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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!
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.
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- 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!
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Combine and cook: Place the pork in the slow cooker, pour in the BBQ sauce, then cover and cook on low for 8 hours.
- 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:
- Sandwiches. Pile it onto a grilled cheese, serve it on hamburger or slider buns topped with coleslaw.
- Tacos, quesadillas, or burritos. Layer it into a cheesy quesadilla, wrap it up in a burrito with your favorite mix-ins, or serve it as tacos or taquitos for taco night!
- Pizza. Swap it for the chicken on a BBQ chicken pizza.
- Pasta. Mix it into mac and cheese or add it to BLT pasta salad.
- Dip. Swap it out for the chicken in healthy buffalo chicken dip or get crazy and add it to spinach and artichoke dip.
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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Other Slow Cooker Favorites
- Slow Cooker Chicken Curry
- Instant Pot or Slow Cooker Brisket
- Slow Cooker Baked Potato Bar
- Slow Cooker French Onion Soup (Gluten-Free)
- Pork Carnitas (Instant Pot and Slow Cooker)
Slow Cooker Pulled Pork
- 2 pounds pork shoulder roast or pork butt
- 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.