Slow Cooker BBQ Pulled Pork
This easy recipe for slow cooker pulled pork makes delicious, tender, shredded pork that you can toss in your favorite BBQ sauce.
BBQ pulled pork is a southern tradition. You’ll find it at every BBQ, summer party, and potluck. You can eat it on its own, make pork tacos , pork sliders, pulled pork sandwiches, BBQ pork nachos, or even BBQ pork quesadillas! You can easily add it to all sorts of other dishes to get the most use out of it and have a variety of flavors.
This slow cooker BBQ pulled pork recipe should be added to your recipe rotation, especially in the summer months when it’s hot and you don’t want to spend so much time in the kitchen. Best served with some southern coleslaw and Southern hushpuppies .
Crock pot BBQ pulled pork is great for a busy day. You put it on in the morning then you have 5 – 10 hours to get the rest of your stuff done. At the end of the day you are rewarded with delicious, tender pulled pork that you can toss with your favorite BBQ sauce!
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Ingredients You’ll Need
- Pork shoulder – The best cut of meat for this dish. If you can’t find pork shoulder, I have a few other options listed below.
- Spices – For this rub we will use Brown sugar, onion powder, garlic powder, mustard powder, salt, and pepper. You can also use this easy BBQ dry rub if you like it spicy!
- BBQ sauce – Choose your favorite store-bought barbecue sauce or make a delicious homemade BBQ sauce. If you choose a keto friendly BBQ sauce (and use a brown sugar substitute in the dry rub), then this will be a keto friendly meal!
We use a 6 quart Crock Pot for our pulled pork.
Step 1 – Make dry rub – Mix all the dry ingredients together and rub them on to the pork.
Step 2 – Place pork in cooker – Place pork into the slow cooker fat side up and pour ½ cup of BBQ sauce over it, using a brush to spread it over the meat.
Step 3 – Cook – Place the lid on it and set it to Low for 8-10 hours or High for 5-6 hours. You’ll know the meat has finished cooking when it easily pulls apart with a fork.
Step 4 – Remove pork – Once the pork has finished cooking remove it from the slow cooker and place on a cutting board. Dispose of any excess liquid in the slow cooker. Cut off any large bits of fat left on the pork and dispose of those as well.
Step 5 – Shred – Use two forks to pull the pork apart.
Step 6 – Sauce the shredded pork – Once shredded, add the pork back to the slow cooker along with the remaining ½ cup of BBQ sauce. Stir together and serve
Can’t wait 5-6 hours for this delicious pork? Make our Instant Pot Pulled pork in under an hour!
Pork shoulder has the perfect fat content to break down and create the pull apart fall off the bone tender pork needed for pulled pork.
If you can’t find pork shoulder can easily swap it out. Many people use pork butt roast, which is essentially the same as shoulder. The main difference is that the pork butt is a little bit higher up on the pig. Otherwise, they are pretty much the same in flavor and texture.
You can also use boneless pork country-style ribs in place of pork shoulder. They are both cut from the shoulder meat, so they have the same great flavor.
There are a few tips that will help you get the perfect pork every time.
The first is a good cut of meat. You want something with higher fat, not lean pork such as tenderloin.
Next is cooking it low and slow. You don’t want to rush pulled pork. Cooking low and slow allows all the tougher parts of the meat breakdown so they become melt in your mouth tender.
You will cook pork 8-10 hours on Low or 5-6 hours on High. I think the lower and slower you can cook it, the better it will be. I usually get my pork shoulder in the slow cooker early in the morning and set it for low. I can go to work, run errands, or binge my favorite show for a couple of hours and my pork is ready for me at the end of the day.
The only way to overcook it would be to cook at too high heat for too long. That will dry your meat out. It’s difficult to overcook this dish since it can cook for up to 10 hours. Even on high heat in your slow cooker, it can cook for 5-6 hours.
Since the smell of that BBQ is going to be calling your name all day it would take some serious will power to overcook that pork!
No, there is no need to add any liquid to your slow cooker when you’re making pulled pork. There is enough fat content in the pork shoulder or similar cut of meat to keep it very moist as it cooks.
What is the best way to pull pork?
There are many methods people use and they all work well. Try them all out and see what fits your likes and needs. Here are some ideas to get you started:
Forks – This is the most traditional method. You simply take two forks and twist the to shred apart. This is a very inexpensive way to do it, and you don’t need any special tools.
Shredder Claws – You can buy some claws that are specifically made for shredding all sorts of meat. You literally just twist them, and next thing you know, you have perfectly shredded meat!
Stand Mixer – I know it might sound a little crazy, but if you put the meat in the stand mixer, you can turn it on to low speed for a few seconds to a minute, and it will shred FAST!
Food Processor – Using your slicer blade, you can efficiently shred the meat by giving it a few pulses. It will be a fabulous texture and will look great too.
As you can see, there are several methods and there is no right or wrong way to do it. We have used several methods, and they all work great.
If you opt to use a different cut of meat, like a pork tenderloin or pork roast, using the stand mixer or food processor is the way to go. Since they are a little denser, you need a stronger shredding option to get it pulled apart well.
How to Store It
Let the pork cool completely, then place it in an airtight container. Tt will easily last 3 – 4 days. This is ideal if you are wanting to make it ahead of time for a party, event, or simply meal prepping!
You can store it in the freezer. After it has cooled completely, you can add it to freezer-safe bags, or another freezer safe container of your choice, and put it in the freezer. If we make an especially large batch, we will stick it in multiple containers so we can have it to eat for several meals.
It will last up to 3 months in the freezer. To serve, simply thaw in the fridge overnight and microwave. It’s that easy! Then you will have a no-fuss meal on hand any time you need it.
Looking for more slow cooker recipes?
- Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas
- Crock Pot Buffalo Chicken Dip
- Crock Pot Italian Beef
- Slow Cooker Turkey Breast
- Slow Cooker Taco Soup
- Slow Cooker Chicken Cacciatore
- Crock Pot Shredded Chicken
- Slow Cooker Sausage and Ravioli
- More Slow Cooker Recipes…
Slow Cooker BBQ Pulled Pork
- Mix all of the dry ingredients together and rub them on to the pork.
- Place pork into the slow cooker fat side up and pour ½ cup of BBQ sauce over it, using a brush to spread it over the meat.
- Place the lid on it and set it to Low for 8-10 hours or High for 5-6 hours. You’ll know the meat has finished cooking when it easily pulls apart with a fork.
- Once the pork has finished cooking remove it from the slow cooker and place on a cutting board. Dispose of any excess liquid in the slow cooker. Cut off any large bits of fat left on the pork and dispose of those as well.
- Use two forks to pull the pork apart.
- Once shredded add the pork back to the slow cooker along with the remaining ½ cup of BBQ sauce. Stir together and serve.