Pulled Pork

Low, slow cooking transforms this budget-friendly cut of meat into a fork-tender, versatile sandwich filling. This is a meat-lover’s dream — make our basic recipe or add other spices and vegetables to tailor it to your tastes (see "tips," below). Make the quick, crunchy coleslaw to layer on your sandwich or serve on the side.

Prep
30 mins
Bake
5 hrs to 9 hrs
Total
6 hrs 15 mins
Yield
about 3 quarts
Pulled Pork

Instructions

  1. To make the pulled pork: Rub the pork all over with the salt, then coat it with the brown sugar, patting it on as best you can.

  2. Get out your slow cooker or a roasting pan large enough to fit the pork. Lay the onion into the bottom of the slow cooker or pan, and put the pork on top. Mix the vinegar, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, and black pepper, and drizzle on top. Tuck the garlic cloves and bay leaves around the bottom of the pork.  

  3. Cover and set the slow cooker to high and cook for 3 to 4 hours. Reduce the setting to low and cook for 5 hours more. To cook in the oven, cover and bake at 275°F for 5 to 6 hours. Either way, the meat is done when it’s fork-tender and falling off the bone.

  4. When the pork is done cooking, drain and save the juice. Remove and compost the bay leaves. Refrigerate the juice. Let the meat cool to lukewarm.

  5. To make the coleslaw: While the pork is cooling, prepare the coleslaw. In a medium bowl, whisk together the sugar, celery salt, mustard powder, mayonnaise, and vinegar until smooth. Toss with the cabbage and carrots until evenly coated. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

  6. To finish the meat, go through and discard any chunks of fat and bone, and cut the larger chunks across the grain into 1" pieces. Stir the meat with a fork until it starts to fall apart. Season to taste with additional salt.

  7. To serve: Skim off and discard the fat that's risen to the top of the refrigerated juice. Reheat the pork with just enough of the juice to moisten it. Serve with coleslaw on a sandwich bun or enjoy all on its own.

  8. Refrigerate any leftovers for up to five days; pulled pork freezes well for up to three months.

Tips from our Bakers

  • It's best to make the pork a day ahead; the flavor of any braised meat is always better the second day.

  • This recipe tastes great as is, but can easily be further customized to your taste. Like it spicy? Add an ancho pepper or your favorite sriracha to the braising mixture. Looking for smokier flavor? Add a smoked ham hock to the pot. Feeling saucy? Add your favorite barbecue sauce to the shredded meat when you reheat it.