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Easy Slow Cooker Pulled Pork BBQ Recipe

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

Pulled pork sandwich on a plate with coleslaw.

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.

Pulled pork, coleslaw, and chips on a white plate.

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
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • Paprika
  • Brown sugar
  • BBQ sauce
  • Minced garlic
  • Diced onion (white or red onion)
  • Apple cider vinegar

How To Make BBQ Pulled Pork

  1. Mix the salt, pepper, paprika, and brown sugar in a small bowl.
  2. Remove the strings on the pork shoulder.
  3. Spray the Crock Pot with non-stick spray and place the pork shoulder down into the cooker.
  4. Rub the dry ingredients on all sides of the pork shoulder.
  5. Sprinkle the diced onion and minced garlic on top of the pork.
  6. Pour the apple cider vinegar and bbq sauce on top of the pork.
  7. Place the lid on top of the slow cooker and set it on low heat for 8 hours.
  8. Once the eight hours are up, remove the lid, pick out the fat, and shred the pork.
  9. Replace the lid and cook one more hour.
  10. 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.

Step-By-Step Instructions

Brown sugar, paprika, salt, and pepper in a small glass bowl.

Start by adding the brown sugar, paprika, salt, and black pepper into a small bowl and mix, creating the 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.

Pork shoulder in the bottom of the Crock Pot

Next, spray the slow cooker with non-stick spray. Place the pork shoulder into the bottom of the slow cooker. Be sure to remove the strings that are placed around the pork to help it keep its shape.

I have two growing kids that 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.

Pork shoulder with dry rub in the slow cooker.

Rub the dry ingredients all over the pork, making sure you get the sides and the bottom.

Diced onions and garlic on top of pork shoulder.

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.

Pouring apple cider vinegar on pork shoulder.

Pour the apple cider vinegar over the top of the pork.

Apple cider vinegar will help the pork come out more tender and adds a touch of flavor to the meal.

The recipe only requires a little bit of apple cider vinegar.

BBQ sauce on top of pork shoulder in the slow cooker.

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!

Cooked pork shoulder in the Crock Pot.

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.

Cooked pulled pork in the slow cooker.

After shredding the pork, give it a good stir and replace the lid and let it cook 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.

BBQ pulled pork in a small bowl.

Now, it’s ready to serve. Remove the meat, and let the liquid drain off and add 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.

Pulled pork sandwiches on a white plate with coleslaw.

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
An easy pulled pork recipe on a plate.

What to serve with pulled pork sandwiches

Pulled pork and coleslaw on a bun.

More tasty pork recipes:

Pork sandwiches on a plate with chips, BBQ sauce, and coleslaw.
An easy pulled pork recipe on a plate.

Easy Slow Cooker Pulled Pork BBQ Recipe

Yield: 8 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 9 hours
Total Time: 9 hours 10 minutes

Easy slow cooker pulled pork bbq recipe is one of the best-tasting comfort foods out there that will become one of your favorite recipes.

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  1. Spray slow cooker with non-stick spray
  2. Remove strings from pork shoulder and place in the slow cooker.
  3. In a small bowl, mix the salt, black pepper, paprika, and brown sugar. Rub over the pork shoulder, covering the top, bottom, and sides.
  4. Next, sprinkle the minced garlic and onions over the pork.
  5. Pour the apple cider vinegar and barbecue sauce over the top of the pork.
  6. Place the lid on top and cook for eight hours on the low heat setting.
  7. After eight hours, remove the fat from the pork, and shred.
  8. Replace the lid and cook one more hour.
  9. Once the pork is done cooking, remove it from the slow cooker and place the shredded pork on a bun.

Notes

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.

Recommended Products

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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.

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Tuesday 31st of August 2021

[…] Easy slow cooker pulled pork BBQ recipe […]

What To Serve With Pulled Pork BBQ Sandwiches: 25 Of The Best Side Dishes - Back To My Southern Roots

Tuesday 25th of May 2021

[…] are several ways to cook barbecue pulled pork for sandwiches. The slow cooker is one of my favorite and the easiest way to cook […]

Carlee

Thursday 20th of May 2021

This will be perfect for our summer gatherings, I love how easy it is to feed a crowd with pulled pork!

Julie Pollitt

Friday 21st of May 2021

Thanks, Carlee!

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