Carolina Pulled Pork

This week, library assistant Cindy contributes a recipe to Barbara’s Recipe Corner. This recipe pairs well with last week’s macaroni coleslaw.

Having more unscheduled time at home has given me the chance to pull out some new recipes that I’ve wanted to try. This Carolina Pulled Pork is one of those recipes. It’s from one of the new cookbooks in the library’s collection, Our Sweet Basil Kitchen, and it didn’t disappoint my family. Don’t be put off by the list of seasonings for the rub or by the time required for brining and roasting. It is a simple recipe with very little hands-on time needed. I was concerned about the pork having enough moisture during the long roasting time, but that was definitely not a problem. Also, if you don’t want to be putting the pork in the oven at 2am to eat at 6pm, you can cook it the day before, during the day, and just reheat and serve later. Heat your oven to 250 degrees, cover with foil, and heat for about 30 minutes. The cookbook does offer two sauce recipes to serve with the pulled pork. I did make the Mustard BBQ Sauce, but I preferred the pork with a more traditional sauce. It’s great in a sandwich or by itself. I hope youenjoy it. Click here for the recipe!


  • Food Saver


  • 5-8 pound Pork Butt bone in and fat pad on top

For the Brine

  • 4 Cups Water
  • 4 Cups Apple Cider
  • 1/2 Cup Kosher Salt
  • 1/2 Cup Dark Brown Sugar
  • 3 Heaping Tablespoons Dry Rub
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • 1 Pinch Red Pepper Flakes

For the Dry Rub

  • 1 Tablespoon Onion Powder
  • 1 Heaping Tablespoon Smoked Paprika
  • 1 Tablespoon Garlic Powder
  • 1 Tablespoon Chili Powder
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoon Kosher Salt
  • 1 Tablespoon Pepper
  • 2 Teaspoons Cayenne Powder
  • 2 Teaspoons Dry Mustard
  • 1 Tablespoon Cumin
  • 1/2 Cup Dark Brown Sugar

For the BBQ Sauce (Optional)

  • 1/2 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1/2 Cup White Vinegar
  • 1/4 Cup to 1/3 Cup Brown Sugar
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Chili Powder
  • 2 Pinches Red Pepper Flakes
  • Salt to taste


  • NOTE: This recipe should be started 2 days ahead of time as you need 24 hours in the fridge, 12-14 in the oven and 2 hours of resting.

Prepare the Dry Rub:

Mix all of the ingredients together in a ziploc bag. Set aside.

For the Brine:

  1. In a large stock pot, add the water, apple cider, salt, sugar, 3 tablespoons dry rub, pepper flakes and bay leaves.
  2. Rinse off the pork and add to the pot making sure it is completely covered in the brine and add the lid.
  3. Place in the fridge for 12 to 24 hours.

For the Sauce:

  1. In a glass jar, add the ingredients and place the lid on then shake to combine. Set aside.

To Cook:

  1. Heat the oven to 225 degrees F.
  2. Remove the pork from the brine and place in a roasting dish or 9×13″ baking pan as long as the sides don’t touch the pan.
  3. Pat very dry with paper towels.
  4. Remove 2 tablespoons of the dry rub to another ziploc and set aside for after it is cooked.
  5. Rub the remaining seasoning all over the pork and in any cracks or flaps.
  6. With the fat facing up, place the pork in the oven with a meat thermometer.
  7. Bake for 12-14 hours or until 200 degrees F registers on the thickest part of the pork with a meat thermometer. *Remember to watch your oven, ours turns off automatically at 12 hours so I have to turn it back on.
  8. At this point you can turn off the oven and leave the pork in there to rest for two hours or if you have more baking to do place foil over the meat and allow to rest on the stove.
  9. Once the meat has rested, remove the fat from the top and using two forks, shred the meat and remove the bone.
  10. Drain half of the juices out and add the remaining dry rub to taste, toss to coat and drizzle a little vinegar sauce over everything.
  11. Serve immediately as is or on buns.