Recipe: John’s Pulled Pork

We love BBQ. We’ve been all over the country to eat it. We specifically love BBQ style meats cooked low and slow. Despite many inaccessible items now becoming available in the regular grocery store, the pork shoulder or pork butt remains an item we still need to go to a specialty meat store to get. Thankfully we have one right around the corner. And we frequent it often.

John is in charge of meat around these parts so this is really his recipe with my documentation. It seems intimidating but it is seriously so easy. All it really requires is patience but trust me, the reward is sweet.

John’s Pulled Pork

Two 7 lb. bone-in pork shoulders (we prefer bone in because it allows the pork to adhere to something while cooking, if we went with boneless for 12 hours I fear the pork would just crumble apart)

Pork Rub:
4 tbsp. brown sugar
2 tbsp. paprika
2 tbsp. garlic powder
2 tbsp. red pepper flake
2 tbsp. chili powder
2 tbsp. cayenne pepper

How To:
Place your pork shoulders in a big roasting pan on a rack. They shouldn’t be touching and they need to be elevated off the bottom of the pan so the fat can drip off. Combine the rub ingredients in one container and then mix thoroughly. Rub your pork shoulders (every little nook and cranny) with all of the rub. Slow cook in the oven at 250 degrees for 12 hours (we usually let it go overnight). When it’s done take the pork out of the oven and let it rest for 1 hour. Use two forks, or your hands, to pull apart the pork into whatever size shred you like.

John and his spice rubbed pork


Pork shoulders ready for cooking


After 12 hours of slow cooking, the pork is falling off the bone and has a great bark.


John hand pulled all the pork



Delicious pulled pork


Our short and long term plans for this pulled pork include pulled pork quesadillas, pulled pork sandwiches, and pulled pork and cornbread. It’s just so versatile. Eat it dry or drenched in BBQ sauce (my preference). You really can’t go wrong with pulled pork!

Author: Domestocrat

I'm a lady who enjoys photography, football, cooking, long drives with the windows down, This American Life, kettlecorn, hot yoga, pop punk, my nephews, my cat Reggie, and my home: Boston.

15 thoughts

  1. How do you keep the pork from getting cold while you pull it? Every time I have smoked a pork butt it’s room temp by the time it’s ready to serve.

    1. Really?? It’s so hot when we take it out of the oven we have to wait at least an hour to pull it. It stays hot throughout the process, I’d assumed it was because of the residual heat. It never goes cold though because, as you might be able to see in the picture, we place the pulled pork in a tupperware and loosely put the lid on between pulling sections. Does that make sense?

  2. Kim, is your rub quantity for 14 lbs of meat total? Or is this 2 3.5-lb shoulders that total 7 lbs? I can’t imagine getting through 7 lbs of pork (let alone 14!) before reaching pork overload– how well does it freeze?

    1. Yes, the rub recipe is for 14 lbs. it’s a very thin layer of rub. We’ve made this quantity for parties where it is GONE by the end of the night so I’ve actually never frozen it. In terms of a rub though, any combination and quantity of spices will work really, it’s up to your tastes.

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