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Easy Pulled Pork – Oven, Slow Cooker & Instant Pot

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Pulled Pork Ingredients

  • 2 lbs pork loin
  • 1 1/2 cup of BBQ sauce  – Any kind is great! I use Sweet Baby Rays Original quite often
  • Pork rub seasoning, found below
  • The Pork Rub Seasonings

  • ½ tbsp black pepper, ground
  • ¼ tsp cayenne – skip this if you don’t want it spicy
  • 1 tsp chili powder – can be reduced or increased depending on your tastes
  • ½ tbsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • ½ tbsp oregano
  • 2 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp white pepper
  • ½ tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder

Ingredients Needed for Assembling a Pulled Pork Sandwich

  • Large thick buns – Calabrese style buns (as in the pictures for this post) or Kaiser buns work great!
  • Cheese Slices – Any kind is great, but I like to use slices of provolone. Cheddar is nice too!
  • Sliced Pickles or coleslaw – This is optional but highly recommended to balance out the richness of the pulled pork
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Prepare the Pulled Pork

  1. Pat the pork loin dry with paper towels.
  2. Place your pork in whatever dish you’ll be using to cook it (baking dish, slow cooker, instant pot, etc).
  3. Sprinkle the Pork Rub Seasoning mix ingredients on the pork, making sure to cover all surfaces. Give the pork a couple of minutes to absorb the seasonings, then take any of the excess seasonings and sprinkle on top, and pat on the sides of the meat.
  4. At this point, you can go right ahead and cook your pulled pork, but for a more developed flavor, you can marinate it for a while or overnight. It’s not necessary, but if you’d like to it’ll add to the yumminess!

How to Cook Pulled Pork

In the Oven:

  1. Cover the baking dish containing the seasoned and prepared pork tightly with aluminum foil. Bake in the oven at 220°F, for at least 8-9 hours. Cooking low and slow is usually best, but if you’re working with less time you can bake your pulled pork in the oven at 350°F, for about 2.5 hours.
  2. Once the pork has finished cooking, allow the meat to rest for about 10 minutes, then gently shred the meat using two forks or with “meat claws” (I love mine!). When shredding, be sure to leave some “chunks of meat” as this will help create the best texture – if shredded too much, the meat will be mushy and the texture not so great.
  3. Add BBQ sauce to the pork and combine. Place back into the oven (uncovered) to cook for 15 minutes or so. 

In Slow Cooker/Crock Pot: 

Place the seasoned pork loin into the slow cooker and cook on LOW for 8 hours or on HIGH for 6 hours. Once it’s done cooking, allow the meat to rest for about 10 minutes, then shred the pork (as described above), add the BBQ sauce and combine. Allow the pulled pork to cook for 20 minutes or so in the slow cooker before serving.

In a Pressure cooker/Instant Pot:

Place the seasoned pork loin into the pressure cooker and cook on HIGH pressure for 60 minutes. Once it’s done cooking, allow the meat to rest for about 10 minutes, then shred the pork (as described above), add the BBQ sauce and combine. Allow the pulled pork to cook for 10 minutes or so in the pressure cooker before serving (using the keep warm function).

How to assemble a Pulled Pork Sandwich

There are many ways to assemble a pulled pork sandwich, but I find from personal experience these tips will give you the tastiest results!

  1. Slice your buns in half lengthwise and place them on a metal baking sheet lined with parchment paper. 
  2. On top of each bun (both halves) place a slice of cheese (I use provolone). The cheese on the whiter side (cut side) of the bun will help prevent your sandwich from getting too soggy – it acts as a cheesy barrier between the bread and the pulled pork.
  3. Place the buns into the oven and turn on the broiler. You should only need about 5 minutes – just enough to melt the cheese and get it all bubbly. Be sure to watch close so they don’t burn though!
  4. Once the cheese on the buns are ready, using tongs, place some pulled pork on top of the bottom halves of the buns. As much as you like! Messy is fine! Don’t let anyone judge you!! lol
  5. On top of the pulled pork, add slices of pickled or come coleslaw. This is optional but highly recommended as the acidity of the pickles/coleslaw complement the richness of the pulled pork in such a perfect way! 
  6. Place the tops on your pulled pork sandwiches and serve!

You can also use the pulled pork on a sandwich, pulled pork pizza, pulled pork tacos, etc. There are so many options for using pulled pork! Be sure to see more ideas above in the body of this post!

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 2 hours
  • Category: Main
  • Method: Oven, Slow Cooker or Instant Pot/Pressure Cooker
  • Cuisine: American/Canadian