pulled pork recipe slow cooker

Pulled Pork Recipe Slow Cooker

Pulled Pork Recipe Slow Cooker

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Pulled Pork Recipe Slow Cooker
Pulled Pork Recipe Slow Cooker


Slow-Cooker Pulled Pork

The secret to really good pulled pork is cooking it low and slow. I know, I know—it sounds somewhat tortuous if you’re craving BBQ, like right now. But trust us, the wait is worth it in the end. Lucky for you, a slow cooker makes the drawn out process a breeze.

Make It Ahead

Pulled pork holds well in the fridge for 4 to 5 days, meaning if you’re able to plan ahead, you can make this the night before no problem. It also freezes well! If you double the batch, save leftover in large freezer resealable bags.

Turn It Into A Sandwich

Seriously. This on a potato roll plus pickles and coleslaw (and potato chips, if you’re feeling crazy) = absolute perfection. It’ll make enough for at least 8 HUGE sandwiches. Having a big game day party? Buy slider buns and you’ll double the yield—at least!

Skip The Searing

While burnt bits would be delicious, they’re not totally necessary. For simple, juicy pulled pork, you can cook the pork from start to finish in the slow cooker. (If you do want to sear it in a hot skillet first, I applaud you.)

Don’t Worry About Overcooking

It’s pretty much impossible to mess this one up. If you go an hour longer than you’d intended, your pork will probably end up even more tender. Rushed and need to pull it an hour earlier? I bet you you’re still able to shred it just fine with a fork.

Cook The Sauce With The Pork

There’s no need to cook a separate one on the stovetop. Every element about barbecue sauce that you like—sweetness, acidity, spice—is in the slow cooker too. At the end, toss the pork with the leftover juices. (The “sauce” will be a little bit thinner, but the taste is all there.)


The spectacular flavor of this slow cooker pulled pork comes down to a homemade BBQ sauce that will convince your friends that you are a meat whisperer.

  • Instead of using bottled barbecue sauce or ketchup (both of which are usually loaded with corn syrup or similar sugar), I worked off of my easy homemade Barbecue Sauce.
  • It’s made with pantry spices, tomato paste, honey, and a dash of hot sauce for some kick.
  • Combined with the pork’s own cooking juices, these ingredients make for a slow cooker pulled pork taste that is lightly smoky and rich, with just the right amount of vinegar to balance it and cut the fattiness of the pork.


4 1/2 pounds pork shoulder

2 tablespoons paprika

1 teaspoon oregano

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon pepper

1/2 teaspoon cumin

1 yellow oniondiced

4 garlic cloveschopped

1 orangejuiced


Pulled Pork Recipe Slow Cooker
Pulled Pork Recipe Slow Cooker



  • STEP 1

    Put the onion slices at the bottom of the slow cooker. In a small bowl mix together 1 tbsp salt with 1 tsp ground black pepper, the smoked paprika and cinnamon. Put the flour onto a plate then rub the spice mixture over the pork.

  • STEP 2

    Heat the oil in a large frying pan and roll the spiced pork in the flour before putting it into the pan to sear it on all sides. Once the meat is starting to pick up a golden colour pop it on top of the onion slices in the slow cooker.

  • STEP 3

    In a large jug combine all the ingredients for slow cooking the pork then pour over the meat. Pop the lid on and cook on the low setting for 8 hours.

  • STEP 4

    When you’re ready to serve, take the meat out of the slow cooker leaving the cooking liquor behind. Put the cooked meat on a roasting tray or large shallow bowl and pull it into bite-size chunks and shred with 2 forks. Ladle a little of the cooking juices over the pork and mix together.

  • STEP 5

    Toss the fennel and apple slices in the lemon juice and season well then serve along with the pulled pork in bread rolls. Spread the rolls with a little English mustard and mayonnaise if you like.



If you prefer to cook the pulled pork in the oven, preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Follow the above steps, 1 through 3. Then, place pork in a Dutch oven pot. Cover pot with lid and cook in the oven for 3 hours. Remove lid and cook for an additional 1-2 hours, until pork is tender and easily pulls apart with a fork.


Follow steps 1 through 3 above, then place pork in Instant Pot. Cook on Manual/High pressure for 70 minutes. When timer beeps, allow the pot to naturally release pressure, about 15 minutes longer.


Well, first, let’s not forget that you can eat it all on it’s on. But I also love to serve it with:

  • Mashed potatoes (or Mashed Sweet Potatoes or Mashed Cauliflower)
  • Baked Sweet Potato (hint: stuff the sweet potato with the pulled pork, like my BBQ Chicken Stuffed Sweet Potato recipe)
  • Avocado Egg Salad
  • Easy Cucumber Salad

It’s also great mixed with your favorite barbecue sauce, made into a pulled pork salad or topped on some fried eggs for a savory, protein-packed breakfast. The options are endless. And that’s what makes this slow cooker pulled pork recipe so darn good.


If you don’t happen to eat it all the pulled pork one sitting, not to worry – it’s delicious meal prep for later in the week. Just place it in a meal prep container. It will last for 4-5 days in the fridge or for 2-3 months in the freezer.

Which Cut of Meat is Used for Pulled Pork

Long, slow cooking is best for fattier, tougher cuts of pork such as pork shoulder, which is the traditional choice.

  • Pork Shoulder. If you want meat so tender you can shred it with a spoon, slow cooker pork shoulder is the way to go. (Taste Instant Pot Carnitas for further proof!) You’ll also see this cut referred to as pork butt (which for all intents and purposes is the same thing).
  • Pork Loin. Leaner than pork shoulder, it doesn’t make for pulled pork that is as juicy and tender, but it is usable in a pinch. Honestly, I do not love slow cooker pork loin NEARLY as much as shoulder. If you want to use pork loin, then try this Instant Pot Pulled Pork instead! It uses pork loin, and the Instant Pot traps enough moisture to keep the pork juicy.
  • Pork Tenderloin. DO NOT make slow cooker pork tenderloin. Just don’t. It’s far too lean of a cut, will very likely taste dry, and the pork will be difficult to shred. Instead, try this lovely Instant Pot Pork Tenderloin, Grilled Pork Tenderloin, or Stuffed Pork Tenderloin.


Pulled Pork Recipe Slow Cooker
Pulled Pork Recipe Slow Cooker


Leftover Ideas

Pulled pork is delish for more than sandwiches!

  • Tuck it into tortillas for pulled pork tacos.
  • Enjoy it over a salad (this BLT Chopped Salad would be delish).
  • Swap it for the chicken in these Chipotle Burrito Bowls.
  • Turn it into a breakfast hash with these Cauliflower Hash Browns and a fried egg.
  • To Store. Refrigerate leftover pulled pork for up to 4 days.
  • To Reheat. Rewarm over the stovetop or in the microwave, with a splash of water or chicken broth to keep the pork from becoming too thick or dry.
  • To Freeze. Portion the pork into airtight, freezer-safe containers of your desired size. Freeze for up to 3 months (I’ve gone even longer). Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator.

Slow Cooker Texas Pulled Pork

Slow cooked, Texas-style pulled pork that is served on a buttered and toasted roll.



  • Pour the vegetable oil into the bottom of a slow cooker. Place the pork roast into the slow cooker; pour in the barbecue sauce, apple cider vinegar, and chicken broth. Stir in the brown sugar, yellow mustard, Worcestershire sauce, chili powder, onion, garlic, and thyme. Cover and cook on High until the roast shreds easily with a fork, 5 to 6 hours.

  • Remove the roast from the slow cooker, and shred the meat using two forks. Return the shredded pork to the slow cooker, and stir the meat into the juices.

  • Spread the inside of both halves of hamburger buns with butter. Toast the buns, butter side down, in a skillet over medium heat until golden brown. Spoon pork into the toasted buns.


Cook’s Note

The pork can also be cooked on Low for 10 to 12 hours.




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