Delicious Pulled Pork Sandwiches

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Are you craving a mouthwatering pulled pork sandwich that is tender, juicy, and bursting with flavor? Look no further! In this article, we will show you how to make the most delicious pulled pork sandwiches using a slow cooker. With just a few simple ingredients and minimal effort, you can enjoy this crowd-pleasing comfort food that is perfect for any occasion. Get ready to tantalize your taste buds and impress your friends and family with these irresistible pulled pork sandwiches. Let’s get cooking!


Choosing the right cut of pork

When making pulled pork sandwiches, it’s essential to choose the right cut of pork. The best option is typically a pork shoulder or pork butt, as these cuts have enough fat to keep the meat moist during the slow cooking process. Look for a piece of pork with some marbling and a good amount of fat cap on top.

Trimming excess fat

Before seasoning and marinating the pork, it’s a good idea to trim any excess fat. While some fat is necessary to keep the meat moist, too much can result in a greasy sandwich. Use a sharp knife to trim off any large pockets of fat, leaving just a thin layer to enhance the flavor and texture.

Seasoning the pork

Seasoning is a crucial step in creating flavorful pulled pork. A classic rub for pork includes a combination of salt, pepper, paprika, garlic powder, and onion powder. However, feel free to experiment with other herbs and spices to suit your taste preferences. Massage the seasoning into the pork, ensuring it coats the meat evenly.

Marinating the pork

While marinating the pork is not necessary, it can add an extra depth of flavor to the final dish. If you choose to marinate, use a marinade of your choice or a simple mixture of vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, and brown sugar. Place the seasoned pork in a resealable plastic bag or a glass dish, pour the marinade over it, and refrigerate for at least two hours or overnight for the flavors to develop.

Cooking the Pork

Using a slow cooker

The slow cooker is the perfect tool for making tender and succulent pulled pork. Place the seasoned and marinated pork in the slow cooker and set it to cook on low heat. This slow cooking method allows the pork to cook slowly and gently, resulting in tender and juicy meat that easily shreds apart.

Slow cooking time and temperature

For pulled pork, it is recommended to cook the meat in the slow cooker for 8-10 hours on low heat. The low temperature ensures that the pork cooks evenly and stays moist throughout the process. It’s important to note that cooking times may vary slightly depending on the size and thickness of the pork.

Adding liquids for flavor

To enhance the flavor and moisture of the pork, consider adding some liquids to the slow cooker. A combination of chicken or beef broth, apple cider vinegar, or even a bottle of your favorite barbecue sauce can be poured over the pork before cooking. These liquids will infuse the meat with delicious flavors as it cooks.

Shredding the pork

Once the pork is fully cooked, it’s time to shred it. Remove the pork from the slow cooker and place it on a cutting board or a large plate. Using two forks, gently pull the meat apart, shredding it into smaller pieces. The slow cooking process ensures that the meat is tender and falls apart easily, making the shredding a breeze.

Sauce and Toppings

Choosing the perfect sauce

The sauce is what takes a pulled pork sandwich from good to exceptional. There are many options to consider, including traditional barbeque sauce, tangy Carolina-style sauce, or even a spicy chipotle sauce. The choice of sauce ultimately depends on your personal preference and desired flavor profile.

Homemade BBQ sauce recipe

For those who prefer to make their own sauce, here’s a simple homemade BBQ sauce recipe to try. In a saucepan, combine ketchup, brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, garlic powder, and onion powder. Simmer over low heat for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens. Adjust the seasonings to your liking and let the sauce cool before using it on your pulled pork sandwich.

Other sauce options

If you’re looking to switch things up, consider trying other sauce options like a tangy mustard-based sauce, a sweet and smoky chipotle sauce, or even a flavorful Asian-inspired glaze. The world of sauces is vast, and experimenting with different flavors can elevate your pulled pork sandwich to new heights.

Selecting toppings

Choosing the right toppings for your pulled pork sandwich can add even more deliciousness. Traditional options include thinly sliced red onions, crisp lettuce, and tangy pickles. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can also add coleslaw, sliced jalapenos, or even a dollop of creamy avocado spread. The key is to find a balance of flavors and textures that complement the rich and smoky pulled pork.

Bread Selection

Choosing the right bread

The bread you choose for your pulled pork sandwich can make all the difference. Opt for a sturdy bread that can hold up to the juicy pulled pork but still has a soft and fluffy interior. Buns or rolls with a slightly sweet note, such as brioche or potato rolls, are excellent choices. Alternatively, consider a crusty artisan bread for a more rustic sandwich.

Traditional bun options

Traditional buns like hamburger buns or Kaiser rolls are popular choices for pulled pork sandwiches. They are readily available in most grocery stores and provide a soft and slightly sweet base for the savory pulled pork. Ensure that the buns are fresh and slightly toasted before assembling the sandwich to add a pleasant contrast in textures.

Alternative bread options

For a unique twist on the classic pulled pork sandwich, consider experimenting with alternative bread options. Pita pockets, ciabatta rolls, or even cornbread can add a delightful twist to the traditional sandwich. These alternative bread options can bring new flavors and textures to your pulled pork experience.

Toasting the bread

Regardless of which bread you choose, toasting it before assembling the sandwich can greatly enhance the overall taste and texture. Lightly toast the bread in a toaster or under the broiler until it becomes golden and slightly crispy. This process helps prevent the bread from becoming too soggy from the sauce and juices of the pulled pork, ensuring a satisfying bite in every mouthful.

Assembly and Presentation

Layering the sandwich

Assembling your pulled pork sandwich is an opportunity to create layers of flavors and textures. Start with the bottom half of your toasted bun and layer on a generous amount of pulled pork. Top it with a drizzle of your chosen sauce, followed by your preferred toppings. Repeat the layers until you’ve reached the desired amount, finishing with the top half of the bun.

Melting cheese option

For an extra indulgent touch, consider adding melted cheese to your pulled pork sandwich. Choose a cheese that complements the flavors of the pork, such as cheddar, pepper jack, or smoked gouda. Place a slice of cheese on top of the warm pulled pork and melt it under a broiler or in a hot oven for a gooey and delicious addition to your sandwich.

Garnishing the sandwich

Garnishing your pulled pork sandwich not only adds visual appeal but also enhances the overall flavor. Consider sprinkling some freshly chopped parsley, cilantro, or green onions on top of the assembled sandwich. These fresh and vibrant garnishes can add a pop of color and a touch of freshness to your delicious creation.

Cutting and serving

Before serving your pulled pork sandwich, it’s important to cut it in a way that allows for easy handling and bite-sized portions. Use a serrated knife to slice the sandwich diagonally or straight down the middle, depending on your personal preference. If serving at a gathering or event, consider securing each half with a toothpick to prevent the sandwich from falling apart.

Serving Suggestions

Classic coleslaw pairing

A classic accompaniment to pulled pork sandwiches is coleslaw. The cool and creamy texture of the coleslaw complements the warm and savory pulled pork perfectly. Whether you choose to make your own coleslaw or purchase it pre-made, serve a generous scoop of coleslaw alongside your pulled pork sandwich for a refreshing and satisfying combination.

Crispy fries accompaniment

If you’re craving a more indulgent pairing, crispy fries are an excellent choice to serve alongside your pulled pork sandwich. Whether you opt for thick-cut fries, sweet potato fries, or even seasoned curly fries, the crispy and salty nature of the fries creates a delightful contrast to the tender and flavorful pulled pork.

Pickles and jalapenos side

For those who enjoy a bit of heat and tang, serving pickles and jalapenos alongside your pulled pork sandwich is a great option. The tanginess of the pickles and the spiciness of the jalapenos can cut through the richness of the pork, balancing out the flavors of the entire meal. Arrange the pickles and jalapenos on a platter for guests to customize their sandwiches according to their taste preferences.

Refreshing beverage ideas

To round out your pulled pork sandwich meal, consider serving refreshing beverages that complement the flavors of the dish. Classic options like an ice-cold lemonade, sweet tea, or even a crisp lager beer can provide a refreshing contrast to the richness of the pulled pork.


Adding a spicy twist

If you’re a fan of spicy flavors, there are several ways to add a fiery kick to your pulled pork sandwich. Consider incorporating hot peppers, such as jalapenos or habaneros, into your sauce or topping the sandwich with a spicy slaw. You can also drizzle your favorite hot sauce over the pulled pork for an extra punch of heat.

Sweet and tangy variation

For a sweeter and tangier variation, consider using a fruity barbecue sauce or adding a sweet and tangy slaw to your pulled pork sandwich. The combination of sweet and tangy flavors can add a burst of brightness to the richness of the meat.

Fusions with other cuisines

Pulled pork sandwiches provide a versatile base for fusing flavors from various cuisines. Consider adding Asian-inspired elements like pickled vegetables, sesame mayonnaise, or a teriyaki glaze. Alternatively, you can incorporate Mexican flavors with salsa, avocado, or a tangy lime crema. The possibilities are endless, allowing you to create unique and exciting flavor combinations.

Healthy pulled pork options

For those looking for a healthier twist on the classic pulled pork sandwich, there are a few adjustments that can be made. Opt for a leaner cut of pork, such as pork tenderloin, and trim off any excess fat. Use a homemade or low-sugar barbecue sauce and serve the pulled pork on whole wheat or lettuce wraps instead of traditional buns. Load up the sandwich with fresh veggies and skip the cheese for a lighter, yet still delicious, alternative.

Leftover Ideas

Reusing pulled pork

If you find yourself with leftover pulled pork, there are countless ways to put it to good use. Use the pulled pork as a filling for tacos, quesadillas, or even enchiladas for a Mexican-inspired meal. Incorporate the pulled pork into pasta dishes, pizza toppings, or even fried rice for a fusion twist. The versatility of pulled pork ensures that no delicious morsel goes to waste.

Freezing leftovers

Pulled pork freezes exceptionally well, making it a convenient option for future meals. Allow the cooked pork to cool completely before transferring it to freezer-safe containers or resealable bags. Label the containers with the date and freeze for up to 3 months. When ready to use, simply thaw it in the refrigerator overnight and reheat it on the stovetop or in the microwave.

Recipes for leftover pulled pork

If you’re seeking specific recipes to utilize your leftover pulled pork, the options are truly endless. Some popular choices include pulled pork nachos, pulled pork sliders, or even pulled pork mac and cheese. These recipes allow you to enjoy the deliciousness of pulled pork in new and exciting ways, ensuring that every bite is a tasty one.

Creative sandwich makeovers

Transform leftover pulled pork into delightful sandwich makeovers. Combine the pulled pork with some leftover coleslaw and cheese to create a mouthwatering grilled cheese sandwich. Or mix the pulled pork with barbeque sauce and stuffed it into a pita pocket with some fresh veggies for a quick and flavorful lunch. The possibilities are limited only by your creativity.

Tips and Tricks

Using a meat thermometer

To ensure that your pulled pork is cooked to perfection, invest in a good quality meat thermometer. Insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the meat, avoiding contact with any bones, and check that the internal temperature reaches 195-205°F (90-96°C) for ideal tenderness. This simple tool takes the guesswork out of cooking and guarantees consistent results.

Brine for extra tenderness

For ultimate tenderness, consider brining the pork before cooking. Brining involves soaking the pork in a mixture of water, salt, and sugar, which helps it retain moisture and imparts flavor. Let the pork sit in the brine solution, refrigerated, for several hours or overnight before proceeding with the seasoning and slow cooking process.

How to prevent dryness

Pulled pork can be prone to dryness if not cooked properly. To prevent this, make sure to keep the pork covered during the slow cooking process to trap in the moisture. Additionally, adding flavorful liquids like broth or sauce to the slow cooker helps keep the meat moist and infuses it with extra flavor.

Make-ahead tips

If you’re planning to serve pulled pork sandwiches for a gathering or event, there are several make-ahead tips to expedite the process. Prepare the seasoning and marinade a day in advance, allowing for the flavors to meld. You can also slow cook the pork a day ahead and store it in the refrigerator. Before serving, reheat the pork in a covered dish in the oven on low heat or in a slow cooker to preserve its tenderness.


Savoring your homemade pulled pork sandwich is an experience filled with tender, juicy, and flavorful bites. From choosing the right cut of pork to assembling the sandwich with the perfect bun and toppings, every step contributes to the satisfaction of your culinary creation. Whether you enjoy a classic pulled pork sandwich with traditional barbeque sauce or embark on a culinary adventure with unique fusions, the possibilities are endless. So take a moment to appreciate the deliciousness you have created and share the joy of a truly mouthwatering sandwich with friends and loved ones. Let your pulled pork sandwiches become a treasured dish that brings people together and creates memories that will last a lifetime.