Easy Oven-Baked Pulled Pork Sandwiches Recipe

J. Kenji Lopez-Alt

Note: I like my pork vinegary and mildly sweet. If preferred, you can season your pulled pork with your favorite barbecue sauce. Check out our taste test of bottled sauces here or 12 of our favorite recipes here.

Recipe Facts

Active: 20 mins
Total: 6 hrs
Serves: 8 to 12 servings

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  • 2 tablespoons light or dark brown sugar

  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt

  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander

  • 1 tablespoon paprika

  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano

  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • 1 bone-in pork shoulder, preferably skin-on, 6 to 8 pounds

  • 1/2 cup cider vinegar

  • 2 tablespoons sugar

  • 1 tablespoon red pepper flakes

  • 1/2 teaspoon natural liquid smoke (such as Wright's, optional)

  • Soft toasted buns for serving

  • Condiments as desired, such as chopped pickled cherry peppers, raw onions, pickles, or cole slaw


  1. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and preheat oven to 325°F. Combine brown sugar, salt, pepper, cumin, coriander, paprika, and cayenne in a small bowl and mix with fingers until homogenous. Rub generously over all surfaces of pork.

  2. Place pork on a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet skin-side-up and transfer to oven. Roast until a fork inserted in thickest part of pork can be twisted easily and meat shreds off with little resistance, about 3 1/2 hours. Remove pork from oven. Increase temperature to 500°F.

  3. Carefully lift skin off of pork. Scrape any clinging meat or fat into a large bowl using a fork or a large spoon. Transfer pork shoulder to bowl and return skin to baking sheet. Roast skin until crisp and bubbly, about 5 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool.

  4. When pork is cool enough to handle, pul meat from bone and shred with your fingers. Discard bone. Finely chop skin and mix it in with the meat. Season meat with salt and pepper to taste, then season with vinegar, sugar, red pepper flakes, and liquid smoke (if using), starting with half of each and increasing until desired level of seasoning is reached. (See note.)

  5. Serve pulled pork hot in toasted buns with condiments as desired.

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Nutrition Facts (per serving)
668 Calories
39g Fat
32g Carbs
44g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8 to 12
Amount per serving
Calories 668
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 39g 50%
Saturated Fat 14g 70%
Cholesterol 153mg 51%
Sodium 731mg 32%
Total Carbohydrate 32g 12%
Dietary Fiber 3g 9%
Total Sugars 5g
Protein 44g
Vitamin C 22mg 109%
Calcium 99mg 8%
Iron 4mg 23%
Potassium 694mg 15%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)