Pulled Pork

Pulled Pork

This easy Pulled Pork recipe is made with pork shoulder (or butt), pantry spices and coke to tenderize the meat and add sweetness to the seasonings. The result if perfect, tender and juicy pork cooked in the oven, slow cooker or instant pot! 

Whether you’re planning food for a party, BBQ, or a simple weeknight dinner, this pulled pork recipe is a guaranteed crowd pleaser. Serve it with BBQ sauce and your favorites side dishes, or serve it in sandwiches, tacos, nachos and more. If you’re cooking for a larger gathering or party see my tips in the post for how to calculate how much pulled pork you’ll need per person.

How to make Pulled Pork:

  • Trim fat: To make pulled pork you will want to buy a pork shoulder (sometimes called pork butt or Boston butt) roast. I prefer boneless, but you could buy bone-in. Trim pork of excess fat and cut it into 4 pieces. Combine spices in a small bowl and rub all over the pork. (This can be done the night before).

Pulled Pork

  • Sear (optional): Heat a few tablespoons of oil in a Dutch oven pot over medium-high heat. Add the meat and sear for a few seconds on all sides.
  • For Oven Pulled Pork: Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Pour coke around the pork in the Dutch oven pot. Cover pot with lid and cook for 3 hours. Remove lid and cook for an additional 1-2 hours, until pork is tender and easily pulls apart with a fork.

Pulled Pork

  • For Slow Cooker Pulled Pork: Place pork in slow cooker and pour coke around it. Cover and cook on LOW (recommended) 8 hours or high for 4-5 hours, until pork is tender and shreds easily with a fork.

Pulled Pork

  • For Instant Pot Pulled Pork: Place pork in instant pot and pour coke around it. Cook on Manual/High pressure for 70 minutes. When timer beeps, allow the pot to naturally release pressure, about 15 minutes longer.

Pulled Pork

  • Shred meat and add BBQ sauce, if desired.

How much pulled pork per person?

If you’re wanting to estimate how much pulled pork you should make for a party or event you should keep these two general rules in mind:

  1. One pound of pulled pork will feed approximately 3 people (about 5 ounces per serving).
  2. Cooked pulled pork will loose about half of its weight as it cooks (so a 5 pound raw pork roast will cook down to 2.5 pounds of meat).

So, follow this simple calculation to figure out how much pork you’ll need per person:

  • # of guests multiplied by .33 (1/3 pounds of meat per serving) = amount of cooked pulled pork you will need. 
  • Times that number by 2, since the meat will cook down 50%.

For example, if you want enough pulled pork to feed 50 guests.

50 X .33 = 16.5 lbs cooked pulled pork needed

16.5 X 2 = 33 pounds raw pork butt needed

Other factors to keep in mind when calculating how much meat you’ll need include:

  • Ages of those eating (young children wont eat as much)
  • How the pork is being served. If served as the main dish with lighter sides, you’ll need more than if it’s served in sandwiches or tacos, or if there are other heartier sides to go with it.

Pulled Pork

Storing and Freezing Instructions:

Store leftover pulled pork in an airtight container in the fridge for 2-3 days.

Pulled pork can be frozen for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.

How to reheat Pulled Pork:

To reheat in the Oven (preferred): Preheat oven to 250°F. Add the pork and leftover juices to an oven safe container (add water, apple juice or broth to the meat if it’s too dry). Cover with aluminum foil and cook for 20-30 minutes or until warmed through to 165°F.

To reheat in the Slow cooker: Add the pork and leftover juices to slow cooker (add additional liquid if needed–apple juice, broth or water– to keep is moist). Turn to warm setting or LOW and cook until warmed through to 165°F.

To reheat in the Microwave: Add the pork and leftover juices to a microwave safe bowl (add additional liquid if needed–apple juice, broth or water– to keep is moist). Place a damp paper towel over the meat and heat in one minute increments until warmed through to 165°F.

Pulled Pork

There are so many great ways to enjoy pulled pork, including:

  • Pulled pork sandwiches
  • Nachos
  • In tamales, tacos, burritos, or quesadillas
  • Stirred into baked beans
  • Served with a green salad, fruit, baked beans, potato salad, chips, veggies and dip.

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Pulled Pork

Print

How to make Pulled Pork

Tender, juicy, and perfectly cooked Pulled Pork you can make in the oven, slow cooker or instant pot.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 5 hours
Total Time 5 hours 20 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 310kcal
Author Lauren Allen

Ingredients

  • 4 lb pork shoulder , or butt
  • 2 Tablespoons oil (optional if searing)
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 12 ounces coke (not diet)
  • bbq sauce for coating meat optional

Instructions

  • Trim pork of excess fat and cut into 4 pieces. Combine spices in a small bowl and rub all over the pork. (This can be done the night before).
  • Sear (optional): Heat a few tablespoons of oil in a Dutch oven pot over medium-high heat. Add the meat and sear for a few seconds on all sides.
  • Oven Method: Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Pour coke around the pork in the Dutch oven pot. Cover pot with lid and cook for 3 hours. Remove lid and cook for an additional 1-2 hours, until pork is tender and easily pulls apart with a fork. Remove from oven and shred meat. Toss in barbecue sauce, if desired.
  • Slow Cooker Method: Place pork in slow cooker and pour coke around it. Cover and cook on LOW (recommended) 8 hours or high for 4-5 hours, until pork is tender and shreds easily with a fork.
  • Instant Pot Method: Place pork in instant pot and pour coke around it. Cook on Manual/High pressure for 70 minutes. When timer beeps, allow the pot to naturally release pressure, about 15 minutes longer. Remove lid and shred the meat.

Notes

Coke: The coke adds sweetness and tenderizes the meat (Diet soda wont produce as great of results). Root beer would make a good substitute. 

Store leftover pulled pork in an airtight container in the fridge for 2-3 days, or freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.

Find reheating instructions above in the post. 

Serving size: This recipe will yield about 2 pounds of cooked pulled pork; enough to serve about 6 people (5 oz per serving). See the post above for my tips for calculating how much pulled pork you’ll need for a larger group. 

Nutrition

Calories: 310kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 36g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 124mg | Sodium: 554mg | Potassium: 667mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 406IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 33mg | Iron: 3mg
HAVE YOU TRIED THIS RECIPE?! 

RATE and COMMENT below! I would love to hear your experience.

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