Oven Pulled Pork Barbecue

Pulled pork on a hamburger bun

The Spruce Eats / Julia Estrada

Prep: 30 mins
Cook: 3 hrs 30 mins
Total: 4 hrs
Servings: 8 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
918 Calories
61g Fat
22g Carbs
67g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8
Amount per serving
Calories 918
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 61g 78%
Saturated Fat 22g 112%
Cholesterol 255mg 85%
Sodium 940mg 41%
Total Carbohydrate 22g 8%
Dietary Fiber 1g 3%
Total Sugars 16g
Protein 67g
Vitamin C 17mg 83%
Calcium 96mg 7%
Iron 5mg 25%
Potassium 1195mg 25%
*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.)

Pulled pork is great for tailgating, a game day party, or a family weekend meal or potluck. In this easy recipe, pork shoulder roast starts in a hot oven, and then the temperature is decreased, and it's slow-roasted until fall-apart tender. Once cooked, the roast is shredded and mixed with a homemade barbecue sauce (use your favorite purchased barbecue sauce if you prefer).

Serve the barbecue pulled pork on soft buns with coleslaw and baked beans on the side, or enjoy it as a tasty main meat dish. Be sure to serve extra barbecue sauce for topping. There's no end to what kind of dishes you can make using fresh or leftover pulled pork, from stews to egg rolls to empanadas.


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"Make this simple and delicious pulled pork recipe right in your oven, no slow cooker needed. It's tender, flavorful, and feeds a crowd. The barbecue sauce is slightly sweet and a little tangy. Just add some coleslaw and macaroni and cheese and you're ready to entertain." —Carrie Parente

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A Note From Our Recipe Tester


For the Pulled Pork:

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 tablespoon chili powder

  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground mustard

  • 1 (4- to 5-pound) Boston butt roast, or pork shoulder, boneless or bone-in

  • 1 cup apple juice

  • 4 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped

  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

For the Sauce:

  • 1 1/2 cups ketchup

  • 2/3 cup apple cider vinegar

  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onion

  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar, packed

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground mustard

  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients. Preheat the oven to 450 F.

    Ingredients for oven pulled pork recipe gathered

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Estrada

  2. In a bowl, combine the salt, pepper, chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, and ground mustard.

    Spices combined in a small bowl

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Estrada

  3. Place the pork in a roasting pan and rub all over with the spice mixture.

    Pork rubbed with spices on a baking sheet

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Estrada

  4. Roast the pork for 1 hour. Remove from the oven.

    Browned pork on the baking sheet

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Estrada

  5. Reduce the oven temperature to 325 F. Pour apple juice over the roast and sprinkle the chopped garlic over the juice. Cover the roasting pan tightly with foil, return to the oven, and roast for about 2 to 2 1/2 hours, or until the pork is tender and easy to shred with a fork.

    Pork with accumulated pan juices being shredded with a dinner fork on the baking sheet

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Estrada

  6. Meanwhile, prepare the barbecue sauce. In a saucepan, combine the ketchup, apple cider vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, onion, brown sugar, ground mustard, and garlic powder. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Simmer, uncovered and stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes, or until thickened.

    Bubbling barbecue sauce in a pot on the burner

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Estrada

  7. Remove the pork from the liquids, shred, and serve with the sauce.

    Shredded pulled pork in a bowl

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Estrada

  8. If desired, mix about 1 cup of the sauce into the shredded pork and serve hot from a slow cooker or chafing dish. Serve with the reserved sauce.

    Pulled pork mixed with sauce in a serving bowl

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Estrada


  • Make sure you use a pork shoulder or butt to make pulled pork. A leaner cut, like pork loin or sirloin roast, will become dry and less flavorful over the long cooking time.
  • If you use a bone-in pork shoulder roast, allow a little more time in the oven. Slow roast for at least 2 1/2 hours, or until fork-tender.
  • Let leftover pulled pork cool to room temperature before storing in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to three days. It can also be frozen for up to three months; vacuum-sealed bags are the best option, though well-wrapped pork in freezer bags keeps well, too.

At What Temperature Does Pulled Pork Fall Apart?

While the safe minimum internal temperature for pork is 145 F, you want to cook meat intended for pulled pork a little longer so it shreds easily. Pork is easier to pull once it reaches 195 F, though some people let it go until it reaches around 200 F; any higher and you risk dry meat. It's also a good idea to let the pork rest while still covered for at least 15 minutes after removing it from the oven as the residual heat will continue to cook the pork.

What's the Best Way to Reheat Pulled Pork?

Leftover pulled pork can easily be reheated, and the best way is to warm it is low and slow in the oven. Place the shredded pork in a dish, add a little liquid (e.g., apple juice, barbecue sauce) and cover it with foil to ensure it stays moist. Cook in a 225 F oven until the meat reaches 165 F on a thermometer. If you want to reheat a small portion of pork in a microwave, cover it and add a splash of liquid if needed, cooking it at a medium to low setting in 1-minute increments until warm.