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. Drain the pork, saving the juice. Remove and discard the bay leaves. Refrigerate the juice. Let the meat cool to lukewarm.

  5. Go through the meat, discarding any chunks of fat and bone and cutting 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.

  6. 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.

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

Tips from our Bakers

  • Why the range of salt and sugar? Some pork roasts are longer and skinnier; some, shorter and fatter, so their surface area will vary. Your goal is to rub the pork thoroughly with kosher salt and brown sugar; don't worry too much about using an exact amount of either. 

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

  • For a quick, crunchy coleslaw to layer on your sandwich, whisk together 1/4 cup sugar, 1 teaspoon each celery salt and dry mustard, 3/4 cup mayonnaise, and 2 1/2 tablespoons white or cider vinegar until smooth. Toss with 1 pound of shredded green and red cabbage; add a shredded carrot for color, if desired.

  • 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.

  • This recipe, revised in August 2019, was formerly called "Sam's Pulled Pork Sandwich with Coleslaw."