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This Slow Cooker Pulled Pork is the ultimate pulled pork recipe. Tender and flavorful pork shoulder cooked in a sweet, smoky, refined sugar-free homemade BBQ sauce!

ow to make pulled pork in the crock pot

Easy Pulled Pork Recipe

And we’re back with another slow cooker recipe. So convenient, so simple, and always providing insanely delicious meals. 

And this Slow Cooker Pulled Pork is no exception. This recipe is perfect for summer barbeques, potlucks, or just an easy dinner all year round. This recipe results in pork that is spicy and sweet, tender and juicy, and perfect served as an entree with a couple of side dishes, on sandwiches, in tacos or burritos, in pasta, you name it.

Ingredients Needed

Scroll for the full list!

  • Pork: I like to use organic pork shoulder roast or pork butt.
  • Meat Rub: we’re making a homemade spice rub with a combination of smoked paprika, ground cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, dried oregano, cayenne pepper, sea salt, and black pepper.

Homemade BBQ Sauce

You can use store-bought, but making your own is a breeze!

  • Diced Tomato: I like to add a can of organic diced tomato to give the sauc
  • Tomato Paste: adds flavor depth and richness.
  • Chicken Stock: creates a delicious flavor base for our BBQ sauce.
  • Garlic: use freshly crushed garlic to add the best flavor.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar: the acidity in ACV helps break down the meat for a more tender texture.
  • Olive Oil: adds warmth and nuttiness to the sauce.
  • Raw Honey: gives the BBQ sauce a little bit of sweetness.
  • Pineapple Juice: adds delicious tangy, fruity sweetness to the BBQ sauce.
  • Dijon Mustard: gives the sauce a kick of spice.
  • Seasonings: we’re using a blend of cayenne pepper, smoked paprika, sea salt, and black pepper.
  • Fish Sauce: adds a little bit of umami flavor. 
  • Hot Sauce: use more or less to taste!

How to Make Pulled Pork in the Crockpot

This slow cooker pulled pork recipe takes just 5 minutes to prepare! 

  1. Make the sauce: In a saucepan, combine all of the ingredients for the homemade BBQ sauce. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes to thicken.
  2. Season the meat: Combine all of the seasonings for the pork in a bowl. Pat the pork dry, slice it into three pieces, then rub with the spice mix.
  3. Sear the meat: Heat a skillet over medium-high heat, add and heat avocado oil, then sear the meat for 3-4 minutes on each side.
  4. Combine and cook: Place the pork in the slow cooker, pour in the BBQ sauce, then cover and cook on low for 8 hours. 
  5. Shred and serve: Transfer the cooked meat to a cutting board and allow it to cool for a few minutes. Use 2 forks to shred the meat into bite-sized pieces.

Does Pulled Pork in the Slow Cooker Need Liquid

Yes! Pork needs to be cooked with a liquid in the slow cooker so it doesn’t burn on the bottom and so it doesn’t dry out during the long, slow cooking time. 

For this recipe, we’re using a homemade BBQ sauce as the liquid which adds tons of flavor and so much moisture. 

Can You Overcook Pulled Pork in a Slow Cooker?

In theory, yes. However, it is incredibly difficult to overcook pork in the slow cooker. Especially if you’re using a well-marbled cut of pork. 

What to Serve with Pulled Pork

We like to serve our pulled pork with a slice of bibb lettuce, red cabbage slaw, and chives.

It’s also delicious with a side of grilled pineapple, classic macaroni salad, cornbread, roasted potato wedges, baked potatoes, Healthy Cole Slaw, 3-Ingredient Taco Slaw, Mexican Street Corn Pasta Salad, you name it! 

What to Do With Leftover Pulled Pork

If you’re not serving your pulled pork as a main dish, there are plenty of other ways to use it, whether it’s leftover or fresh from the crockpot. Here are a few ideas:

slow cooker pulled pork sandwich

How to Store

Leftover pulled pork will last in an airtight container in the fridge for 4-5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. 

When you’re ready to serve again, thaw overnight in the fridge if frozen.

How to Reheat Pulled Pork

To reheat your pulled pork, warm it in a skillet on the stove with a splash of water or broth to moisten slightly.

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slow cooker pulled pork sandwich

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

5 from 3 votes
This Slow Cooker Pulled Pork is the ultimate pulled pork recipe. Tender and flavorful pork shoulder cooked in a sweet, smoky, refined sugar-free homemade BBQ sauc
Servings 4
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours


  • 2 pounds pork shoulder roast or pork butt

Meat Rub:

  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons garlic power
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Homemade BBQ Sauce (see note):

  • 1 15 oz. can organic diced tomato
  • 1 8 oz. can organic tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup organic chicken stock
  • 3 garlic cloves crushed
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon raw honey
  • 1/2 cup fresh pineapple juice
  • 1 tablespoon organic Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspooon cayenne more to taste
  • 2 tablespoons smoked paprika more to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt more to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce more to taste


  • In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, combine all sauce ingredients and mix well. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to low. Let simmer uncovered, mixing occasionally, for 30 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning as desired.
  • While sauce is simmering, combine meat rub ingredients in a small mixing bowl. Pat meat dry and slice it into three medium pieces. Generously rub the meat with the spice mix, making sure every area is well covered.
  • Heat a medium skillet over medium-high heat, and add 1 tablespoon avocado oil. Once the oil is hot, sear meat for 3-4 minutes on each side, or until brown. Place the meat in the crock pot.
  • Once the BBQ sauce is ready, take it off heat and let cool for about 5 minutes. Pour into a blender and blend until smooth.
  • Pour BBQ sauce over the meat in the slow cooker and make sure the meat is generously covered.
  • Cover the slow cooker and set it to cook on low heat for 8 hours.
  • Remove the meat and place it on a cutting board. Let cool for a few minutes. When cool, using 2 forks shred the meat into bite-sized pieces, discarding any large pieces of fat.
  • Serve warm with your favorite sides!
  • Leftover pulled pork will last in an airtight container in the fridge for 4-5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.  When you’re ready to serve again, thaw overnight in the fridge if frozen.


  • You can always use your favorite store-bought BBQ sauce.
  • Serving: We like serving this with a slice of bibb lettuce, red cabbage slaw, and chives.


Calories: 478kcalCarbohydrates: 16gProtein: 28gFat: 33gSaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 107mgSodium: 520mgFiber: 2.6gSugar: 11.6g
Author: Lexi

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Recipe Rating


  1. thank you for this, a great reason to get out my crock pot, a perfect low and slow dish and my recipe for this is kinsa stale, stale in the sense that I don’t remember it very well so I appreciate the recipe!

  2. 5 stars
    Whoops, didn’t mean to post my name as a review. What I meant to say was yum! Hubby loves pulled pork and he loved that the bbq sauce added flavour but not too strong. Served on buns with mayo, sauce, pickles, banana peppers, red onion and cilantro. Looking forward to using up the leftovers.

  3. Thanks for sharing this recipe! i just made it today and it was fabulous! I didn’t have any more cayenne on hand so I substituted with a small chipotle pepper which I pureed in my food processor before adding to the slow cooker. This one is definitely going in my recipe box 🙂

  4. Would you recommend this recipe for a pressure cooker? and if so would you put the bbq sauce in with the meat so as to not have it dry out during cooking? this will be my first time using a pressure cooker and any advice you can give would be much appreciated 🙂

  5. Really good. I agree that the sauce is missing a little something, but it was definitely good enough that I’d make it again and maybe tweak the ingredients a little. Great recipe!

  6. Made this tonight, and it was really good! Used a 4.3 lb. Pork Butt / Pork Shoulder Blade Roast. The cook time was spot-on, and the rub was great and plentiful. I did not have smoked paprika, so I had to use regular. I missed that smokey dimension, but the outcome of the meat was still really flavorful and tender.

    The BBQ sauce was missing something, not sure what, but it was still good albeit a bit tomatoey.

    The whole house smelled delicious, and we have a ton of leftovers to transform into other meals. Thanks for sharing this recipe!

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