Pulled pork is an easy meal to throw together in the slow cooker or grill. But, what about the leftovers? Here are 25 Leftover Pulled Pork Recipes the entire family will love.
My family loves pulled pork. It’s a staple in our menu because it’s delicious and everyone enjoys eating it. I love making it because it is a cheap cut of meat and oh so easy to make. And the leftovers? It’s begging to be used again and again!
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The best way to cook pulled pork
When I first started cooking, I would use this slow cooker pulled pork recipe. Just put all the ingredients in the crockpot, turn it on and walk away. But after my husband perfected his smoked pulled pork, we have gotten spoiled and prefer our pork on our Big Steel Keg.
If you are impatient and don’t want to wait all day for shredded meat goodness, you can make pulled pork or carnitas in the instant pot. You’ll have a fabulous taco bar ready in a fraction of the time.
Another favorite and easy way to make this family friendly meal is in the oven. When it is cold outside, I like to make my crispy oven pulled pork. I feature this method in the video on this post.
Which is better? I guess it all depends on how much time you want to spend. Although grilling your pork yields the best tasting meat I ever had, not everyone has the time to deal with a grill. In that case, nothing beats the slow cooker method. And of course, you can make it crispy at home by finishing it off in the oven. So many choices!
The best cut of meat for pulled pork
If you are making pulled pork, you have several choices in meat cuts. The most common choice is the pork shoulder. It is the lower part of the pork shoulder and includes part of the front leg quarter. Because it includes part of the leg muscles, this cut needs more time to break down and tenderize.
Another popular cut of meat is a Boston butt. Strange name, but it is from the high part of the pig’s shoulder, above the shoulder blade, and not the actual butt of the pig. It has a lot of marbled fat, making it ideal for the grill and it includes part of the picnic shoulder.
The picnic shoulder, or picnic ham, is a shoulder cut with the shank attached. This cut is cheaper than the other cuts because it requires less work butchering it, and it contains more bone.
Best ingredients to add flavor
Pulled pork is also not a tedious meal because you can add any flavors you want to the sauce while it cooks, or even afterwards. When in a pinch, I go simple with store-bought bbq sauce. But when I’m feeling creative, I make my own sauce and add orange juice, pomegranate concentrate, whiskey or countless other flavorings to make my sauce sing.
When grilling our pork, we use a dry rub – a mix of spices like paprika, chile pepper, brown sugar and garlic powder. I swear no two rubs my husband uses are alike. But each concoction is incredibly smokey and delicious.
I have made so many different versions of this meal for my family, and they all have a special place in our heart. However you do end up cooking your pulled pork, I encourage you to mix things up and try something new:
Can I make soup with my pork bones?
When we make pulled pork, sometimes we use a boneless pork shoulder, but other times it’s the bone-in pork shoulder that is on sale. Yes, a bone in roast takes longer to cook than a boneless cut of meat, it does at extra flavor.
But once the pork is shredded, you are left with a giant bone. Did you know you can make soup with it? I wrote this post all about how to make instant pot bone broth. And one of the bone broths I made was a pork bone broth.
Although bone broth needs more pieces of connective tissue than a pork shoulder has (which is none), you can still make a delicious broth with a pork shoulder bone. If you want more gelatin in your pork bone broth, add some pork neck bones to the mix. A roasted bone gives more flavor than a raw bone, but either can be used to make pork broth.