Memphis-Style BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwiches

BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwiches are one of the best ways to enjoy pulled pork. Meaty pulled pork sits on toasted buns with homemade creamy coleslaw and is slathered in BBQ sauce for extra flavor. Perfect for picnics, backyard BBQs, weeknight dinners and more, it’s hard not to LOVE this easy BBQ sandwich recipe! Makes 4 sandwiches.

Close up of a pulled pork sandwich drizzled with BBQ sauce

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The BEST BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwiches

As a Memphis girl, I’m SUPER EXCITED to be sharing this Memphis-Style Pulled Pork Sandwich recipe with y’all today.

I’ve made various variations on my site in years past — Pear BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwiches with Pear Slaw, Pumpkin Pulled Pork Bowls and Apple Cider Pulled Pork with Apple Coleslaw, to name a few.

But this one is the ultimate BBQ Pork Sandwich… because it’s the original.

And it’s past time for me to share my spin on it.

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    Why I love this recipe:

    Honestly, these Pulled Pork BBQ Sandwiches are the BEST. They are my kind of comfort food and so filling for any occasion.

    Here are some things I love about them and think you’ll enjoy, too:

    • The combination of the best pulled pork made in the slow cooker, quick slaw and sweet-spicy barbecue sauce is just… so satisfying.
    • This recipe is more of a blueprint… you can customize it to make sandwiches for more or less people.
    • It’s great for a crowd! We love pulled pork sandwiches to serve to friends and family because they’re easy to put together and easy for everyone to customize to their tastebuds.

    These pork sandwiches are wonderfully messy and delicious to enjoy, no matter when you’re having ‘em!

    Pro tip: This is a great way to use leftover bbq pulled pork and it makes the sandwiches come together in no time flat!

    More BBQ recipes to try: Sheet Pan BBQ Chicken Nachos | Memphis-Style Barbecue Turkey Burgers | BBQ Chicken Burger Bites with Avocado Slaw | Memphis Style Ribs (Dry Rub Oven Baked Ribs Recipe)

    Need more BBQ ideas? Head on over to my Outdoor Entertaining Recipe Index for more recipe ideas.

    What is a BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich?

    It’s a barbecue restaurant staple in Memphis, Tenn… and other BBQ meccas!

    This version highlights slow cooker pulled pork with creamy homemade slaw and spicy-sweet barbecue sauce.

    The combination is simply decadent and it reminds me of home.

    Make sure to toast the buns, too!

    Bowls of pulled pork, slaw and bbq sauce to make pulled pork sandwiches

    What you need to make this recipe:

    The Speckled Palate participates in affiliate programs. As an Amazon Associate, I earn a commission from qualifying purchases. Please refer to my disclosure page for more information about these affiliate programs.

    Let’s talk ingredients!

    In addition to the tools above, you’re going to need some ingredients to make this recipe, too! Chances are, you might already have some of them in your fridge or pantry. Scroll down to the recipe card for the full measurements and instructions.

    Here’s what you’ll need:

    • Pulled pork shoulder or butt — my slow cooking pulled pork recipe calls for shoulder or pork butt. The key is cooking the meat on low heat for long enough so that it’s falling apart and incredibly juicy.
    • BBQ dry rub — this traditional spice rub has a combination of spices and herbs, including onion, garlic, brown sugar, peppers and more. I like to use my own because it calls for a little less salt than the store-bought ones.
    • Burger buns — use your favorite buns! We’re partial to a fluffy brioche bun.
    • Coleslaw — the classic kind has mayonnaise for extra creaminess, paired with apple cider vinegar, but we’ve got a No Mayo Coleslaw recipe with honey mustard if you’d prefer that. I can vouch for its deliciousness on these sandwiches, too.
    • Barbeque sauce — I like to use a homemade BBQ sauce for this recipe, but you can use your favorite store-bought brand. (Truly, our homemade sauce is the BEST BBQ sauce because it marries the vinegar with the sweetness and some spice.) Rendezvous and Stubb’s are my family’s favorites.

    Extra toppings for Pork Sandwiches

    Listen. I’m a Memphis girl, so I like the classic sandwich, as shown here, but here are some options if you’re looking to jazz up your sandwiches even more.

    • Pickles — bread and butter pickles or even a dill pickle would add a nice tang to these combined ingredients.
    • Caramelized onions — they’ll add a lovely sweet creaminess to the combination of ingredients
    • Red onion — these would be excellent raw or pickled
    • Cheese — while I’ve never had cheese on my pulled pork sandwiches, I hear that cheddar cheese is excellent on one!
    Collage of how to season and cook pulled pork in the slow cooker

    How to make Memphis-Style BBQ Sandwiches

    How to make Pulled Pork

    I go into major detail in my Slow Cooker BBQ Pulled Pork post. This is the part of these sandwiches that obviously takes the longest, but once it’s done, you can make the sandwiches easy as pie.

    Here’s an overview of how to do this for these sandwiches.

    • Pat the pork shoulder dry after taking it out of its packaging.
    • Liberally season it with BBQ Dry Rub on all sides.
    • Place it into the slow cooker, and cook on low for 7-8 hours, or until it’s fall-apart tender. I do not recommend using an Instant Pot to cook the pork quicker… it simply is not as tender when cooked in a pressure cooker.

    When the pork is ready, remove any large pieces of fat and shred with a pair of forks, meat claws or tongs. You can leave the pork in the braising liquid so it soaks up those flavorful juices before measuring it onto a sandwich.


    In Memphis, you can have your pork chopped or shredded. If you want to try a chopped pork sandwich, instead of shredding it, roughly cut the meat into bite-sized chunks, and serve it!

    How to make a BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich

    Make the coleslaw in a medium bowl.

    Toast the buns.

    Layer a heaping scoop of slaw on the bottom bun.

    Top the slaw with pulled pork.

    Add a big drizzle of barbecue sauce on top, then add the top bun.

    Enjoy immediately with your favorite barbecue side dishes.

    How to store and keep warm

    Store the ingredients separately in the fridge in an airtight container for 3-4 days.

    Reheat the pulled pork in the microwave in 30-second bursts until warmed through.

    Assemble the leftover sandwiches on toasted bread.

    BBQ sauce on top of pulled pork and slaw on a bun
    Drizzle on the BBQ sauce

    Erin’s Easy Entertaining Tips

    BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwiches are an excellent choice for entertaining. Hello, backyard barbecue!

    If you want to make these to share with a crowd, here are some suggestions:

    Three plates of barbecue pork sandwiches with slaw and sauce with bowls of baked beans

    Frequently Asked Questions

    What goes good on a BBQ pulled pork sandwich?

    Pulled pork paired with creamy coleslaw is my favorite! Don’t forget the extra BBQ sauce, too!

    What cuts of pork are best for pulled pork sandwiches?

    Pork shoulder or butt are great for pulled pork sandwiches because both cuts need to cook for an extended period of time before they are able to pull apart.

    What kind of buns are best for pulled pork?

    Whatever buns you like are great with this! Some people serve pulled pork with white bread. We really like brioche buns with ours, but you do you!

    What condiments go on a pork sandwich?

    To me, the classic coleslaw paired with tangy barbecue sauce is simply the best. Pickles would be a delicious addition, as could caramelized onions, though I’ll be real with you: those aren’t “classic” to a Memphis gal like me.

    A man holds a BBQ sandwich over plates

    Quick tips and tricks to making the best BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwiches

    • Make the pulled pork in advance and keep it warm in the slow cooker!
    • Don’t skip the slaw on the sandwich. It’s Memphis style!
    • Crisp up the pork under the broiler, if desired. You could also do this in the air fryer!

    More pulled pork recipes:

    Close up of a pulled pork sandwich drizzled with BBQ sauce
    Yield: 4 sandwiches

    BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwiches

    Prep Time: 10 minutes
    Cook Time: 7 hours
    Total Time: 7 hours 10 minutes

    BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwiches are one of the best ways to enjoy pulled pork. Meaty pulled pork sits on toasted buns with homemade creamy coleslaw and is slathered in BBQ sauce for extra flavor. Perfect for picnics, backyard BBQs, weeknight dinners and more, it’s hard not to LOVE this easy BBQ sandwich recipe!


    Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

    • 4 lb. pork shoulder or pork butt (bone-in or boneless)
    • ¼ cup barbecue dry rub seasoning, more to taste if need be

    Pulled Pork Sandwiches (Makes 4)

    • 4 burger buns
    • 1 lb. BBQ pulled pork
    • 1 ½ cups coleslaw (263g)
    • ½ cup BBQ sauce (150g)


    Make the Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

    1. Use a paper towel to pat the pork dry after taking it out of its packaging.
    2. Liberally season the pork with the barbecue dry rub. The entire exterior of the meat should be coated.
    3. Place the pork into the slow cooker and cook on low for 7-8 hours. (To test to see if the pork is done, gently insert a fork or a knife into the meat, and see if it pulls apart. If it does this easily, it's done.)
    4. Pull pork out of its juices and place on a cutting board/platter/baking sheet.
      Shred the pork using tongs or forks.

    Make the BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwiches

    1. Make the coleslaw.
    2. Toast the buns.
    3. Layer a heaping scoop of slaw on the bottom bun. (I used about 1/3 cup of slaw in each one, but you can add more or less, depending on your tastes.)
    4. Top the slaw with about a quarter pound of pulled pork.
    5. Add a big drizzle of barbecue sauce on top, then add the top bun.
    6. Enjoy immediately.


    Each sandwich should have about a quarter pound of pork and about 1/3 cup of slaw.

    How to store: Store ingredients separately in airtight food storage containers in the fridge. They will keep for 3-4 days. The pork will keep for longer.

    How to serve for a gathering: Double the recipe so that you’ve got more than enough. Keep the meat warm in the slow cooker, and set everything else out in bowls. Let guests assemble their sandwiches as they like!

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    Nutrition Information:



    Serving Size:


    Amount Per Serving: Calories: 510Total Fat: 17gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 46mgSodium: 1529mgCarbohydrates: 69gFiber: 4gSugar: 40gProtein: 21g

    Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate.

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    About the Author:

    Erin Parker is a Southern gal living in Texas with her husband and two daughters. She started The Speckled Palate to share what she was cooking as a newlywed… and over the years, it’s evolved to capture her love for hosting. Specifically, the EASIEST, lowest key entertaining because everyone deserves to see their people and connect over good food. Learn more about her

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