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Maple-Bourbon Pulled Pork Sandwiches

  • Yield: roughly 12 cups of pulled pork 1x



For the Pork:

  • 1 (6-7-lb) pork shoulder
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1 cup bourbon
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 2 cups of BBQ sauce

For the Sandwiches:

  • Store-bought or homemade pretzel rolls (I made them using this recipe)
  • Sliced pickles
  • Pickled red onions (see this post for the recipe)
  • Sliced provolone cheese


  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Pat the pork shoulder completely dry with paper towels. In a bowl, combine the brown sugar, paprika, garlic powder, salt, pepper, chili, cumin, coriander, and onion powder. Mix well and rub half of it on the pork.
  2. Heat a large Dutch oven or oven-safe pot over medium-high heat and add the canola oil. Once the oil is shimmering, add the pork shoulder and sear until golden brown on all sides, about 2 minutes per side. Carefully remove the pork shoulder from the pot and set aside.
  3. Turn off the heat and add in the sliced onions, garlic cloves, bourbon, and maple syrup. Scrape the bottom of the pot to get all the browned bits. Add the pork back to the pot, cover, and then place in the preheated oven.
  4. Roast for 6-8 hours or until the pork is falling apart and shreds easily with a fork. Shred the pork in the pot and then stir in the remaining spice mixture. Toss the pork with the BBQ sauce and then place it back in the oven for 15 minutes.
  5. Serve warm on toasted rolls with pickles, cheese, and pickled red onions.