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Cleveland Pulled Pork

Cleveland-style pulled pork with vinegar BBQ sauce
Yosef Herzog / TODAY

Chef notes

For this Cleveland-style pulled pork, chef Rocco Whalen of Fahrenheit Restaurant, marinates the meat in a spice rub for 24 hours, then cooks it low and slow for 4 hours. Feel free to use beef instead of pork with this recipe. Serve with toast, pickles and Old School Cleveland Sauce.



Pulled Pork with Rocco's Rub
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 1/2 cup paprika
  • 2 tablespoons black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chile powder
  • 1 tablespoon garlic
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1 6-8 pound pork shoulder or beef
Old School Tomato BBQ Sauce
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 2 red bell peppers, chopped
  • 2 apples, chopped
  • 1/3 cup garlic, chopped
  • 1 quart red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 gallon vegetable stock
  • 1/2 quart molasses
  • 6 cups ketchup
  • 1 cup tomato paste
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 Thai chiles
Additional Ingredients
  • Toast, for serving
  • = Pickles, for serving


For the pulled pork:

In a large bowl, add all of the rub ingredients. Stir to combine. Rub the pork shoulder or beef with the mixture completely. Marinate the meat in the refrigerator for 24 hours.

Preheat the oven to 230 F.

Place the meat in a large braising pot and cover. Roast for 4 hours. After the meat is roasted, pull the meat apart using two forks. Lather the in the sauce religiously.

Serve with toast, pickles and Old School Cleveland Sauce.

For the old school tomato BBQ sauce:

In a large pot, sweat and caramelize the red onion, peppers, apples and garlic until the onions are showing color. Add the remaining ingredients. Bring t a boil and then simmer for 35 minutes. Strain if your desired thickness is thin. For a thicker result, puree the ingredients and do not strain them.