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Southern Pulled-Pork Sandwiches


Pork shoulder, a well-marbled cut available at most supermarkets, turns fork-tender after long, slow cooking. Ours is especially succulent with a spice rub and vinegar.

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 8

Source: Everyday Food, May 2008


  • 1/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 3 pounds boneless pork shoulder (Boston butt), cut into 4 equal pieces
  • 1 1/2 cups cider vinegar
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 8 soft sandwich rolls, split
  • Store-bought barbecue sauce, for serving (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, with racks in lower and upper positions. In a small bowl, combine sugar, cayenne, 1 tablespoon salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper.

  2. Place pork in a 5-quart Dutch oven or large heavy-bottomed pot; rub with spice mixture.

  3. In a medium bowl, combine vinegar, garlic, and 1/2 cup water; pour over pork. Cover pot, and place in oven on lower rack. Bake until pork is very tender and separates easily when pulled with a fork, 2 to 2 1/2 hours.

  4. Transfer pork to a work surface, reserving pan juices. With two forks, shred meat. Transfer to a large bowl, and toss with pan juices to moisten (you may not need all the juices). Pile pork on rolls, and top with barbecue sauce, if desired.

Reviews Add a comment

  • kvalenti2010
    14 MAY, 2017
    Made it as directed, turn out fabulous. Dutch oven 2 1/2 hours, meat was falling apart. After pulling apart added juice from pan and BBQ sauce. Served with coleslaw and baked beans. This will be my go to recipe. thank you.
  • MS10408915
    21 FEB, 2015
    This recipe is amazing, I made it both in a crockpot and a dutch oven (simultaneously) I was running out of time. 2.5 hours later, the {dutch oven} was finished to perfection while the crockpot still had several hours left. I believe the secret is in the quality dutch oven (or at the very least) the seal of the pot. I have recreated the recipe to fit our flavor palates. But Martha's recipe knocked it out of the park!
  • littlecupcake014
    16 FEB, 2015
    I've used this recipe numerous times and have always had great success. I usually put it in the oven and it'll take around 2 1/2 hours. I end up substituting the vinegar with a honey blonde ale, which lends it a sweetness that my friends can't get enough of. Thank you for this recipe!
  • luvMS
    27 OCT, 2014
    I love this recipe, it's so easy, fast and tasty. I sometimes dress up the spice rub by adding different spices to the mix. I place the pork in a ziploc with spice rub and refrigerate overnight. This is my go to recipe for pulled pork.
  • Love_Z
    13 JUL, 2014
    Made this last night and it was SO GOOD. I don't normally eat pork, but I intend on making an exception for this recipe for many events to come. I cooked the pork in a crock pot for 8 hours on low. Super easy, low maintenance, and utterly delicious. The leftovers were just as yummy. Note: I had to double the amount of rub to get all of the pork covered.
  • Crienandpien
    26 JAN, 2014
    It tasted to acid/ sour. I used white wine vinegar in stead of cider. Can that be the reason why it taste to mutch like the vinegar???
  • LorifromWA
    6 NOV, 2013
    I followed the recipe exactly and it was wonderful! My shoulder roast with bone in was over 8 lbs. I cut out the bone, then cut the roast into 7 or 8 pieces (like the recipe suggests). I cooked mine for 3 hrs because of the extra meat and it came out very tender and easy to shred - mostly just mushing it with the back of my forks. I usually make pulled pork in my crockpot, but needed something quicker today. This is my new "go to" recipe!
  • masoab
    2 JUN, 2013
    This recipe was excellent! My family asked for seconds. The meat was tender and Juicy... cooked closer to 3 hrs. DELICIOUS!!
  • Edward Hays
    13 MAR, 2013
    What a load. 2 1/2 hours at 350 degrees? Not even close to falling off the bone. Notice al the positive reviews say how they used a slow cooker for 8 hours...... wasn't nearly done and had to improvise by making family hot dogs and apologizing. Martha Stewart doesn't know a damn thing. I been cooking professionally for 17 years (way less than her). This will be the last time I take another's advice for a shortcut.
  • Slightly
    12 FEB, 2013
    I made this recipe in the slow cooker instead of the oven yesterday. Cooked on low for 8 hours. After 8 hours, I removed the pork, shredded it, and put it back in the slow cooker for another hour (until we were ready to eat) with a little barbecue sauce mixed in. The meat did cook down a little more than I had expected. This recipe is absolutely wonderful!! It's very easy and the meat is delicious and tender. I'll definitely be making this one again.