Kansas City Barbeque Pulled Pork Sandwiches

by Alice Currah on May 27, 2011

Making pulled pork sandwiches would be a heck of a lot easier if I used a slow cooker and started the process in the morning.  But since my slow cooker is packed in a box somewhere in the attic I decided to prepare tonight’s dinner on the stove top using a heavy duty pot with a lid.

Instead of braising the pork in my favorite bbq sauce, I decided to try something different.  I found a dry rub recipe for Kansas City barbecue ribs on About.com.  I adapted the recipe ever so slightly and massaged the rub into the large cubes of pork.  I decided not to sear the meat but instead added water and a couple chicken bouillon cubes to the pot and let the pork first come to a boil reducing the heat to a low simmer for two hours.  Two hours later I grabbed a few pieces of the pork with metal tongs and  was very happy to see the pork pull apart so beautifully.

I piled a generous amount of pulled pork on top of several hamburger buns and dinner was served.  My husband, a bbq connoisseur, devoured his sandwich and went back for seconds.  All he could tell me was how awesome the meat was.  I ended up eating two sandwiches.

If you’ve wanted to try a different type of pulled pork recipe, I recommend giving this one a go.  I’m adding this one to my recipe file as a “keeper.”

Hope you have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend!

Kansas City Barbeque Pulled Pork Sandwiches
Recipe type: main
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
An easy dry rub barbecue recipe.
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 pounds pork shoulder
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 chicken bouillon cubes
  • 8 hamburger buns
  1. Mix the brown sugar, paprika, pepper, salt, chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, and cayenne pepper in a bowl. Cut the pork shoulder in large cubes and add it to a large heavy pot. Add the dry rub to the pot and massage (with your hands) the pork with the spices until most of the powder has been absorbed by the pork. Add the water and the bouillon cubes. Bring the water to a boil for ten minutes and then reduce the temperature to a low simmer for two hours. Using metal tongs or two forks, pull the pork apart in the pot. Pile generous amounts of pulled pork on top of each hamburger bun.
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{ 37 comments… read them below or add one }

Jessica @ How Sweet May 27, 2011 at 6:12 am

Pulled pork is easily my favorite food… fabulous!


Laura Lynn May 27, 2011 at 8:36 am

Thanks for representing us KC folks!! :) If you like the dry rub I bet you would love the KC Masterpiece or Gates BBQ sauce..both are quite amazing and are originals from here in KC! Can’t wait to try this recipe, yum!


Brandon October 19, 2011 at 6:25 pm

Correction KC Masterpiece is no longer made in Kansas City, Its now made in Oakland, California. Overall I have to agree with you though


Shawn May 27, 2011 at 8:50 am

We love bbq pulled pork…definitely trying this one!


CarolinaGirl May 27, 2011 at 9:28 am

Sounds great, I’ve got a boston butt in the fridge that I bought for the weekend. Since mine’s bigger han 2lbs, I think I’ll still throw it in the crock pot so I don’t miss out on pool time!


Madison M May 27, 2011 at 10:05 am

Would it be blasphemy if I found a way to make this vegetarian? Actually, since my fiancee’s family raises cattle, I might make a beef version of it for him and a veg take on it for me. Fabulous looking recipe!


Teresa May 27, 2011 at 9:20 pm

How could you make it vegetarian? Would live to know as the recipe sounds great but I am a vegetarian.


Donna June 16, 2013 at 4:32 pm

You could use tofu and grate it first then use the rub but don’t boil it, but maybe saute it instead. Maybe marinate it in the rub first. Don’t know if you use beef boullion cubes, not sure if they are considered vegetarian, but you could crush those up when you saute it. Just a thought I had. Have several vegetarian and vegan friends and it is something they would try. Good luck.


Jeff S. May 27, 2011 at 11:15 am

This looks good. I made pulled pork several weeks ago using my own dry rub. Instead of using water and bouillon, I used a bottle of coffee infused beer. Turned out very good. I will have to give your rub a try as well.


brandi May 27, 2011 at 11:44 am

We love pulled pork, too, but I’ve always hated doing it in the crockpot because it always has that strange crockpot flavor.

This looks awesome – definitely going on my list to make!


Curtis Maybin May 27, 2011 at 12:25 pm

Great idea. I have done it in a crock pot, oven and then graduated to my ceramic grill for my Carolina style pulled pork. I may have to add this to my mix. Summer is coming and I am always looking for new and improved ways to cook MEAT

thanks for sharing


Katrina May 27, 2011 at 2:10 pm

I’ve always wanted to try pulled pork.


Chris May 27, 2011 at 3:56 pm

I love hickory and cherry smoked pork butt. I haven’t been able to enjoy it any other way now that I have had it.

I know most people won’t want to spend 12 hours smoking an 8lb butt but for me it is well worth the work.


Julie May 27, 2011 at 6:32 pm

Wow, so fantastic! so worth the effort – there’s nothing like the real thing!


Ashley May 27, 2011 at 10:06 pm

I just ate two frozen burritos. Needless to say I’m a bit jealous.


mitchypoo May 28, 2011 at 6:42 pm

I am so making this, and then I’m going to top my sandwich with some napa cabbage cole slaw w/a creamy dressing. Thanks for this recipe and simplifying the process.


Cookin' Canuck May 28, 2011 at 11:22 pm

That top photo made my mouth start watering right away. I often don’t plan far enough in advance to use my crockpot, so I’m so happy to see this recipe.


Laura H May 29, 2011 at 5:25 am

Do you cover the pot with a lid during the 2 hour simmer? Thanks!


Alice May 29, 2011 at 5:27 am

Hi Laura,
Yes, cover your pot.


Kristina May 29, 2011 at 11:44 pm

We’re not big pork fans, but this looks fabulous. Do you think I could do this with chicken?


Alice May 29, 2011 at 11:50 pm

Yes, I don’t see why you couldn’t. If you do, let me know what you think!


marla May 30, 2011 at 12:52 am

Ha! I also have a slow cooker buried somewhere – the thing only holds like 4 ounces. Even if I found it I would ignore it. Looks like I can make this delish looking pulled pork on my stove top anyway! Thanks for a great recipe :)


Claire June 1, 2011 at 10:16 pm

First. I’m gonna make this soon.

Second. I LOVE the pan you used in the photograph with the pork and seasonings. What a well-loved and useful item.

Third. I’ll serve this pork with grilled corn on the cob using your fabulous shortcut!

Thanks, Alice!


Annie June 3, 2011 at 2:39 am

I agree with all of the other posts – this looks absolutely fabulous! I sent the hubs out for some last minute ingredients – one of them being smoked paprika. I had to laugh when he came home with a jar of roasted peppers… we live in Germany and ‘Paprika’ is German for ‘Peppers.’ We’re both American… but I think he’s become German-ified (yes, I made that word up – haha). Needless to say, I’m heading out this morning for the spice and I’m putting it together for lunch today!


Annie June 3, 2011 at 9:04 am

Wow! So easy! The meat is tender and tastes amazing! I did 2 T spicy paprika (I couldn’t find smokey) and 1 T sweet – GREAT combo!! I ended up with WAY too much juice (perhaps our cut had more fat than yours) in the pan though… it looked more like a stew – but it was tasty and we loved it!


Alysa (InspiredRD) June 3, 2011 at 2:07 pm

I love pulled pork, and I am originally from Kansas City so this recipe is perfect!


Carly June 6, 2011 at 8:57 pm

This was amazing!!! I couldn’t stop picking from the pot once it was done. We finished dinner an hour ago and I still want more. Its dangerously delicious and super easy. It’ll be the hit at my next bbq. I can’t wait to try more of your recipes.


alice June 6, 2011 at 9:59 pm

Thanks Annie and Carly for coming back and posting your thoughts about the recipe. I’m not familiar with Kansas City BBQ, per se, but I loved the seasonings in this rub. Glad to know others like it, too.

Hi Claire: The pan you see in the picture is a regular old baking sheet which has been used many many times over the years. It is one of my most favorite surfaces to photograph on.


Jo June 9, 2011 at 12:32 pm

If I decide to use a crockpot how long should I cook the roast for? I’m a beginner. This will be my first roast. I don’t want to disappoint as we will have a full house for the NBA FINALS!


Tina June 19, 2011 at 2:31 pm

I make this in my crockpot. Instead of liquid, I cut up an onion and put it in under the meat. It seems to provide enough liquid to start with.


carrie June 23, 2011 at 4:17 pm

That looks tasty, but i bet it is alot of work! I’ve never tried to make these, but i bet they would work in my crockpot. Thanks for the recipe ;)


Strawberry CAKE June 24, 2011 at 5:50 pm

I love that your pans are well loved ; )


Emily July 6, 2011 at 11:16 am

This recipe was perfect, we loved it! I made it in a crock pot, then served over homemade hamburger buns. I have been searching for a homemade BBQ without vinegar for a few years and this is perfect. Thank you so much for sharing.


Jason August 16, 2011 at 1:52 pm

If I wanted to make a much larger batch of this, say 12 pounds, how much would I need to increase the spices for the rub and the water?


Caryna November 4, 2012 at 10:09 pm

Dry rub spicing looks really great. But, the recipe calls for adding water. Just wondering, for those folks that have already made this, does the meat get too watery or soupy with the addition of water? I would prefer a dryer end-result. Thanks!


Johnny108 September 19, 2013 at 5:35 am

Just tried this recipe with boneless chicken breasts. I reduced the cooking time quite a bit.
The same spice mix was added to 4 cups water, and 2lbs of skinless chicken breast, sliced into strips was added, brought to a boil, then lowered to simmer for 20 minutes. The chicken was removed from the liquid and shredded with 2 forks, then added back to the liquid, and simmered another 10 minutes. Perfect!
The next experiment will be to reduce the liquid, and mix it with ketchup, to make a bar-b-q sauce to spread on the buns before the meat is added….


Johnny108 September 19, 2013 at 11:17 am

UPDATE!- no real need to reduce the liquid- just add ketchup to taste in the liquid, or, add it on top of the meat before serving.
Make this- you will love it!


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