Roasting pork for that perfect pulled pork we all love isn’t difficult. It takes a little time but very little effort and the rewards are exceptionally delicious!
I love pulled pork! There are so many ways to use this delicious slow-roasted pork that it will become a regular item on your menu, once you see how easy it is to make.
Let’s start by gathering the ingredients we need to make a Dry Rub Pork Butt. In Chef Speak this is called the Mise en Place which translates into Everything in its Place.
Not only does setting your ingredients up ahead of time speed the cooking process, but it also helps ensure you have everything you need to make the dish.
What Cut of Pork should I use for Perfect Pulled Pork?
Most barbecue restaurants use whole pork shoulders for their pulled pork, but they’re rarely available in grocery stores. The pork shoulder is the entire front leg and shoulder of a hog. For home consumption, this cut is generally too large, but perfect for restaurant use.
In your grocery store, you will usually find this divided into two cuts, the Boston butt (cut of pork that comes from the upper part of the shoulder from the front leg ), and the picnic roast.
Either of these cuts are good for pulled pork, but I prefer the Boston butt.
Once you’ve got all your ingredients together the first step is mixing all the seasonings together in a small bowl. Make sure they are all well blended.
Then begin the dry rub process which actually means rubbing the spices into the pork butt.
Chef Dennis Tip:
I split the pork butt into two pieces to make it easier to control and also to help reduce the overall cooking time. A large Pork Butt can take a long time to cook, two smaller butts will cook faster.
Wrap the pork in cling wrap, double wrapping it to make sure that its completely sealed to help avoid leakage.
Place a plate under the wrapped pork and refrigerate for at least 12 hours up to 24 hours.
When the pork is ready it’s time to start the cooking process. Dice an onion and saute it in olive oil (or oil of your choice) for 2-3 minutes.
The pot you saute in should have a lid and be oven ready.
Next, add the pork and begin searing the pieces on all sides. Searing each side for 3-4 minutes until the entire roast has been seared and has a nice color.
Add your favorite beer (or Dr. Pepper, Root Beer or Cola) to the pot. Place the lid on the pot and put the pot into a preheated 300 degree F oven for 3 hours.
You can check the roast at the 90 minute mark to see if it needs more liquid. If it does add more beer or water to the pan. Mine had more than enough liquid in the pan and didn’t need any additional liquid.
Chef Dennis Tip:
Make sure to have the fat side up when you’re ready to roast the pork butts.
Do I have to use a pot with a lid to roast the pork butt?
No you don’t. You can cover the pot with foil, or place a half sheet pan overtop of the pot.
You can also place it in a baking dish that is big enough to hold the pork, onions and beer and cover it with foil.
You can also forgo the beer and onions double wrapping the pork butts in foil and placing them on a sheet pan to roast.
Depending upon the size of your pork roasts it will take 2.5 hours to 3.5 hours to cook to the desired temperature for pulled pork.
*Average cook time is 40 minutes per pound.
What temperature should I roast Pork Butts to for Perfect Pulled Pork?
For pulled pork, the ideal temperature is 205 degrees F. This goes well beyond the recommended 165 degrees F that most of us are used to cooking pork too.
The high internal temperature allows the collagen in the pork butt to break down making the meat very tender.
When the pork reaches an internal temperature of 190 F to 195 F, the meat is ready to be pulled. Cooking the pork to any temperature below that won’t give you meat that is tender enough to pull apart properly.
Rember that the pork roast will continue to cook internally by and the temperature will increase by about 10 degrees after it’s been removed from the oven.
I absolutely love my Thermopro Wireless Digital Meat Thermometer. It takes all the guesswork out of cooking meats in the oven, on the grill, or in a smoker.
How do I shred pulled pork?
When the roast is cool enough to handle (but still hot) begin the process of pulling the meat. The tried and true method is using your hands to pull the meat against the grain into slivers.
Here are two other ways to get perfect pulled pork.
Two Fork Method:
Cut the meat into workable pieces. Then use one fork to hold the meat stable, and the other to rake it into shreds. Or use the forks to pull the meat away from each other.
Using a stand mixer is the fastest and easiest way to shred pork (or chicken). Place the cooked meat in the mixing bowl, attach the flat beater paddle into the mixer and lock the lever., Turn the mixer to medium speed and let it run for approximately 30 seconds, or until meat has shredded.
If you’re serious about pulled pork and will be making it on a regular basis, get a pair of Meat Claws aka Bear Claws.
Use your favorite barbecue sauce to turn pulled pork into masterpiece of
Can I Make Pulled Pork in a slow cooker?
Yes, you can. Use the seasoning method as described in the recipe.
If possible sear the pork as in the dutch oven method, but you can cook the pork without searing. Add the onion, beer, and seared pork to your slow cooker. Cook on low for 6-8 hours depending upon your slow cooker.
Shred the pork while warm.
More Recipes You’ll Love!
- Dry Rub Grilled Baby Back Ribs
- Grilled Dry Rub Chicken Wings
- How to Grill a Steakhouse Style Steak
- The Ultimate Grilled Chicken Sandwich