Perfectly Tender Pulled Pork: A Crowd-Pleaser for Every Occasion

A pile of pulled pork on a white plate.

Whether you’re hosting a party, planning a BBQ, or simply preparing a delicious weeknight dinner, pulled pork is a surefire way to please a crowd. This easy pulled pork recipe combines pork shoulder (or butt) with a blend of pantry spices and a surprising ingredient – coke! The result is a succulent and juicy pork that can be cooked to perfection in the oven, slow cooker, or instant pot.

How to Make Pulled Pork:

To begin, choose a pork shoulder roast, also known as pork butt or Boston butt. Trim the excess fat and cut the pork into four pieces. In a small bowl, combine the spices and rub them all over the pork. For an even more intense flavor, you can do this step the night before and let the spices marinate the meat.

Oven Method:

Preheat your oven to 300 degrees F. Place the seasoned pork in a Dutch oven pot and pour coke around it. Cover the pot with a lid and cook for three hours. Then, remove the lid and cook for an additional 1-2 hours until the pork is tender and easily pulls apart with a fork.

Slow Cooker Method:

For a hands-off approach, place the seasoned pork in a slow cooker and pour coke around it. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours or on high for 4-5 hours. Once the pork is tender and shreds easily with a fork, it’s ready to be enjoyed.

Further reading:  Smokin' Delicious Traeger Pork Shoulder Recipe

Instant Pot Method:

If you’re short on time, the instant pot is your best friend. Place the seasoned pork in the instant pot and pour coke around it. Set the pressure to manual/high and cook for 70 minutes. Once the timer beeps, allow the pot to naturally release pressure for about 15 minutes longer.

After cooking the pork using your preferred method, it’s time to shred the meat and add your favorite BBQ sauce, if desired.

How Much Pulled Pork per Person?

If you’re wondering how much pulled pork to make for a party or event, there are a couple of general rules to keep in mind:

  1. One pound of pulled pork will feed approximately 3 people, with each serving being about 5 ounces.
  2. Cooked pulled pork loses about half of its weight as it cooks. So, a 5-pound raw pork roast will yield about 2.5 pounds of cooked meat.

To calculate how much pork you’ll need per person, use the following formula:

  • Number of guests multiplied by 0.33 (1/3 pound of meat per serving) = amount of cooked pulled pork needed.
  • Multiply that number by 2 since the meat will shrink by 50%.

For example, if you want enough pulled pork to feed 50 guests:

50 guests X 0.33 = 16.5 lbs of cooked pulled pork needed
16.5 lbs X 2 = 33 pounds of raw pork butt needed

Keep in mind that other factors, such as the ages of those eating and how the pork is being served, should also be considered when calculating the amount of meat needed.

Storing and Freezing Instructions:

Leftover pulled pork can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. If you have extra or want to prepare ahead of time, pulled pork can be frozen for up to 3 months. Simply thaw it overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.

Further reading:  Oven Baked Ribs: The Secret to Tender Perfection

Reheating Pulled Pork:

When it comes to reheating pulled pork, there are a few options:


Preheat your oven to 250°F. Place the pork and leftover juices in an oven-safe container, and if the meat seems dry, add water, apple juice, or broth. Cover with aluminum foil and cook for 20-30 minutes until warmed through to 165°F.

Slow Cooker:

Add the pork and leftover juices to a slow cooker. If needed, add additional liquid such as apple juice, broth, or water to keep it moist. Set the slow cooker to warm or low and cook until the pork reaches an internal temperature of 165°F.


Place the pork and leftover juices in a microwave-safe bowl. If necessary, add additional liquid like apple juice, broth, or water to prevent dryness. Cover the bowl with a damp paper towel and heat in one-minute increments until the pork is warmed through to 165°F.

Creative Serving Ideas:

Pulled pork is incredibly versatile and can be enjoyed in various ways. Here are a few serving suggestions to inspire your culinary creativity:

  • Pulled pork sandwiches
  • Nachos
  • Tacos, tamales, burritos, or quesadillas
  • Stirred into baked beans
  • Served with a green salad, fruit, baked beans, potato salad, chips, veggies, and dip.

For more mouthwatering recipes and culinary inspiration, visit Rowdy Hog Smokin BBQ. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest for the latest updates.

Please rate and comment below to let us know about your experience with this recipe!