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Horizontal image of shredded cooked meat on a wooden cutting board.

Classic American Pulled Pork

  • Author: Meghan Yager
  • Total Time: 9 hours, 10 minutes
  • Yield: 12 servings 1x


This classic American pulled pork recipe is so versatile, and totally foolproof. Cooked low and slow for hours, the results are smoky and tender.


  • 3 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons red chili flakes
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh basil
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
  • One 8 to 10-pound bone-in pork shoulder roast
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Large, soft buns (white or wheat, optional for serving)
  • Coleslaw (optional for serving)


  1. Preheat grill to low heat, about 300˚F.
  2. Place the apple cider vinegar, brown sugar, chili flakes, basil, and rosemary in a saucepan and place it over medium-high heat. Stir constantly, until the sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and set aside to cool to room temperature.
  3. Reserve about 2 cups in an airtight container and place in the fridge until ready to serve. Add remaining sauce to a bowl and set aside.
  4. With a sharp knife, score the pork rind with a crosshatch pattern, cutting through the skin and fat but stopping short of the meat. Rub all over with salt and pepper.
  5. Place the roast skin side up on the grill. Brush all over with sauce from the bowl. Cook over low, indirect heat at 300˚F. Turn and brush with sauce every 30 minutes, until fork tender and the internal temperature away from the bone registers 190˚F. This will take about 8-9 hours.
  6. Carefully transfer to a cutting board and slice away the rind and fat. When the meat is cool enough to handle, pull it apart with two forks. 
  7. Serve on fresh, soft buns with coleslaw and a drizzle of reserved sauce, or plated with your choice of sides.
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 9 hours
  • Category: Pork
  • Method: Grilliing
  • Cuisine: Barbecue

Keywords: barbecue, pulled pork