Crazy Delicious Pulled Pork

We absolutely love BBQ and jump at any chance to get good pulled pork, wings or ribs. But it’s expensive and we never have leftovers. That’s where this recipe comes in! I’ve been trying to master oven-baked pulled pork for years now, but have never been happy with the results. However, since my citrus carnitas were such a huge hit, I decided to give a smoky version a try one last time- I’m so glad I did! Because this pork is crazy delicious! Incredibly flavorful, moist and super duper easy to make.

Crazy Delicious Pulled Pork

First, you’ll need a large piece of pork. I’m talking a 5 pound pork butt or shoulder, you know the ones that are marbled with fat and usually have nice little cap on top. Slice the cap off, then cut the pork into a few pieces and then season it with my homemade rub. I made a blend using salt, pepper, paprika, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, cumin and brown sugar. When the meat is seasoned place it into an oiled Dutch oven set over medium-high heat. Why a Dutch oven? Because they’re perfect for braising and oven roasting meat. Their enameled surface lends to crispy exteriors and and easy release. Plus you can sear, simmer and transfer the pot directly to the oven. That’s huge. (I LOVE my Le Creusets and use them on a daily basis). If you don’t own one see my NOTES at the bottom of the recipe for an alternative method.

Crazy Delicious Pulled Pork

Anyway… sear your meat on both sides (if it’s a tight fit you may want to do it in 2 batches so you don’t overcrowd the pot (by the way I have an oval 5 qt. dutch oven and it fits everything perfectly… I’d highly recommend the oval shaped one over the round for the space)). Then pour in a mixture of mustard, water, apple juice, and apple cider vinegar. Bring to a simmer, cover and then transfer to the oven. Bake at 325 degrees for 3 – 3 ½ hours or until the meat is fork-tender. The liquid will evaporate over time leaving just a tad bit at the bottom of the pot. That’s exactly what you want!

Crazy Delicious Pulled Pork

Remove from the oven, let the meat cool for a few minutes and then transfer to a plate to shred. I like to add ¼ cup of water to the shredded meat to keep it nice and moist. Trust me- it won’t get soggy or weird, it’s actually kind of necessary. Of course if you want to toss it in BBQ sauce you can do that too, just add a little at a time, maybe a ¼ cup total and then a little water if needed. You don’t want to overpower the the ridiculously awesome flavor of the pork, trust me!

Crazy Delicious Pulled Pork

Serve and devour immediately. You can toss it on buns or eat it as-is. Either way it’s downright delicious. My husband couldn’t stop raving about it… and that’s huge! I hope you’ll give this oven-baked pulled pork a try, I know you’ll love it 🙂

Did you try this recipe? Leave a ⭐️ rating below and share it on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest!

Crazy Delicious Pulled Pork

Crazy Delicious Pulled Pork Recipe

This crazy delicious pulled pork couldn't be easier to make! Season, sear, simmer and let your oven do the rest!
4.88 from 16 votes
Pin Rate
Course: Main Dishes
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours 45 minutes
Servings: 6 -8
Calories: 568kcal
Author: Andrea
Print Recipe


  • 1 (5) lb boneless pork butt or shoulder
  • 1 Tbsp coarse salt *
  • 5 tsp black pepper
  • 5 tsp paprika
  • 3/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 3/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup spicy brown mustard or yellow mustard
  • 1 cup water - divided
  • 3/4 cup apple juice
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar


  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Adjust oven rack to middle lower position (so that your pot fits).
  • Cut the fat cap off of the large chunk of pork. Slice the pork into about 8 large chunks. You'll want the pork to remain marbled with fat, but if there are giant spots, it's ok to remove them.
  • In a small mixing bowl, combine the salt, pepper, paprika, cayenne, garlic powder, cumin, and brown sugar. Rub the mixture over the pieces of pork.
  • In a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat, add the vegetable oil. When the oil is hot, add the pork and sear. When the meat is crispy and brown flip and continue to sear the other side (I let mine go for about 4 minutes on each side).
  • Meanwhile, whisk together the mustard, ¾ c. water, apple juice and apple cider vinegar. Pour over the braised pork, bring to a simmer. When the mixture is rapidly bubbling, cover and transfer to the preheated oven and bake (braise) for 3-3½ hours or until the meat is fork-tender and the liquid is almost entirely gone.
  • Remove from the oven and take the lid off. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before transferring the meat to a cutting board or plate. Using two forks, shred into bite-size pieces. Toss with remaining ¼ c. of water, serve immediately.



*My favorite salt is Morton's Kosher Salt or Iodized Sea Salt. They're much larger than table salt and are both idea for baking and cooking. I highly recommend using either of them!!
-If you don't own a Dutch oven, simply braise the meat in a large skillet, pour in the mustard mixture, bring to a simmer and then transfer everything to a 9X13 ceramic or glass dish. Cover with foil and bake according to the directions.
-If you want the meat to taste more like BBQ with a smokier flavor, try adding a few drops of liquid smoke to the liquid mixture.
-After adding the water at the very end, you can toss the pork in your favorite BBQ sauce (about ¼ c.) for a more flavorful pork. Or simply top it with sauce!


Calories: 568kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 72g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 227mg | Sodium: 1534mg | Potassium: 1418mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 943IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 84mg | Iron: 5mg

Recipe source: Life Made Simple

Want more inspiration?

More Recipes You'll Love

About the Author


Hi I'm Andrea!

Hotelier turned Food Blogger to help make your life simple, one recipe at a time.

Join the Conversation

Rate and Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please click on the Stars below to share your Rating of this Recipe

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


    1. Hi Thomas,

      Yes, you can use a bone-in pork shoulder for this pulled pork recipe, but there are a few considerations to keep in mind:

      Weight Adjustment: Bone-in pork shoulders typically weigh more than their boneless counterparts for the same amount of meat. Plan on getting a slightly heavier cut if you opt for bone-in.

      Cooking Time: Bone-in meat generally takes a bit longer to cook than boneless. You might need to adjust the cooking time, so check the meat’s tenderness periodically. When the meat easily shreds with a fork, it’s done.

      Seasoning Penetration: The bone can act as a barrier to the seasonings and marinade. Consider cutting the meat into large chunks, as the recipe suggests, to better distribute the seasoning.

      Temperature Monitoring: If you are monitoring the internal temperature of the meat, make sure not to place the thermometer too close to the bone, as bones conduct heat differently and may give you an inaccurate reading.

      Bone Removal: Once the meat is cooked and you are ready to shred it, you will need to remove the bone. This is usually quite easy to do when the meat is fully cooked.

      Flavor: Some people believe that cooking meat on the bone gives it more flavor, although this is a matter of personal preference.

      Here’s how you can adapt the given recipe:

      Instead of a 5-pound boneless pork shoulder, aim for around a 6-7 pound bone-in pork shoulder.
      You may wish to extend the cooking time by 30 minutes to an hour, but this isn’t always necessary. Start checking for doneness around the original recipe’s suggested time.
      The rest of the recipe can largely stay the same, including the rub and braising liquid. Just be mindful of the meat as it cooks, and you should end up with delicious pulled pork!

  1. 5 stars
    Yummy!!! I love a good pulled pork. Thank you so much for sharing. So easy to make and super delicious!