The savory, saucy, decadent deliciousness of a hot and juicy pulled pork sandwich is like nothing else.
But, the tender, seasoned pork in its savory rub or sauce (or spicy) or liquid is only part of the magic. Other factors such as the type of bun, toppings, sides, and even sauce (and smoke) can make each pulled pork experience unique.
What are the best pulled pork sandwich toppings?
You can enjoy new and delicious pulled pork experiences when trying different toppings. Many simply eat their sandwiches plain, while others love toppings such as onions and pickles.
Without a doubt, pickles and onions are fine options, but there are so many more toppings you can explore. Here’s a list of 27 of the best pulled pork sandwich toppings.
Jalapeno slices are a good topping on pulled pork sandwiches. They add a nice spicy kick flavor that many people enjoy.
Dill relish is a type of sauce that goes on top of pulled pork sandwiches. It is made from pickled cucumbers, onions, and other vegetables. It has a tangy flavor that goes well with the fatty pork. It also adds a bit of moisture.
Pickled okra is a good topping for a pulled pork sandwich because it gives the sandwich a crunchy texture and a tangy flavor. It goes well with southern style BBQ like Carolina and Memphis style.
Sweet relish is a type of sauce that you put on your pulled pork sandwich. It is made with sweet ingredients like sugar and vinegar. This gives it a unique flavor that goes well with the savory taste of pulled pork.
Red onion slices
Red onion slices are a good topping for a pulled pork sandwich. They give the sandwich a nice flavor and make it look pretty too with the dash of red & purple.
Radish sprouts are a good topping for a pulled pork sandwich. They are crunchy and add a good flavor to the sandwich.
Bacon is a type of meat that is often used in sandwiches. It is salty and crispy, and a lot of people like to put it on their pulled pork sandwiches.
Pineapple slices are a good topping for pulled pork sandwiches. They add a sweet and tangy flavor that goes well with the smoky pulled pork.
Grilled Pineapple slices
Grilled pineapple slices are a good topping for pulled pork sandwiches. They add a sweetness that contrasts well with the savory pork. The grill brings out more sweetness and adds some firmness if you already have moist meat.
Coleslaw is a type of salad that goes on top of a pulled pork sandwich (or with plain pulled pork!). It is made with shredded cabbage and dressing. It’s a traditionally southern topping.
Green onions are a type of onion that is used as a topping on pulled pork sandwiches. They have a mild flavor and a slightly crunchy texture.
Mango slices are a good topping for a pulled pork sandwich because they add sweetness and flavor with a bit of Hawaiian or Caribbean touch.
Pepperoncini are a type of pepper. They are usually pickled and used as a topping on sandwiches, like pulled pork sandwiches. Their extra tangy-ness complements the pork.
Salsa is a type of sauce that goes on top of some types of sandwiches. It is made from chopped tomatoes, onions, and peppers. It can be either mild or spicy. It goes well with Texas style BBQ.
Scrambled eggs are a food that people put on top of other foods. People usually put them on pulled pork sandwiches to make them more delicious and more protein heavy.
Fried eggs are a good topping for a pulled pork sandwich. The egg will add some extra flavor and protein to the sandwich.
Hash-browns are potatoes that have been shredded and then fried. They make a great addition to pulled pork sandwiches because they add a crunchy texture and a bit of salty flavor.
French fries are a type of potato that is cut into thin strips and then fried. They are usually eaten as a snack or part of a meal. Add them directly to your sandwich for volume and extra fat & moisture.
Hamburger patties are meat that you make into a patty shape and then cook on a grill or in a pan. They are commonly used as sandwiches or on salads, but can be a good “mega sandwich” option.
Smoked sausage can add a meaty flavor contrast to any sandwich – and turn your pulled pork sandwich into a mega meaty sandwich.
Pico de Gallo
Pico de Gallo is a type of salsa that is made with fresh tomatoes, onions, and chili peppers. It is a common topping for pulled pork sandwiches, especially in a Tex-Mex style.
Grilled apple slices
Grilled apple slices are a good topping for pulled pork sandwiches. They add a sweetness that contrasts well with the smoky flavor of the pork.
Grilled orange slices
Grilled orange slices are a good topping for a pulled pork sandwich. They add a sweet and tangy flavor that goes well with the savory pork.
Guacamole is a good topping for a pulled pork sandwich because it has a lot of flavor and makes the sandwich juicy.
Arugula is a type of lettuce that has a peppery flavor. It can add a nice zing to your sandwich.
Avocado slices are a good topping for pulled pork sandwiches because they are a healthy and delicious choice.
Grilled bell peppers
Bell peppers are vegetables that you can put on your sandwich. They’re good because they add a crunch and a sweetness to the sandwich.
What are the best sauces for pulled pork?
Most people make the common mistake of only using the same barbecue sauce for their pulled pork. These poor folks never even realize that there are so many incredible possibilities out there when it comes to pulled pork sauces.
Below are nine amazing pulled pork sauce recipes that will deliver new flavor experiences that excite your taste buds.
#1. Memphis Barbecue Sauce
Memphis BBQ sauce is ideal for pork. It’s ketchup-based and equally good on ribs, pork chops, and pulled pork.
One thing that makes it suitable for pork is the sauce’s tomato-to-vinegar ratio. as a result, you get a sweet, thick, spicy bbq sauce that makes your pulled pork irresistible!
#2. Big Daddy’s Carolina-Style Barbecue Sauce
Big Daddy’s Carolina BBQ sauce is a variation of traditional mustard bbq sauce. Instead of being sweet and thick like most Southern-style sauces, it has a vinegar base.
The combination of sweet sugar, savory mustard, and just a kiss of smoke makes it a fabulous sauce for all kinds of pork meat. But note that this sauce can only be kept in the fridge for five days, so use it as quickly as possible.
#3. Southern Vinegar Sauce
This unique BBQ sauce recipe does not use mustard or tomato but contains lemon and butter. It’s a thin sauce, and much like traditional Carolina BBQ sauce, it has a tangy and savory flavor.
Also, the butter helps keep your meat moist, which is excellent if your pork comes out too dry.
#4. Best Odds Pulled Pork Sauce
This exciting recipe aptly named “best odds” has simple ingredients most of us already have in our pantry and offers the best chance of producing a deliciously flavored pulled pork sandwich.
#5. Wicker’s BBQ Sauce
This BBQ sauce hailing from the great state of Missouri has a lot in common with the vinegary sauces of Carolina.
It emphasizes tangy flavor heavily and is a savory bbq sauce with just a suggestion of sweetness and a kiss of heat.
#6. Southern Barbecue Sauce
This classic Southern recipe has a base of ketchup with a healthy amount of vinegar to give it a perfect tang. It also contains sugar for sweetness and derives some heat from cayenne, Tabasco, and paprika to create a lovely silky and think sauce that brings any meat to life.
#7. Piedmont Barbecue Sauce
Piedmont is a particular area in the Carolinas where their BBQ sauce begins with vinegar but has just a bit of tomato for an extra savory flavor.
The result is a thin and tangy BBQ sauce with just a bit of heat and sweetness.
#8. Mustard Barbecue Sauce
Most folks will tell you that mustard is king in southernmost South Carolina and Northern Georgia. The sauces from this area hardly ever contain a hint of tomato.
The balsamic vinegar in this recipe gives this sauce a real kick and adds terrific flavor. Plus, it gives the sauce an attractive golden color.
#9. Pulled Pork Finishing Sauce
This finishing sauce is a fantastic pulled pork sauce that uses mustard, vinegar, and tomato to help enhance your pulled pork’s smoky flavors while keeping the meat moist and juicy.
#10. Southern Apple Cider Barbecue Sauce
This sweet, tangy, and spicy little number uses apple cider vinegar along with ingredients such as garlic, apple juice, onion, butter, brown sugar, sriracha chili sauce, and Worcestershire sauce to deliver an unforgettable flavor that’s guaranteed to ignite your senses.
#11. Killer Hogs BBQ Sauce
The Pulled Pork & Killer BBQ Sauce uses ingredients such as black pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, dry mustard, and ground star anise to produce an intense flavor that really kicks your taste buds into overdrive.
#12. Healthified Mustard B.B.Q. Sauce
This recipe uses hot sauce, liquid smoke, yellow mustard, apple cider vinegar, molasses, honey, cayenne, chili powder, and other ingredients to create a thick, sweet, spicy, and very tasty BBQ sauce that perfectly balances tart and sweet for a sensational flavor.
#13. Finger-licking Apple Cider Vinegar BBQ Sauce
This Finger-licking Apple Cider Vinegar BBQ sauce makes some pretty bold claims with its audacious name but backs up every bit and then some.
Its ingredients include only honey, hot sauce, apple cider vinegar, red pepper flakes, salt, coarsely ground black pepper, and ketchup (optional).
Now, this sauce is nothing to fool with, so unless you really love spicy sauces, please be careful when measuring those red pepper flakes.
#14. Chile Vinegar Sauce
If you’re looking for a pulled pork finishing sauce to add some extra pizzazz, one with a bold, unapologetic, spicy flavor, then this Chile Vinegar sauce is just what you need.
Ingredients include Fresno chile, red bell pepper, Anaheim chilies, chopped garlic, shallot, white vinegar, and salt.
#15. Mexican Orange Sauce
This finishing sauce is made using yellow onion, Roma plum tomatoes, avocado oil, garlic cloves, dried chilies de årbol, guajillo chile pod, apple cider vinegar, water, and fine sea salt.
This dairy-free sauce is great for pulled pork, burgers, turkey sandwiches, tacos, and anything else you can imagine.
#16. Lisbon Fire Department BBQ Sauce for Pulled Pork
Folks, when you’ve got a sauce created by a fire department, you just know it’s not messing around. This sauce contains vinegar, lemon juice, red pepper, margarine, ketchup, hot sauce, black pepper, honey, and salt. It’s definitely for those who enjoy spicier sauces.
#17. Maple Whiskey Barbecue Sauce
If you happen to find most BBQ sauces to be way too sweet, this sauce really brings the tang in a big way. You can also add more whiskey to give it a more boozy flavor. The whiskey really blends in quite well to give the sauce a more complex, slightly woody flavor.
This is one sauce you and your guests will find themselves enjoying with a lot of different dishes. Just be careful not to overdo it since it does contain alcohol.
#18. Salted Apple Cider Caramel Sauce
I’ll admit, at first, I thought this idea was way too out there, but after trying it, I was pleasantly surprised! The caramel, salt, and apple cider flavors are perfectly balanced, delivering a sweet, tangy, and salty sauce that works quite well with pulled pork.
As they say, “don’t knock it till you tried it,” folks. The ingredients include butter, apple cider vinegar, brown sugar, vanilla extract, heavy cream, garlic cloves, cinnamon, and salt.
What cheese goes well with pulled pork?
By far, sharp cheddar cheese is usually the number one choice for pulled pork sandwiches. The sharpness harmonizes perfectly with the sweet sauce adding a new dimension of flavor to an already flavorful sandwich.
However, other great choices exist, such as Mozzarella, Colby, and Colby Jack. Also, for a little kick, you can try pepper jack cheese or Monterey jack.
What is the best bun for a pulled pork sandwich?
Most people hardly give their bread a second thought when it comes to pulled pork sandwiches.
The most common type of bun is your plain white hamburger bun, which does the job well enough to keep things together. However, a whole universe of culinary experiences can be found in trying different kinds of bread with your pulled pork.