pulling the pulled pork

Pulled Pork Science

  • Author: Scienchef
  • Prep Time: 5 min
  • Cook Time: 1-5 hours
  • Total Time: -26102105.066667 minute
  • Yield: 10-30 portions 1x


This recipe contains two way to make your pulled pork, either with a pressure cooker or in the oven/grill. Adjust the amount of meat to your audience size.

The barbecue version is inspired by BBQ helden.



  • 13 kg of pork neck or shoulder
  • 30100g of spice rub (or enough to coat the entire piece of meat with a good amount of rub), see below for a suggestion

Spice rub (use as much as you need)

  • 40g brown sugar
  • 35g salt
  • 25g paprika powder
  • 2 tbsp ground black powder
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 0,5 tsp cayenne pepper powder

Additional ingredients for pressure cooking

  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • garlic finely chopped
  • 1 tsp oil
  • 125 ml white wine
  • 125 ml apple cider
  • 250 ml stock (e.g. beef or chicken)
  • 23 chipotle peppers
  • 4 drops of liquid smoke (optional)

For serving

  • Barbecue sauce
  • Mustard
  • Coleslaw


  1. Take out your piece of meat. If it’s been previously frozen, ensure it is completely thawed. If you’re using the pressure cooker, cut the meat into a few chunks to ensure it fits in the cooker. Coat all the meat with your spice rub. This will give a lot of flavour so use generously.

Barbecue method

Optional: leave the meat to rest for 2-4 hours or overnight. This helps to dry out the meat.

  1. Light your barbecue to a moderate high heat (200-250C) when using charcoal. Charcoal will cool down overtime, so it’s worthwhile to start at a higher heat to prevent having to refill all the time.
  2. Place the meat on a hot spot on the barbecue and roast on both sides for 3-8 minutes until a nice dark brown, almost black colour.
  3. Move the meat to a cooler place on the barbecue. Close the lid and let it cook more slowly for the next few hours. Regularly (every 30 minutes or so), check the internal temperature of the meat.
  4. Once the internal temperature has reached 65-70C, carefully take the meat from the barbecue and wrap in aluminium foil. Wrap it well, you don’t want the moisture to leave the meat.
  5. Take the meat from the barbecue again once it’s around 85C. Be careful, there will be a lot of moisture within the aluminium foil, it can burn you easily.
  6. Place the pork in a tray and open the aluminium foil. Let all the moisture out and save it in the tray, you will use this again at the end! The meat will be noticeably softer than it was at the start.
  7. Place it back on the barbecue (leave it on the aluminium foil, but leave it open).
  8. Once the meat has reached an internal temperature of 90-92C it’s done. Take it from the barbecue. The meat should be very soft and fall apart almost by itself.
  9. Leave the meat to rest for at least 30 minutes.
  10. Pull the pork apart into strands using two forks.

Pressure cooking / Instantpot

  1. Saute the onion and garlic in the pot with some oil until browned and translucent.
  2. Add the chunks of meat and brown (Instantpot: use high saute setting).
  3. Add the wine, cider, stock and peppers.
  4. Close the lid and pressure cook on a high pressure for 50 minutes. Don’t take of the pressure immediately, but leave in the pan to cool down for another 5 minutes.
  5. Take the meat from the pot and pull apart into strands.


  1. Take the pulled pork and add back some of the liquid you collected during the cooking process. You want to add enough back so that it is truly incorporated and doesn’t flow out at the bottom again. You don’t want the pork to lie in excess moisture. You can now also add some mustard or barbecue sauce, to flavour.
  2. Serve with coleslaw and possibly some bread.


Want to try pressure cooking on other meats? We also made spare ribs in the Instantpot!