The Speckled Palate
August 31, 2011

Pulled Pork Shoulder

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I’m embarrassed to say that before two months ago, I had never made pulled pork at home.

I mean, sure, I’d throw a pork shoulder into the crock pot with some barbecue sauce and hope for the best, but actually planning for homemade pulled pork? It just never happened.

Pulled Pork Shoulder // The Speckled Palate

However, that changed the weekend Winston came home from the bar exam because I cooked up a barbecue feast that included pulled pork.

I didn’t initially want to make it, but when it became clear that we might not have enough ribs for the number of guests who were attending, I purchased a pork shoulder and decided to wing it.

And that is exactly what I did.

When I got home, I threw it in the crock pot after coating it liberally with some Memphis-style dry rub. I let it cook on slow for four hours, then I transfered it from the crock pot (and its own juices) to a baking dish and popped it in the 225 degree oven for another four hours.

Then, when the meat was falling off the bone, I had my handsome husband pull the pork apart, making it perfect for pulled pork sandwiches, one of my favorite barbecue main dishes. (You should ask my family about this. It seems that whenever we go out for barbecue, I’m the lone soul getting a pulled pork sandwich because I love them so much.)

We let the pork sit with aluminum foil over it and put it back in the oven (which was off) to heat through for our guests.

Pulled Pork Shoulder // The Speckled Palate

Doesn’t it look delightful?

Pulled Pork Shoulder
Yield: 12 servings

Pulled Pork Shoulder

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 8 hours
Total Time: 8 hours 5 minutes

Knock the socks off guests with this Memphis-style Pulled Pork Shoulder, cooked in the slow cooker, then finished in oven. Once the pork shoulder is falling apart, shred it, then serve on a sandwich with slaw for the perfect summertime dinner!



  1. Use a paper towel to pat the pork shoulder dry after taking it out of its packaging.
  2. Liberally season the pork shoulder 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 four hours.
  4. Pull pork out of its juices and place in a lined baking dish.
  5. Season the pork with more barbecue dry rub.
  6. Cook in a 225°F oven for another four hours.
  7. When the meat is falling off the bone, use forks to pull the meat apart and shred.
  8. Serve warm and enjoy!


You can use this recipe for bigger or smaller pork shoulders. Just adjust the seasoning as necessary, as you'll want the exterior of the meat to be coated pretty well.

If you can't find a pork shoulder with the bone in, you can use a boneless shoulder instead. The cook time might be a little shorter, but it won't make a huge difference in the amount of effort or time this recipe calls for.

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving:Calories: 442 Total Fat: 32g Saturated Fat: 12g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 17g Cholesterol: 136mg Sodium: 103mg Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 0g Sugar: 0g Protein: 35g
Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate.

Personally, the best thing about this recipe for me is that it’s simple. And while it requires quite a time commitment, the actual hands-on time is slim to none.

Pulled Pork Shoulder // The Speckled Palate

Once the pork is pulled and warmed through, all you need to do is scoop a liberal amount into a crunchy bun and top with barbecue sauce and coleslaw.

Then enjoy!


  1. Gretchen Alice

    Great, now I’m STARVING for some pulled pork.

    • Erin

      Go get you some! You live in Texas… I would hope y’all have pulled pork somewhere, right?!

    • Erin

      Also, holy crap, I sound SOUTHERN by that last comment. 😉

  2. mandy

    Holy yum! This looks delicious Erin! I love that you just sort of winged it and the end result was amazing.

    • Erin

      Thanks, Mandy! I wing it a lot in the kitchen, but this was one of those experiments that turned out! 😉

  3. Erin

    I love pulled pork! I like to make it in the crock pot with bbq sauce and coke, but I’ll have to try it with just the dry rub! I bet it’s delicious!

    • Erin

      Thanks for your comment, Erin! Give this recipe a try. I’d love to know what you think!

      I’ve never made pulled pork with BBQ sauce and Coke. Do you have a recipe? I’d love to give it a shot to see the differences because it sounds amazing!

  4. Jessica

    Sweet baby jesus this looks amazing. I LOVE PULLED PORK. Ugh, I need to get some this weekend. LOVE YOU!

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