Ultimate Oven-Cooked Pulled Pork: A Mouthwatering Feast

Simple Homemade Oven-Baked Pulled Pork Recipe

Craving tender, flavorful pulled pork without the hassle? Look no further! This oven-cooked pulled pork recipe delivers all the deliciousness of traditional barbecue with minimal effort. Simply prep, pop it in the oven, and let the magic happen!

The Secret to Irresistible Indoor Pulled Pork

While die-hard barbecue enthusiasts might scoff at the idea of oven-cooked pulled pork, this recipe proves that indoor cooking can yield spectacular results. By using a Dutch oven and a carefully crafted spice blend, we create a dish that rivals its outdoor counterpart. The result? Tender, moist pork with a perfect balance of sweet, tangy, and smoky flavors.

Elevate Your Pulled Pork Game

This recipe goes beyond basic slow cooker methods. We’ll show you how to achieve that coveted barbecue bark, infuse deep bourbon notes, and create a sauce that perfectly complements the meat. Get ready to impress your family and friends with pulled pork that’s anything but ordinary!

Ingredients for Pulled Pork Perfection

  • 5 tablespoons dark brown sugar (2 1/4 ounces; 65g)
  • 1 tablespoon (about 9g) Diamond Crystal kosher salt; for table salt use half as much by volume or the same weight
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground fennel seed
  • Large pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1 whole bone-in or boneless pork butt (5 to 7 pounds; 2.25 to 3kg)
  • 1 cup ketchup (8 ounces; about 225g)
  • 1/2 cup dark molasses (4 ounces; about 115g)
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) cider vinegar, divided
  • 2 tablespoons (30ml) Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon (15ml) high-quality liquid smoke, such as Wright’s (see Note)
  • 1 tablespoon (15ml) brown mustard
  • 2 teaspoons (10ml) hot sauce
  • 1 tablespoon (15ml) vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, finely minced (about 6 ounces; 170g)
  • 1 cup (240ml) bourbon
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) homemade or store-bought low-sodium chicken stock or water

Directions for Oven-Cooked Pulled Pork

  1. Preheat your oven to 300°F (150°C) with the rack in the lower position. In a small bowl, mix the sugar, salt, paprika, cumin, black pepper, coriander, fennel seed, and cayenne. Generously coat the pork with 2-3 tablespoons of this spice blend, ensuring all sides are covered. Set aside the remaining mixture.
  2. Create your signature sauce by whisking together ketchup, molasses, half the cider vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, liquid smoke, mustard, and hot sauce. Incorporate the remaining spice blend for an extra flavor boost.
  3. Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Sear the pork on all sides until beautifully browned, about 5 minutes total. Be vigilant, as the sugar can cause quick browning. Add onion and cook for 2 minutes, stirring to capture all those flavorful browned bits from the bottom of the pan.
  4. Time for some culinary pyrotechnics! Turn off the burner, add bourbon, then reignite. Carefully ignite the bourbon with a long match or lighter. Stand back and enjoy the show as flames dance around your pork. Let it burn out naturally, about 2 minutes.
  5. Position the pork fat side up, then add half the sauce and the chicken stock. Cover and transfer to the oven. Let it cook for about 4 hours, then remove the lid and continue cooking for another hour. You’ll know it’s ready when a knife slides in with little resistance and a beautiful dark bark has formed.
  6. Transfer the pork to a large bowl, reserving the liquid. Skim off excess fat, then whisk in the reserved sauce and remaining vinegar. Once the pork is cool enough to handle, shred it using two forks.
  7. Combine the shredded pork with the sauce in the pot. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt, sugar, liquid smoke, or cider vinegar as needed. Your mouthwatering pulled pork is ready to serve!

Pro Tips for Pulled Pork Perfection

For an extra smoky kick, try this pre-cooking trick: Mix 2 tablespoons (30ml) liquid smoke and 3/4 cup kosher salt (7 1/2 ounces; 210g) with 1 gallon (3.75L) cold water. Submerge the uncooked pork and refrigerate for 1 to 8 hours before starting the recipe.

Serving Suggestions

Pile this succulent pulled pork high on soft buns for classic sandwiches, stuff it into tacos with tangy slaw, or serve it alongside creamy mac and cheese for the ultimate comfort food experience.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
452 Calories
27g Fat
21g Carbs
32g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8 to 12
Amount per serving
Calories 452
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 27g 34%
Saturated Fat 9g 47%
Cholesterol 115mg 38%
Sodium 624mg 27%
Total Carbohydrate 21g 7%
Dietary Fiber 1g 2%
Total Sugars 18g
Protein 32g
Vitamin C 3mg 16%
Calcium 79mg 6%
Iron 3mg 17%
Potassium 734mg 16%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

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