Easy slow cooker pulled pork BBQ is one of the best-tasting comfort foods out there that will become one of your favorite recipes.
With just a handful of ingredients and a Crock Pot, you will have a tender, flavorful, and satisfying meal at the end of the day.
The Best Pulled Pork Recipe
This is one of the best pulled pork recipes for two reasons: it’s delicious, and it’s super easy to make.
It’s one of those easy weeknight dinners or weekend meals that is hearty and filling. And it’s my favorite way to cook barbecue.
Plus, it’s a great way to bring family and friends together at dinnertime, backyard barbecues, or even church functions. It will feed a lot of people, and you can eat the pulled pork in a variety of ways.
DISCLAIMER: This post is sponsored by the Wisconsin Pork Producers Association. As always, the opinions are honest and are all my own.
Pork For Any Meal
We love pork around here, just about any way we can get it, and for many reasons.
I’ve shared before that my grandfather had a few hogs on his farm in Tennessee, and he made his own sausage, among other things.
I feel confident that my family will get plenty of nutrition from pork, along with a satisfying meal.
According to Pork.org, “Today’s pork has about 16% less fat and 27% less saturated fat as compared to 30 years ago.”
Pork has a lot of protein and plenty of vitamins, including B6, B12, iron, and zinc. We are always looking for ways to get these nutrients into our diet.
The slow cooker recipe is great for barbecues, parties, family gatherings, and dinner on those busy nights. You can get it ready in the morning and come home to a cooked meal that you know is going to be nutritious, delicious, and filling.
Pork is also unbelievably versatile. Not only is this dinner recipe versatile, but pork, in general, can be cooked in so many ways, including on the grill, in the oven, on top of the stove, or in the slow cooker. And it always tastes fantastic.
Helping Local Farmers
When you buy pork at the local grocery store or meat market, you are helping local farmers in Wisconsin and other states throughout the United States.
Porkcares.org says, “America’s pig farmers have embodied the We Care commitment for more than 30 years. We proactively pursue better technology and methods to improve the safety and quality of pork, while reducing environmental impact.”
I always like to buy pork because it also helps the younger generation including kids that are involved in 4-H Club. They are learning to farm, raise animals, and aim for college scholarships.
Pork is budget-friendly and nutritious, so I always feel good about serving it to my family.
And pig farmers volunteer their time and donate to charitable causes, which I love.
Ingredients For The Easy Pulled Pork Recipe
Full printable recipe with measurements and instructions listed at the bottom of the post in the recipe card.
The recipe calls for a few simple ingredients that most of us have in the pantry.
- Boneless pork shoulder
- Black pepper
- Brown sugar
- BBQ sauce
- Minced garlic
- Diced onion (white or red onion)
- Apple cider vinegar
How To Make BBQ Pulled Pork
- Mix the salt, pepper, paprika, and brown sugar in a small bowl.
- Remove the strings on the pork shoulder.
- Spray the Crock Pot with non-stick spray and place the pork shoulder down into the cooker.
- Rub the dry ingredients on all sides of the pork shoulder.
- Sprinkle the diced onion and minced garlic on top of the pork.
- Pour the apple cider vinegar and BBQ sauce on top of the pork.
- Place the lid on top of the slow cooker and set it on low heat for 8 hours.
- Once the eight hours are up, remove the lid, pick out the fat, and shred the pork.
- Replace the lid and cook for one more hour.
- Remove the tender pork from the slow cooker and place it on your favorite bun.
Need the perfect side dishes for pulled pork sandwiches? Give these a try.
Start by adding the brown sugar, paprika, salt, and black pepper into a small bowl and mix, creating a dry rub.
You can add other seasonings to the dry rub including chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne pepper, or even red pepper flakes if you like things spicy.
I have two growing kids who eat a lot, so I bought a shoulder that was almost four pounds.
I did not cut off the fat because I think it helps add flavor to the meat while it’s cooking. You will be removing the fat when the meal is done.
There are several pork cuts that you can choose from for cooking pulled pork, and the shoulder is the most popular because it cooks up so tender. The meat will just fall apart, which is what you want.
Rub the dry ingredients all over the pork, making sure you get the sides and the bottom.
Sprinkle the onions and minced garlic over the top.
I bought a small bottle of minced garlic to help make prep time go faster. If you have some garlic at home, you can just mince some garlic cloves for the recipe.
Pour the apple cider vinegar over the top of the pork.
Apple cider vinegar will help the pork come out more tender and add a touch of flavor to the meal.
The recipe only requires a little bit of apple cider vinegar.
Finally, pour the barbecue sauce over the top and place the lid on the top of the slow cooker.
Cook the pork shoulder on low heat for eight hours of cooking time. The longer you cook the pork, the more tender it will be. Low and slow is the key.
You can choose your favorite BBQ sauce. We love sweet BBQ sauce and used that, but you can switch it out for spicy, or whatever kind you’d like best.
This recipe makes the house smell amazing!
Once you’ve reached the eight hours, take the lid off the cooker and remove the thick layer of fat.
I took a couple of forks and pulled the large piece of fat off the side. And, once I started shredding the meat, I removed more fat if I came across it.
After shredding the pork, give it a good stir, replace the lid, and let it cook for one more hour. You don’t have to do this step, but I think it gets the sauce down in the meat and continues to add more flavor.
The recipe does call for a long cook time, but it’s well worth the wait because it is amazingly flavorful meat.
Now, it’s ready to serve. Remove the meat, let the liquid drain off, and add it to a bun.
You can pour a little more sauce on top if preferred.
What is the best cut of meat for pulled pork?
Pork shoulder is the best cut of meat for pulled pork because it has a lot of fat that helps the meat cook up so tender. You can also use pork butt or Boston butt, which is part of the shoulder, to get a nice tender meal.
The best way to reheat pulled pork
Place your meat in an oven-safe dish, add a little liquid to help give it some more moisture, cover with tin foil, and bake for about 30 minutes at 225 degrees. Make sure your pork reaches 165 degrees.
For the liquid, you can use apple cider vinegar, BBQ sauce, or some broth that you have on hand.
You can reheat it in the microwave, but be sure to add a little bit of liquid to help keep the moisture in the meat. The internal temperature of the pork needs to reach 165 degrees. It should only take a few minutes in the microwave.
Tips for Pulled Pork BBQ
- Cooking Method Matters: While an Instant Pot or pressure cooker can speed up the process (taking about 5-6 hours), nothing beats the traditional slow cooker. It breaks down the meat over 8-9 hours, ensuring each bite is packed with flavor and comes out wonderfully tender.
- Preparation is Key: Begin with a flavorful spice rub. Marinate your pork in a unique liquid like apple juice, root beer, or even Dr. Pepper for an extra flavor punch.
- Flavor Boosters: Elevate your BBQ by adding ingredients like Worcestershire sauce, liquid smoke, and a dash of fish sauce. These elements combine to create a depth of flavor that’s hard to resist.
- Serving it Right: This pulled pork is perfect on soft hamburger buns or slider buns, making it a versatile choice for any occasion. It’s a fantastic way to feed large crowds without much hassle.
- The Perfect Ingredient Mix: Your ingredient list can be as simple or as adventurous as you like. Experiment with different barbecue sauces or add a bit of chicken broth to keep the pork extra juicy.
- Ideal for Busy Schedules: One of the great things about this easy recipe is its suitability for those busy days. With just a few minutes of prep, your slow cooker does the rest, making it a great choice for first-timers or those with packed schedules. Come home from work, and your weeknight dinner is ready!
- Healthier Options: For a healthier twist, skim off the excess fat that may surface during cooking. Using paper towels to dab off additional fat post-cooking is also a great trick.
- Creative Variations: Don’t be afraid to experiment. Turn this recipe into pork carnitas, or add it to your favorite salads. Each cooking session can be a new culinary adventure!
- The Extras: Always serve with some extra BBQ sauce on the side. For those who love their BBQ tender and juicy, this is a game-changer.
How long does pulled pork last in the fridge?
The pork will last about four days in the refrigerator, but make sure you store it in an airtight container to keep it fresh.
What can I make with leftover pulled pork?
If you have leftover pulled pork, you can use it in a variety of meals.
- Pulled pork mac and cheese
- Pork enchiladas
- Pulled pork tacos
- Chili with pulled pork and beans
- And, of course, more pulled pork sandwiches
What to serve with pulled pork sandwiches
- Potato chips
- Baked beans
- Easy homemade macaroni and cheese
- Buttermilk cornbread recipe
- Copycat Chick-Fil-A coleslaw
- Potato salad
- Jiffy corn pudding
More tasty pork recipes:
- Slow cooker ranch pork chops
- Easy stuffed bell peppers
- Ham and potato casserole
- Sausage bake with hash browns
- Crock Pot sausage and peppers
- Slow cooker pork chops and gravy
Let’s Get Cooking!
I hope these tips help you create an amazing recipe that becomes a staple in your home. Remember, the best BBQ is the one that brings smiles to your table.
Share your experiences, especially if it’s your first time trying this recipe. Can’t wait to hear about your culinary adventures!
- 4 lbs. of pork shoulder
- 1-1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. pepper
- 1 tsp. paprika
- 2 Tbsp. brown sugar
- 1-1/2 cups barbecue sauce (your favorite)
- 1 tsp. minced garlic
- 1 cup diced onion
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- Spray slow cooker with non-stick spray
- Remove strings from pork shoulder and place in the slow cooker.
- In a small bowl, mix the salt, black pepper, paprika, and brown sugar. Rub over the pork shoulder, covering the top, bottom, and sides.
- Next, sprinkle the minced garlic and onions over the pork.
- Pour the apple cider vinegar and barbecue sauce over the top of the pork.
- Place the lid on top and cook for eight hours on the low heat setting.
- After eight hours, remove the fat from the pork, and shred.
- Replace the lid and cook one more hour.
- Once the pork is done cooking, remove it from the slow cooker and place the shredded pork on a bun.
- For best results and more tender meat, cook the pork shoulder on the low setting for nine hours.
- For pulled pork, the shoulder is the best cut of pork.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 810Total Fat: 49gSaturated Fat: 18gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 26gCholesterol: 204mgSodium: 1463mgCarbohydrates: 35gFiber: 1gSugar: 28gProtein: 54g
Nutrition is approximate.
Hi there! I’m Julie Pollitt from ‘Back To My Southern Roots.’ My love for cooking started way back on my grandparents’ farm in Tennessee. Those sunny days, the smell of biscuits in the oven, and all the family fun really sparked my passion for cooking. On my blog, I share more than just recipes – they’re like stories from my life, full of Southern warmth and homey goodness. The best part? Whether you’re just starting out or you’re a kitchen pro, you’ll find my recipes super easy to whip up. So, come on, pull up a chair, and let’s make some delicious memories!