Pulled pork

From Cookipedia

This recipe requires preparation in advance!

Pulled pork (carnitas) is a classic American barbecue-style dish that can just as easily be cooked in a normal domestic oven.

Lots of recipes suggest adding a tablespoon of liquid smoke over the meat at the final stage. I prefer to leave chemicals like that in the garage! However, if you have your own smoker, I would smoke it for an hour or so before you start the cooking process.

If you like this, you will also love the selection of pulled pork recipes at the bottom of this page.

Note: This recipe needs to be prepared 24 hours in advance.

Pulled pork
Oh - how I love pulled pork!
Servings:Serves 6
Calories per serving:726
Ready in:17 hours 15 minutes
Prep. time:12 hours 15 minutes
Cook time:5 hours
Difficulty:Average difficulty
Recipe author:Chef
First published:3rd August 2013

Best recipe review

Can't stop eating this


So moorish. Nice in corn tortillas with sour cream.

Paul R Smith


Printable 🖨 shopping 🛒 list & 👩‍🍳 method for this recipe

Cook it over:

The reduction

Mise en place

  • Preheat the oven to 150° C (300° F - gas 2)
  • If you are lucky enough to have a smoker, smoke the joint for an hour or so.
  • Mix all of the spices together in a large baking tray.
  • Slice the skin off the joint - we're not going to use it today.
  • Make random slashes all over the meat.
  • Rub the spice mix all over the pork and into the cuts you've made.
  • Cover and refrigerate for 24 hours.
  • 15 minutes before you are ready to start cooking, preheat the oven to 150° C (300° F - gas 2)


  1. Place the pork, 'skin-side-up' on a wire rack resting on a tray full of cider. The pork must be clear of the cooking liquor.
  2. Cover and seal with two layers of tin-foil so the joint can steam in the cider.
  3. Cook for 4.5 hours, and don't fiddle or mess about with it!
  4. After 4.5 hours, turn the heat up to 200° C (400° F - gas 6).
  5. Reserving the original tray and its juices, place the joint on its rack over a clean, dry roasting tray and roast uncovered for a further 30 minutes.
  6. When the pork is cooked, use two forks to shred the pork into tiny pieces.
  7. To the juices, add the final sugar, taste, and then add a splash or so of white wine vinegar to balance the flavours. Use a wooden spatula to get all of the goodness from the pan and then whisk well.
  8. Tip the pork into the sauce and heat until it is reduced to a sticky mass.

Serving suggestions

Serve on toasted buns with cole-slaw and buttery corn on the cob.

Chef's notes

The spices in this are not an exact science. If you don't have a certain spice, use something else. Look at the individual spice links on this page or our main spice category to find similar spices that you may have instead. If you favour a certain flavour, add more of it. Mess around, be bold!!

Having made this five or six times now, I would be inclined to leave out the cinnamon as I find the flavour somewhat overpowering. However, it does seems to be included in most traditional recipes.

I have also started to coat the pork with a good splash of lime or lemon juice before I add the rub.

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See also

#pulledpork #pork #cider #cinnamon #ground #whitewinevinegar #smokingfood #brownsugar #lemonjuice #chillipowder #gingerpowder