Nothing beats a classic slow-smoked pulled pork. But is it possible to get great flavor by skipping on the grill and making it in the oven? You bet! And this easy Oven Roasted Pulled Pork is here to show you how.
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Forget the slow cooker and get incredibly moist, tender pulled pork on the table fast thanks to a flavorful dry rub on a pork shoulder roasted in the oven to fall-apart perfection in just hours, ready to pile high on rolls or nachos.
Although we love a good smoked pulled pork sandwich, low and slow works perfectly fine in an oven, too – and has for years. It’s the braising method. We wanted to create a zesty BBQ-flavored version for those who may not have a grill or may just not feel like standing next to it all day, and low and behold, we did. And it’s finger-licking good.
This is a slow-braised oven-roasted pulled pork that packs all the same punch as smoked pork butt – without the signature smoke flavor or being outside. A Dutch oven and a few minutes of prep are all you need to make perfect pulled pork.
What Is Pork shoulder?
Pork shoulder comes from the upper part of the pig’s front leg, going from the shoulder of the pig to the elbow. It’s a part that works a lot, so it has plenty of flavor and fat. Even though it’s sometimes called “pork butt” or “Boston butt,” it’s not from the back of the pig but from the front. Pork shoulder is the best cut of meat for slow cooking at a low temperature, breaking down some of that tough connective tissue. Once it’s done, it’s shredded and used for tons of pork recipes.
You can cook pork shoulder using any cooking method, from smoking to making it in a CrockPot like our slow cooker pulled pork. For this recipe, we’re using our trusty Dutch oven to make the best pulled pork recipe you’ve ever had.
What you need
Pulled Pork Ingredients
- Boneless pork shoulder or butt: You want a good marbling, but make sure that the entire cut isn’t rolled up with fat, or you will be picking it out once you pull the meat.
- Spices: A blend of chili powder, brown sugar, black pepper, oregano, garlic powder, and ancho chili powder.
- Olive oil
- Light beer: Use any light beer you like.
- Barbecue sauce: Use your favorite tangy barbecue sauce
How to Make Pulled Pork in the Oven
First, let’s make a flavorful spice blend for our pork. Whisk together salt, chili powder, brown sugar, pepper, oregano, garlic powder, and ancho chili powder in a small bowl. Now, take the pork out of its wrapper and pat it dry. Give it a good coat with the spice rub, then wrap it up in plastic wrap and let it chill in the fridge for up to 24 hours.
When it’s time to cook, preheat your oven to 300 degrees F. Get a pan, heat up some olive oil until it’s just starting to smoke, then toss in the onions and sauté for about 5 minutes.
Add the pork and sear it for 5 to 7 minutes, turning it to get a nice brown color on all sides.
Now, it’s beer time – pour it over the pork, cover it, and let it cook in the oven for 2 to 3 hours. Check it halfway through to see if it needs more liquid.
Once it’s done, let it cool a bit, then shred the pork with two forks. Add your favorite barbecue sauce to coat the shredded pork and give it a good toss.
Now, it’s time to serve. You can enjoy this deliciousness as shredded pork in sandwiches, tacos, quesadillas, as a nacho topping, or whatever your heart desires.
Girl Carnivore Expert Recipe Tips
- Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the pork shoulder. It should read 208 to 210ºF to shred easily.
- Pat the pork shoulder dry with a paper towel to remove any excess moisture before browning it.
- Let the pork shoulder come to room temperature to ensure even cooking.
What to Serve with Pulled Pork
Oven Roasted Pulled Pork makes perfect fillings for quesadillas, hot dogs, toppings for your scrambled eggs in the morning, sandwiches, or nibbles if you’re admittedly lazy like us. Go for extra flavor by smothering these sandwiches in homemade Alabama White Sauce for a real treat!
Leftovers & Reheating
Leftover pulled pork stores for about one week in an airtight container.
To reheat, add a little more sauce, a dash of craft brew, or some broth to remoisten if heating on the stovetop or in a microwave (gasp!).
More Pork Butt Recipes
- Carolina Pulled Pork
- Smoked Pulled Pork Mac and Cheese
- Smoked Stuffed Peppers
- Sweet Smoked Maple Pulled Pork French Toast
This easy recipe is the best way to get BBQ pork for making all kinds of pork recipes! With simple ingredients and a low-effort cooking process, you can make the most delicious pulled pork without ever stepping outside.
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Oven Roasted Pulled Pork Recipe
- 1 tsp Salt
- 1 tbp chili powder
- 2 tbsb brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1/2 tsp oregano
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp ancho chili powder
- 4 lbs boneless pork shoulder
- 2 tbs olive oil
- 1 onion roughly chopped
- 1 cup light beer
- 1 cup barbecue sauce
Make the Spice Blend
- Whisk the salt, chili powder, brown sugar, pepper, oregano, garlic powder, and ancho chili powder together in a small bowl.
- Remove the pork from the wrapper and pat dry.
- Coat with the rub. Wrap in plastic wrap and allow the pork to rest in the fridge for up to 24 hours.
Cook the Pork
- When ready to cook, preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.
- Heat the olive oil until just smoking and add the onions.
- Sautee for 5 minutes.
- Add the pork and sear for 5 to 7 minutes, turning to brown on all sides.
- Remove from heat and add the beer. Cover and cook for 2 to 3 hours, checking once halfway through to see if more liquid is needed.
- Remove from oven, allow to cool until safe to handle. Shred the pork with two forks. Add barbecue sauce to coat the shredded pork and toss.
Shred and Serve
- Serve as shredded pork for sandwiches, tacos, quesadilla filling, nacho topping or more.
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Yes! Just make the recipe like normal and store it in an airtight container until you’re ready to serve. Reheat using the reheating instructions above.