Slow-Cooked BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwiches

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Craving a mouthwatering and satisfying meal? Look no further than slow-cooked BBQ pulled pork sandwiches. This indulgent dish features tender and juicy pork smothered in tangy barbecue sauce, sandwiched between two soft buns. The slow cooking process ensures that every bite is packed with intense flavor and a melt-in-your-mouth texture. Whether you’re hosting a backyard BBQ or simply want to treat yourself to a delicious meal, these BBQ pulled pork sandwiches are the perfect choice that will leave you craving for more.

Slow-Cooked BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwiches: A Comprehensive Guide

Are you craving a mouthwatering and satisfying meal? Look no further than slow-cooked BBQ pulled pork sandwiches. This classic and delicious dish is sure to satisfy your taste buds and leave you wanting more. In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through every step of the process, from choosing the right cut of meat to assembling the perfect sandwich. Grab your apron and get ready to embark on a culinary adventure!


Before we dive into the preparation process, let’s gather all the necessary ingredients for our slow-cooked BBQ pulled pork sandwiches:

  • Pork Shoulder: This juicy and flavorful cut of meat is ideal for slow cooking and easily shreds apart.
  • Barbecue Sauce: Tangy and savory, barbecue sauce is the star player in this dish.
  • Brown Sugar: Adding a touch of sweetness to the meat and sauce.
  • Vinegar: A splash of vinegar helps to balance the flavors and tenderize the pork.
  • Spices: To give our pulled pork its irresistible flavor, we’ll need a variety of spices such as paprika, garlic powder, and onion powder.
  • Buns: The perfect vessel for holding our tender pulled pork.
  • Optional Toppings: Customize your sandwiches with toppings like coleslaw, pickles, or sliced onions.

Now that we have our ingredients, let’s move on to the preparation process!


Seasoning the Pork Shoulder

The key to a delicious pulled pork sandwich is properly seasoning the meat. Start by patting the pork shoulder dry with paper towels to ensure a good sear. In a bowl, combine your desired spices, such as paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper. Rub the spice mixture all over the pork, making sure to coat it evenly. Allow the seasoned pork to sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes to allow the flavors to penetrate the meat.

Slow Cooking the Pork

There are two popular methods for slow cooking pork: using a slow cooker or the oven. Choose the method that works best for you.

  • Slow Cooker: Place the seasoned pork shoulder in a slow cooker and pour in a mixture of BBQ sauce, brown sugar, and vinegar. Cook on low heat for 8-10 hours or until the meat is tender and easily pulls apart with a fork.
  • Oven: Preheat your oven to a low temperature, around 300°F (150°C). Place the seasoned pork shoulder in a roasting pan and cover tightly with foil. Cook for approximately 6-8 hours, or until the meat is tender and falls apart.

Whichever method you choose, the result will be moist and flavorful pulled pork that is perfect for sandwiches.

Shredding the Pork

Once the pork shoulder is cooked to perfection, it’s time to shred it. Use two forks to pull the meat apart, separating it into smaller, bite-sized pieces. The slow cooking process will have made the pork incredibly tender, so this step should be quite easy. Be sure to discard any excess fat or bone as you shred the meat.

Preparing the Barbecue Sauce

While the pork is being shredded, you can prepare the barbecue sauce. However, if you prefer to use store-bought sauce, feel free to skip this step. To make your own sauce, combine your favorite BBQ sauce with a splash of vinegar and a sprinkle of brown sugar. Adjust the quantities to your taste, adding more sweetness or tanginess as desired. Heat the sauce in a saucepan over low heat until warmed through.

Assembling the Sandwiches

With all the main components ready, it’s time to assemble your pulled pork sandwiches. Start by toasting the buns to add a touch of crispiness. Then, spoon a generous amount of pulled pork onto the bottom half of each bun. Drizzle barbecue sauce over the pork, and add any optional toppings such as coleslaw, pickles, or sliced onions. Place the top half of the bun on and press down gently to secure everything together.

Tips and Tricks

Now that you know the basics of making the perfect slow-cooked BBQ pulled pork sandwiches, here are some additional tips and tricks to take your culinary skills to the next level:

Choosing the Right Cut of Meat

When selecting a pork shoulder for your pulled pork sandwiches, look for a Boston butt or pork butt. These cuts are well-marbled and have a good amount of fat, which adds flavor and ensures moistness during the slow cooking process.

Marinating the Pork Shoulder

For even more flavor, you can marinate the pork shoulder overnight before cooking. Create a marinade using a mixture of BBQ sauce, vinegar, brown sugar, and your favorite spices. Place the pork shoulder in a resealable plastic bag, pour in the marinade, and refrigerate overnight. This will infuse the meat with additional flavors and enhance the overall taste of your pulled pork.

Using a Slow Cooker vs. Oven

Both slow cookers and ovens have their advantages when it comes to cooking pulled pork. A slow cooker is convenient and allows for hands-off cooking, making it perfect for busy individuals. On the other hand, cooking the pork in the oven creates a delicious crust on the outside of the meat. Choose the method that suits your schedule and preferences.

Customizing the Barbecue Sauce

Don’t be afraid to get creative with your barbecue sauce. Add extra spices such as cayenne pepper for a spicy kick, or smoked paprika for a smoky flavor. You can also experiment with different types of BBQ sauces, such as sweet and tangy or spicy and bold. The beauty of homemade pulled pork sandwiches is that you can tailor the flavors to your liking.

Serving Suggestions

While pulled pork sandwiches are satisfying on their own, you can elevate the meal with some delicious sides. Classic options include coleslaw, baked beans, or potato salad. For a healthier twist, serve your sandwiches with a side of mixed greens or a refreshing cucumber and tomato salad. Let your creativity shine and choose sides that complement the flavors of the pulled pork.


If you want to mix things up or cater to different dietary preferences, here are a few variations you can try:

Pulled Chicken Sandwiches

Not a fan of pork? No problem! Substitute the pork shoulder with boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breasts. Slow cook the chicken until tender and then shred it using the same method as with the pork. Toss with your favorite barbecue sauce for delicious pulled chicken sandwiches.

Vegetarian Pulled Jackfruit Sandwiches

For an entirely plant-based option, jackfruit is an excellent substitute for pulled pork. Canned young green jackfruit has a similar texture when cooked and can easily be shredded to mimic pulled meat. Be sure to drain and rinse the jackfruit before cooking and toss it with your desired seasonings and barbecue sauce.

Beef Brisket Sandwiches

If you’re a beef lover, why not try making pulled beef brisket sandwiches? Choose a well-marbled brisket and slow cook it until it becomes tender and easy to shred. Season it with a dry rub of spices and herbs, or marinate it overnight for extra flavor. The result will be a melt-in-your-mouth beef filling for your sandwiches.


Here are a few frequently asked questions about slow-cooked BBQ pulled pork sandwiches:

How long does it take to cook the pork?

The cooking time for the pork shoulder depends on the method and temperature you choose. In a slow cooker on low heat, it usually takes 8-10 hours. In the oven at 300°F (150°C), it takes approximately 6-8 hours. The key is to cook the pork until it is tender and easily shreds apart.

Can I make the pulled pork ahead of time?

Absolutely! In fact, pulled pork often tastes even better the next day as the flavors have a chance to meld together. Store the cooked and shredded pork in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. When ready to serve, simply reheat the pork in the microwave or on the stovetop and assemble your sandwiches.

What can I substitute for barbecue sauce?

If you’re not a fan of barbecue sauce, you can try other condiments such as honey mustard, hot sauce, or even salsa. Experiment with different flavors to find a sauce that suits your taste preferences. Alternatively, you can make a tangy slaw or a creamy mayo-based sauce to add moisture and flavor to your sandwiches.

Can I make this recipe in an Instant Pot?

Certainly! The Instant Pot is a fantastic tool for cooking pulled pork quickly. After seasoning the meat, place it in the Instant Pot with the BBQ sauce and other ingredients. Set the Instant Pot to the Manual or Meat/Stew setting and cook for about 1 hour per pound of meat. Allow for natural pressure release before shredding the pork and assembling your sandwiches.


Congratulations, you are now equipped with all the knowledge you need to create mouthwatering slow-cooked BBQ pulled pork sandwiches. From seasoning the pork shoulder to preparing the perfect barbecue sauce, each step of this culinary adventure has been laid out for you. Whether you stick with the classic pulled pork or venture into the world of variations, your taste buds are in for a treat. So gather your ingredients, fire up your slow cooker or oven, and get ready to indulge in the ultimate comfort food – BBQ pulled pork sandwiches!