Pulled Pork Recipe – Everything From Slow Cooked to Instant Pot

pulled pork recipe

If pork is one of your favorite meat types, you’d surely make a lot of it at home. If you always want to keep ready to cook pork at home, you should rather store pulled pork in the fridge. Here, we will give you pulled pork recipe options so that you can cook the basic form of it and then alter some ingredients to try different styles.

Pulled pork, if you don’t already know, is a southern barbecue tradition and has an age-long history. The savory meat preparation is mouthwatering and famous worldwide. People queue up to eat this tender and saucy pork prep in front of food trucks. It is a go-to option on a game-day, on a barbeque pit, and in a backyard grilling party.

You might like your meat spicy or mild and warm. You might want it to be sandwiched between buns as coleslaw or filled up in tortillas. Pulled pork recipe makes a tasty and filling meal. It lets you relish juice shredded pork that gets delicious every time when grilled or slow-cooked.

Best pulled pork recipes

If you’re tried standing at queues to wait for stale pulled pork to come your way from food trucks, it is time to cook them on your own. At first, we’re going to start with the basic pulled pork recipe. If you can master this one, you can start trying the different styles too. We follow it up with the popular recipes that give you more ideas to try the pulled pork.

Pulled pork recipe oven

Here’s putting down the basic recipe that will get you started with what pulled pork is really like.


  • 2 teaspoons of smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons of ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 2 teaspoons of pepper
  • 2 teaspoons of brown sugar
  • 2-3 medium mugs of cider
  • 2 ½ kg or 4.5 to 5 pound boneless pork shoulder
  • 1 mug smoky barbeque sauce
  • Soft white rolls


  1. Blend paprika, pepper, cumin, brown sugar, and salt together
  2. Rub the mix over the shredded pork
  3. Add the pork in a casserole dish and keep skin-side up and pour the cider in
  4. Cover it with a lid and put it in the oven at 150C/130C fan/gas 2 and let it stay anywhere from 4 to 8 hours. You need to keep it check on how soon it is falling apart. Check every hour to see if it is getting dry or not. If it does get dry, you need to add one more mug of cider.
  5. Once it is cooked, take it out of the oven and put the pork in a large dish and leave the fluid in the casserole
  6. Cut out the skin and shred meat by using two forks
  7. Discard any fatty bit and skim out excess fat off the surface
  8. Add one mug of BBQ sauce in the casserole and mix well and ladle some into the bowl for dipping
  9. Put back pulled pork back in a casserole with juice to keep it moist
  10. Add seasoning to taste and these can be according to your taste
  11. Finally, serve it with white rolls as coleslaw and keep the bowl of juices for ‘French dipping’

Sweet pork in slow cooker

If you wouldn’t like it spicy, you’d probably like it sweet. Here is a recipe to cook sweet pulled pork in a slow cooker that will make the meat fall off the bone anyway!


  • 1 bone-in pork shoulder of around 4.5 pounds
  • 1 cup of root beer
  • 2 ½ tablespoons of light brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons of kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of paprika powder
  • ½ teaspoon of dry mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon of onion powder
  • ¼ teaspoon of garlic salt
  • ¼ teaspoon of celery salt
  • 1/3 cup of balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ teaspoon of cinnamon powder
  • ¼ teaspoon of ginger powder
  • 1 ½ cups of root beer
  • ¼ teaspoon of nutmeg powder
  • 1 ½ ounce of whiskey
  • ¼ cup of brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • ¾ cup of BBQ sauce
  • 10 hamburger buns split into halves


  1. Put in the pork roast into a big plastic bag and pour 1 cup root beer on the meat.
  2. Squeeze out air from the plastic bag and seal it
  3. Let it refrigerate for at least six hours or overnight
  4. Next day, use a bowl to blend in light brown sugar with black pepper, paprika, kosher salt, onion powder, dry mustard, cinnamon, celery salt, garlic salt, and nutmeg
  5. Take out the meat and marinate well
  6. Shake off the excess spices and rub meat all over again
  7. Wrap in the same plastic and let it refrigerate for 30 mins to two hours
  8. Mix balsamic vinegar, whiskey, 1 ½ cup root beer, brown sugar in another bowl
  9. Stir the mix till sugar dissolves completely
  10. Use a skillet to heat olive oil over medium-high and sear the pork on all the sides till it develops a brownish crust
  11. It will take you around three minutes in each side after which you can add seared meat in a slow cooker
  12. Add balsamic vinegar and root beer mix on top of the meal
  13. Set your cooker on high and let it cook for six hours
  14. Remove roast from cooker and shred it with the help of two forks
  15. Discard bones and put a cup of water in the cooker
  16. Return shredded pork to the cooker and add BBQ sauce to it
  17. Let it cook on low till it seems ready to serve with buns

The easy recipe

The easy pulled pork recipe needs the least amount of ingredients and is the fastest to cook. Find out how you can make this type of pulled pork quickly.


  • 2 ½ pounds or around 1 kg of boneless pork loin roast
  • Lots of drinking water
  • 18 ounces of BBQ sauces – almost a bottle
  • 8 large sandwich buns, split into halves


  1. Put the pork in slow cooker and add adequate water to cover the bottom of the cooker
  2. Let it cook on low for around 7 hours
  3. Transfer the meat to a bowl and shred it with two forks
  4. Return the shredded meat to the cooker and stir BBQ sauce in it
  5. Keep cooking on low for 45 minutes to one hour
  6. Add meat generously inside each roll

Smoked pulled pork recipe

If you like the taste of smoked pork with the right ingredients that compliment it, you need to try this.


  • 8 pounds or around 3.5 kg of pork shoulder roast
  • Apple cider (to be added as needed)
  • 5 tablespoons of white sugar
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 1 tablespoon of freshly ground black pepper
  • 5 tablespoons of light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons of paprika
  • 1 tablespoon of onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon of garlic powder
  • 3 cups of hickory chips (more if needed) to be soaked in water


  1. Add pork shoulder in a big pot and add an ample amount of apply cider for covering it. Add white and brown sugar, paprika, onion powder, salt, garlic powder, and black pepper into a bowl. Mix around ¼ cup of sugar rub into the cider and keep the remaining for the rub.
  2. Cover the pot and refrigerate it for 12 hours
  3. Prepare the smoker to around 210-degree F or 99-degree C. Make sure there are enough wood chips to the smoker
  4. Add cider brine in the pan of water for the smoker
  5. Add onion and ¼ cup of sugar rub
  6. Spread the rub all over the pork and transfer meat to the center of the smoker
  7. Let the pork smoke till it becomes tender in about 8 hours
  8. Monitor the hickory chips and water and keep adding more wood as needed
  9. Transfer the meat to a large platter and let in cook for around 30 minutes
  10. Shred the meat and have it as desired

Quick and easy pulled pork for sandwiches

When you planning to cook pulled pork, you’re definitely trying to compliment it with something. Here, we give you a recipe that helps you make pulled pork quickly for sandwiches.


  • 3 teaspoons of vegetable oil
  • 2 chopped garlic cloves
  • 1 chopped small onion
  • Kosher salt
  • Ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons of chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • 4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
  • 1 ½ cup of low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/3 cups of ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons of molasses
  • 1/3 cup of apple cider vinegar and 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar separately
  • 1 pork tenderloin cut into 4 pieces
  • 1 tablespoon of whole-grain mustard
  • 3 cups or 6 ounces of broccoli slaw
  • 6 whole-wheat burger rolls sliced in half


  1. Use big Dutch over to warm 2 teaspoons of oil on medium heat
  2. Add garlic, onion, and season it with pepper and salt
  3. Cook till it becomes soft and light brown for around 5 minutes
  4. Add chili powder, cinnamon, cumin, cayenne, and cook till it is toasted for a minute more
  5. Add chicken broth, molasses, ketchup, 1/3 cup vinegar
  6. Let it simmer and then add pork to it
  7. Simmer the meat after covering – it will take around 20 minutes to cook through and make the meat tender
  8. Take a medium bowl to whisk in the mustard with 1 teaspoon of oil and 1 tablespoon of vinegar in a bowl
  9. Add broccoli slaw to it and toss well
  10. Season with pepper and salt
  11. Now remove the pork and place it in a chopping board
  12. Increase the heat under the oven to medium-high and let the sauce cook till it becomes thick
  13. Shred the meat with 2 forks into large chunks and toss it over the sauce
  14. Let it simmer for 10 minutes to help the pork absorb the sauce
  15. Serve it inside sandwiches or as a side with bread

Pulled pork in Instant Pot

Most pulled pork recipes you read here are time-consuming. But here, we are sharing one recipe with you that you can make within two hours or less. If you have an Instant Pot, you can make pulled pork tacos and sandwiches in no time’.


  • 1 tablespoon of brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons of paprika
  • 1 teaspoon of freshly ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon of cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon of cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon of kosher salt
  • 1 pork should that will be around 4 pounds with trimmed out fat and cut in six pieces
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 2 cups of water and ¾ cups of water
  • ½ cup of apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons of tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon of brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoon of chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon of ground mustard
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • Buns/tortillas/coleslaw to serve


  1. Take a medium bowl to mix the ingredients of dry rub – paprika, garlic powder, brown sugar, kosher salt, pepper, cumin, and cayenne pepper
  2. Season the pork well and keep it aside
  3. Add oil inside the pot and choose the sauté to preheat option
  4. When it shows HOT, add the pork to the pot and cook into 2-3 batches
  5. Make sure you brown it on all sides and remove from the inner pot
  6. Continue till all the pieces are brown and keep aside
  7. Switch over to WARM option and then add ¾ water cup to the pot
  8. Scrape to loosen the bits at the bottom
  9. Add vinegar, brown sugar, tomato paste, mustard oil, chili powder, salt, and 2 cups of water
  10. Add pork onto the inner pot and close the lid and check if the steam release handle is sealed well
  11. Now choose PRESSURE COOK and keep it HIGH
  12. Set 1 hour of cooking time
  13. Once the meat is cooked turn steam release handle to venting position and allow the steam to escape
  14. When the valve drops back, unlock lid and open it slowly and carefully
  15. Add the pork to a large bowl
  16. Select SAUTÉ and let it simmer for around 15 minutes. Meanwhile, use two forks to shred pork
  17. Add 2 cups of cooking liquid into shredded pork add salt and pepper to season it
  18. Serve the way you want and keep salsa or BBQ sauce at the side

Final thoughts

These were some of the best pulled pork recipes that you need to try at home. Make sure you mix and match ingredients as you like but always follow the basic steps to cook the meat well.


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