6 Ways To Make Your Bland Pulled Pork Better Than Everyone Else’s

how to fix bland pulled pork

Pulled pork is a staple of any BBQ enthusiast’s diet.

Why trust me?

I'm an experienced food writer and passionate cook. My website, Cookindocs.com, features accessible, informative, and engaging content with quality recipes and articles that are thoroughly researched and enjoyable to read. You can trust my expertise with 8 years of experience in the field. Learn more about me and my work on this website, and check out my featured articles on TastingTable, Mashed, and 5-Minute Crafts. Read more about me HERE.

It’s easy to make, cheap, and can be used in many different ways.

Unfortunately, pulled pork does not always live up to its potential.

That can be because the pork was overcooked or undercooked, but more often than not, the culprit is that it wasn’t seasoned enough.

Pulled pork is delicious if you use spices like salt and pepper before cooking and then add barbecue sauce once it’s done—but sometimes adding those seasonings isn’t enough!

So here are some tips for fixing bland pulled pork.

What are some common mistakes when making pulled pork?

Pulled pork is one of the most popular BBQ dishes, and it’s no wonder why.

It’s easy to make, and you can feed many people.

But some common mistakes could lead to a disappointing meal.

  • Not choosing the proper cut of pork

The best cut for pulled pork is the shoulder, which has lots of connective tissue (collagen) and fat that breaks down during a long cooking time.

When slow-roasted over low heat for several hours, the meat becomes tender enough to shred apart with a fork or your hand.

  • Overcooking, leading to dryness or toughness

The meat needs plenty of time for the collagen in those tough cuts to break down into soft gelatin during roasting at low temperatures between 200°F–300°F (93°C–149°C).

You’ll know your meat is ready when it pulls away quickly while remaining moist.

If you overcook the meat, it tends to be drier and tougher than it should be.

  • Not marinate the pork before cooking

Typically, pulled pork will be mixed with some sauce before serving, but it doesn’t mean that there is no need to marinate it before cooking.

If you omit this step, your pork is likely to be bland and flat, which is definitely not appealing to try.

What can I add to bland pulled pork?

So what can you do to save your bland batch of pulled pork?

No worries!

Here are some easy ways to apply to your recipe and turn the pulled pork excellent again:

Add salt and pepper

[amazon fields=”B01K868DL8″ value=”thumb” image=”1″ image_size=”large” image_align=”center”]

It’s easy to fix bland pulled pork! All you have to do is add salt and pepper, the two most basic seasonings in any kitchen.

Remember to mix well after adding some salt and pepper to your pulled pork so that the flavor will penetrate the pork evenly.

And it is best to start with a small amount and then increase it little by little until it reaches your desire.

Add other spices (cumin, onion powder, garlic powder, smoked paprika, etc.)

[amazon fields=”B001PQOAOA” value=”thumb” image=”1″ image_size=”large” image_align=”center”]

In addition to salt and pepper, other spices like cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, and smoked paprika are common choices to add to pulled pork.

You can add a pinch of each spice to the pulled pork and mix well.

If you want to use more than one type of spice, then it is best to use a small amount of each one at first until you find out which blend works well for you.

Add apple cider

[amazon fields=”B09SMNHBWB” value=”thumb” image=”1″ image_size=”large” image_align=”center”]

Do you know that a tip to make your pulled pork taste much better is using an acid?

Therefore, if it is bland, try adding apple cider vinegar to your pulled pork.

It is a great way to add a tangy flavor to this barbecue staple.

Add 1-2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar or even some brown sugar or honey for sweetness if you prefer.

Add broth

[amazon fields=”B07FW8NMVQ” value=”thumb” image=”1″ image_size=”large” image_align=”center”]

If the pulled pork is not only bland but also dry, the best solution is to add some broth, which will help the meat absorb the spices and flavor from other ingredients.

Broth can be added to moisten the meat and give it some additional flavor.

But don’t overdo it because you want to avoid turning your pulled pork into a soup dish with a lot of liquid.

Add barbecue sauce

[amazon fields=”B0014P6S6K” value=”thumb” image=”1″ image_size=”large” image_align=”center”]

Pulled pork is pretty good on its own, but if you want the dish to be more flavorful, consider adding some barbecue sauce.

To do this, add a dollop of sauce to the meat before serving.

You can choose your favorite type of sauce, or you can use one that has been designed explicitly for pulled pork (like our very own BBQ Pulled Pork Sauce).

Keep in mind that adding too much sauce will become soggy and wet—so don’t go overboard!

If you’re using a sweet barbecue sauce like honey or maple syrup-based varieties, I recommend using one tablespoon at most.

If possible, avoid these kinds of sauces altogether since they tend to overpower the taste and mask some other essential flavors, such as smokey notes from smoked meats or aromatic spices such as paprika or chili powder.

Add Dijon mustard

[amazon fields=”B074J6RQZB” value=”thumb” image=”1″ image_size=”large” image_align=”center”]

Dijon mustard will add some tangy and spicy flavor and help tenderize the meat as well.

Make sure to mix everything together well so that the meat is evenly coated with a thin layer of sauce.


If you’re struggling with bland pulled pork, don’t worry! There are lots of ways to fix it.

You can add salt and pepper, other fragrant spices like cumin or onion powder, apple cider, and broth.

You could also try adding barbecue sauce or Dijon mustard—these excellent options will help you make the best pulled pork possible.