Slow Cooker Pulled Pork is one of the easiest, most delicious family meals. A pork roast is cooked low and slow in the crock-pot in a tangy, sweet, and slightly spicy homemade barbecue sauce that is simply irresistible.
Serve Crockpot Pulled Pork on buns topped with creamy coleslaw and served with a side of Homemade Baked Beans and Oven Baked Fries. Or if you aren’t in the mood for Pulled Pork Sandwiches, try this barbecue pork on top of Pulled Pork Pizza or topped on a baked sweet potato.
If I am throwing a party in the summer, you better believe BBQ Pulled Pork is on the menu. It is a dish that everyone loves, it feeds a crowd, it’s inexpensive, and most importantly, it’s downright delicious.
The bonus to this simple recipe is that when made in the slow cooker, pulled pork is also one of the EASIEST recipes to entertain with.
While many people believe that you have to have a smoker to make pulled pork, this recipe will prove that theory wrong.
With just a few simple ingredients, and the magic of cooking low and slow in the crockpot, a pork roast cooks until it is perfectly tender and falls apart in a sweet and tangy sauce.
Key Ingredients for Pulled Pork
- Pork Roast: You can use a pork butt, sometimes referred to as pork shoulder roast, or a pork loin. For really tender, flavorful pulled pork, pork butt is best, as it is super marbled with fat and will get really tender. A pork loin won’t be as tender, but much less fatty and still delicious.
- Dry Rub: This is a simple mixture of salt, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, and chili powder that is rubbed onto the pork roast and adds incredible flavor to not only the meat but seasons the homemade barbecue sauce.
- Homemade Barbecue Sauce: To cook the pork roast you need liquid. You could simply use apple juice, beer or stock, but I find adding in apple cider vinegar, tomato sauce, and honey will allow the pork to cook in a homemade barbecue sauce that adds so much flavor to your pulled pork.
How to Make Slow Cooker Pulled Pork
- Place a diced onion into the bottom of a slow cooker.
- Combine spices together in a small bowl.
- Gently pat the pork roast dry with a paper towel, so that the rub adheres to the pork better.
- Rub the seasonings evenly over the pork roast. ingredients for the rub and generously rub pork roast evenly with the rub.
- Place pork roast on top of the onion in the slow cooker.
- Mix together the apple juice, vinegar, sauce, and honey together and pour over the pork.
- Cook on low for 8 to 10 hours.
- After cook time, remove pork from slow cooker and place in large bowl or cutting board.
- Strain off cooking liquid and pour over pulled pork to coat. Note: If you want to strain off the fat that accumulated prior to pouring liquid over pork, simple place liquid in the freezer for 5-10 minutes, then scoop the solidified fat off the liquid,
- Return the sauce to the slow cooker. If you would like your sauce to thicken up, turn the slow cooker to high heat and cook the sauce uncovered for 20- 30 minutes
- Shred pork with 2 forks or a handheld kitchen mixer and return to the cooking liquid (after thickening!)
My favorite way to enjoy pulled pork is on a BBQ Pork Sandwich with homemade coleslaw. If you have never tried the combo, I promise you it takes a great BBQ sandwich and makes it out of this world!!!
Pulled pork will keep in the fridge for 4-5 days.
You can also freeze the leftover barbecue pork in 2-3 cup portions for up to 3 months. To reheat frozen pork, let the pork thaw out overnight in the fridge. Place in a microwave-safe dish and heat for-2-3 minutes per cup of pork. Add in a splash of apple juice, water, or stock to loosen up pork if needed.
More Barbecue Favorites
Slow Cooker Pulled Pork
- 3-4 lbs boneless pork shoulder roast (pork butt) or pork loin
- 1 onion diced
- 2 tsp salt
- 2 tbs paprika
- 1 tbs onion powder
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- 2 tsp pepper
- 1 tbs chili powder
- 1 cup apple juice or chicken stock or beer
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar or red wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup honey or brown sugar
- 1 8 ounce can tomato sauce
- In a small bowl, mix together the salt, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, pepper, and chili powder.
- Remove pork roast from packaging and pat dry with a paper towel. Rub the spice mixture all over the pork roast.
- Lay out the diced onion on the bottom of the slow cooker and then place the seasoned pork on top of the onion.
- Combine the juice, vinegar, honey, and tomato sauce and pour over the pork loin.
- Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours.
- Remove the pork roast from the slow cooker and place into a large bowl. Shred the pork loin with 2 forks or a kitchen mixer.
- Strain cooking sauce over a large bowl to remove onions. If you want to strain off the fat that accumulated prior to pouring liquid over pork, simple place liquid in the freezer for 5-10 minutes, then scoop the solidified fat off the liquid before thickening.
- If you would like to thicken the barbecue sauce, turn the slow cooker to high and cook the sauce for 30 minutes.
- Return the meat back to the slow cooker to stir into the juices.
- Serve on a bun with or without coleslaw, in a lettuce wrap, on a pizza.
- Pork Roast: You can use a pork butt, sometimes referred to as pork shoulder roast, or a pork loin. For really tender, flavorful pulled pork, pork butt is best, as it is super marbled with fat and will get really tender. A pork loin won't be as tender, but much less fatty and still delicious.
- Apple Juice--beer or stock can be substituted, but the apple juice adds just the right sweetness.
- Apple Cider Vinegar--red wine vinegar can be used if you do not have apple cider vinegar.
- Honey--feel free to use brown sugar in place of honey.