I want to emulate pulled pork for my non-pork eating friend (semi-Jewish, read: no pigs, it doesn't have to be technically kosher). What cut of beef would achieve a similar texture? The closest I've ever eaten was short ribs, but is there something better? I'm not too worried about duplicating the method- I'm comfortable with a crock pot, a dutch oven, stove top cooking, whatever- just looking for a similar end result.

5 Answers 5


Depending on the dish, maybe duck confit. It works really well in tacos. It has the nice unctuous fat and goes well with tomatillo and avocado. But it'd probably be hard or expensive to get in large quantities.

  • 1
    I would personally be inclined to use chicken thighs. They're easy to get, reasonably priced, they can be cooked up to a similar texture, and they're not a strong flavor like beef.
    – Joe
    May 15, 2013 at 11:06

You are not going to find any other meat with quite the same unctuous texture as pulled pork and mild but meaty flavor. Certainly no cut of beef will do so.

If you feel compelled to use beef, use the corresponding cut of beef, which is the chuck. It will pull (although a little more shreddy), but it won't have the same texture, and it will have the stronger beefy flavor (which may be delicious in its own right, but won't be like the pulled pig).

The closest substitute, functionally, would be pulled chicken, although it is very different, and must not be overcooked if you want it to maintain its moisture. The sauce can echo the flavor notes that you would have used with the porky version.

I would recommend just serving something that is kosher or at least acceptable within the definition you are working with, that is designed for the cut you are using. You can get many excellent barbecue results from chuck or brisket. A good smoked barbecued brisket is a masterpiece in its own right, and doesn't need to pretend to be anything else.

  • But is it better to do it in a smoker or a Weber grill...? May 13, 2013 at 18:59
  • @ElendilTheTall YES!
    – SAJ14SAJ
    May 13, 2013 at 19:18

I have never tried this, but I would expect goat to work well. So I googled and found this blog entry, with a linked pulled pork recipe. It reads like it was successful.

I'd be very interested to know if you try it !


I've made pulled beef before using beef brisket (same spice rub as pulled pork). It is a little drier than pulled pork but the taste is still great.


Braised chicken breasts...moist and pull apart easily. They'll be good with virtually any sauce you'd be using with pork.

  • 2
    Chicken breast is really lean, so I have a hard time imagining it being a good substitute for fatty pork. Surely dark meat would be better?
    – Cascabel
    Jun 9, 2015 at 22:47

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