My Secrets to the Best Pulled Pork

I’ve got a pulled pork recipe that you’ll love!

It’s my grandmother’s classic pork roast, and I recreate it often because it’s so reliably delicious.

This dish is incredibly tender and packed with a rich, garlicky flavor. It’s not only simple to make, but also super versatile.

Trust me, every bite of this wonderful dish is a treat!

Simple Seasoning for Perfect Pulled Pork

large bone-in pork meat


Choose a large, bone-in pork shoulder with an even layer of fat for the best flavor.

Heavier cuts of meat take longer to cook, which is great because it gives you more time to prepare side dishes and plan.

For seasoning, you only need salt, pepper, and garlic. Start by making small slits in the pork shoulder with a paring knife and stud it with garlic cloves for incredible flavor.

As the garlic cooks with the pork, it becomes wonderfully soft and sweet. I always encourage home cooks to be generous with their seasonings.

Remember, this is a big cut of pork, and you want all those flavors to seep deep into the meat.

Low and Slow Cooking

low and slow cooking

After you sear the pork to achieve a beautiful, deep brown color, lower the heat to 325°F to let the pork become perfectly tender.

The shoulder will slowly cook in its juices, resulting in deeply savory and succulent meat. Always cover the meat to keep all the moisture inside, ensuring each bite is just right.

The total cooking time will depend on the size of your pork shoulder, but generally, it should cook for about 3 to 5 hours, until it falls off the bone tender.

This method makes it super easy to pull off impressive pulled pork, perfect for various dishes.

Whether you’re an experienced cook or a beginner, you’ll find this recipe straightforward. You can easily adapt it for slow cookers or Instant Pots, making it even more versatile.



If you’re not cooking for a big group, you’ll likely have some leftover pulled pork. Don’t let it go to waste!

There are plenty of delicious ways to repurpose it.

Use the tender, flavorful meat as a filling for tacos, pile it onto a bun for a classic barbecue sandwich, or stir it into soups for a rich flavor boost.

These ideas help you make the most of your perfectly cooked shredded pork and ensure nothing goes to waste.


mixed ingredients

  • Pork Shoulder: 5-7 pounds, bone-in, with a good layer of fat
  • Salt: 2 tablespoons, or to taste
  • Black Pepper: 1 tablespoon, freshly ground
  • Garlic Cloves: 8-10 cloves, peeled
  • Optional for additional flavor: 1 tablespoon smoked paprika or 1 tablespoon brown sugar


perfect pulled pork

Prepare the Pork

  • Rinse the pork shoulder and pat it dry with paper towels.
  • Make small slits all over the pork using a paring knife.
  • Insert garlic cloves into the slits.

Season the Pork

  • Generously season the entire pork shoulder with salt and black pepper. If using, add smoked paprika or brown sugar for an extra layer of flavor.
  • Rub the seasonings in well to ensure they penetrate the slits and cover the surface.

Sear the Pork

  • Heat a large skillet or pan over high heat.
  • Sear the pork on all sides until deep brown, about 3-4 minutes per side.

Slow Cooking

  • Preheat your oven to 325°F (163°C).
  • Place the seared pork in a roasting pan or large oven-safe pot.
  • Cover tightly with a lid or aluminum foil.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for about 3 to 5 hours, or until the pork is very tender and falls off the bone easily.

Rest and Shred

  • Remove the pork from the oven and let it rest for about 20 minutes.
  • Using two forks, shred the meat while discarding any excess fat or bones.
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