The Best Pulled Pork

Chipotle powder, apple cider and ketchup create the perfect balance of smoky, sweet and tangy without the need for a smoker or grill! For our classic, satisfying pulled pork, all that's required is a flavorful homemade rub and a long trip to the oven to cook low and slow until it's meltingly tender. Eat it as-is, or pile onto a potato roll with your favorite toppings for the ultimate sandwich. Coleslaw is a traditional accompaniment, and we love a vinegary one for the way it cuts through the richness of the pork.
Save Recipe
  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 5 hr
  • Active: 20 min
  • Yield: 8 servings
Share This Recipe

Ingredients

1 to 2 tablespoons chipotle chile powder

1 tablespoon

1 tablespoon Hungarian paprika 

2 teaspoons garlic powder  

2 teaspoons onion powder 

2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper 

1/2 cup

One 4-pound boneless pork butt 

1 cup barbecue sauce 

1 cup apple cider 

3/4 cup ketchup 

1 tablespoon Dijon or yellow mustard? 

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce 

8 potato rolls, toasted 

Coleslaw, for serving 

Directions

  1. Whisk together the chile powder, salt, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper and 2 tablespoons of the brown sugar in a small bowl until completely combined and no lumps remain. Spread the spice rub evenly over the pork butt, pressing it into the flesh on all sides. Let the pork sit at room temperature for at least 1 hour or wrap tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 48 hours.
  2. Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 275 degrees F.  
  3. Whisk together the barbecue sauce, apple cider, ketchup, mustard, Worcestershire sauce and the remaining 1/2 cup brown sugar in large Dutch oven or other heavy large pot until combined. Transfer the pork and any accumulated juices to the pot, turning the pork to coat it with sauce. Bring the sauce to a boil over medium-high heat. Then cover, transfer to the oven and bake until the pork is very tender and easily shreds when pulled apart with a fork, 3 to 3 1/2 hours. Let the pork cool uncovered for 30 minutes. 
  4. Reserve 1 cup of the sauce for serving, then smash the pork into the remaining sauce with a potato masher; it should fall apart and shred completely. Stir to combine the pork with the sauce. Serve on toasted potato rolls topped with coleslaw. Pass the reserved sauce.