Braised Pulled Pork Shoulder


Homemade Texas barbecue sauce and dry rub give this pulled pork incredible flavor. Searing in a Dutch oven followed by cooking in the oven at a low temperature makes for moist, tender meat every time.


  • 8 to 10 pound bone-in Boston butt pork shoulder

  • 3 tablespoons packed light-brown sugar

  • Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • 2 teaspoons paprika

  • ½ teaspoon dry mustard

  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin

  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

  • Texas Barbecue Sauce, heated

  • Potato buns, for serving


  1. Place pork shoulder on a large parchment-lined baking sheet. In a small bowl, combine brown sugar, 2 tablespoons salt, 1 teaspoon black pepper, paprika, dry mustard, cumin, and cayenne. Rub pork with spice mixture, being sure to cover all sides. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours and preferably overnight.

  2. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

  3. Remove pork shoulder from refrigerator and bring to room temperature, about 30 minutes. Pat dry with paper towels. Heat a large Dutch-oven over medium-high heat and add vegetable oil. Add pork shoulder to Dutch-oven and sear, turning, until golden brown all over, about 4 minutes per side.

  4. Add 2 cups of water to Dutch-oven and position pork shoulder fat-side up, and cover. Transfer to oven and cook until meat shreds easily with two forks, 5 to 6 hours. Baste with pan juices every hour.

  5. When cooked, remove from Dutch-oven and shred meat with two forks. Serve meat on buns with barbecue sauce.

    Rob Tannenbaum
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