For those who may not consider themselves to be barbecue enthusiasts, pulled pork is one of the purest forms of barbecue. This American style of cooking originated in the south and achieves its pulled look by shredding barbecued pork shoulder as the main ingredient. In order to get the pork to become very tender, the method of cooking used is a slow-smoking progression, over some type of wood. Plus, you need the best pulled pork recipe.

While many have tried to escape the delicious aroma that comes from restaurants or backyard barbecues, this southern delight has become a must-have in several states. With national competitions dedicated to the creation and composition of the perfect barbecue, many enthusiasts have continued to dabble and reconstruct the pulled pork recipe. In this article, a list of the best pulled pork recipes will be found. From Carolina to Texas, your taste buds will be taken on a delicious trip.

Best Pulled Pork Recipe FAQ

cooked pulled pork being displayed on a large plate

How Is Pulled Pork Prepared?

Pulled pork, is normally shoulder cut and is most commonly slow cooked by smoking it over the preparer’s choice of wood. For those who do not want to use wood, pulled pork can be cooked by using a slow cooker or your regular domestic oven.

Something that should be noted is the before cooking preparation of the pork. Before cooking your pork, it is common to soak the meat in brine. The brining process works by immersing meats into a liquid with a high concentration of salt.

While all meat already contains some degree of sea salt, by placing your pork in a concentrated liquid, the brine is then absorbed. Any flavoring added to the brine will be carried into the meat, resulting in an extra load of moisture that will stay locked in as the pork is cooking.

How We Reviewed

a bowl of tasty pulled pork

In order to come up with the list of the top 10 best pork belly recipes, a few criteria were used. From the overall flavor profile, customer reaction, ease of preparation, and taste testing, this list of the ten best Pork Belly recipes is one that was made through research.

What We Reviewed

Recipe Name

Recipe Image

Memphis-Style Pulled Pork

Memphis-Style Pulled Pork

Carolina Pulled Pork

Slow Cooker Carolina Pulled Pork

Texas-Style Pulled Pork

Texas-Style Pulled Pork

Spicy Pulled Pork

Spicy Pulled Pork

Pulled Pork with Wet Mustard Rub

Pulled Pork with Wet Mustard Rub

Southwestern-Style Pulled Pork

Southwestern-Style Pulled Pork

Pulled Pork Egg Casserole

Pulled Pork Egg Casserole

Slow Cooker Carolina Pulled Pork

Slow Cooker Carolina Pulled Pork

Pulled Pork Barbecue

Pulled Pork Barbecue

​Pulled Pork with Spicy Chile sauce

Pulled Pork with Spicy Chile sauce

Memphis-Style Pulled Pork

Memphis Style Pulled Pork

To begin the list of the top ten best pulled pork recipes, a trip to the birthplace of rock and roll is required. Memphis- Style pulled pork is a perfect combination of sweet, savory and a little dash of heat. With its allure, this is a recipe that will leave your friends and family salivating.

Ingredients

With only 20 minutes of prep time, this is a dish that is not overly complicated. The ingredients of this Memphis- style pork belly are:

  • 1 boneless pork butt (preferably 5 to 6 pounds)
  • 2 tablespoons of paprika
  • 1 tablespoon of salt
  • 1 tablespoon of onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons of black pepper
  •  1 and ½ teaspoons of cayenne

For those also wanting to create the finishing sauce to add more  flavor, the ingredients would be:

  • 2 cups of ketchup
  • 2 cups of chopped onions
  • 1 cup of red wine vinegar
  • 2 cloves of garlic (minced)
  • ¼ cup of yellow mustard
  • ¼ cup of brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon of Louisiana hot sauce

Carolina Pulled Pork

Carolina Pulled Pork

For the next item on the list of the best pulled pork recipes, it's time to move on to the good old Carolinas. The key to the Carolina Barbecue is a sauce that is heavy with vinegar. The Carolina pulled pork uses vinegar as a base to create an incredibly impactful and delirium-inducing experience for all consumers. Great in a sandwich or on its own, this recipe is a showstopper.

Ingredients

With only 15 minutes of prep time and a total cooking time of a little over 3 hours, this is a recipe that can be put together in (virtually) the snap of a finger. The ingredients of this Carolina pulled pork feature 2 tablespoons of light brown sugar, 1 tablespoon of kosher salt, 2 teaspoons of paprika, 1 teaspoon of ground cumin, 1 teaspoon of dried oregano, ½ teaspoon of chili powder, freshly ground black pepper and 1 (4 to 6 lb) pork shoulder.

In order to create the savory sauce, a person will need 2 cups of apple cider vinegar, ½  cup of tomato ketchup, ¼ cup of brown sugar, 1 clove of minced garlic, 2 teaspoons of kosher salt, ½  teaspoon of red pepper flakes and freshly ground black pepper.

Texas-Style Pulled Pork

Texas Style Pulled Pork

It wouldn't be a list of the best pulled pork recipes without a little visit to the Lone Star State. Just like in Carolina, the secret ingredient to the continued success and popularity of Texas pulled pork comes down to the sauce. The combination of the tender braised pulled pork with the savory mustard and lime based sauce, creates a flavorful dish which will leave any person looking like a lifelong barbecue expert.

Ingredients

With 15 minutes of prep time, this particular dish requires at least 9 hours to cook to allow the pork to become extremely tender and absorb as much extra flavoring as possible. To create this dish, a person must use, 

  • 1 large onion (sliced)
  •  1 boneless pork shoulder (3 to 4 lb)
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon of chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • 1 teaspoon of minced garlic
  • 1 and ½  cups of ketchup
  •  ⅓  cup of lemon juice
  • ½  cup of brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of molasses
  • ¼ cup of Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of Creole mustard
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper

Serving from 6 to 8 people, you can either keep this recipe to yourself or share it with close friends and family during get-togethers.

Spicy Pulled Pork

Spicy Pulled Pork

For those who are not afraid to put their taste buds through a little heat, the spicy pulled pork is one recipe that should be tried. A twist on a traditional recipe, this dish will add a little spice to any dinner or get together.

Ingredients

With only a 15-minute prep time, this dish will take a little over 8 hours to completely cook. In order to take your taste buds into overdrive, the ingredients you will need are: 

  • 1 boneless pork butt (5 to 6 lb preferably)
  • 2 tablespoons of paprika
  • 2 teaspoons of onion salt
  • 2 teaspoons of dried whole oregano
  • 2 teaspoons of garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons of dried whole thyme
  • ½ teaspoon of ground red pepper
  • ½ teaspoon of ground black pepper

To get the most spice, mix all ingredients in a small bowl and then completely immerse the pork butt with the seasoning. Make sure to allow a few hours of refrigeration, so that the ingredients can soak into the pork.

Pulled Pork with Wet Mustard Rub

Pulled Pork with Wet Mustard Rub

Next, is another of the best pulled pork recipes. Using mustard as a base, this recipe masters the idea of combining different flavor profiles and textures to create a dish that is unlike others on the market.

Ingredients

Featuring another quick prep time of only 17 minutes, this recipe will need to cook for around eight and a half hours to get the meat as juicy and tender as possible. With only a few ingredients needed, this recipe can easily be recreated. Only needing:  this is a recipe that is not too busy.

  • 1 boneless pork butt (5 to 6 lbs preferably)
  • 2 cups of Dijon mustard
  • 1 cup of minced parsley
  • ½  cup of dried orange peel
  • ½ cup of Rosemary
  • ¼ cup of black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons of salt

Make sure to plastic wrap and refrigerate the pork after applying the rub. This allows the pork time to soak in as much flavor as possible before being put in the smoker.

This is a recipe that is not too busy.

Southwestern-Style Pulled Pork

Southwestern Style Pulled Pork

For those looking for a recipe that combines all the appeals of comfort food but adds a kick of spice and heat, look no further than the southwestern- style pulled pork. With its tender pork, this recipe combines the bold flavors of cumin, chili powder, and allspice to create a wonderful dining experience.

Ingredients

With only 15 minutes of prep time and ability to serve from 6 to 8 people, this recipe features very few ingredients. In order to get that perfect combination of southwest and spice, one must use: 1 boneless pork butt (5-6 lb preferably), 1 tablespoon of chili powder, 1 teaspoon of ground cumin, 1 large garlic clove (minced), 2 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce, 1 teaspoon of coarse salt, 1 teaspoon of sugar, 1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper, ½ teaspoon of allspice, and 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil. With so much flavor, this recipe or sure to leave anyone going back for seconds.

Pulled Pork Egg Casserole

Pulled Pork Egg Casserole

While often viewed as a dinner only option, one of the best pulled pork recipes is one that can be flipped into a breakfast comfort food. Combining a breakfast staple food (eggs) with the flavor profile of pulled pork, the egg casserole is a great option for those looking to have a savory and delicious breakfast.

Ingredients

With only 12 minutes of prep time and able to fit servings of 6, the pulled pork egg casserole features a wide range of incredible ingredients that will increase its punch. In order to recreate this masterful dish, a person must use: 2 cups of pulled pork, 4 eggs, ¾ cup of whole milk, 1 small can of chilies (preferably diced), 1 cup of Monterey Jack, 1 spring onion, 2 tablespoons of butter, ½ teaspoon of chili powder, ½ teaspoon of salt, ½ teaspoon of garlic powder and ½ teaspoon of black pepper.

For those who want to add garnish to their casserole, they can use 1 cup of salsa (preferably chunky), 1 avocado (chopped into very tiny pieces), and ½ cup of sour cream or plain yogurt.

Slow Cooker Carolina Pulled Pork

Slow Cooker Carolina Pulled Pork

For this next recipe, another trip to the Carolinas is needed. While our other recipes focused on cooking pulled pork with wood, the slow cooker is the star of this meal. Described as a shortcut solution to the Carolina pulled pork barbecue, this slow cooker alternative will still capture and contain all the delicious flavors of the pork.

Ingredients

With only 30 minutes of prep time, this recipe is one that can be left to cook all day while a person completes other important chores. To get the best results one must use: 3 or 4 lb of pork roast or pork shoulder, 1 cup of apple cider vinegar, ½ cup of water or chicken broth, 2 teaspoons of salt, 1 teaspoon of black pepper, 1 to 1 ½ cups of barbecue sauce and 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil.

As you set the pork into the slow cooker, make sure to leave it on a high heat so that the juices can continue soaking into the meat for the over 10 hours of cooking time.

Pulled Pork Barbecue

Pulled Pork Barbecue on a plate

For those who consider themselves to be traditional Carolina or Texas-styled pork consumers, this recipe is one that will leave you feeling amazing. Combining familiar flavors into a very delicious dish, this recipe is one of the best pulled pork recipes on the market.

Ingredients

With only 15 minutes of prep time, the ingredients needed to complete this dish are 5 or 6 lb of boneless pork butt, 2 tablespoons of paprika, 2 tablespoons of salt, 1 tablespoon of black pepper and 2 teaspoons of ground cayenne pepper. For the baste, the ingredients that should be used are 1 ½  cups of cider vinegar, ½  bourbon whiskey, 1 cup of water, 2 tablespoons of molasses, 1 tablespoon of salt, 4 Chipotle chili peppers (finely cut), 1 tablespoon of red pepper flakes, 1 tablespoon of black pepper, and 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper. With so much flavor, your mouths will be watering from the first bite.

Pulled Pork with Spicy Chile sauce

Pulled Pork with Spicy Chile sauce

To end the list of the best pulled pork recipes is a dish that will challenge yet satisfy your taste buds. Adding a degree of heat (through the use of cayenne), this dish can be adjusted to the heat tolerance of the person who is consuming it.

Ingredients

With only 20 minutes of prep time, this recipe can be cooked in a little over 5 hours. To achieve the perfect pulled pork with spicy Chile sauce, one must use 5 lb of pork shoulder, 2 tablespoons of chili powder, 2 tablespoons of brown sugar and 2 tablespoons of salt. In order to create the perfect sauce that really accentuates and brings heat to your dish, one must use: 1 cup of ketchup, 1 cup of cider vinegar, 3 tablespoons of sugar, 1 teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce, 1 teaspoon of salt, ½ teaspoon of cayenne pepper, and ½ teaspoon of black ground pepper.

Though placed last on our list of the best pulled pork recipes, this dish is one that is sure to make anyone feel as though they have a party going on in their mouth.

Verdict

burger with pulled pork

As everyone can see, pulled pork is a dish that can be recreated in several different ways. Having gained a significant and passionate following, new recipes for this dish seem to arrive every single day. With all that being said, our list of the best pulled pork recipes is a combination of overall appeal, ingredients, consumer feedback, and overall popularity. While all of the recipes are incredibly delicious and should be considered for any family or close friend gathering, the one that stood out the most is the pulled pork egg casserole.

Incredibly versatile (as a new take on a dish that is normally served for dinner), this recipe is not only delicious but practical. Taking only 12 minutes of prep time and 57 minutes to cook, this is a great recipe for anyone that is on the go but wants to have a savory dish that has quality. As the list of the best pulled pork recipes concludes, make sure to give this recipe a try. While some may scoff at the idea of having pulled pork in a casserole, your taste buds and family members will thank you later.

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