Pulled pork is fresh boneless pork butt marinated in a dry rub, then slowly baked in the oven with beer, orange juice, and chicken stock. Try this in my mouth-watering Pulled Pork Egg Rolls!
With so many ways to enjoy pulled pork, the more ways to prepare it, the better! This oven-roasted pork recipe results in fork-tender, flavorful, melt-in-your-mouth meat. Use it for pulled pork quesadillas, nachos, hash, or simply enjoy it as the entree.
Pulled Pork Ingredients
Pork: I used about a 5-pound boneless pork butt in this recipe. You could also use a Boston butt.
Mustard: Coating the pork in yellow mustard acts as a binder to hold all the dry rub on the meat.
Liquid: I added beer, orange juice, and chicken stock to the pork before cooking it. When it comes to beer, choose a kind of beer that you enjoy (if you drink beer). If you don’t want to use beer, use Dr. Pepper, Root beer, or Coke. Non-alcoholic beer would also work.
Onion: I quartered a yellow onion to cook with the pork. I added this to the liquids because onions are a natural aromatic. The cooked onion can be discarded with the extra juices or you can dice it up and add it to the pulled pork. We have enjoyed it both ways. Some folks are purists and only want pork in their pulled pork.
What is the Best Cut of Pork for Pulled Pork?
As I stated above, I used boneless pork butt, a part of pork shoulder. (Yes, the pork butt does come from the shoulder.)
Pork shoulder is your best choice when it comes to making pulled pork. It has enough fat on it to result in the soft, tender meat you want when pulling it apart. You could also use bone-in pork – however, the cooking times may vary.
Should I Score the Fat Cap on the Pork?
If your cut of pork came with a thick layer of fat on the top (fat cap), it’s important to score it. (I did not have to score the pork since there was not a lot of fat on mine.)
To score the fat, simply make diagonal cuts or little crosshatch cuts across it. This will allow the rub to really get into the meat itself and not just on top of the layer of fat.
Do I Have to Rub the Pork with Mustard?
The yellow mustard acts as a binder, or adhesive, to keep the dry rub on the pork. If you don’t want to use mustard, you could use another binder like olive oil, melted butter, hot sauce, or even mayonnaise.
When is Pulled Pork Done?
Well, according to the Department of Agriculture, pork is fully cooked when it reaches an internal temperature of 145°F. But, that is NOT when your pulled pork is ready.
Pulled pork takes patience, for sure. We cooked our pulled pork for 5 hours, and yes, it was the right temperature, but it was not fork-tender and easily pulled apart.
So, be patient and shoot for a temperature of 195°F-200°F. A meat thermometer is so important for this recipe; you want it just right!
Why Use an Aluminum Pie Tin?
You may have noticed that the last ingredient listed is a disposable aluminum pie tin. No, you are not cooking the pork in the tin, but it is an important part of this recipe.
When you are ready to cook the pork, you will poke a few holes into the bottom of the pie tin. Then, set the tin, upside down, in the bottom of the Dutch oven or heavy-bottom pot that you are using.
The pork will rest on top of the upside-down tin, capturing the steam from the different liquids as it bakes in the oven. This will keep the pork moist and tender.
How to Store Pulled Pork
Pulled pork can be stored in the refrigerator or frozen. To store in the refrigerator, place the pork in a sealed container, labeled and dated, for up to a week.
To freeze the pork, store it in a freezer-safe zipped bag, labeled and dated, for up to 2-3 months
Pulled Pork Sandwich
Should you want to use this flavorful pulled pork for a sandwich, just add the meat to a warming vessel, like a crockpot, and then serve with coleslaw, BBQ sauce (we LOVE HeyGrillHeys.com Everything Sauce!), and buns. I like to dip the buns into the liquid from the dutch oven before assembling.
- 4 -6 pounds boneless pork butt, Boston butt or pork shoulder
- ¼ cup (60 g) yellow mustard
- ½ cup (100 g) light brown sugar packed
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 12 ounces beer of choice, best to use a beer you like
- 1 cup (249 g) orange juice
- 1 cup (240 g) chicken stock
- 1 large yellow onion, quartered
- 1 disposable aluminum foil pie tin
- Coat the entire pork roast in the yellow mustard on all sides.
- In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, salt, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, cayenne, and black pepper. Sprinkle over pork butt and wrap in plastic and refrigerate overnight.
- When ready, remove the plastic wrap and preheat the oven to 225°F.
- Poke a few holes in the pie tin and flip it over into the bottom of a Dutch oven. (This will be used to keep the pork butt out of the liquid.)
- Place the pork on top of the tin in the Dutch oven.
- Pour in the beer, orange juice, and chicken stock into the pan, not pouring directly over the seasoned meat.
- Add the quartered onion and cover.
- Bake 6-8 hours, or until the internal temperature is 195°F. The pork should be very tender and should pull apart easily with a fork.
- Remove pork from Dutch oven and let rest until it is cool enough to work with. (*See notes for what to do with the onion.)
- Shred pork using two forks and serve warm. If you are serving immediately, you can save the juices from the pan to spoon over the shredded pork.
- Liquids and onion from the pan can be discarded. (You can also dip buns in the liquid before serving Pulled Pork Sandwiches.)
Did you make this recipe?
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