Pulled Pork Sandwich

SandwichBudgetComfort FoodPulled Pork

Skip the jarred BBQ sauce! This pulled pork comes together easily and the homemade marinade makes the difference. Slowly cooked pork shoulder becomes fall-off-the-bone tender.

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

Pulled pork sandwiches can hardly be called sandwiches! The sauce soaks into the buns and if you tried to pick one up with your hands it would completely fall apart.

Well, perhaps if you used a sturdier bun, and wrapped the sandwich in aluminum foil like a burrito, it could be eaten like a sandwich. We just pile the pulled pork on a hamburger bun and eat it with a fork.

Warm and spicy, pulled pork is the perfect dish for cooler weather (though we enjoy it any time of the year). This is my father’s pulled pork sandwich recipe, and is, in my humble opinion, the best.

How to Make Pulled Pork

We start with a sauce that is a purée of garlic, onion, jalapeño, mustard, vinegar, ketchup, and a few other ingredients. If you have the time, you can marinate the pork in the sauce overnight or for a few hours before you cook it. This will allow the pork to absorb even more of the sauce’s flavor.

We simmer pork shoulder (oddly also called pork “butt”) in the marinade sauce for a couple of hours until the meat is fall-apart tender. Then we remove the pork to shred it, reduce the sauce, and return the pork to the sauce.

What to Serve with Pulled Pork

You can serve pulled pork as is, over hamburger buns for a sandwich. We love to have it with coleslaw on the side, either our no-mayo coleslaw, or our classic coleslaw.

You might also to serve it alongside baked beans, collard greens, or make slow cooker mac and cheese while the pork cooks.

Adapting this Recipe for a Slow Cooker

Cooking pork shoulder in a slow cooker is an easy, hands-off way to make pulled pork. If you want to go that route, cook the pork 6 to 10 hours on low, until the meat shreds easily with a fork.

Storing and Keeping Pulled Pork

Covered and refrigerated, pulled pork will keep for up to 5 days. You can also freeze it in an airtight container for about 3 months.

MORE PULLED PORK, YOU SAY? HERE YOU GO

See Also: 6 Different Meals to Make with Pulled Pork

Updated August 25, 2019 : We spiffed up this post to make it sparkle! No changes to the original recipe.

Pulled Pork Sandwich Recipe

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 2 hours, 45 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 6 to 8

Ingredients

For the sauce:

  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 pickled jalapeño pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 2 teaspoons Chipotle chile powder
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 3/4 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/3 cup ketchup
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • Salt

For the pork:

  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 pounds pork butt shoulder roast
  • Hamburger buns

Method

1 Purée sauce ingredients in blender: Purée all of the sauce ingredients (everything except the bay leaf, the pork and the buns) in a blender until smooth.

If you have extra time, marinate the pork in the sauce overnight or for several hours before cooking.

2 Simmer pork: Put sauce, bay leaf, and pork into a large pot and add 1 quart of water. Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cook, covered, turning frequently, for 2 hours or until the meat pulls apart easily with a fork.

3 Shred the pork: Remove from heat and cool pork in the sauce. When cool enough to touch, remove the pork from the sauce and shred into small pieces. Set aside.

4 Reduce sauce, return pork to sauce: Put the sauce back on the stove and bring it to a low boil. Let the sauce boil down until it has been reduced by two thirds. Add the pork back to the sauce. Salt to taste.

5 Serve: Remove the bay leaf before serving. Serve the pork hot over open-face hamburger buns.

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Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.

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81 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Margaret

    Do you think this can be made with boneless chicken?

    Show Replies (1)
  2. Jarrett

    Thanks for having a non-slow cooker recipe of this, Elise.

    Show Replies (1)
  3. Patricia Millar

    I have tried this recipe and it is delicious and would definitely make this one again

    xxxxxyyyyy

  4. James

    I’ve always made pulled pork in a slow cooker with bottled BBQ sauce. But I’m living in France right now, so I’m without my slow cooker and my favorite BBQ sauce. I was wary about pretty much every element of what I was going to have to do to get my pulled pork fix here, but this recipe was just what I needed. Unbelievably tender pork, flavorful sauce, and an easy recipe. I also don’t have my food processor here (how do I get anything done??) so I just quartered the onion and smashed the garlic and let them simmer with everything. A+

    xxxxxyyyyy

    Show Replies (1)
  5. Matt K

    Hands down the best pulled pork I’ve ever made. No need for any sauce on top, although some slaw goes nicely. I also did the entire process in a single pot, just shredded the pork right there as the sauce reduced. I’m making this for the third time tonight and thought it deserved a comment for as much as my family has enjoyed it. Thanks for sharing!

    xxxxxyyyyy

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