Easy Oven Pulled Pork: Good to Great in 4 Steps


I’m going to un-rein my ego for just a moment to say…I make great pulled pork.

In fact, I make amazing pulled pork, and it’s always hugely popular at our cook-outs (not as popular as Chef Chris’ smoked brisket, but let’s not get into THAT, right now…)

That said, I cringe every time see these recipes for “Amazing Pulled Pork in the Crock-pot!”…um, I don’t think so.

Not to diss anyone’s favorite recipe, ’cause I’m sure it’s good, but I don’t understand the whole crock-pot thing. You’re not roasting, you’re steaming, and steaming won’t create that awesome brown bark that’s so loaded with the flavor that makes pulled pork so amazing! I like to vacuum seal the leftover pork with these best vacuum sealers here, I recommend this for everyone who cook often.

There’s also some technical differences in the cooking temp and times involved that effect how the collagen in the meat becomes gelatine, and creates a completely different texture in the finished product…but I won’t get all Alton Brown on you in this post.

I think you can get GOOD pulled pork from a slow cooker, but I’ve tried many, many of these recipes, and honestly? I have a sneaking suspicion that anyone who thinks they’re “amazing”…has never had amazing pulled pork.

That’s 20 years of doing old-fashioned pit-smoked bbq, talking!

(…and, no…what I’m talking about here isn’t as good as that, but I’ll swear on my favorite sauce recipe that it’s the next best thing!)

The crazy part it, it’s just not that much harder to make it this way… but the end result is so much better!

Amazing Pulled Pork in the Oven!
Perfect oven pulled pork(Above: your perfect pork shoulders, about 8 hours in.)

Here it is, so easy…

  1. Coat 1 boneless pork shoulder heavily in rub, and refrigerate overnight.
  2. Mix 1 cup each hot water, apple juice, and cider vinegar, with 1/4 cup mesquite liquid smoke, and pour into the pan with the shoulder.
  3. Roast, uncovered, fat side up, in a 225 oven for 14 hours (overnight works great). Remove from oven and allow to rest 30-45 minutes.
  4. Drain off the juices, shred the meat (two forks work great) and mix back in the broth. Let rest another 15 minutes, and serve.

MY KITCHEN Outreach ProgramBy the way, if you’re enjoying this recipe, please subscribe to our free newsletter! We’ll send seven amazing dinner recipes and a shopping list to your inbox each Friday.

Plus, you’ll be helping us teach nutrition, shopping, and hands-on cooking classes to at-risk kids, in our MY KITCHEN Outreach Program.


Again, I hope I’m not offending anyone, but if it doesn’t have bark, it isn’t pulled pork.

If you disagree, try this recipe and then tell me so!

– Chef Perry

PS – Lookin’ for an awesome pork dry rub? Check out the one we use on our Perfect Oven Pork Ribs…just as tasty on pork shoulder, believe me…I know! :)


My pulled-pork mission in life…

Perfect oven roasted pulled pork

One of my personal quests in life is to eradicate the horror that is “crock-pot pulled pork.” As a BBQ guy it just kills me.

Now, obviously, I would hope that each of you would get to revel in the awesomeness that is REAL slow-smoked pit BBQ pulled pork, but that’s just not feasible, for a number of reasons, for a lot of home chefs.

Here’s the next best thing:

12 hours slow roasting, UNCOVERED, in the oven at 225F is so much closer to the real thing, with that classic BBQ texture to the meat and actual “bark”, than the steamed meat that you get in the slow cooker, which is typically “pot-roasted” pork – something else entirely from BBQ-style pulled pork.

Here’s that full recipe, btw: Easy Pulled Pork: Good to Great in 4 Steps

And before I get barraged with angry messages telling me “I make awesome pulled pork in my crock pot!!!”

No, you don’t.

You make pork pot-roast in your crock -pot, which may very well be delicious, but it isn’t pulled pork.


Chef Perry

Want to take the hassle out of meal planning? For super-simple, healthy and delicious dinner recipes, check out our FREE weekly meal plans and shopping lists!  Your free membership helps us teach as-risk youth valuable life skills!