Perfect Pulled Pork

Ever wonder how your favorite BBQ joint makes their pork so dang good?  I did too until now.  The secret to their recipe?  Cook your pork shoulder low and slow.  Okay, that might be a very well-known secret but this was the first time that I tried the “low and slow” method in an oven.

Up until now, I had prepared my pork shoulder in my crock pot.  Inspired by an episode on Food Network this week (they’ve been airing BBQ madness for a while now) I decided to try my luck with the oven.  Now that I have tasted the juicy, tender, all-mighty oven pork, I will never cook pork shoulder in my crock pot again.

My pork turned out absolutely perfect.  I feel like if I would place my plate of pork (Subject A) next to that BBQ joint’s plate of pork (Subject B), taste-testers wouldn’t be able to tell the difference!  I’m that confident.  The catch?  You can’t leave your oven on all day unattended like you can with a crock pot.  So if you’re going to try this method, do it on your day off (I recommend glasses of cold beer to keep you busy in the mean time).

View a list of all of my pork recipes here.

Note:  I updated this recipe based on all of your suggestions.   I changed the internal temperature from 170 degrees to 200 degrees.  170 degrees is where a pork roast is cooked and sliceable, but 200 degrees is fall-apart tender.  I also added two more hours to the cook time, to accomodate the internal temperature change.  Thank you for your comments!

Perfect Pulled Pork

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 1 hour

Cook Time: 12 hours

Total Time: 13 hours

Yields: Serves about 8

Perfect Pulled Pork


  • 1 (6-pound) pork shoulder or pork butt, bone in preferred
  • Dry Rub:
  • 3 tablespoons paprika (I used smoked paprika)
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon dry mustard
  • 3 tablespoons coarse sea salt


  1. Preheat your oven or smoker to 225 degrees F. Lightly score your pork with a sharp knife. Mix the dry rub ingredients together and rub the spice blend all over the pork. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour or up to overnight.
  2. Put the pork in a roasting pan and roast for 10-12 hours, uncovered. Check the pork at 10 hours. An instant-read thermometer stuck in the thickest part of the pork should register at least 200 degrees F. Your pork should also pull easily apart. If it isn't done, increase the cook time in increments of 30 minutes.
  3. When the pork is cooked, take it out of the oven and place it on a platter to cool. Allow the meat to rest for at least 30 minutes. Once rested, use 2 forks to shred the meat. Serve as is, on a bun, on a baked potato or combine with your favorite BBQ sauce.


If you wish to use the meat later, wrap the cooked pork in double foil to retain the juices and refrigerate or freeze.

Recipe adapted from Bobby Flay and Tyler Florence’s Pulled Pork Recipes

Photo courtesy of

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