Pulled Pork Sliders are not just a dish; they’re an experience. Imagine sinking your teeth into a slider bursting with flavor – the richness of slow-roasted pork, the tanginess of BBQ sauce, and the crunch of pickles. Whether it’s a laid-back weekend or a festive family gathering, these sliders are your ticket to a taste sensation like no other.
Why settle for ordinary when you can elevate your gatherings with the extraordinary? Pulled Pork Sliders offer a medley of textures and flavors that captivate your senses. The slow-cooked pork, infused with a harmonious blend of spices and draped in luscious BBQ sauce, guarantees a culinary journey that’s both comforting and indulgent. Create not just a meal but a memory – one that will linger on the taste buds of your loved ones.
For the Pulled Pork:
- 3-4 pounds Pork Shoulder or Butt, boneless
- 1 tablespoon Olive Oil
- 1 tablespoon Smoked Paprika
- 1 tablespoon Brown Sugar
- 1 tablespoon Chili Powder
- 1 tablespoon Garlic Powder
- 1 tablespoon Onion Powder
- 1 teaspoon Cumin
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup Chicken Broth or Apple Juice
For BBQ Sauce:
- 1 cup Ketchup
- 1⁄2 cup Brown Sugar
- 1⁄4 cup Apple Cider Vinegar
- 2 tablespoons Dijon Mustard
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon Smoked Paprika
- Salt and pepper to taste
For Assembling Sliders:
- Slider buns
- Coleslaw (optional, for topping)
- Pickles (optional, for serving)
1. Preparing the Pork:
- Preheat your oven to 300°F (150°C).
- In a small bowl, mix smoked paprika, brown sugar, chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, salt, and pepper to create a dry rub.
- Rub the pork shoulder with olive oil, ensuring it’s well-coated.
- Massage the dry rub all over the meat.
- Place the pork in a roasting pan and add chicken broth or apple juice to the bottom.
- Cover the pan tightly with foil and roast for 4-6 hours or until fork-tender.
2. Making BBQ Sauce:
- In a saucepan over medium heat, combine ketchup, brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce, smoked paprika, salt, and pepper.
- Bring to a simmer, reduce heat, and let it simmer for 15-20 minutes until thickened.
3. Shredding the Pork:
- Once fork-tender, use two forks to shred the pork directly in the roasting pan, incorporating cooking juices for flavor.
4. Mixing with BBQ Sauce:
- Pour the prepared BBQ sauce over the shredded pork and mix thoroughly.
5. Assembling Sliders:
- Slice the slider buns and lightly toast them.
- Spoon pulled pork onto the bottom half of each bun.
- Top with coleslaw if desired.
- Place the other half of the bun on top.
- Serve warm, accompanied by pickles on the side for a tangy crunch.
7. Enjoy your Pulled Pork Sliders!
Expert Tips and Tricks
- Perfect Rub Distribution: Ensure an even rub by massaging it thoroughly into the pork, covering every nook and cranny.
- Low and Slow Roasting: Slow-roasting at a low temperature ensures tender, juicy pork that easily shreds.
- Flavorful Cooking Liquid: Opt for chicken broth or apple juice in the roasting pan for added moisture and flavor.
- Double Sauce Duty: Save some BBQ sauce to drizzle over the assembled sliders for an extra saucy experience.
- Coleslaw Crunch: Top sliders with coleslaw for a refreshing crunch that balances the richness of the pork.
- Pickles on the Side: Serve pickles on the side for a zesty and crunchy accompaniment.
- Make-Ahead Shredding: Shred the pork a day ahead and refrigerate, then warm it up and mix with sauce before serving.
- Freezing Option: Pulled pork can be frozen for up to 2 months. Thaw and reheat for a quick meal.
- Adjusting Spice Levels: Tailor the spice levels by adjusting the amounts of chili powder and smoked paprika.
- Grilled Bun Upgrade: Give the slider buns a quick grill for added texture and a hint of smokiness.
- Asian Fusion: Add soy sauce, ginger, and a splash of sesame oil to the BBQ sauce for an Asian-inspired twist.
- Hawaiian Luau: Mix in pineapple juice and a touch of teriyaki sauce for a tropical delight.
- Maple Bourbon Twist: Infuse the BBQ sauce with maple syrup and a splash of bourbon for a sophisticated flavor.
- Coffee Infusion: Add a shot of espresso or a tablespoon of strong coffee to the BBQ sauce for depth.
- Tequila Lime Zest: Swap Dijon mustard for lime juice and add a splash of tequila for a zesty kick.
- Chipotle Heat: Include chipotle peppers in adobo sauce for a smoky and spicy variation.
- Apple Butter Bliss: Substitute brown sugar with apple butter in the sauce for a sweet and fruity profile.
- Rosemary Citrus Delight: Infuse the rub and sauce with fresh rosemary and a splash of orange juice for a bright flavor.
- Cajun Carnival: Add Cajun seasoning to the dry rub and a dash of hot sauce to the BBQ sauce for a spicy kick.
- Peachy Keen: Blend fresh or canned peaches into the BBQ sauce for a sweet and peachy twist.
What to Serve With
- Sweet Potato Fries
- Baked Beans
- Corn on the Cob
- Macaroni and Cheese
- Potato Salad
- Grilled Vegetables
- Garlic Parmesan Fries
- Onion Rings
- Creamy Coleslaw
- Tomato Basil Bruschetta
- Refrigeration: Store leftover pulled pork in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. Reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop.
- Freezing: Pulled pork can be frozen for up to 2 months. Divide it into portions, place in freezer-safe bags, and squeeze out excess air. Thaw in the refrigerator before reheating.
How Much Pulled Pork Sliders for Family Gatherings?
For a family gathering of 4-6 people, 3-4 pounds of pork shoulder or butt should suffice. However, consider the appetite of your guests and adjust accordingly. It’s always a good idea to make a bit extra, as pulled pork sliders are known to disappear quickly.
How Far in Advance Can I Make Pulled Pork Sliders?
Pulled pork sliders are an excellent make-ahead dish. You can prepare the pulled pork a day in advance, shred it, mix it with the BBQ sauce, and refrigerate. On the day of serving, reheat the pulled pork on the stovetop or in the microwave, assemble the sliders, and you’re ready to impress your guests. This not only saves time on the day of the gathering but also allows the flavors to meld, enhancing the overall taste.
Pulled Pork Sliders
For Assembling Sliders
Preheat your oven to 300°F (150°C). In a small bowl, mix smoked paprika, brown sugar, chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, salt, and pepper to create a dry rub. Rub the pork shoulder with olive oil, then massage the dry rub all over the meat, ensuring it’s well-coated.
Place the pork in a roasting pan and add chicken broth or apple juice to the bottom of the pan. Cover the pan tightly with foil and roast in the preheated oven for about 4-6 hours or until the pork easily shreds with a fork.
In a saucepan over medium heat, combine ketchup, brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce, smoked paprika, salt, and pepper. Stir well and bring the mixture to a simmer. Reduce the heat and let it simmer for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens.
Once the pork is fork-tender, remove it from the oven. Use two forks to shred the meat directly in the roasting pan, incorporating the cooking juices for added flavor.
Pour the prepared BBQ sauce over the shredded pork and mix thoroughly to coat the meat evenly.
Slice the slider buns in half and lightly toast them. Spoon a generous portion of the pulled pork onto the bottom half of each slider bun. Top with coleslaw if desired, and place the other half of the bun on top.
Serve the pulled pork sliders warm, accompanied by pickles on the side for a tangy crunch.