Pulled Pork



  • 16 Hawaiian bread buns or any soft bun


  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon minced dry onion or onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard, preferably Coleman’s
  • 1 teaspoon celery seed
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • One 7-pound bone-in pork butt

Cider Vinegar Sauce:

  • 3 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 3 cups ketchup
  • 2 cups dark brown sugar
  • 1 cup molasses
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/3 cup Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 cups barbecue sauce (your favorite)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Cayenne or Tabasco sauce (optional)


  1. To make the rub: In a small bowl, combine the ingredients and stir with a fork until the brown sugar is completely blended with the spices.
  2. Cut 2 pieces of heavy-duty aluminum foil long enough to wrap the pork, and put them on a baking sheet. Place the pork butt in the middle of the foil. Sprinkle the top and sides with half of the rub and gently massage it in. Turn over the meat and massage in the remaining rub. Pull up the foil and carefully wrap the meat around it so that there are no holes or openings in the foil. Put the pork in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or overnight.
  3. Preheat the oven to 300 F. Transfer the pork package to a large Dutch oven and cover the pot. Bake for 5 hours without taking off the lid. After 5 hours, remove the lid. Open the foil and use a spatula to push the meat off as you pull with the other hand to lift out the foil. Return the meat to the oven and roast 1 hour more, or until the top has a crispy crust.
  4. Meanwhile, make the vinegar sauce: Combine all of the ingredients in a large saucepan and whisk to combine. Place the pan on medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer for about 10 minutes, or until slightly thickened. Season to taste. To make it spicier, add some cayenne or Tabasco sauce.
  5. Remove the pork from the oven (leave the oven on). Place on a large baking sheet. Let rest for about 15 minutes. Degrease the Dutch oven and reserve. Using 2 forks, pull the meat apart. Return to the Dutch oven and pour 3 cups of the sauce over the pork. Mix together and cook for about 10 minutes over medium-low heat to meld the flavors.
  6. Warm the buns in the oven for about 8 minutes. For each serving, place a bun on a plate and, using an ice-cream scoop, scoop the pork onto the bottom half. Spoon on some additional sauce and cover with the top of the bun.

Party Prep

The pork may be prepared through step 5 up to 3 days ahead, and stored, covered, in a container in the refrigerator. Reheat the pork gently. You may need to add some water to moisten the pork. Leftovers may be frozen in lock-top plastic bags. Push out all of the air before you seal the bags. Defrost and reheat the pork gently. You may need to add water to moisten the pork.

Serves 16


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