Oven Pulled Pork from Pork Butt

Outrageously good pulled pork without a smoker. Low and slow is how you do it with these easy step by step photo instructions with only a few minutes of active time.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time9 hrs
Total Time9 hrs 40 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Boston Butt, Oven Pork Butt, Pulled Pork
Servings: 8 serving
Calories: 680kcal
Author: Dan Mikesell AKA DrDan


  • 4-5 pounds Pork Butt aka Pork Shoulder or Boston Butt
  • rub of your choice good quality
  • 2 tablespoons Wright's Liquid Smoke optional but recommended

My Rub

  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons kosher salt Morton
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon pepper


  • You will need a rub of your choice. My rub: mix 1/2 cup dark brown sugar, 3 tablespoons Morton kosher salt, 1 tablespoon chili powder, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon onion powder and 1 teaspoon pepper.
  • Place a 4 pound (give or take a little) bone-in (or boneless) pork butt on a large piece of plastic wrap. Rub with about 2 tablespoons of liquid smoke (optional). You can skip the plastic wrap if not applying rub ahead of time.
  • Use about one cup of rub and coat the meat. That is a very heavy coat.
  • If you have time, wrap the meat with plastic wrap. You may need a second piece. Refrigerate for a few hours, but overnight is fine. If you don't have time, just apply the rub and pop it in the oven. This is what I usually do.
  • When ready to cook, prep a large rimmed baking sheet with foil and a rack. Give the rack a heavy spray of PAM.
  • Place meat on rack and place in a 250-degree oven (not convection). I did not bother to preheat. I went with fat cap down. You can shorten the time some by increasing the temperature of the oven to 300 degrees but I suggest 250.
  • Bake until internal temp of 195 plus (200-205 is better). About 9-10 hours for me. This will vary some with the thickness of the meat, bone-in vs. boneless and the oven. You have some flex time in the next step to get your timing right.
  • Remove from the oven directly onto a large sheet of heavy-duty foil. Wrap tight with the foil then wrap with several towels. Place wrapped meat in a small cooler if available and rest for 1-2 hours until needed. It can stay warm for up to 4 hours is well wrapped in a cooler.
  • Just before serving, shred with forks. It will fall apart.


Pro Tips:

  1. Cooking time can vary, but you can use the wrap time at the end to adjust the shredding time by a few hours.
  2. If you don't have a rack, you can elevate the meat on balls of rolled up foil. Please do not leave it to cook in the muck. (see the crock pot recipe)
  3. The liquid smoke is nice, but some object, so skip if you wish. If you use it, quality matters a lot. I use only Wright's.
  4. My rub is provided for you but use the rub of your choice.
  5. If you use my rub. The salt is calculated on Morton Kosher salt. 1 teaspoon table salt = 1 1/4 teaspoon Morton kosher salt = 2 teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt.
  6. I find my rub still is good with half the salt if that is a concern for you.
  7. 195 is the minimum, but I much prefer 200 to 205.
  8. This will freeze great for 3-4 months. Good in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
  9. Bone-in or boneless does not matter. But bone-in may take a bit longer.
  10. Fat pad up or down does not matter.
  11. I frequently just wet with the liquid smoke and apply the rub. And then directly into the oven. It is still great.
  12. DO NOT cover with anything like foil or a lid in the oven.
  13. Nutrition is hard to calculate. The fat drains, the rub forms bark and also drains some. So a lot of things are included in the nutrition numbers that may not be there.
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Calories: 680kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 62g | Fat: 39g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 17g | Cholesterol: 197mg | Sodium: 3104mg | Potassium: 824mg | Fiber: 0.4g | Sugar: 15g | Vitamin A: 250IU | Vitamin C: 0.8mg | Calcium: 10mg | Iron: 2.9mg