2 ratings

Pulled Pork Shoulder

Coated with a sweet-salty-spicy rub
Pulled Pork Shoulder recipe - The Daily Meal
Michael Tercha/Chicago Tribune

Do you have 24 hours' advance notice to barbecue a big cut? Marinate a pork shoulder (or the smaller upper piece of the shoulder sometimes labeled a "Boston butt") for 12 hours, then cook low-and-slow for 6 to 8 hours over charcoal for tender and savory pulled pork (you can also do this in the oven or slow cooker, if you must). Plan ahead, and you'll have leftover pulled pork for sandwiches, tacos, burritos, stir-fries, fried rice, or to top salads.

This recipe is by Robin Mather, author of "The Feast Nearby" (Ten Speed Press, 2011), a collection of essays and recipes from a year of eating locally on a budget. This recipe was originally published in the Chicago Tribune.

Ready in
19 h
13 h
(prepare time)
6 h
(cook time)
Calories Per Serving


If you have a heavy-duty stand mixer, the paddle blade will shred the tender-cooked pork in moments. Much easier than shredding by hand. If your shoulder was bone-in, remove the bone first, of course.


For the rub:

  • 1/2 Cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 Cup salt
  • 1 Tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 Tablespoon onion powder
  • 2 Teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 Teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 Teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 Teaspoon dry mustard

For the marinade:

  • 1 Cup apple or pineapple juice
  • 1/2 Cup cider vinegar
  • 1/4 Cup honey
  • 1/4 Cup melted butter

To prepare the pork:

  • 1 pork shoulder (8 to 9 pounds), bone in or bone out


For the rub:

Step 1: In a bowl, combine 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/4 cup salt, 1 tablespoon garlic powder, 1 tablespoon onion powder, 2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes, 1 teaspoon ground ginger, 1 teaspoon  black pepper and 1 teaspoon dry mustard. Set aside.

For the marinade:

Step 1: In a bowl, combine 1 cup apple or pineapple juice, 1/2 cup cider vinegar, 1/4 cup honey and 1/4 cup melted butter.

Step 2: Using an injector, shoot the marinade into the pork shoulder in various places, both deeply and shallowly. If your roast is bone-in, avoid injecting marinade next to the bone. Use all the marinade.

To prepare the pork:

Step 1: Rub 1 (8 to 9 pound) pork shoulder on all sides with the rub mixture, massaging it in well. Place the shoulder in a large zip-close bag or on a rimmed dish and cover. Refrigerate, 12 to 14 hours.

Step 2: At cooking time, prepare the grill for indirect cooking (or place the shoulder in a slow cooker or in a baking dish). Put the shoulder on the grill (or in slow cooker or oven) at 300 F for 6 to 8 hours, or until the meat is tender and falling apart.

Step 3: Remove the pork shoulder from the grill; let stand, about 10 to 15 minutes.

Step 4: Shred using a mixer or two forks, removing bones before shredding. Dress shredded pork with barbecue sauce, if desired, and serve in sandwich buns, with coleslaw, if you like.