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What goes in your pulled pork sandwich?

1. Nothing, just pulled pork and lots of BBQ sauce

2. Pulled pork, BBQ sauce, and coleslaw

3. Pulled pork, BBQ sauce, coleslaw and cheese

4. Pulled pork, BBQ sauce, coleslaw, BBQ beans, and cheese.

5. Pulled pork, BBQ sauce, and _______?

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  1. 2, and fairly light on the sauce.

    1. my answer is the same as Ricepad's

      but there needs to be a #6-- with vinegar/pepper sauce, and a #7--with vinegar/mustard sauce

      1. I'm going with #2. And now I'm hungry!

        1. 6? Pullen Pork in a vinager pepper sauce, hot sauce (Texas Pete if you want to be really authentic to NC style), and cole slaw

          3 Replies
          1. re: amethiste

            You described my sandwich exactly. Preferably on a bun with sesame seeds.....

            1. re: amethiste

              I'm a third for vinegar pepper sauce with Texas Pete's and cole slaw, but I have to confess to occasionally doctoring things up a bit with sambal oelek, Sriracha or other vinegar-based hot sauces to ramp up the heat.

              1. re: amethiste

                agreed - but I'd add that the coleslaw should be vinegar based - no mayo

              2. jfood votes for corn, baked beans and baby back ribs.

                1. No BBQ sauce. Vinegar and pepper sauce; coleslaw optional. My latest fancy-schmancy variation on the vinegar-pepper sauce is sriracha and balsamic vinegar - awesome!

                  2 Replies
                    1. re: brentk

                      Mr. Brentk, I'm curious, how do u eat your 'cue? Personally, I'm with the Eastern NC folks - vinegar/pepper sauce and I would never decline a little slaw on my sandwich. The bun should be just the slightest bit sogged by the vinegar sauce. Mmmmmm.

                  1. #2 plus hot sauce( and with regard to amethiste, soupkitten and batguano, around here, BBQ sauce is vinegar, hot sauce and spices.)

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: chazzerking

                      LOL throw me in the same door #2 variation.

                      1. re: chazzerking

                        i very much respect the difference of opinion on what constitutes so-called "bbq sauce--" i wanted to differentiate tomato-based q-sauce, vinegar/pepper-sauce, etc. it will naturally be different depending on region-- as far as carolina/bama/memphis/kc/texas sauce goes, it's all good-- i just wanted to note that there are regional distinctions-- i didn't want to say that there is one, monolithic "american-style" bbq sauce. i agree that every american's local "bbq sauce" will be an unique entity depending on where each person is from. to me, bbq is a cross-cultural american dish, and its characteristics will vary depending on local variables and traditions. as far as i'm concerned, long live regional american bbq; and the exploration of these traditional methods of cooking, serving, celebrating. i don't necessarily want to get into who's more "authentic,"--as far as i'm concerned, everyone's equally "genuine--" so i'm also not that interested in who was "first," since everyone's equally "unique, real and/or venerable." i *am* interested in how folks answer the op's question-- what exactly is in the pulled pork sandwich, though!!! :)

                        1. re: soupkitten

                          Actually, I need to clarify another issue; we don't really do pulled but rather chopped. coarsely, with a little sauce and all the crust blended in.Ometimes when I take a shoulder or butt off the grill, I'll pull some of the meat, but usually only a small part. the rest is sliced or chopped. Also, we live in Southeast Missouri, so the sauce around here is something of a transition between Memphis vinegar based and KC tomato based.

                          1. re: chazzerking

                            I pull the meat and have some reserved juice that I've separated the fat from. I pour some of the juice back into my tray full of meat and sprinkle with bbq seasoning then mix together.. I don't season at all before smoking.
                            The fat is saved for things like seasoning cast iron. Making BBQ beans. Potatoes. That kinda stuff.


                        2. pulled pork, light rootbeer/chili sauce reduction sauce, thai peppers, smoked provolone cheese.

                          1. 5, + pickled jalapeno or sliced jalapeno

                            1. #2.

                              My meat is tasty and seasoned well. It doesn't need a lot of bbq sauce and the slaw seems to lighten it up just enough.


                              1. Number one! Why complicate such a delicious thing?????

                                1. Definitely #2, light on the sauce. No BBQ sandwich is complete without slaw!

                                  1. Slaw, but not the kind with mayo. NC style vinegar slaw.

                                    1. I prefer pulled pork and vinegar sauce usually, but occasionally I will ask for slaw to be added if they make good slaw. They always ask me, as my Yankee accent gives me away.

                                      1. Number five with diced white onion....and loads of BBQ sauce.

                                        1. and thinly sliced sweet onions! On a nice soft buttery roll....I just made it for company this week....so very yum.

                                          1. Number 5 with just a dab of mustard. I want my coleslaw on the side, along with a kosher pickle.

                                            1. Sadly, when I have pulled pork, it gets "snacked away" before it ever gets as far as a sandwich. In fairness, I'm the culprit.

                                              1. I am surprised to see so many going with choice #2. I would have expected more purists in this crowd. I love slaw in sandwiches and so I usually add it to my pulled pork sandwich as well as fish sandwiches. I agree that if the pulled pork is perfect it needs nothing else but boy they go well together

                                                2 Replies
                                                1. re: scubadoo97

                                                  See, I differ from you on that. I doesn't matter how good the pork, the slaw just lightens it up a bit and makes it better. I find just bread, pork and sauce to be a bit too much.
                                                  I guess to me it's kinda like puting condiments on a burger. It's not to hide it, it's to compliment it. You wouldn't say "If the burger is perfect it needs nothing else" would you??


                                                  1. re: Davwud

                                                    We don't differ Davwud. I would put slaw on it as long as the slaw was good. To me it's a perfect combination.

                                                2. Pulled pork + bun. Usually that's it - the meat is that good all by itself. I only occasionally add sauce, and it will vary according to what I'm in the mood for at the time.

                                                  1. A - just the pulled pork ( as has been said, if it ever reaches the bun) or
                                                    B - pulled pork and hot sauce with jalepenos (I most of the time like things hot)

                                                    1. I might add an alternate question; how did pulled pork take over America?
                                                      Growing up in KC, our pork sandwiches were sliced, not pulled. Pulled pork has even invaded that previously virgin territory.

                                                      7 Replies
                                                      1. re: bbqboy

                                                        I want to say that pulled pork (sandwich, or not) originated in the Memphis area and just gradually spread across the country where it's now even "haute cuisine" per Michael Mina ....

                                                        But I'll defer to the true BBQ aficianados on this question ....

                                                        1. re: ipsedixit

                                                          Do not know the timeline for the migration "out of Memphis," but I first had pulled-pork in Hendersonville, NC about 45 years ago - and fell madly in love with it. To ME, it sings of Carolina, but then it could have come to "those parts," from Memphis.

                                                          When I think of "Memphis BBQ," I'm usually thinking of many other, albeit great, dishes. Maybe that's just me.

                                                          Somehow, I get a laugh out of imagining a map of the US, with a little pig moving about with the date flashing at the top of the screen.

                                                          However, I do see "pulled-pork" on a lot of menus, especially recently - even in London! Have not tried them all, but most are not even close to what I hold up as the paradigm.

                                                          Interesting discussion, though,


                                                          1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                            I'm fairly new to this but to me, pulled pork is an NC term. In Memphis it's just refered to as BBQ. If you're asked "Do you want bar be que"? You'll get the pulled pork.


                                                            1. re: Davwud

                                                              Truth is some places in Memphis will give you pulled, some chopped.

                                                              1. re: chazzerking

                                                                I've had chopped before but the bottom line is, chopped is a lot closer to pulled than is sliced.
                                                                It's still called BBQ in Memphis anyway. At least, in the circle Mrs. Sippi ran around in.


                                                            2. re: Bill Hunt

                                                              Not exactly the map you envisioned, but a fun BBQ map on it's own!


                                                          2. re: bbqboy

                                                            I have no clue where it originated but I've eaten pulled pork in Georgia all of my life.......I'm 35. My dad used to make it when I was a child and there were several small restaurants that served it. One has been in business much longer than I have been alive and they serve it with a kind of mustard sauce mixed into the meat. Others in the area served a tomato based sauce and one that opened when I was late teens/early 20s served three different sauces on the side......vinegar, tomato, or mustard based.

                                                          3. Pulled pork, hot sauce and everything else on the side. And in PA Dutch tradition they put sweet pickle relish on it. Yuck!

                                                            1. Basically #2, with these details: the pulled-pork is NOT cooked with any sauce, just time and smoke. The sauce is added (usually a vinegar-based sauce), once placed on the bun. The Coleslaw is chipped, not shredded, and is quite dry.

                                                              Sometimes we do this with the addition of the cheese, so #3 works well too.


                                                              1. gotta go w/ #2 but have to have some black pepper on top of my slaw. and sometimes pickle slices but only if they do it on their own. i never ask for it.

                                                                1. "we don't need no stinkin' cheese with our pulled pork!"

                                                                  never ever seen cheese as an option. where are you cheese-eaters getting your pulled pork? and what cheese?

                                                                  oh....and.... #2 option, for me.

                                                                  1. 5. Pulled pork, bbq sauce, home made slaw and baked beans. YUM

                                                                    1. Pulled pork prepared in a smoker only. Anything else isnt pulled pork to me.

                                                                      I go for # 1 but I do not want my pulled pork drowned in bbq sauce,

                                                                      and sometimes # 2 depending what my tastes are for the day regarding the slaw on the sandwich.

                                                                      I always have dill pickle slices, and jalapenos to munch on as a side dish.

                                                                      1. I dont know where "Pulled Pork" came from. In Lexington NC it is chopped or sliced. Always has been..at least in my 42 years.

                                                                        As far as the sandwich goes around here it is piled high with Chopped "brown" which is some of the crispy outside skin mixed with the moist meat. Our BBQ slaw is R-E-D..chopped cabbage mixed with vinegar and tomato sauce and black pepper. GOOOOOOOD eatin to be done at The Monk in Lexington NC.

                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                        1. re: LexNCBBQ

                                                                          Has anyone tried it plain, without sauce or coleslaw? I've seen it cooked during cookouts and from restaurants on TV and it looks delicious as soon as its is "pulled." Where I live, Texas, sauce is usuallly on the side, some places don't offer it at all for beef or pork ribs. The places that do offer pulled pork here, I just don't trust and have ordered only once.

                                                                          1. re: James Cristinian

                                                                            I have done many without any sauce, but nearly always have added a diced coleslaw. Now, there have been versions, where I DID add a sauce. It just depends, but with good, moist pulled pork, I do not want a sauce.

                                                                            My favorite bun is a locally baked "onion roll."


                                                                        2. Chopped, w/ vinegar/pepper sauce, no slaw.

                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                          1. re: mpjmph

                                                                            If what your eating is bona fided pulled pork, it already has a vinegar/mustard/tomoato(your choice) based sauce on it. After i smoke my shoulders for 12-14 hours, i let em sit for an hour or so. I than pull the shoulder, add my mustard-vinegar sauce, and cook for another 1hour or so. If done correctly, theres no need for more sauce, the pork will have a nice balance of moisture, smoke, sweetness and melted fat.

                                                                            Adding GOD forbid bbq sauce, would take away from the pulled pork.

                                                                            A little cole slaw on a Martin potatoe roll with a ice cold beer, cant be beat.

                                                                            1. re: baldwinwood

                                                                              Second the Martin's Potato Roll...can't be anything else.

                                                                              Oh and I like #2 with Spicy Vinegar Sauce

                                                                              1. re: krisrishere

                                                                                go martin's! go martin's!

                                                                                ps: hounds, craving some Q (and you don't live near a good resto), there is a very good eastern carolina style chopped pork at harris teeter grocery store chain. the Q is from siler city, n.c. (brookwood farms?). real smoke. no fat. the real deal.

                                                                          2. The best pulled pork doesn't need a sauce or anything else. Lots of times, we just eat it on a plate with a slice of bread on the side. I do like it with sauce (mine is tomato based but I do like a mustard sauce, too) and coleslaw.

                                                                            1. I like #2 with light sauce & slaw on the side.

                                                                              1. I'll have to go with #2. Great BBQ has to have slaw on the side.

                                                                                1. Ok, looks like I'm a weird girl! I love chopped grilled peaches on my pulled pork, slices of grilled pineapple is great too!

                                                                                  1. #2

                                                                                    Pork, a little vinegar/pepper & salt to season, slaw on the bun. Nothing finer.

                                                                                    1. #3 plus bits of fresh diced pineapple....and you didn't ask about the bread-- always on a Portuguese roll.

                                                                                      1. 1) Just pork and sauce.

                                                                                        I don't agree, however, with the notion that barbecue should be eaten with cheap sliced white bread. Slow smoking pork is a high art and the finished product should be paired with a bun that complements it. Right now I am thinking that a Chinese-style slightly sweet bun, split down the middle, would be a great match for smoked pulled pork.

                                                                                        1. Since it appears you are speaking about the kind with BbQ sauce in general I would say 2. But there are many ways of doing pulled pork and there are lots of things I like depending on the seasoning.

                                                                                          1. Some fresh mozzarella and a slice of tomato is amazingly good in a pulled pork sandwich.

                                                                                            Don't believe me? Just try it out.

                                                                                            I tried it as an experiment one day simply because I had the ingredients handy, and it was so good I've done it that way multiple times.

                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                            1. re: Dave B

                                                                                              This is a new combination for me, but sounds good.

                                                                                            2. <shakes head>

                                                                                              <mumbles under his breath> yankees

                                                                                              LoL...just a joke. Enjoy what you enjoy. As long as you think it's good, it's good.

                                                                                              1. JayL, don't you cuss at me! Lol.

                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                1. Not to throw off an enjoyable thread, but I wanted to add some of the best places, that I have ever had.

                                                                                                  For me, the ultimate was Hendersonville, NC, at a spot on US 25, called Johnny's # 1. Initially, I did ask for sauce, and my server just looked at me for a bit, finally saying, "Sir you will not want to put ANY sauce on your Pulled Pork."

                                                                                                  Dillon's, Phoenix, AZ. They managed to capture the Carolina flavors, and only needed to dice the coleslaw - it was always too roughly cut.

                                                                                                  Three Little Pigs - two locations. This was a chain, and I first encountered it in Gulfport, MS. They knew how to smoke the pork, and also dice the coleslaw (which was almost dry), and though they DID have sauce available, they cautioned against it. Other one location, to my knowledge was McComb, MS, which was not quite so good.

                                                                                                  Every time that we are in the Carolinas, we seek our Pulled Pork, and have enjoyed many iterations. To me, it seems that North Carolina, especially in the Eastern part of the state, the coleslaw is drier and diced. In South Carolina, it is wetter and more roughly cut. All still good, if not great.


                                                                                                  1. 1. I love BBQ sauce. I don't like crunchy things in my sandwiches so no coleslaw, and while I usually appreciate cheese, not with pulled pork.

                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                    1. re: juliejulez

                                                                                                      I agree. But I do like crunchy things on a sandwich, coleslaw isn't one of them

                                                                                                    2. Upon reflection, what's on the side of the pulled pork sandwich is more important to me than what's on it. This may be an ass backwards approach but I tend to judge a BBQ joint on the quality of their collard greens. I look forward to those salty slow-cooked greens even more so than the smoked meat.