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.

A pulled pork sandwich on a plate with chips.

In this recipe:

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. 

A piece of meat on a plate on a dark surface.

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

A bottle of beer, pork, and other ingredients on a table.
Make sure to check the pork if it’s netted that it’s not riddled with too much fat.

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
  • Onion
  • 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.

A piece of meat on a black baking sheet.

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.

A pot with meat in it on a stove top.

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.

A pulled pork sandwich with potato chips on a white plate.

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!

Pulled pork is also great mixed into stuffed peppers or smoked baked beans.

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!).

Consider tossing it in cooking fat or broth and baking for crispy pulled pork carnitas or bbq eggs Benedict with pulled pork.

More Pork Butt Recipes

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

4 from 2 votes
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 3 hours
Total: 3 hours 10 minutes
Servings: 8 people
Oven roasted pulled pork sandwich with onion and pickles.
This faster oven roasted pulled pork achieves ultra-tender and juicy shredded pork thanks to an oven dry rub intensifying flavor and texture in less time than slow cooked methods.

Ingredients  

  • 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

Instructions 

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.

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 410kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 51g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 136mg | Sodium: 510mg | Potassium: 985mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 15g | Vitamin A: 415IU | Vitamin C: 1.2mg | Calcium: 39mg | Iron: 2.5mg
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Author: Kita Roberts

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Recipe FAQs

Can I make this recipe ahead of time and serve it the next day?

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. 

Pulled Pork sandwich on a plate with chips and pickles | Kita Roberts GirlCarnivore.com

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Well, Hey, Y’all.

Kita is a multi-talented individual, boasting numerous accomplishments such as being an award-winning recipe developer, world-traveled professional photographer, and journalist. As the lead creative force behind Girl Carnivore®, she is widely recognized as an authority on all things meat.

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Comments

  1. My go-to recipe is slow cooked in the crockpot. Then I reduce the cooking liquid (usually root beer haha) down to a syrup which I pour over the shredded pork to be cooked under the broiler for a few minutes. And then I tend to slather it in BBQ sauce. I definitely want to try adding a rub first and browning the outsides before slow cooking though!

  2. I totally cheated on this recipe (because I was in a pinch for time) but wanted you to know how freaking fabulous it tasted anyway. A huge hit! I used a crock pot, didn’t sauté or brown any of it. Covered the Pork with the rub and refrigerated it over night. In the morning I quarter the onions , broke them apart, put them in the crock pot, put the seasoned Pork on top, poured the beer around the meat, covered and cooked on low 8 hours. Drained the Pork, shredded it and kept warm. Everyone made sandwiches at their leisure out of the butter grilled hamburger buns, shredded meat, BBQ sauce and hamburger pickles. Delicious. Thanks for the suggestion!