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Pickled onions on top of pulled pork on a bun with BBQ sauce and pork in the background.

Sous Vide Pulled Pork

Sous Vide Pulled Pork is tender, juicy and flavorful, and tastes amazing piled on hamburger buns with barbecue sauce and pickled onions!
Course Dinner
Cuisine American
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 day 1 hour
Total Time 1 day 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings 12 servings
Calories 221kcal


  • 3-5 pound pork shoulder butt
  • BBQ sauce
  • 8-12 hamburger buns
  • pickled onions see below


Pickled Onions:


  • Heat a skillet over medium heat and toast the whole spices until they start to become fragrant, tossing often so they don't burn (about 3 minutes). Transfer to a dish to cool and then grind the spices.
  • Heat a sous vide water bath to 165F degrees.
  • Mix all the rub ingredients together.
  • Rub the rub all over the pork shoulder. (There will likely be some left over so you can save it for another recipe).
  • Place the pork shoulder in a vacuum seal bag and use a vacuum sealer to remove all the air. You can also use a ziplock bag and the water displacement method (see above).
  • Cook for 24 hours. If the bag starts to float, weigh it down with a wet towel or use a sous vide sinker weight.
  • Remove from the water bath and place immediately in an ice bath for 10-15 minutes to cool it.
  • While it's cooling, wrap a handful of wood chips in tin foil, poking holes at the top so the smoke can escape. If you have a smoker, you can use that instead of a gas grill.
  • Place the wood chip packet right next to the heat source. Heat the grill to about 275-300F degrees.
  • Remove the pork shoulder from the bag carefully (the meat will be soft) and reserve the juices if desired (you can use the juice instead of BBQ sauce if you'd like).
  • Place the pork on a foil lined baking sheet and smoke in the grill for 1 hour. Remove and let cool for 10 minutes.
  • When done, it should have a layer of bark on the outside.
  • Use 2 forks (or your hands) to pull the pork apart on the baking sheet.
  • Serve on the buns with BBQ sauce and pickled onions. Drizzle a touch of the cooking liquid over the top if desired.

Pickled Onions:

  • Mix the pickling liquid ingredients together. (Heat the honey slightly to help it dissolve easier).
  • Place the onions in a bowl and cover with the liquid. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours. (They will last for about a week in the fridge).


  1. Removing the air from the bag is an important step that should not be skipped to avoid bacteria entering the bag.
  2. If the pork shoulder floats in the water bath and you're using a ziplock bag, open the corner to let the excess air out, then reseal it. If using a vacuum seal bag, you can cut open the bag and reseal it.
  3. To prevent floating, you can weigh the bag down with something heavy like a wet towel or this sous vide sinker weight.
  4. Since the pork is cooking for 24 hours, it’s important to make sure the water level stays high enough so the pork stays submerged in water. You can cover the top of the sous vide container to help prevent the water from evaporating.
  5. While this recipe uses a gas grill and a foil pack of wood chips to smoke the pork after it's cooked in the water bath, you can use a smoker if you have one.


Serving: 1sandwich | Calories: 221kcal | Carbohydrates: 23g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 46mg | Sodium: 2150mg | Potassium: 354mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 844IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 81mg | Iron: 3mg