How to Make Oven Pulled Pork Shoulder

$4.47 per recipe / $0.56 per serving

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Oven Pulled Pork Shoulder is incredibly easy to prepare, requiring minimal effort for a delicious and satisfying meal. Its versatility shines as it can be enjoyed in sandwiches, tacos, salads, or alongside various sides, making it a go-to choice for both busy weeknight dinners and gatherings with friends and family.

Side view of pork shoulder roast

Today’s Meal Prep Tip: Bulk Protein

To make the most of your grocery budget, seize opportunities to buy meat in bulk when it’s on sale. When you come across a fantastic deal on pork shoulders – and you will, if you keep an eye out for sales – be sure to stock up. You can purchase several pork shoulders at a fraction of their regular price and put them to good use throughout the week to help you stretch your budget further. This pork shoulder was purchased at $0.99 per pound when it is usually $3.50 per pound.

Cook Once, Eat for Days

In the realm of budget-conscious meal planning, one powerful strategy stands out – Cook Once, Eat for Days. This approach is not just about convenience; it’s a thrifty, efficient, and delicious way to keep your family well-fed while stretching your budget to the max.

Oven Pulled Pork Shoulder shines here, not only because it’s incredibly delicious but also due to its incredible versatility. Once you’ve prepared a pork shoulder, you have the foundation for tons of meal options. This means that you can plan your family’s menu for multiple days without the headache of preparing an entirely new protein source each time.

On your meal prep day, cook up a large batch of pulled pork, portion it out, and store it in the refrigerator or freezer. Having pulled pork readily available means you’re always just a few steps away from a delicious, home-cooked meal. Whether you decide to create pulled pork sandwiches, burritos and quesadillas, or to use your pork as a salad topping, pork is ready to be transformed into a variety of meals, giving your menu diversity and avoiding the monotony of repeated recipes.

Ingredients Needed

pork should butt roast with homemade BBQ rub seasonings

Exact measurements can be found in the printable recipe card below.

  • BBQ Dry Rub: Any kind you like will do, but we love our homemade BBQ seasoning.
  • Pork Shoulder: Use bone-in or boneless. This recipe will work for a shoulder that is 4 lbs or larger.

Recipe Variations

  • Give your pork a kick with a Cajun spice mix featuring ingredients like cayenne pepper, paprika, thyme, and garlic powder.
  • Use flavors like ginger, garlic, soy sauce, and five-spice powder to give your pork an Asian twist.
  • Season with herbs like rosemary, thyme, oregano, and a drizzle of olive oil for a Mediterranean flair.
  • Create a spice mix with cumin, chili powder, paprika, and oregano for a Mexican-style pulled pork.

Estimating cooking time

We recommended a 4 pound pork butt for this recipe, but that may not be the size that’s on sale at your grocery store. A good way to roughly estimate your cooking time is that your pork shoulder will take 1-1.5 hours per pound.

close up image of perfectly tender pulled pork

How to shred meat: 4 easy ways

  • Use your hands! Pull the meat against the grin into slivers.
  • Use two forks: Cut the meat into manageable pieces, then use one fork to hold the meat stable and the other to rake it into shreds.
  • Try a standing mixer for super fast shredding. Us the flat beater paddle and let it run for about 30 seconds on medium speed.
  • Get yourself a pair of meat claws! They fit nicely in your hands making them way easier than using forks.


This is an overview of the instructions. For complete directions, scroll down to the bottom.

  1. Trim excess fat, leaving about 1/4 inch on top.
  2. Pat the pork with dry rub all over and place it on a foil-lined sheet pan with a wire rack.
  3. Rest the pork for 20 minutes, then roast at 400°F for 20 minutes before reducing the temperature to 250°F.
  4. After 6 hours, check the thickest part of the shoulder with an instant-read thermometer; it should read at least 190°F for tender pulled pork.
how to make pulled pork in the oven step by step process

How to store and love your leftovers

  • Refrigerate: Refrigerate pulled pork within two hours of cooking, storing it in an airtight container for up to four days, and reheat by gently simmering in BBQ Sauce on the stovetop or in the microwave.
  • Freeze: For freezing, cool the pulled pork completely. Place it in an airtight container or heavy-duty freezer bag. Remove excess air, and store for up to three months in the freezer.
  • Reheat: When reheating from frozen, thaw the pulled pork overnight in the refrigerator, then gently warm it on the stovetop or in the microwave until it reaches your desired serving temperature, adding a little extra sauce or broth if needed to keep it moist.

Use leftovers from this recipe for burritos or tacos!


How can I make sure my pulled pork stays moist?

To keep pulled pork juicy, add some of the cooking juices or barbecue sauce when storing it, and reheat it gently with extra sauce or broth to maintain its moisture and flavor.

Can I cook a frozen pork shoulder in the oven?

It’s best to thaw the pork shoulder in the refrigerator before cooking. Cooking it from frozen might lead to uneven results and an increased cooking time.

What’s the recommended internal temperature for fully cooked pork shoulder?

Pork shoulder should reach an internal temperature of 190°F (88°C) for tender and juicy pulled pork. This is the temperature that the collagen breaks down allowing the meat to “fall off the bone”.

oven roasted BBQ rub pulled pork for bulk meal prep

Serve with

  • Coleslaw
  • Baked Beans
  • Cornbread
  • Homemade Pickles

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Pulled Pork Shoulder in the oven

Tender pulled pork shoulder is a bulk family meal-planning staple! Flavorful and versatile, you'll make this multiple times per month, and often at a discount!
Katie Chase
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 6 hours 20 minutes
Rest Time 20 minutes
Total Time 6 hours 45 minutes
Recipe Cost $4.47
Recipe Servings 8 people


  • large sheet pan
  • Tinfoil
  • wire rack fitted to sheet pan
  • knife
  • cutting board
  • meat thermometer


  • 8 Tablespoons BBQ Dry Rub or seasoning of choice
  • 4 pound pork shoulder or larger, bone-in or boneless


  • Trim excess fat from the roast if there is a thick amount. Leave about 1/4 inch if fat on the top.
  • Pat the pork shoulder with dry rub on all sides. Transfer to a tin foil lined sheet pan that has a wire rack on it. This will help with cleanup and air circulation.
  • Allow the pork to rest 20 minutes before transferring to a 400F oven for 20 minutes, then dropping to 250F.
  • Check the pork after 6 hours with an instant read thermometer at the thickest park of the shoulder. The internal temperature should be a minimum of 190F for fork tender pulled pork.
Disclaimer: Please note all serving sizes, pricing, and nutrition is an estimate based on 2023-2024 pricing and nutrition guides. For accuracy please do your own calculations.

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