How To Can Pulled Pork

Rhona Reid
By Rhona Reid September 20, 2017 23:30

How To Can Pulled Pork

Unless you avoid it for ethical/religious/other reasons, the chances are that you’ve tried and enjoyed pulled pork.

Pulled pork inspires passionate arguments about the best way to cook and flavor it. The great thing to arise from these heated disagreements is more awesome pulled pork recipes. The truth is, if you use a decent hunk of shoulder/butt, some variation on sweet/sharp/spicy/sticky/sour flavorings, then give your pork enough time to become that melting and charred tangle of meat that you’re looking for, you can’t really go wrong.

If you don’t have a tried-and-tested favorite recipe or want an easy version, then try cooking your pork in a crockpot. The long, slow process is ideal for the fat-rich meat, giving it time to baste in its own richness and become fork-tender.

Related: Canning Amish Poor Man’s Steak

We’ve given a basic slow-cooker recipe here, but don’t hesitate to throw in whatever makes pulled pork work for you. More garlic, paprika, chili, sauce; throw whatever you enjoy in there – it’s hard to go too far wrong.

You’ll Need:

  • 3 – 4 lbs shoulder pork/butt (brined overnight if preferred)
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed and sliced
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • ¼ cup cider vinegar
  • A couple of good glugs of smoky barbeque sauce, bought or homemade
  • Few grinds of black pepper


1. Place half of the sliced/chopped garlic into the base of your crockpot and put the pork on top. Sprinkle on half of the salt, pepper, spices and herbs and rub them into the meat. Turn your pork butt over and repeat with the other half of the dry to can pulled porc3

2. Push the remaining garlic into the pork, pour the cider vinegar around the meat and pour over the sauce. how to can pulled porc4The pork will produce a lot of it’s own liquid, so don’t worry about it drying out!

3. Set your crockpot to cook for 8 – 10 hours on low or 5 – 8 hours on medium. All crockpots cook at slightly different rates so be guided by what you know about your own slow to can pulled porc5

4. You can turn the meat over halfway though cooking if you like, but it’s not essential. When the pork is ready and can be pushed apart easily with the edge of a wooden spoon, turn off the heat.

5. Leaving the meat in the crockpot, shred the pork with two forks, so it absorbs as much of the cooking juices as to can pulled porc6

6. Prepare some canning jars by washing them thoroughly in hot water along with the lids and keep them warm in a low oven while you work.

7. Give the pork and juices a final stir together and ladle carefully into your prepared jars, leaving around 1 inch of headspace and screwing the lids to fingertip tightness. how to can pulled porc7Use a jam funnel if you have one to avoid getting any pork juices around the neck of the jars; otherwise, just wipe them to can pulled porc8how to can pulled porc JAR

8. Check the instructions for your canner and adjust where necessary, but the jars should be placed into the canning water and processed at around 10 pounds of pressure for 70 minutes (increase this to 90 minutes for quart jars). Remove carefully and leave to cool thoroughly.

Safe Storage

When properly canned, pulled pork should have a shelf life of up to two years if stored in a cool, preferably dark place, out of direct sunlight.

It feels pretty great knowing you have jars of food safely preserved for lean times, or for when the food infrastructure breaks down. What’s even better is the knowledge that in a few of those jars is juicy, tender pulled pork that the whole family will love to eat!

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Rhona Reid
By Rhona Reid September 20, 2017 23:30
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  1. onlyme September 21, 13:58

    do you put any liquid in the jars,

    Reply to this comment
    • Gibbsongirl September 22, 15:17

      I don’t add any liquid and I can the pork raw. Just salt, pepper, garlic, raw pork. Deliciousness!

      Reply to this comment
      • uncle December 9, 23:16

        Raw pork, would it not go bad?
        Also I appreciate the comment below about using only new lids and flats.{just learned that phrase this week}

        Reply to this comment
        • Homesteader December 10, 01:29

          No, it won’t go bad. It cooks in the canner. The only meat I precook is ground beef. I do that to not only remove some of the fat but to keep it from forming a solid chunk in the jar. I can boneless chicken breasts raw too. Whatever meat I can, I like to cover it with broth before closing the jar. I’ve never tried to can meat without any broth or water. To me, it seems like it would be too dry.

          Used lids, or flats as they are also known, won’t reseal properly once they’ve been used. You always want to use new lids when canning. The rings, that hold the lids on while in the canner, can be used over and over again. I prefer to keep the ring on the jar in storage even though some say it isn’t necessary. I feel it protects the lid better and, as klutzy as I am, I’d find a way to knock the lid off if the ring wasn’t there.

          Some on here like to use the Tattler lids. Those are reusable. I find them awkward to use since the rubber sealing ring and lid are two separate pieces, plus I just don’t trust them to hold like the common metal one-piece lid. It all boils down to personal preference.

          Some stores put their canning supplies on clearance in the late fall after the “canning season” has passed. You might want to keep watch for these sales and stock up on lids, jars, and whathaveyou for your next canning session.

          Reply to this comment
  2. Wannabe September 21, 18:54

    Those look like recycled peanut butter jars. Did not know they could be reused for canning.

    Reply to this comment
    • Homesteader September 22, 04:43

      Recycling jars like that is not recommended for home canning. Their lids may not seal properly and the food will spoil. It’s better to be safe and use actual canning jars with new lids.

      Reply to this comment
      • Wannabe September 22, 12:53

        I agree. Was surprised to see those used

        Reply to this comment
      • A September 22, 14:46

        You’re right about not reusing lids. You can buy new lids for jars like this at They’re called lug lids. I’d rather be safe especially with meat!

        Reply to this comment
    • Gibbsongirl September 22, 15:16

      You Should never use recycled store jars for anything but dry goods! ONLY canning jars and ONLY new canning flats.

      Reply to this comment
  3. Brenda September 22, 14:02

    I have been canning for over 30 years. You should let your readers know that is alright to can shredded meat only in pint jars. I typically cube meat for canning in quart jars and just shred it when I take it out of the jars to eat. Shredded meat becomes too dense as it cooks (cans) to safely keep botulism from being killed.

    Reply to this comment
  4. coyote307 September 22, 14:15

    you should never use recycled lids bands and jars fine get new flats {Lids} at walmart or any store. this is very poor info. get someone very sick or worse. Not sure about the shredded meat in quarts jars verses pints. check with your local extension office lots of good canning info there. get the ball blue book of canning and adjust time for your altitude.

    Reply to this comment
  5. Teddy September 22, 14:19

    Never use leafy herbs when pressure canning, during the process they rise to the top and are forced out and are caught by the rubber seal, forming a poor seal

    Reply to this comment
  6. Linda September 22, 14:41

    What about making REAL pulled pork – smoking it slowly in a smoker or BBQ pit and THEN canning it? That’s what I call ‘pulled pork’. Has anyone done that??? BTW – when canning anything with fat in the liquid, you should use a ‘fat pitcher’ – the one with the spout that goes all the way to the bottom. Pour off all the liquid into the pitcher and let the fat rise to the top, then pour the fat-free liquid at the bottom back into the pulled pork and mix. Fat is one thing that tends to change flavor after a long term in the jar, so eliminating it makes the food taste better for a longer period of time. I do this for ALL the meat dishes I make – for dinner or canning. With hamburger, I cook the meat to grey, add water to cover, and let simmer for 10-15 min, pour off the liquid into the pitcher, defat, and then pout the defatted meat liquid back into the pan with the cooked hamburger. Fat-free spaghetti sauce, chili, etc!

    Reply to this comment
  7. Tom September 22, 14:56

    In addition to the sound advise to only use canning jars and new canning lids, (just learned the term, ‘flats’), commercial lids are made with a highly toxic coating to keep rust at bay, and old jars or used lids break down, and you can consume this substance.

    Reply to this comment
    • Brenda September 22, 21:33

      You need to get Tattler lids. They are reusable and safe.

      Reply to this comment
      • Gibbsongirl September 22, 22:30

        I’ve seen them, but I don’t really trust them. I’ll stick with my one time use.

        Reply to this comment
        • Brenda September 23, 12:28

          They are great. The process is a little different, but if there is SHTF event you will not be able to get the single use lids.

          Reply to this comment
          • uncle December 9, 23:24

            I know this is stupid, but you just said something. “but if there is SHTF event you will not be able to get the single use lids.” We have only been preparing for a short term event 1 week, 3 Months,6 Months. it could be a forever event. Thanks I need to re- evaluate how we survive for 2,3,5,10 Years. smack me on the forehead.

            Reply to this comment
      • Homesteader September 23, 17:48

        I’ve got some Tattlers but I don’t care for them. I don’t like the lid and its sealing ring being separate. My son tried them too but he didn’t like the two pieces either. We found it awkward trying to get the two pieces placed correctly before putting on the outer ring. Plus, I just don’t trust them.

        Reply to this comment
  8. Gibbsongirl September 22, 15:12

    I fill the jars with raw pork, salt, pepper and a half clove of garlic, bottle it and pressure cook it for 90 minutes. It MUST be done in a pressure cooker!!

    No need to precook the meat, no need to add liquid. It comes out so tender, so flavorful, nobody believes me when I tell them it came out of a jar!

    And I keep mine up to five years. It’s probably good past that!

    Reply to this comment
    • Wannabe September 22, 17:54

      Agreed, it saves many hours of slow cooking I have done chicken and beef this way and it cooks throughly as well as salmon. It would be a delicious treat to spend some time smoking the meat to have that delicious smoked flavor captured in the canning process.

      Reply to this comment
      • Gibbsongirl September 22, 19:14

        I do chicken and beef this way too. Never tried bottling smoked meat. My hubby is great at smoking meat – I may have to try it.

        Reply to this comment
        • Uncle May 15, 01:59

          WOW I am glad I have re -read this column. no pre- cooking.
          smoking get a good smoke on, then not finish the cook cause the pressure cooker will finish it off. and the other item mentioned.brilliant!

          Reply to this comment
    • Gardenswim September 22, 18:34

      Do you use a pressure cooker or a pressure canner? And do you use pint jars?

      Reply to this comment
      • Gibbsongirl September 22, 19:10

        Pressure canners are just big pressure cookers. I can cook in my big ones, but don’t usually have need of something so large.

        I bottle pork in pints because that’s the size that works for my family. But I do pot roast in quart bottles all the time.

        The best canning site I’ve ever seen is: Its superb.

        Reply to this comment
  9. Sylvia September 22, 18:44

    Jars need to go through boiling bath immediately prior to putting meat in. Just using very hot water when washing the jars is not enough.

    Reply to this comment
    • Gibbsongirl September 22, 19:11

      I put my jars through the dishwasher, but they are cold when I pack them with cold, raw meat.

      Reply to this comment
      • Homesteader September 22, 20:30

        I wash mine in the dishwasher too and leave them there until I’m ready to pack them. The dishwasher works just as good as boiling the jars. You’re right, they are cold when they’re packed with cold, raw meat. Even those jars that are boiled first get cold before going into the canner. No matter how sterile they are to begin with, once you touch them, they are no longer sterile.

        Reply to this comment
    • Sue September 22, 23:50

      I put my jars in the oven at 250 degrees while I am getting things ready.

      Reply to this comment
      • Gibbsongirl September 23, 02:40

        Good idea – when I’m hot packing, I keep a deep frying pan with simmering water handy and just warm my bottles half dozen at a time. But I like your idea better! 😁

        Reply to this comment
    • Jenn @ Frugal Upstate September 24, 00:41

      I’m trained by Cornell Cooperative Extension as a master food preserver. If a jar will be processed 10 min in a boiling water bath canner, or at all in a pressure canner you do not have to.boil the jars first. They will become sterile during processing.

      Reply to this comment
  10. DevilDawg September 23, 02:28

    My wife and I have canned venison for 30 years.We don’t own a pressure canner. We pack the meat TIGHTLY in our jars, add a generous tsp. of salt and top each jar with water. A tablespoon of salt left the meat virtually unedible. We cook it for 3 hours a a good boil. We have never experienced any issues. Our kids and a lot of friends have eaten it with no issues. I know I have a jar on the shelf that is 3 years old. We ate a jar this spring and it was fine. I will try the last jar tomorrow and taste test it.
    Some of you sound over concerned about every thing being sterile. That meat does not jump into those jars by magic.Use latex/rubber gloves if you need to. Do try to keep contamination at a minimum! WASH YOUR HANDS AFTER TOUCHING FOREIGN OBJECTS!We learned this method from my Grandmother and 2 aunts. They all lived into their 80’s. And none of my cousins seem to have suffered any ill effects[at least from this].

    Reply to this comment
    • Gibbsongirl September 23, 06:26

      That process scares me absolutely to DEATH! You can’t get meat hot enough to be safe without pressure cooking it!

      It only takes one jar with botulism to kill an entire family – and it has happened many times –
      With all due respect –
      I’m glad your family has been safe, but you are playing Russian Roulette and ANY credible extension service, canning plant or food scientist would be horrified by your process!


      Reply to this comment
    • Brenda September 23, 12:21

      Some of you may be wondering can I really process meat this way and the answer is NO! I teach canning classes and there is a scientific reason for ALL foods that are non-acidic or low-acidic (don’t think that is a word) to be processed in a pressure canner. Contrary to most people’s opinion pressure canning does not just bring the water to a boil (at 212 degrees) but it actually brings the temperature of the contents of the jars to 240 degrees. This is what kills botulism! Also when you tightly pack food into your jars the denseness of the food may not reach a temperature of 240 degrees. The heating of the jars, believe or not, is not as important. You do need to have clean jars though, but this ONLY applies to pressure canning. Our grandparents did a lot of things that were dangerous because they didn’t know. I believe that if they knew the risk they would not take it. It wasn’t until the 1800’s that germs were discovered. You may live to a ripe old age, but you also may lay your meat on a counter with salmonella or any other of a 100 deadly germs and not realize it. Please do not take the risk and can improperly.

      Reply to this comment
  11. 101st September 23, 12:20

    Have American Canner. Holds 17 qts. We can beef – chick – pork. Time saver on busy week days. Comforting on lazy weekends. Daughter loads up on all to take back to school. Son can fix own dinner in minutes after practice. We add nothing except meat. We also can most veggies that we grow. Didn’t do any of this because of “prepping” – we do it because that’s the way we were raised. Before anyone goes thinking we’re just a couple of country bumpkins – we have over 40 yrs of education between the 2 of us 😀

    Reply to this comment
    • Gibbsongirl September 23, 13:49

      “Prepping” can mean a lot of things and I’m sure no one thought you were bumpkins because you bottle food. But there’s nothing wrong with being a country bumpkin either – I’ve lived in NYC, Dallas, San Francisco, Atlanta, etc. I’ve traveled the world and was surrounded by medical professionals and Ivy Leaguers all my life – I’m even married to one. But some of the smartest and best people I know are “country bumpkins” that I’m proud to call friends.

      Reply to this comment
  12. uncle December 9, 02:50

    Newbie ,rookie, okay virgin in this area. why “can” over buying canned food in the stores? My first thought it is not going to break as glass would. I see you can control the salt and spices; is this best suited for those not planning on leaving their residence. For us we might have to pack up and leave. would you consider home canning in a possible get out of dodge scenario. I see it being healthy for you. unless the dreaded word botulism creeps in. just asking . My first sentence states the facts 🙂

    Reply to this comment
    • Homesteader December 9, 04:03

      Why can you own? First, so you know what is in it. Food factories are not clean. God only knows what that meat or those vegetables have in it that shouldn’t be there. A lot of food companies have their farms and canning operations in China, a land extremely polluted with heavy metals and other toxins. Second, home canning is a way to preserve your harvest be it meat or vegetable. You don’t have to use only canning jars. There are metal cans and the press to close them available for home use. Then you just process in your pressure canner like you would jars. The drawback to using metal cans is that they are one-use only unlike canning jars where you only have to replace the lid. As for botulism, you can get that just as easily from commercially-canned foods as you can from home canned ones.

      My suggestion for you, if you think you may have to bug-out, is to invest in some freeze-dried, one-pouch meals like Mountain House and others offer. They’re lighter to carry. You don’t want to be lugging around canned goods if you’re walking somewhere. They get awfully heavy awfully quick.

      Reply to this comment
      • uncle December 9, 23:33

        Thank you, I have learned much this week.
        “There are metal cans and the press to close them available for home use.”

        Reply to this comment
  13. Gibbsongirl December 9, 09:31

    Uncle – good question.
    If you don’t grow your own crops or raise your own meat, then financially, you are probably better off buying canned foods when they come on really good case lot sales. Nothing wrong with that!

    The trade offs come with
    1. Taste. Home bottled garden tomatoes are just so much tastier than commercially grown and canned ones! Same with a lot of other things.
    2. Variety. If you grow your own or buy from a farmer’s market, you can get a wider variety of produce to bottle. If you just love Early Girls or Green Zebra tomatoes – you’re not going to find those canned in a store.
    3. Control. You choose spices, etc.
    4. Survival skills. You’ve learned a skill that you or your offspring may need to know one of these days when the stores are emptied out.

    Most of us combine Home canning with good deals on commercially canned food as well as dehydrated and freeze dried.

    Whatever gets your family good nutrition in a crisis is great. Not everybody enjoys acting like a pioneer. 😉

    Reply to this comment
    • uncle December 9, 23:46

      Gibbsongirl Thank you

      As I replied to someone else, I have not been thinking very long term I am getting hit in that face with cold water. what to do when food stuffs finally run out what to be doing before that happens. I will now be learning how to can, We don’t have land to grow things. 7 story building. I should consider farmers markets now, to purchase for canning over super markets to keep costs down.

      Reply to this comment
      • Sweet Peat May 14, 00:41

        Dear Uncle
        There is something very satisfying in the knowing you have a skill such as canning and preserving. Start small, can the things you enjoy eating. It will be a small treasure to break the routine of commercially prepared stuff. A jar of jam, some pulled pork or home cooked soup goes a long way psychologically. My favorite tag line… “I can because I can”

        Reply to this comment
        • Uncle May 14, 16:50

          Thank you, i have been still researching this. lots of info on you tube. I want to do this set up once and right the first time. the safest easiest fool proof method out there. IF you all have thoughts I am all ears. looked into freeze drying . cost prohibitive does not even come close to being accurate for me. The idea is wonderful, wonderful lightweight and all. the amount time and labor is overwhelming. power consumption in a high rate city has the WOW factor! PLUS in a long haul situation freeze drying out canning in

          I can wholly agree canning would be very much a practical thing for food storage. especially in a very long bad scenario. Look At Puerto Rico. That could happen to the mainland real easy. OFF TOPIC In the future when they have far to much dependence on elect travel. and you have power outages. you won’t be able to bug out 400 Miles away, 50,000 + people in Nissan leafs,all at once. not a chance. have your own food and don’t brag about it.

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