The pulled pork sandwich is a staple of American barbecue cuisine, adored by home cooks and food enthusiasts alike. Originating from the Southern United States, this savory delight has traveled far and wide, becoming a favorite for its tender, juicy pork and rich, flavorful profile. Whether you’re a seasoned pitmaster or a kitchen newbie, making a pulled pork sandwich at home can be an incredibly rewarding experience.

pulled pork sandwich

Ingredients You'll Need

To craft a mouthwatering pulled pork sandwich, you'll need the following ingredients:

For the Pork:

  • 4-5 lbs pork shoulder (also known as pork butt)
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional, for a bit of heat)
  • 1 cup chicken broth or apple juice
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

For the Sandwich:

  • Hamburger buns or brioche buns
  • Coleslaw (store-bought or homemade)
  • Pickles (optional)
  • Barbecue sauce (your favorite kind)

Preparing the Pork

  1. Trim the Pork:
  • Remove any excess fat from the pork shoulder to ensure even cooking.
  1. Make the Rub:
  • In a small bowl, combine paprika, brown sugar, salt, black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and cayenne pepper. Mix well.
  1. Season the Pork:
  • Rub the spice mixture all over the pork shoulder, ensuring it’s evenly coated. Let it sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes to absorb the flavors.

Slow Cooking the Pork

Using a Slow Cooker:

  1. Prepare the Slow Cooker:
  • Pour the chicken broth or apple juice and apple cider vinegar into the slow cooker.
  1. Cook the Pork:
  • Place the seasoned pork shoulder in the slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours or until the pork is tender and easily shreds with a fork.

Using an Oven:

  1. Preheat the Oven:
  • Preheat your oven to 300°F (150°C).
  1. Prepare the Baking Dish:
  • Place the pork shoulder in a roasting pan. Pour the chicken broth or apple juice and apple cider vinegar around the pork.
  1. Cook the Pork:
  • Cover the roasting pan with aluminum foil and bake in the oven for 5-6 hours, or until the pork is tender and easily shreds with a fork.

Making the Sandwich

  1. Shred the Pork:
  • Once cooked, transfer the pork to a large bowl and shred it using two forks. Discard any large pieces of fat.
  • If desired, mix in some barbecue sauce with the shredded pork for additional flavor.
  1. Toast the Buns:
  • Lightly toast the hamburger or brioche buns for a few minutes until they are golden brown.
  1. Assemble the Sandwich:
  • Place a generous portion of shredded pork on the bottom half of each bun.
  • Top with coleslaw and pickles, if using.
  • Drizzle with more barbecue sauce, if desired.
  • Place the top half of the bun on the sandwich.

Serving and Enjoying

Serve the pulled pork sandwiches immediately, with sides such as baked beans, corn on the cob, or potato salad for a complete meal. These sandwiches are perfect for family dinners, casual gatherings, or weekend cookouts.

Tips for Maximum Enjoyment:

  • Experiment with different barbecue sauces—sweet, tangy, or spicy—to find your perfect match.
  • Try different types of buns, like pretzel rolls or ciabatta, for a unique twist.
  • Add a touch of Southern comfort by serving with a tall glass of sweet tea or lemonade.


Making a pulled pork sandwich at home is not just about following a recipe; it’s about embracing the joy of cooking and experimenting with flavors. Don’t be afraid to tweak the ingredients and condiments to suit your taste. With this guide, you're well on your way to creating a pulled pork sandwich that's sure to impress and satisfy. Enjoy your culinary adventure and happy cooking!

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