

    Curious If anyone has tried this on a larger scale? I’m making for a family reunion and have 4 roasts, about 36lbs. Not sure if i should adjust temp or just going to be cooking longer. Can’y wait to try!

  135. Diana

    Just tried out this recipe and the pork roast turned out amazing. I was a little scared because I couldn’t find the exact same cut of meat (pork shoulder, but was a little different).  Mine was also almost 8 pounds and the layer of fat was really thick and tough. Also, I used my roasting pan that has a small rack and wasn’t sure if that would be a problem since the meat wouldn’t be laying in the juices while baking. Fortunately, it still turned out fantastic. I put a little less cayenne pepper since I was nervous it may be too hot for my family, but the little bit of heat was great so I may use the full amount next time. Thanks so much for sharing such a wonderful recipe!

  136. Carrie

    This pulled pork is the most amazing stuff on this planet.
    I make this on occasion, and the second I start mixing up all the spices it brings back memories of how delicious it has always been. I am making it for my husband for his birthday tomorrow and I can’t wait to have some again!
    Thank you for this amazing recipe, I have used it for years.

  137. Janet knoderer

    I printed this recipe off a couple weeks ago and decided to make it this weekend.  However I didn’t go back to your post to look at it again and only went by the printed recipe.  I didn’t realize it until after I had it in the oven that  I was supposed to use kosher salt In the brine solution and used table salt instead.  Just thought it would be helpful to others if you listed kosher salt in the recipe as well.  I haven’t taken it out of the oven yet, just hoping it is not to salty because of the table salt.  Thanks for the recipe.

  138. Jan

    Wonderful recipe….well worth the effort!  I did a 10  lb pork butt,  and it reached 200 degrees internal temperature in about 9 hours in my convection oven.  It shredded beautifully and tastes delicious …very moist and tender.  I’ve made four different sauces to try on it.   I anticipate a lot of smiling faces.  Thanks, Amanda!!

  139. Megan Howe

    What a great recipe. Brining makes a big difference. I use a dry rub that is similar to yours but did like the addition of the cumin. It doesn’t matter to my family how I make it, just so long as I get it done. Kids…..

  140. Debbie V

    This is the best pulled pork recipe I have ever used. It is now my only recipe that I will ever use again. I did not use the cayenne pepper because of the family eating it. It has the best flavor ever!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It turned out perfect!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 07/13/17

  141. Bernetta

    Haven’t eaten it yet, but it is sitting in my over in the final bit. Only got to 190, but the bottom of the pan, and the top of the roast, was starting to burn. I hope it doesn’t taste burnt!

  142. AJ

    This is such an awesome recipe! I have used it over and over again and it has never disappointed. It has a lot of flavor without being super spicy so it is great for a large crowd. I always make two roasts and we have never thrown any out. The leftovers are just as good so I often make it ahead of time and reheat the meat. It is great alone, on sandwiches (we usually use it on hawaiian rolls topped with mustard and cole slaw), or in a salad. So delicious! Thanks again!!!!

  143. Gail Young

    I have made your pulled pork several times now. It is delicious! I wouldn’t change anything about the recipe. We had a quart size freezer bag left over so I froze it and when thawed it was just as good as when freshly made. Thank you for the recipe!

  144. Christine

    Could you put it in the slow cooker after the brine? I’m worried to leave the oven on all day while not home. 

  145. Kim

    Anyone have the problem of meat just not wanting to get over the 180′ F temp? I made this exactly to the instructions but even after 14 hrs the temp wouldn’t get over 180. I have a brand new meat thermometer. The roast got quite dark. I rested it for 2-3 hrs. It was dry. It even had a considerable layer of fat. It was still tasty but not juicy.

  146. Jeanne

    Followed this recipe exactly as written for my 8 lb pork butt…. brining for 30 hrs. It took 17 hours for it to reach 195 degrees! My Fathers Day meal was ruined bc I finally had to get takeout. I allowed for 13-14hrs but couldn’t wait the additional hrs. Good news though… when it finally finished cooking… it was delicious, & melt-in-your-mouth tender.

  147. Christine

    Hey Amanda, I am hoping to make this for a large group (a lot of guys, big eaters!) and was wondering how many pounds would you suggest I get for about 22 people? Thanks!

  148. Amy Walton

    I apologize if this has already been asked.  I’m trying to figure out amounts to make your perfect pork for a large crowd.  I want to end up with about 1/3# finished meat per person.  How much loss can I expect in the cooking process for the pork butt?

  149. Kelly

    Hi there – going to try this for a grad party for 150 people…..have you tried making it and freezing it? I only have 1 oven!!!!

  150. Pam Williams

    I made this for my son’s wedding reception, I also did it with chicken, we had a barbecue picnic and had guests pick pork or chicken. It turned out fabulous and even my very picky father loved the chicken, I did not add sauce, the guests had their choice of sauces. I did do the chicken in crock pots to keep it from drying out the chicken breast meat. THIS IS A GREAT RECIPE, everyone has asked me for it.

  151. Phyllis M Latterell

    This looks amazing!! I’m searching for recipes for my daughters graduation open house. I think this is the winner! Do you know how many pounds you would need to feed about 100 people? I’m guessing I’m going to be cooking for awhile! Thank goodness I have two ovens! Thank you so much for sharing. Really looking forward to making it!

    1. Pam Williams

      Phyllis, this past weekend I served 50 people with the rule of approx. a quarter pound per person, so I did 25 pounds, I had approximately 1 sandwich size left over which was perfect. I did read that if you are feeding a lot more men might want to increase slightly and if you have a lot of children decrease some. Good luck!

  152. LeAnna s.

    Masterful recipe. I omitted the chili and cumin bc I just don’t like those flavors, added bit of Mrs dash table blend and  everything else was the same. Also I cooked in a crockpot on low for seven hours. No crust but the flavor and juiciness is amazing. My shoulder was 7.49 lbs.

  153. Missy

    I found this post on Pinterest as I was looking for methods to prepare my roast. By the time I found it there was no time for the brine, so I skipped that and roasted as directed. It still turned out to be the best pork roast I’ve ever made! I will be keeping this recipe and try the brine next time. I have searched for pulled pork recipes many times. Your post was the first time I have read that the internal temp needs to be that high to get the pork to shred. My roast pulled apart so easily, just like it should! I cannot thank you enough for this information!!

  154. Kathy

    This was absolutely fabulous. I used and 8 lb roast and cooked for 13 hours. You were right, my oven cut of at 12 hours. Thanks for the tip. I added smoked paprika in the leftover seasoning rub and sprinkled more on my sandwich. So good!!! This is definitely the thing I’ll be bringing to family gatherings from now on. Shared with a co-worker who loved it as well. Thanks for sharing your recipe. 

  155. Dusti

    I have this brining right now and it already smells good!  Im hoping to make it again for a big crowd and thinking I will need to do 2 (3??) big ones… so I’d really need to leave them in the oven for like 2 days straight?? 

  156. Rawson

    Dear Kevin and Amanda,

    I found this recipe YEARS ago and have been the talk of the town since I’ve been using it. Being a southern raised transplant to northern California, there were high expectations from my circle of friends. This has never disappointed! I have made this recipe probably 30 times. This is the BEST pulled pork recipe. The only thing I do differently is add some ACV (apple cider vinegar) to the finished product (we like things tangy from Georgia). I serve it on a toasted bun with home made coleslaw and spicy BBQ sauce (we like Red Hawk but I’m going to attempt homemade with this summer’s garden crop). I just wanted to thank you both and give you the credit you deserve!

    Cheers,
    Rawson

    1. Rawson

      Beth, I was just researching servings yesterday for our upcoming July 4th bash. We expect 50 and I’m planning on buying 20+ lbs. The formula is 1 lb of finished product per 4 people, fyi. You will lose weight with cooking and the bone. Leftovers are also a must so keep that in mind. Enjoy!

  157. Stella

    I made this 2 years ago when we hosted a pool party and it was a total hit… well …. we’re having another pool party come Aug and this will be on the menu once again.. it’s easy and it’s just awesome … thank you for sharing this recipe …

  158. Tessa

    this is my go to pulled pork recipe now. I’ve made it about 5 times. Have one brining in the fridge right now! My youngest son asks for it all the time so I try to keep one in the deep freeze. Thanks for an awesome recipe!

  159. Judy Tansky

    Hi, I am planning on trying your perfect pulled pork slow roasted recipe for a party I’m having. I wanted to make it ahead. Do you think I could freeze the cooked pulled pork? It wouldn’t be frozen for too long maybe 10 days.
    Thanks, Judy

  160. Stacy

    This looks delicious! I made pulled pork in my slow cooker at home at the weekend, was really apprehensive about how it would taste but really good!

    Plus we have so much left over we are now using it for lunches so very economical too :)

  161. Kori

    I made this recipe today. Started brining on Wednesday and put it in the oven last night around 5pm. It was done around 7am this morning. AMAZING!!!!! Thanks so much for the detailed instructions! Will definitely be making this again.

  162. Anna

    This is the best pulled pork recipe ever!!!!!! ? my whole family loves, loves,loves it…… I’ve made it several times. This time i actully cooked at a lil’ higher temp and for 6 hrs with 2 hrs rest time which worked perfectly!

  163. Steven

    This looks divine! I cannot wait to try my hand at recreating it. Next trip to the grocery, I’m all over it. I’ll post another message to let you know how it turns out. And thank you for sharing!

  164. Marcela Fonseca

    Hi Amanda, I love pulled pork but have never cooked it myself! I am planning on making it for my son’s Bday Party and came across your Recipe. Would you mind to let me know, How much meat would I need to feed about 30 people? 
    We are going to have other dishes at the party as well, but I believe this recipe will be a hit, so I want to make sure I have enough ? Thank you very much! 

  165. T

    I was not sure how this would turn out since usually when you think of pulled pork, you think of having to have a smoker. Made this over the weekend & it was SO delicious! Even better than our local BBQ joint! Very flavorful & moist. Served on Hawaiian buns & some guests topped w/ homemade coleslaw. Everyone thought it was super tasty, even kids kept coming back for more! Such a great recipe.

  166. Shannon

    Amanda and Kevin! I just love this recepie and so does my husband! We are having a beer brewing party with lots of friends coming up and I wanted to serve this! I am just wondering if I would need to change the temp at all due to there being 2 pork shoulders in the oven? I have only ever made this with one. Thanks in advance for your help!

  167. Martin

    I have used your recipe and instructions several times. My experience has been a 8 to 12 lb Shoulder Butt Roast takes nearly 22 hours at 225. I let it brine, for 24+ hours in the refrigerator. I dry it off and work in the rub. When I insert the meat thermometer it usually shows a temperature to 40-44 degrees. I have seen some of the replies suggesting allow the meat to reach room temperature before putting it in the oven. How long does that take on average? What temperature would you be looking for before placing the pan in the oven? Should I anticipate the time dropping from 22 hours to 12-14 hours for this size roast? I ask because this seems like a significant amount of time saved.

    The result is worth the wait but I would love to see the times described in these replies. Thanks!

  168. Samantha DiNoto

    I have a question. I just accidentally added all of my dry rub mix to the water before brining. How do I remedy this situation?

  169. Jen

    Made this last night in the crock pot! 6lb bone in butt. Did all the prep. Brined for about 10 hours. Stuffed in the CP on low with no added juice or water. Thank goodness because 8 hours later it was about half full with juices. It was already falling off the bone but I carefully pulled the meat out in tact. Poured all the juices from the crockpot in a container to save, then put the meat back in the CP on high heat for two more hours. Before I shredded the meat I made sure to cut out the fatty top and a lot from the center which just pulled away from the meat quickly. My husband is finicky about eating straight fat but if you like that then by all means leave it be and just start shredding! So glad I found this amazing recipe. I have tackled my fear of attempting home pulled pork. I’ll try the oven method when I am not 9 months pregnant and have a thermometer :)

  170. Erin

    Hello. Thank you so much for posting this recipe. I made it over the last couple of days and served it for dinner tonight and the texture of the pork was awesome but mine ended up being extremely spicy and I was just wondering what I did wrong. I’ve gone through most of the comments and didn’t come across anyone mentioning how spicy it is. I definitely love spicy food but I guess I wasn’t ready for it and was hoping my kids would have eaten it. They are only babies still so I didn’t serve it them! But anyway, wondering if I did something wrong here or if there is a typo in the rub ingredients list. I looked at it a few times and I’m pretty positive I followed the recipe exactly. Thanks!

    1. LeAnna s.

      Mine wasn’t spicy at all. I’ve made it twice so far, first time with the chili and cumin and second time without it. The chili and cumin add a little spice but not overwhelmingly. Next time try omitting the chili and cumin. It won’t be spicy at all. 

  171. Cory Roberts

    I have a huge disposable pain for a 7ish pd butt . It’s almost 2xs the size of what is pictured here. Will it still work or should I use my regular roasting pan?

  172. Shelby

    Just got done shredding this baby up. Followed the instructions almost perfectly and the flavor and texture is incredible.

    I missed the part about removing the fat before shredding so currently it’s a little greasy. Hopefully I can fix that before dinner (oops).

    My schedule for an 8ish pound roast: brined it on Tuesday at 3pm, put it in the oven Wednesday at 9pm, turned off oven at noonish on Thursday and began shredding at 2pm.

    Will absolutely be making this again (and won’t forget to remove the fat next time)

  173. feeze29

    I was planning dinner for my son and 8 of his college friends for a New Year’s Eve-Eve celebration and wanted to do pulled pork over gourmet mac and cheese. I came across this recipe and decided to give it a try…I made 2, 8 pound pork shoulders, bone in. I followed the fantastic directions to a T, and all I can say is WOW! This pulled pork recipe is to die for…the guys went crazy over it! Thank-you for helping me look like a top chef!

  174. Beata

    This perfect pulled pork just well deserves its haughty name. Was a bit timid to make it but followed the instructions and it turned out to be a wonder dish – juicy, subtle meat, with loads of flavour. The rub is divine. The best thing is, however, that it does not need a lot of attending to – you just put it in a brine, which is quick to make, then place it in the oven. The waiting is just all you do :-) so, thanks, that is a hit for me and am adding it to my faves :-)

  175. Josh

    Great recipe and thank you for sharing. Every time I make this, people are in love! I don’t even mix the final pan with BBQ because the pork itself is delightful. When I do put Sweet Baby Rays BBQ on my sandwich, it’s still off the hook. Good either way, thanks again. KUDOS ?

  176. Nancy R

    Can’t wait to cook the shoulder roast I just put in the brine!  But I have a question (please don’t laugh!).  The roast I bought turned out to be two 8 lb roasts.  I doubled all of the recipe stuff.  But not sure how long I should expect it to cook in the oven.  1.5 hrs per pound for the whole thing would be 25 hours.  Should I just do 1.5 times 8 pounds?  Thanks!  Hope I made you smile with this goofy question.

  177. Susan

    Normally not a commenter but just shredded my meat. Followed directions, no modifications, had almost 9# roast – EXCELLENT!!  well worth the time. Really does not require any more work just a bit of planning ahead. Thank you. 

  178. Nana Tina

    My pork roast is in the oven as I read this!  Only about 12hrs to go! Excellent tutorial.  I never made a pork roast, shredded pork but thought id give it a try for part of Christmas dinner!  Thank you for a clear concise step by step instructions! :)

  179. Nikki

    I just put this in the oven..to date, this is the most extensive recipe i have ever cooked. including thawing time for the meat it has been 5 days in the making. I am excited and the rub smells so tasty. this is a pretty easy recipe. Funny story now but so not funny at the time was yesterday afternoon I was pouring the brine over the meat in a bag and the bag gave on one side ( i guess. I am not really sure how it happened) and a lot of brine poured down the cabinet, on the floor, down my dress, and even got into the bottom cabinet! Next time, I will have the bag setting in the sink! all has gone well otherwise… 

  180. Dominic Pouliot

    I did it a couple of time and i will make it again and again.. best recipe ever. I was tired of the same recipes all the time with ketchup and molasse. I also put it in my smoker for 2 hours. Wow thanks ..

  181. Sharron Land Gegenheimer

    AMAZING….best pulled pork recipe EVER!   Printed out hard copies for all 4 kids for their recipe boxes!
    Thanks you!  Just finished pulling 19 pounds (3 roasts) and will be serving it at a big party tonight.
    Note, my convection oven had all three roasts done in 8 hours
    Sharron

    1. Tania

      Hi Sharron

      If I may ask,..how many people were you making this for? I have my daughters 21st coming up and was planning on making this for the party. We need to feed 50 people. It will be put onto bread rolls.

      If you wouldn’t mind letting me know, I’d really appreciate it.

      Thanks so much Tania x

  182. Peter Calandra

    Well I did this today in a crock pot on low until it reached an internal temp of 200 and it was beyond amazing over the sliced onions with some honey BBQ sauce. Note that I marinated it in the seasoned brine for 1.5 days. Crock pot results are 5 stars! No kidding on this one. Thanks for this recipe, it’s definitely a keeper!

  183. Kelsey

    I’m doing two 7lb roasts at the same time. Any idea in how I should calculate cook time? I’m assuming it will take a little longer but shouldn’t need to be double…