If you’ve ever attempted to make pulled pork at home, you know how delicious it can be, especially since you can tweak the recipe however you want it.
But, if you aren’t using the right tools, shredding pork can be complicated and exhausting.
So, let’s review the best and easiest ways to make pulled pork at home, as well as give you a few ideas on what you can do once done shredding.
Best Way to Shred Pulled Pork
Meat Shredding Options
There are many different options when it comes to pulling pork (once it’s been cooked, of course). The most common, and most tiring, is shredding with a fork and knife, or with two forks.
Unless your fork and knife are industrial strength, they simply won’t be strong enough for the task at hand. And shredding your pork with this method is going to take hours, which will only add to your fatigue.
Other methods include meat scissors, a drill attachment that pulls pork, or something called meat rakes.
The best method of pulling pork, however, is achieved with meat claws like these ones by Gastronomo.
How to Shred Pulled Pork with Meat Claws
Once your pork is fully cooked and ready to be shredded, just hold your meat claws in your hands and shred the meat like a bear.
The claws are razor sharp, and the ergonomic handles mean that you won’t tire easily.
Consider the claws as an extension of your own fingers and work the meat as if the claws are, indeed, your own. For big pieces, pull with both claws parallel to each other to rip apart the meat.
For smaller pieces that may need a bit more shredding, hold with one claw, while pulling the meat part with the other.
The great thing about meat claws is the handles won’t get hot from the meat, so you won’t have to wait till the meat has cooled to shred it.
How to Make Pulled Pork
What Meat Do You Need?
You can use any pork for your pulled pork, but the best kind are the ones that will fall apart and shred easily once cooked.
A common favorite is pork shoulder, but you can also use pork butt.
How to Cook Pulled Pork
There are several ways that you can cook your pork for pulling. You can smoke, grill, roast in the oven, or let it slow roast in your crockpot. If you have an air-fryer, that could be another option (unless your shoulder or butt is too big).
Let’s go over a few of these methods in detail:
This is best done if own a smoker, of course, and depending on the size of your roast will make roughly 14 to 18 servings once done. Prep time is only about 15-20 minutes, while actual cook time is going to take roughly four or five hours.
The first thing to do is make the seasoning rub and prep your pork. Most recipes recommend a 5 ½ pound boneless pork shoulder roast. For best results, season your meat the night before and let it chill overnight.
When you’re ready to smoke, prepare your smoker per manufacturer’s directions, then place the seasoned meat on the rack. Cover the smoker and the roast should be ready in about four or five hours. Once it’s done, shred the meat and serve however you want.
For using a slow cooker, it’s recommended to get a 2 ½ to 3lb shoulder roast, as anything larger might not fit. Season the meat using any seasonings your heart desires want, or find a recipe online.
You can cook on low or high, whichever fits your needs. If you use the low setting the roast should be ready in about 8-10 hours. This is something you can set up the night before to have it ready by the morning, especially if you want to store the meat for later use. Or set it first thing in the morning and it will be done in time for dinner.
You can just as easily cook your pulled pork in the oven. A great recipe to try for the oven can be found here, and should only take a little over 3 hours to cook. After the meat is prepared, you can put it in a Dutch oven, a pan covered in foil, or use an oven bag in a pan.
What if the pork was already cooked? Find out the best ways to reheat pulled pork so it tastes as if it was just made!
What to Do with the Pulled Pork
Now that you’ve cooked your pork and you’ve shredded it using your meat claws, what can you do with it? Luckily there is no shortage of ways to use pulled pork. Here are a few favorites:
- Pulled pork tacos. Just like beef tacos, but with pulled pork. You can even use some of the same seasonings that you may use for beef tacos or chili. Use soft or hard shells, and top with your favorite taco toppings.
- Pulled pork nachos. There are various recipes you can find for pulled pork nachos. Many of them add bell peppers and onions with the meat while roasting. Once the meat has been pulled mix it with the cooked veggies, desired sauces, and beans (if you want), then pour over tortilla chips and top with cheese.
- Pulled pork sandwiches. A common way to use pulled pork is to make sandwiches. Use hamburger buns or potato buns, add some BBQ sauce and any other toppings you want. These also make great appetizers for entertaining, and then you can disperse the leftover meat into other recipes.
- Pulled pork chili. We mentioned beef chili above, but you can also make some really tasty chili with your pulled pork. Mix it with some sautéed onions, tomato paste, your preferred chili seasonings, tomato sauce, and some kidney beans, and voila, you have chili. Serve the chili over rice, or in a bowl with some thick bread slices.
Enjoy Your Pulled Pork
Now that you have a better understanding of how to make pulled pork, go make some!
Be sure to also get yourself a set of meat claws. This will make the whole process much easier, and shredding the meat like a bear could a lot of fun!
Anthony fell in love with the grill when he was 6 years old. Watching and drooling over the steaks and sausages that his grandpa was making, Anthony quickly learned how to grill meat to perfection. The rest is just history!