I don’t own a slow cooker, but I do have a Pinterest. If you’ve ever been on Pinterest, you know that it is mostly exercise tips and slow cooker recipes, especially this time of the year. It’s January, and the idea of a heat-omitting appliance cooking on your counter for 6+ hours isn’t terrifying. It’s extremely home-y and comforting like a Snuggie.
There are literally recipes to cook everything in a slow cooker. Slow cooker macaroni and cheese. Yum. Slow cooker apple cake. Oh my. Seeing slow cooker pulled pork put me in the mood for pulling my own pork. I love pulled pork. So does Jon. I don’t need a slow cooker to make pulled pork. Instead of breaking down and buying a slow cooker, I used my oven. How novel.
I started with a fresh pork shoulder that I purchased at Pick’n Save for approximately $8.
Creating the special rub.
First, I created a dry rub. The base of the rub was Smoked Spanish Hot Paprika. To approximately 2 Tablespoons of paprika, I added about 1 Tablespoon of ground mustard, 1 Tablespoon kosher salt, 1 Tablespoon light brown sugar, 1 Tablespoon of garlic powder. I mixed this thoroughly and then covered the roast completely, giving it a nice rub down, making Jon jealous.
Note: You will not use all of the rub you mixed. That is OK. Just cover the roast completely. The leftover rub could be saved in an airtight storage container.
Rubbed down and ready.
Then after the roast is covered, I covered it with plastic wrap and chilled it in the fridge for approximately 1 hour or up to overnight.
Preheat your oven for 300-degrees. Once the oven is preheated, put your uncovered roast inside. I read directions online to roast in the oven for up to six hours. I thought that sounded pretty absurd. So, I sent my timer for two hours. After two hours, the house smelled amazing. I checked the meat’s internal temperature. If I was smart about it, I would have placed a meat thermometer inside of it at the start of the cooking. I didn’t, so I relied on my instant-read digital thermometer. My plan was to roast the pork until the internal temperature at the largest part of the meat reached 175-degrees. That took about 3 hours for my roast. Then, I let it rest.
Ready to be shred.
This is my least favorite part of creating pulled pork. I wish I had really good tips to provide for a fuss-free shred, but I don’t. I just used two forks and went to town. I did let the roast cool so I was able to handle it while I shred it. That was helpful. Plus, that made sure the meat stayed as juicy as possible.
After shredding, I placed it in a sauce pan and covered it with barbecue sauce. Someone who isn’t me could use their own recipe for sauce. I didn’t. I just used the original Sweet Baby Ray’s. Jon and I both like that sauce. Use your favorite. Make your own. Whatevs. Add enough sauce to completely coat your meat. Then warm it.
The finished product.
To serve it, I bought bakery hard rolls and deli coleslaw. I topped the sandwich with the coleslaw. You could do that. Or you could just add a bit more barbecue sauce and call it a day.
Oven-Roasted Pulled Pork Sandwiches
- 1 pork shoulder
- 2 Tablespoons smoked Spanish hot paprika
- 1 Tablespoon ground mustard
- 1 Tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 Tablespoon light brown sugar
- 1 Tablespoon garlic power
- Favorite barbecue sauce
- Prepared coleslaw
Combine paprika, ground mustard, brown sugar, salt and garlic powder. Cover and rub pork roast with spice mixture. Once it it completely covered, cover with plastic wrap. Chill for an hour, up to overnight.
Preheat oven for 300-degrees. Cook pork until it reaches an internal temperature of 175-degrees are thickest part. Let roast rest, then shred. Cover shredded meat with favorite barbecue sauce. Heat through. Serve on hard roll, top sandwich with prepared coleslaw.