Meet the gold standard of “indoor barbecue.” Slow-braised Pulled Pork in the oven is practically perfect in every way. While an initial sear infuses tons of additional flavor into the pork, the fat renders beautifully during the oven braise. When that mixes with the dry rub and bastes this little pig in its own juice…phew! It may just be the best “BBQ sauce” ever.
Prepare the spice mixture. In a small bowl, combine the paprika, salt, pepper, garlic powder and oregano; mix until well-combined.
Optional. Using a sharp knife, trim the fat cap from the pork; do leave some intact (fat=flavor!).
Dive the pork into 4" chunks. Dunk each side of the pork into the spice mixture, covering all sides.
Heat a dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add your fat of choice and heat until shimmering. Add a batch of pork in a single layer (about 4 pieces). Sear until a good crust forms, about 4 minutes. Turn the pieces and brown one more side. Remove using tongs and set aside. Repeat with the remaining pieces, searing at least 2 sides per piece. To ensure optimal browning, leave room between each piece of pork and add more cooking fat as needed.
Transfer all pork pieces back to the dutch oven and arrange in a single layer at the bottom of the pot - for this stage it's totally fine for the pieces to be touching, and the fit will be snug. Pour ½ cup water over the pork pieces.
Cover and transfer to the oven. Braise in the oven for 3-4 hours, or until the meat easily pulls with a fork. In the last hour, remove the lid to allow any remaining moisture to cook off and for the pork to render (cook down) in its own fat.
Remove the pot from the oven, then transfer the pieces to a cutting board or shallow bowl. Shred using two forks, discarding any intact fatty pieces. Return the pulled pork to the pot and toss in the rendered pan sauce. Serve immediately on buns with coleslaw.
Customize the Dry Rub
Add a teaspoon of any of the following to mix up the flavor profile to your liking: onion powder, cumin, cayenne pepper, or mustard powder.
Want it sweet? Add 2 tablespoons brown sugar to the dry rub.