Pulled pork is an all-star sandwich. Juicy, sweet, spicy and flavorful. What makes it even better, is it’s so hands off. You rub your pork with your spices, dump it in a Dutch oven or slow cooker with your sauce, and let it go. Hours later…dinner of champions is ready.

Here’s the deal. You can totally use your favorite jar of store bought BBQ sauce. There are a lot of good ones out there. But if you’re taking on kitchen projects and want to make this even more fun, I challenge you to make your own at home. I have a recipe below…that you should TOTALLY feel free to tinker around with and make your own. You want more spicy? You want it sweeter? You want to lean in the Carolina direction and add more vinegar? (I’ll try not to judge you.) Go for it.

For this recipe, I included instructions for using a cast iron Dutch oven as well as a slow cooker to make this pulled pork.

BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwiches

This is the perfect summer staple. But honestly, it’s good on our table all year long. Slow braised juicy pork smothered in homemade sweet and spicy barbecue sauce. You can do this in the oven or in a slow cooker, but once you rub and dump, you can step away for hours. Doesn’t get better than that.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time5 hrs
Total Time5 hrs 10 mins
Course: Main Course
Keyword: barbecue, BBQ, comfort food, dutch oven, easy recipe, pork, pulled pork, pulled pork sandwich, sandwich, slow cooker, slow cooker recipe
Servings: 8


For the Pulled Pork

  • 2 lb pork shoulder
  • 2 tbsp olive oil divided
  • 1 Tbsp salt
  • 2 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 yellow onion sliced
  • 1 8 oz. light beer (lager or Pilsner)
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken broth

For the Homemade Barbecue Sauce

  • 2 cups ketchup
  • 1 tbsp Sriracha
  • 1 tbsp mustard
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 4 dashes worcestershire sauce
  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp ground mustard
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • salt (to taste)


  • Combine all the ingredients for the barbecue sauce in a bowl and whisk to combine well.
  • Combine all the spices for the pork in a small bowl.
  • Drizzle 1 tbsp of the olive oil over the pork and rub to coat all over.
  • Sprinkle the spice rub on all sides of the pork shoulder and massage to coat well.
  • Add the remaining olive oil to a Dutch oven oven over high heat. Once the oil is sizzling, add the pork shoulder and brown on all sides (about 1-2 minutes per side).
  • Once the pork is browned, transfer to a slow cooker if using, or keep in Dutch oven. Add the onion slices, and pour 2/3 of the barbecue sauce over the pork. Add the beer and chicken broth. Put the lid on and cook in a 300F oven (or on low in slow cooker) for 4 hours.
  • If cooking in the oven, remove lid, increase temperature to 325F and cook for another hour. If using slow cooker, switch to cook on high for the last hour.
  • Remove from oven and cool until you can handle. Use two forks to shred the meat (it should fall apart easily) and stir around in liquid mixture.
  • Serve on toasted bun with more barbecue sauce slathered on.

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