- Pork shoulder 1 (4-7 pound) whole
- Ground cumin 1 tablespoon
- Garlic powder 1 tablespoon
- Onion powder 1 tablespoon
- Chili powder 1 tablespoon
- Cayenne pepper 1 tablespoon
- Salt 1 tablespoon • 1 kcal
- Ground pepper 1 tablespoon
- Paprika 1 tablespoon
- Brown sugar 1/2 cup
- Salt 1/2 cup • 1 kcal
- Brown sugar 1/2 cup
- Cold Water 2 quarts
- leaves 2 bay
- dry rub mix 3 tablespoons
There’s nothing quite like pulled pork fresh out of the oven and so tender it just melts in your mouth!
This pulled pork shoulder recipe is the only one you’ll ever need, and the secret is to brine the pork in a salt, sugar, and spice solution for at least 12 hours before you cook it. A tasty dry spice rub is then worked into the pork before it’s put to cook in the oven.
When it comes out, it’s tender enough to pull apart with a fork. Serve up with some fresh bread rolls and sauces for everyone to help themselves to this tasty treat.
How to make pulled pork
Mix all the ingredients well and store in an air tight container.
Add the salt to cold water and stir very well until all the salt is completely dissolved. Next, add the brown sugar, 3 tbsp dry rub, and 2 bay leaves. Stir well to combine.
Prep the pork
Rinse the pork shoulder and place in a large container or heavy duty large ziplock freezer bag. Pour in the brine solution until the shoulder is completely covered.
Cover the container or close the bag, and place in the refrigerator for at least 12 hours – 24 is better. *
Remove pork shoulder from brine solution, and pat dry with paper towels. Place in baking pan that is bigger than the pork by at least an inch in length and width, and at least 3 inches deep.
Sprinkle the prepared dry rub onto the surface of the meat, and massage it so that it sticks to the surface. Make sure you coat all sides of the meat well. Ensure that the fat layer on the shoulder is facing up before cooking, so that it will keep the meat moist as it cooks.
Place baking pan uncovered in a 225F/110C/gas mark 1/4 oven on the middle rack.
Insert a probe thermometer into the center or thickest part of the shoulder (if you have one) but don’t let it touch the bone. Monitor the temperature throughout cooking (keep checking with a probe kitchen thermometer if you don’t have an oven safe cooking thermometer). Do not remove the meat from the oven until the center of the shoulder reaches 200 degrees F – this will take between 6 to 12 hours, depending on how big your pork shoulder is.
When the shoulder has reached 200 degrees F, switch off the oven and let the roast cool for a couple of hours before removing from the oven.
If the bottom of the pan is dry or crusted over, then cover the pan with foil to retain the moisture of the meat while it cools. When the temperature drops to 170F or slightly lower, remove from oven.
Place the shoulder on a large, clean work surface such as a cutting board, and remove the large sheet of cooked pork fat on the top. Pull the meat apart with two forks. Serve and enjoy!
* I used 2 strong ziplock bags (one inside the other) for this. I put the pork and brine in one bag, and put that in a second bag just in case the first one leaked. I then placed the bag upright in the door of my fridge, as that keeps it the pork covered with brine and will stop any brine spilling out.