Southern Pulled Pork is so easy to make! Just throw together a barbecue rub and roast a pork butt in the oven low and slow for several hours. Then shred the meat and it’s good to go! So simple yet so delicious!
We are a barbecue loving family. Is it because we’re Southern? Because we live in Georgia, where there’s a BBQ joint in every strip shopping center in the city and one or two in every small town? Or just because barbecue is so darn good? Don’t know, all I know is that if I want to please everyone in my family then I can make barbecue.
And while we prefer pork, we also like barbecue chicken. You can use a smoker or a grill if you have the time or you can put a piece of meat in the crock pot or oven in the morning and have great barbecue for dinner. We probably eat homemade pulled pork at least once a month and sometimes more often.
This recipe is how I make it in the oven and can easily be adapted for the crock pot as well.
I like to use a Boston butt or fresh ham and I like to use beer as the liquid rather than water as I think it adds more depth of flavor. My beer of choice is Abita Amber although you could use any darker beer.
Place the pork on a rack in a roasting pan and pour the beer over the pork and into the pan. Depending on the size of meat that you’re cooking, you may need 2 beers. Mine was about 6 pounds and I used 2 bottles.
In a small bowl, stir together the rub ingredients: dark brown sugar, garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder, cumin, chipotle chili powder, paprika, crushed red pepper flakes, cayenne pepper, dry mustard, pepper and salt.
Go ahead and use all of the rub unless you have a small cut of meat. Rub it generously on the top and sides of the meat.
Cover the pan tightly with foil or the roasting pan lid and place in 300° oven for about six hours. Check every couple of hours to be sure the bottom of the pan is not getting dry and add liquid if needed, either water or more beer.
Let the pork cook until you can easily pull it apart. The top should be nicely browned and the meat should be tender and moist. And be sure you test the texture.
After four hours, the meat will appear to be done but it won’t be tender enough. Don’t worry about over-cooking it. About the worst you can do is let the pan dry out, in which case the residue on the bottom will start to burn.
Once the meat is very tender, remove the pan from the oven and remove the meat then shred it using 2 forks.
Pour enough of the liquid from the pan over the pork to make it nice and moist. You don’t want it swimming in liquid, so use your judgment.
You can leave the meat as is from here or add your favorite barbecue sauce and pop the meat/sauce mixture back into the oven for a few minutes to blend the flavors.
Easy, delicious, and perfect for a large gathering. Give it a try for your next family event!
Southern Pulled Pork
- 6.5 lbs. Boston butt roast
- 2 bottles Abita Amber beer or other dark beer
- 1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons chipotle chili powder
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- Preheat oven to 300.
- Place pork on a rack in a large roasting pan. Pour beers over pork and into pan.
- In a small bowl, mix rub ingredients with a fork until well blended. Pat rub over top and sides of the meat. Cover meat with tin foil or the roasting pan lid.
- Check the pan every couple of hours to be sure the bottom has not dried out. You may need to add more beer or some water.
- Cook for 6-7 hours, until meat is tender enough to easily pull apart with a fork.
- Remove meat from pan and shred, using two forks. Pour some (or all) of the liquid from the pan over the shredded meat. You want the meat to be moist but not swimming in liquid.
- You can serve as is with barbecue sauce on the side or go ahead and mix sauce into the meat and put it back in the oven for 10-15 minutes to blend the flavors.