Oven Barbecued Pulled Pork

Oven Barbecued Pulled Pork

Oven barbecued pulled pork has all the luscious flavors you love in the slow-smoked or grilled pit-style pork, but without all the work. A homemade dry rub and fruity barbecue sauce add tons of flavor for a tropical twist your family will love!

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Wooden board with 3 oven barbecued pulled pork sandwiches with barbecue sauce dripping down the sides.

I like to serve the pulled pork with Tropical Slaw, Old Fashioned Macaroni Salad, and a Balsamic Fruit Salad for a flavorful and easy meal that’s great for game day, holidays, or a weekend meal.

Why Dry Rub

A dry rub is a blend of salt, sugar, herbs, and spices that are literally rubbed onto the surface of the meat to add flavor and help to tenderize the meat.

The salt helps to open up the fibers of the protein and allows the flavors to penetrate about an inch into the muscle.  The sugar not only adds flavor, but will help form a crust, or bark, on the outside of the meat.

The paprika and other spices add both color to the meat and flavor. You can vary them depending on your tastes or what you have on hand.

Glass baking dish with an oven barbecued pulled pork with a part already pulled.

Tips For Making This Recipe

  • Making your own dry rub allows you to control how much salt and sugar are in the rub.  It also allows you to choose the flavorings, but sometimes it just isn’t practical.  If you’re short on time or not inclined to buy the different spices, there are some great dry rubs on the market. Jack Daniel’s has a great one that isn’t too sweet or spicy.  Slap Yo Mama has one with a delicious kick.  Experiment and find one that you love. 
  • The same holds true for the barbecue sauce.  Homemade is great and it’s fun to present a novelty condiment to your family, but it’s nothing to stress about.  Hey, you’re cooking the best part…the pulled pork.  There is no shame in buying a great barbecue sauce!  Save the homemade tropical barbecue sauce for a quiet weekend when you can play in the kitchen!
  • Before you dry rub the meat, be sure to dry it well with paper towels before rubbing the spice mixture into the meat.  Also, it’s called a rub for a reason.  Really massage the stuff into all those nooks and crannies of the meat.  You want to ‘push’ those flavors into the muscle fibers.
  • Use a meat thermometer to ensure that the pork is at the perfect (and safe) temperature.
  • Roast the meat with the fat cap facing up. It will help baste the meat while it roasts.  When the meat is done, cut the fat off before you shred the meat.
  • When shredding the meat, if the shreds look too long, use kitchen scissors to cut them in half.  You may also want to chop some of the meat for an interesting texture variation.
  • I like to pour just a bit of the barbecue sauce on the meat and toss it before serving to add moisture and flavor.

Wooden board with a fork and oven barbecued pulled pork.

Looking for some great side dishes for your pulled pork? Here are some suggestions:

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Wooden board with 3 oven barbecued pulled pork sandwiches with barbecue sauce dripping down the sides.

Oven Barbecued Pulled Pork


Description

Oven barbecued pulled pork has all the luscious flavors you love in the slow-smoked or grilled pit-style pork, but without all the work. A homemade dry rub and fruity barbecue sauce add tons of flavor for a tropical twist your family will love!


Ingredients

Scale

For the dry rub:

  • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried sage
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder

For the pulled pork

  • 46 pound boneless pork shoulder
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup pineapple juice (can also use beer, root beer, or broth)
  • 1 onion, diced

For the tropical barbecue sauce:

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
  • 1 large garlic clove, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons fresh grated ginger
  • 1 ½ cups chopped fresh pineapple
  • ⅓ cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • ⅓ cup pineapple juice
  • ⅓ cup ketchup
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons molasses
  • ½ cup rum

Instructions

Make the dry rub.

In a small bowl mix together all of the ingredients for the dry rub until well combined. Set aside.

Prepare the pork.

Pat the pork dry with paper towels.

Rub the meat with olive oil on all sides.

Generously coat the pork with the rub mixture on all sides, massaging the rub into the meat.

Wrap the roast in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 8 hours, preferably overnight.

Roast the meat.

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.

Place the pork roast in a deep roasting pan and pour the pineapple juice around the meat.

Cover the pan tightly with aluminum foil and cook for 90 minutes.

Check the pan to ensure there is at least an inch of liquid.  If not, add more juice, water, soda, or broth.

Recover and continue to cook for another 4-5 hours, checking the liquid in the pan every 90 minutes or so.

The pork is done when it’s falling apart and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part registers 170 degrees.

Remove the pork from the oven and transfer it to a large platter.  Wrap with foil and allow to rest for about 10 minutes.

While the meat is still warm, take 2 forks and pull the meat apart to form shreds.

Pour 1 cup of barbecue sauce over the pork and mix well to coat.

Make the barbecue sauce.

In a large saucepan over medium heat, saute the onions and garlic in the olive oil until the onions just begin to turn translucent – about 4 minutes.

Add the jalapeno and ginger to the onions, stir well, and continue to cook for another 2 minutes.

Toss in the pineapple, brown sugar, dry mustard, salt, lime juice, pineapple juice, ketchup, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, and molasses. Stir to combine.

Bring the sauce to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 20-30 minutes or until the mixture has thickened and is slightly reduced.

Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the rum.

Return the pot to the heat and simmer, stirring constantly, for another 5 minutes.

Use an immersion blender to blend the mixture into a smooth sauce.

Spoon into a serving bowl.  Allow the sauce to cool to room temperature.

Store leftovers in a tightly covered container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

  • Prep Time: 40 minutes
  • Marinating time: 8 hours
  • Cook Time: 6 1/2 hours
  • Category: Main Dish - Pork
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: Southern

Keywords: oven barbecued pulled pork, pulled pork recipes, Game day recipes, Super Bowl recipes, pulled pork, pulled pork sandwiches, homemade barbecue sauce, homemade dry rub

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