Barbecue Pulled Pork

Settle in to watch the game with a big batch of pulled pork.

Total Time:
4 hr
20 min
1 hr
2 hr 40 min

6 servings

  • 1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 pounds boneless pork shoulder, trimmed and cut into 4-inch pieces
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 7 hamburger buns or potato rolls
  • Coleslaw and pickle slices, for serving
  • Mix the brown sugar, chili powder, cumin, mustard powder, allspice, cayenne, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper in a bowl. Rub half of the mixture all over the pork; transfer to a large resealable plastic bag and refrigerate 1 to 4 hours.

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Heat the vegetable oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the pork and cook, turning occasionally, until browned on all sides, about 8 minutes; remove to a plate.

  • Add the onion, garlic, 1 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of black pepper to the pot; cook, stirring, until the onion is softened, 5 minutes. Add the tomato paste and the remaining spice mixture; cook, stirring, 2 more minutes. Stir in the chicken broth, ketchup, vinegar and 2 cups water. Tear 1 bun into pieces and add to the pot. Return the pork to the pot and bring to a simmer.

  • Cover the pot and transfer to the oven. Cook until the pork is very tender, about 2 hours. Uncover and continue cooking until the sauce thickens slightly, about 20 more minutes. Shred the pork with 2 forks, tossing to coat in the sauce. Serve on buns with coleslaw and pickles.

  • Photograph by David Malosh

Slow-Cooker Method: Prepare as directed until the end of step 3, using only 1/2 onion and omitting the water. Transfer to a 4-to-6-quart slow cooker; cover and cook on low, 7 hours.

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