Dutch Oven Pulled Pork

The ultimate guide to the best dutch oven pulled pork recipe baked in the oven. Pulled pork is a meat that’s perfect for the whole family, a quick and easy recipe for a healthy, flavorful meal.

The best way to cook pulled pork is in a dutch oven. This cooking method gives the meat time to soak up the flavor and juices from the ingredients it’s cooked with. The meat can cook for hours on its own, and the results are juicy, tender, delicious pulled pork that can be served as sandwiches, tacos, or eaten on its own. Here is how to make this recipe for a delightful dutch oven pulled pork recipe.

dutch oven pulled pork recipe

What is Pulled Pork?

Pulled pork is an American dish. It’s made from the shredded meat from the shoulder of a pig. The meat is shredded manually and sometimes mixed with a sauce. It is typically slow-smoked over wood outdoors or indoors using a slow cooker or dutch oven.

Best Cut of Pork for Pulled Pork

Boston butt or picnic shoulder is an excellent meat cut for making pulled pork in a dutch oven. The Boston butt is a cut of meat from above the pig’s shoulder blade, directly behind its neck and head. While the picnic shoulder is from the lower part of the pig shoulder. These cuts are often cheaper and tend to have more fat, so they need to be cooked at lower temperatures for an extended time.

How Long to Cook Pulled Pork in the Oven

If you cook a 4-5 pound Boston butt or picnic shoulder in a 275° F oven for about six hours, it will reach an internal temperature of 180° F to 190° F and be very tender.

Why You Will Love This Recipe

  • Easy to Prepare: This recipe for dutch oven pulled pork is simple and requires very little hands-on time. Mix the spice rub, rub it on the pork, and then bake in the oven. The result is a succulent, juicy pulled pork with a flavorful spice taste.
  • Affordable: Pork butt or shoulder is an inexpensive cut of meat perfect for making pulled pork. It is a relatively fatty cut, which means it has the ideal amount of fat to impart flavor and keep it moist during cooking.
  • Feeds a Large Crowd: This recipe for pulled pork is not only easy, but it is the perfect dish for any gathering. It can be made in large batches so that you can have leftovers to enjoy for days.
  • Versatile: Everyone has their favorite way to serve pulled pork. Whether you’re serving it on buns with coleslaw, in a taco bowl, or as a sandwich, it’s the perfect dish.

What is the Best Liquid to Cook Pulled Pork In?

Making pulled pork in a dutch oven doesn’t require adding extra liquid to give it moisture. Pork has a thick fat layer, so no additional liquid is needed. All of the fat and juices of the pork will go down, over, and into the pan because of gravity and heat, resulting in plenty of liquid for the pork to bake in.

Kitchen Essentials You May Need

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You can find my favorite kitchen essentials by clicking on the links below. While I often try to link to the exact products you see in my photos and videos, my pieces are usually vintage and thrifted. However, I try to find and link replicas as much as possible, made in the USA or by other small shops, as I believe in supporting hardworking American families.

  • Dutch Oven: A dutch oven is an essential tool for this recipe. Whether you’re using a budget-friendly Lodge or, my favorite, the Field Company dutch oven.
  • Small Mixing Bowl: stoneware mixing bowls are my favorite in the kitchen. These bowls are durable, usable for cooking and serving, and can be passed down from generation to generation.
  • Meat Thermometer: I highly recommend a meat thermometer as this device is essential to ensure that the food temperature is safe for consumption.
dutch oven pulled pork

Dutch Oven Pulled Pork Ingredients

This recipe for pulled pork is easy to make and uses ingredients you probably already have in your pantry.

I believe in using raw, organic, or fresh local ingredients when possible. For bulk pantry ingredients like the seasoning rub for this pulled pork recipe, I order from Azure Standard.

  • 4-5 pound Boston butt or picnic shoulder: My personal favorite choice is a boneless Boston butt with the thick layer of fat still attached and has beautiful marbling throughout.
  • One large white or yellow onion

Pulled Pork Seasoning Rub

Before baking, I coat the entire Boston butt or picnic shoulder with the seasoning rub. Then, I reserve a tablespoon or two of the seasoning rub to sprinkle on the meat once shredded. Then, I mix the seasoning into the pulled pork, adding more flavor.

  • Chili Powder – 2 tablespoons
  • Salt – 2 tablespoons
  • Cumin – 2 teaspoons
  • Pepper – 1 teaspoon
  • Oregano – 1 teaspoon
  • Onion Powder – 1 1/2 teaspoon
  • Garlic Powder – 1 1/2 teaspoon
  • Paprika – 2 teaspoons

How to Make Pulled Pork in a Dutch Oven

Whether it’s a large family gathering or you’re just craving some pulled pork, this recipe is perfect for any occasion. The slow-cooked dutch oven pulled pork is infused with spices with a unique taste.

Step 1: Preheat the Oven

Preheat the oven to 275 degrees Fahrenheit.

how to make pulled pork in a dutch oven

Step 2: Slice Onions and Prepare the Spice Rub

Using a sharp knife, slice the onions and layer onions in the bottom of the dutch oven. In a small mixing bowl, mix the ingredients for the seasoning rub.

pulled pork seasoning rub

Step 3: Dry the Pork and Add Rub

Pat the pork dry with a paper towel. This step is essential because it removes excess moisture and helps the rub adhere better. After patting the pork, use your hands to massage the dry rub into the pork on all sides.

Step 4: Add Pork and Rest

Position pork fat-side up on top of the thinly sliced onions on the bottom. Cover, and let it rest for 60 minutes at room temperature.

Step 5: Place in Oven

Place the Dutch oven on a center rack with the lid on. Cook for 1-2 hours per pound until the internal temperature reaches 180F to 190F. This temperature helps the collagen break down and allows the meat to be ‘fall off the fork’ tender.

Step 6: Rest and Shred

Once the pulled pork has finished baking, allow it to rest for a minimum of 30 minutes, and then shred with two forks.

A resting period will give the pork a chance to cool down, making it easier to handle. This is also helpful because the meat’s juices distribute and settle into the fibers resulting in pulled pork that is moist and juicy.

best dutch oven pulled pork

How to Shred Pulled Pork

When you cook pulled pork for a long time at a low temperature, like 275 degrees Fahrenheit for several hours, it will produce a fantastic result: succulent pork that pulls apart when you touch it. The best way to shred this type of pork is by using two forks.

First, take a fork in either hand. Place the tines back to back and gently pull them apart as if you were pulling something apart using your hands.

It should come apart quickly, and the tender, juicy meat will fall back into pieces. When you’ve pulled about five or six pieces of pork apart, transfer them to a serving plate. Repeat until all of the pork is on the plate.

How to Store Leftover Dutch Oven Pulled Pork

How to Re-Heat Pulled Pork

  • Oven: To reheat the pulled pork from the freezer, remove it the night before and allow it to thaw in the refrigerator. Then, place it in a foil-covered dish or cast-iron skillet with some leftover meat juices or a bit of broth. Then, slowly warm the pulled pork at 250 degrees until it is warm.
  • Stove Top: Once thawed, add 1-2 tablespoons of oil or grease to a cast-iron skillet over medium-low heat and heat until warm.

This perfect tender and juicy, savory, and delicious pulled pork meal can feed the whole family with plenty to have leftovers! Pulled pork makes a great main meal for Pan Fried Asparagus, Grilled Corn On The Cob, Loaded Roasted Cauliflower Casserole and more!

Dutch Oven Pulled Pork Printable Recipe

Yield: 8-12

Dutch Oven Pulled Pork

best dutch oven pulled pork

The ultimate guide to the best dutch oven pulled pork recipe baked in the oven. Pulled pork is a meat that’s perfect for the whole family, a quick and easy recipe for a healthy, flavorful meal.

Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 7 hours
Additional Time 30 minutes
Total Time 8 hours 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 4-5 pound Boston butt or picnic shoulder: My personal favorite choice is a boneless Boston butt with the thick layer of fat still attached and has beautiful marbling throughout.
  • One large white or yellow onion
  • Chili Powder – 2 tablespoons
  • Salt – 2 tablespoons
  • Cumin – 2 teaspoons
  • Pepper – 1 teaspoon
  • Oregano – 1 teaspoon
  • Onion Powder – 1 1/2 teaspoon
  • Garlic Powder – 1 1/2 teaspoon
  • Paprika – 2 teaspoons

Instructions

Step 1: Preheat the Oven

Preheat the oven to 275 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 2: Slice Onions and Prepare the Spice Rub

Using a sharp knife, slice the onions and layer onions in the bottom of the dutch oven. In a small mixing bowl, mix the ingredients for the seasoning rub.

Step 3: Dry the Pork and Add Rub

Pat the pork dry with a paper towel. This step is essential because it removes excess moisture and helps the rub adhere better. After patting the pork, use your hands to massage the dry rub into the pork on all sides.

Step 4: Add Pork and Rest

Position pork fat-side up on top of the thinly sliced onions on the bottom. Cover, and let it rest for 60 minutes at room temperature.

Step 5: Place in Oven

Place the Dutch oven on a center rack with the lid on. Cook for 1-2 hours per pound until the internal temperature reaches 180F to 190F. This temperature helps the collagen break down and allows the meat to be ‘fall off the fork’ tender.

Step 6: Rest and Shred

Once the pulled pork has finished baking, allow it to rest for a minimum of 30 minutes, and then shred with two forks.

A resting period will give the pork a chance to cool down, making it easier to handle. This is also helpful because the meat’s juices distribute and settle into the fibers resulting in pulled pork that is moist and juicy.

Notes

How To Shred Pulled Pork

When you cook pulled pork for a long time at a low temperature, like 275 degrees Fahrenheit for several hours, it will produce a fantastic result: succulent pork that pulls apart when you touch it. The best way to shred this type of pork is by using two forks.

First, take a fork in either hand. Place the tines back to back and gently pull them apart as if you were pulling something apart using your hands.

It should come apart quickly, and the tender, juicy meat will fall back into pieces. When you’ve pulled about five or six pieces of pork apart, transfer them to a serving plate. Repeat until all of the pork is on the plate.

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