Best Buns for Pulled Pork Sandwiches

Perfect Buns for Pulled Pork Sandwiches

Pulled pork sandwiches are a classic barbecue meal. When done right, they’re juicy, saucy, and absolutely delicious. But to make the perfect pulled pork sandwich, you don’t just need a delicious pork recipe. The bun you choose is equally important.

The right bun should be able to stand up to the messy, saucy pork without falling apart. It should add flavours without overpowering them. And the texture should balance out the tender meat. There are many great options to consider.

In this ultimate guide, we’ll walk through some of the best buns for pulled pork sandwiches. We’ll look at taste, texture, sturdiness, and more. By the end, you’ll know exactly which buns to grab next time you’re smoking a pork shoulder.

Why Does The Bun Matters?

Before we dive into the list, let’s talk about why the bun deserves careful consideration in the first place. A bad bun can ruin a pulled pork sandwich. Soggy, mushy bread quickly falls apart, creating a sloppy mess. And buns with the wrong flavour or texture can make the dish seem incomplete.

On the other hand, the right bun brings the whole sandwich together. It adds complementary flavours and just the right amount of crunch. Sturdy yet soft buns prevent spillage and sogginess. Ultimately, the bun you choose directly impacts your overall eating experience.

So don’t treat the bun as an afterthought. It deserves just as much forethought as the main event! Keep reading to discover the best of the best when it comes to buns for pulled pork.

Brioche Buns

Our number one recommendation for pulled pork buns is brioche. These French-style buns have a light, fluffy interior enclosed by a tender, buttery, golden crust. That beautiful contrast of textures makes brioche a fantastic option.

Brioche has several highlights that make it our top choice.

  • First, it has an ultimate softness. The interior crumb is soft and fluffy, making it a pleasure to bite into.
  • Second, brioche gets hints of sweetness from eggs and butter in the dough. This subtle sweetness perfectly complements the barbecue sauce.
  • Additionally, the interior of this dish remains soft while the egg wash creates a sturdy crust that can hold all that saucy pork.
  • Brioche also provides a buttery richness.
  • Finally, brioche has a great look with its gorgeous golden-brown colour that makes for a beautiful presentation.

Brioche brings softness, structure, sweetness, richness, and beauty all in one tidy little package. We recommend toasted brioche buns for pulled pork every time. The toasting adds crunch while warming the butter to release even more richness. Absolute perfection!

Kaiser Rolls

Next, we have Kaiser rolls which are also known as Vienna rolls. Like brioche, these also offer a winning contrast of textures, with a hardy crust and soft interior. 

Here are the main benefits of Kaiser rolls for pulled pork sandwiches:

  • Their sturdy crust stands up well to saucy pork without crumbling.
  • They don’t contain sweeteners or butter, so the taste doesn’t compete with the pork.
  • Kaiser rolls are bigger than average, which makes them great for stuffing with lots of filling.
  • The unique shape and poppy/sesame seed topping make them instantly recognizable.

As you can see, Kaiser rolls allow the pork to take centre stage. Their mild taste and substantial structure simply provide support. We suggest toasting them as well to take the texture contrast up a notch.

Potato Buns

Potato buns deserve more recognition than they typically get. Not only are they sturdier than your average hamburger bun, but they also offer a lovely sweetness. 

Here’s a quick rundown of their benefits:

  • Potatoes give them a subtly sweet taste without being overpowering.
  • Potato buns have a soft texture that won’t fall apart.
  • The dome shape and sturdy base help contain the fillings.
  • An artisan-style appearance makes them look homemade.

Potato buns offer the best of both worlds in terms of texture. They’ll hold their structure while providing a soft landing pad for the pork. We recommend toasting them to really bring out that sweetness.

Other Great Options

While brioche, Kaiser, and potato are our top picks, a few other buns deserve an honourable mention:

  • Hawaiian rolls – Ultra soft and a touch sweet, these tiny buns make great sliders.
  • Pretzel buns – The chewy exterior provides an interesting textural contrast.
  • Ciabatta – Sturdy enough for the pork but still somewhat soft.
  • Baguettes – The long shape makes for a fun sandwich presentation.

Think outside the box and try one of these alternatives. You may discover a new favourite! But we still recommend our top three for the very best pulled pork bun experience.

Bun Shopping Tips

Now that you know which buns to look for, here are some tips for selecting optimal buns at the store:

  • Go for artisan-style options for improved texture. Mass-produced buns tend to be less sturdy.
  • Look for buns that feel substantial when you pick them up. Light or airy buns won’t hold up.
  • Avoid buns with cracks, uneven cooking, or visible hard spots.
  • For Kaiser rolls, poppy seeds provide visual appeal, but sesame seeds offer more texture.

Following these tips will help you identify the best buns for your pulled pork. Instead of money-savers that lack flavour, try buns that satisfy.

Toasting Technique

To truly maximise the great taste and texture of your buns, we strongly recommend toasting them before piling on the pork. Here’s a simple toasting technique:

  • Slice the buns in half horizontally.
  • Spread a thin layer of butter on the interior sides if desired.
  • Place in a toaster, toaster oven, or regular oven at 400°F for 2-5 minutes until lightly browned.
  • For an extra buttery flavour, brush the exterior with melted butter halfway through toasting.
  • Remove once lightly browned and crispy but not burnt or hard.

Toasting your bread improves its texture and flavour. But be careful not to toast for too long or the buns can become tough or burnt.

If you prefer an untoasted softness, that works too. Just be sure to assemble the sandwiches immediately so the interior doesn’t get soggy.

Toppings & Sides

Above buns and pulled pork? They go great together. But the right toppings and sides can bring the flavours over the top. Here are some of our favourites:

  • Coleslaw – The crunchy cabbage pairs perfectly with the rich pork.
  • Pickles – Dill pickles add brightness and crunch.
  • Onions – Grilled or caramelised onions provide a sweet contrast.
  • BBQ sauce – Essential for adding sticky sweetness.
  • Cheese – Melty cheddar, pepper jack, or Swiss all work.
  • Jalapeños – For those who like a little kick.

Mix and match toppings to customise to your preferences. The options are endless!

Preparation Tips

Follow these tips for making your pulled pork masterpieces look and taste great:

  • Allow cooked pork to rest before pulling and saucing.
  • To maximize the flavour of pulled pork, gently reheat it in the sauce.
  • To prevent sogginess, drain excess liquid from the pork before assembling.
  • Spread sauce on both the top and bottom buns to prevent slippage.
  • To prevent your fillings from falling through the layers of your casserole, place heavier toppings like coleslaw near the bottom.
  • If the sauce completely soaks through, place the sandwiches back in the skillet to crisp the bun edges.

With great pork, tasty toppings, and most importantly, the best buns, you’re guaranteed a delicious pulled pork sandwich experience. Now get to the kitchen, fire up that smoker, and start prepping those perfect buns!

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