A lot of people are getting tired of pulled pork, as it’s been in the limelight for quite some time now. But hey, why not another recipe? This is me cooking pulled pork with a home made barbecue sauce on a home baked bun. I feasted joyfully with this sandwich, which makes a big difference when compared with the traditional burger.

Enough for three, with 2 buns each, and I even had meat left for next day’s dinner.

Time it takes:

  • 30 minutes for preparation
  • 8 hours for cooking
  • A night for resting
  • 30 minutes to serve

For 6 hamburger buns

  • 1,5 dl of full milk
  • 1 dl of water
  • 40 g of unsalted butter
  • 1 egg
  • 280 g of flour
  • 5 g of active dried yeast
  • 20 g of sugar
  • 5 g of salt
  • Some more flour to put on your work surface
  1. Into a casserole, over medium heat, warm the milk, the water, and the butter up to 50°C. If the temperature is too low, the yeast won’t activate, and if the temperature is too high, the yeast will die when you will incorporate the liquids in the mix containing the yeast.
  2. Pour the flour, the yeast, the sugar and the salt into a big bowl. Mix it up.
  3. Incorporate the warm liquids into the dry mix.
  4. Add the egg. Keep stirring.
  5. When the dough becomes homogeneous, pour some flour onto your work surface, and start kneading it until the dough becomes tacky and elastic. Stretch out the dough in the shape of a baguette. If it shrinks a little, like a rubber band, it means you kneaded it enough.
  6. Cut the dough into 6 equally big pieces. Shape them into balls, then flatten them with the palm of your hand to obtain buns of approximately 7-8 cm in diameter.
  7. Let the buns rest in room temperature about an hour or until they’ve doubled in size. If you have time, let them rest over night in the refrigerator instead. It will give the yeast time to develop the flavors, making the buns taste better.
  8. Preheat the oven to 225°C.
  9. Cook the buns for 10 minutes. After half the time (5 minutes) open the oven and throw a glass of water into it. The cold water quickly lowers the temperature for a brief moment, so that the buns get nicely cooked on the inside without burning on the outside. It will also moisturizes the air in the oven, giving the buns a better surface. Remember not to drench the actual buns in water, throw it under the tray, on the bottom of the oven.

Cook the pulled pork

Depending on the amount of meat you wish to have per serving, or if you want to keep some extra pulled pork for another time, you can adapt the bun recipe. Two kilos of pork shoulder should be enough for about 12 sandwiches.

  • 2 kg of pork shoulder
  • 1 dl of molasses
  • 1 tbsp of liquid smoke
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tbsp of Worcestershire sauce
  • 5 tbsp of brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp of salt
  • 1 dl apple juice
  • 1 tbsp of ketchup
  • 2 tbsp of dried garlic
  • 2 tbsp of caraway seeds
  • 1/2 tbsp of cayenne pepper
  • 2 tbsp of onion powder
  • 2 tbsp of paprika
  • 3 dl of fresh water
  1. Into a cup, mix up the dried garlic, the onion powder, the paprika, the caraway seeds, the cayenne pepper, the sugar, and the salt.
  2. Pour half of this mix into a bowl.
  3. Add the water, the molasses, the liquid smoke, the Worcestershire saucer and the ketchup. Mix up.
  4. Put your piece of meat into a freezer bag or any bag suitable for food.
  5. Add the marinade you just made and the bay leaves.
  6. Close the bag, and place it in your refrigerator. Let the meat marinate over night. I’ve seen studies pointing out that marinating meat makes no difference, but I haven’t done a blind test yet so I keep imagining it tastes better.
  7. Remove the meat from the marinade. Place it into a clay dutch oven, cast iron pot, or any pot with a lid suitable for placing in a hot oven. Tap the meat with some paper to dry it, and rub the rest of your dry rub mix (remember, you only used half yesterday for the marinade?).
  8. Pour some apple juice on the meat, to add some acidity and sweetness.
  9. Warm your oven to 120°C. Put on a lid over the meat, and place it in the oven to cook low and slow. The core temperature of the meat must reach 93°C, which takes around 8 hours for a 2 kilogram piece. Use a thermometer, they’re cheap and a fantastic tool in the kitchen.

Prepare the barbecue sauce

Ok, so you’ve been eagerly waiting for eight hours, and it’s almost time to prepare the sandwiches. Let’s make some barbecue sauce and pull the pork apart.

You’ll need:

  • The pulled pork and it’s wonderful juices
  • 1 dl molasses
  • 3-5 tbsp of bourbon

First, take the meat out, and let it rest under some aluminum foil for 20 minutes. This is important, we want the moist to hold on to the meat. Meanwhile, strain the cooking meat juices through a sieve, into a saucepan, and reduce it to a third of its original volume by bringing it to a boil.

Shred the meat by pulling it apart with two forks, and incorporate half of the reduced juices with the shredded pork.

The other half of the juices, will be used for the barbecue sauce. Add the molasses and the bourbon, for a rich sweet and smokey sauce.

Pulled pork burger

Assemble the sandwiches

  • Lettuce
  • Any other vegetable you like.
  1. Cut some lettuce and let it rest in ice cold water for 15 minutes. This will make it really, really crispy.
  2. Cut a bun in half.
  3. Put some pulled pork on it, add some lettuce, and top with the BBQ sauce.
  4. Close the bun (yes, I’m being thorough here)
  5. Enjoy.


Enjoy burgers? You might want to try another of my recipes, a completely homemade burger.

13 Responses

  1. Tobias

    This sounds absolutely amazing! I’m going to try this recipe next weekend. What do you think the result would be if one let the meat cook with all of the marinade and all of the spices? In this recipe you remove the meat from the marinade and dry of marinade residue before cooking. Thanks again for a great recipe. It really inspired me!

    • The Food Emperor

      Hi Tobias! I’m glad the recipe inspires you. Cooking the meat in the marinade would result in allot of liquid, both from the meat and from the marinade itself. It would boil in water instead of it’s own fat, giving it a less tender texture. With that having been said, there are a couple of things you could try. After marinating, reduce the marinade in a saucepan by bringing it to a boil and wait until there’s only about 1/4 left. And pour that over the meat. That should keep the flavors of the marinade but remove the excessive liquid.

      And as I’ve mentioned before, there are few studies showing that marinades makes any difference at all. I will post a blind test on the site eventually, but until then – if you have the urge and time to try yourself – you could do one version with the marinade, and one version where you simply put all the spices and sugar (excluding the water) directly into the pot with the meat, instead of doing a marinade at all.

  2. Tobias

    I’ve tried the recipe now, and did not use the marinade in the pot but followed the recipe to the letter (more or less…). The result was absolutely amazing, and I’m going to do this one many times more! Thank you so much for this fabulous eating experience!

    • The Food Emperor

      I’m very happy you enjoyed it as much as I did! The soft bun, the crispy lettuce, and the sweet and smokey sauce! I’ll be back soon with a shredded beef recipe, I think you’ll like it.

  3. Vincenzo

    Emperor, hai mai fatto il pastrami?
    sono dovuto andare in America per scoprire che esiste questo cazzo di coso che in italia non esiste da nessuna parte, brutti bastardi..

    • The Food Emperor

      Pastrami e una cosa di Romania, penso. Non ho fatto ma lo so che è famoso in America.

      • Vincenzo

        Si wikipedia dice che ebrei romeni li importarono in America e li é diventato famoso, comunque ho visto che in svizzera e germania si trova.

        For sandwiches you should go to ikes place in san Francisco http://ilikeikesplace.com
        My best european burger was in zooburger, Lausanne

      • Vincenzo

        Ehi Food Emperor,

        ho fatto il tuo pulled pork, molto buono complimenti! 😉

        Dai un’occhio al sito chefsteps.com
        ci sono molte cose interessanti.

        Ho trovato una ricetta facile per pastrami e ho provato a fare il pollo in sous-vide ed è eccezionale e facile da fare, provalo!

  4. Jan

    Hi there! I used your recipe, but I don’t really like pork shoulder so I used pork chop instead. Do you think it will make it? Right now it’s in the oven 😛

    • The Food Emperor

      Real smoke? Or fry some cumin in a dry pan. Tends to give a smoky flavor.