Pulled Pork Recipe (Slow Cooker)

10.04.2018

A good Pulled Pork is just one of those comforting recipes we should all have stashed in our recipe book. This is the pulled pork recipe I’ve been using for years! I love how it’s incredibly easy yet incredibly delicious!

Pulled Pork

Pulled Pork Recipe

So what makes this my favorite pulled pork recipe?

  • A simple homemade dry rub (the seasoning mixture that’s rubbed over the roast).
  • A slightly sweet, tangy, smokey broth mixture the roast soaks and cooks in for 8 hours.
  • I love that since it’s cooked in the slow cooker it’s super tender.
  • And I also like the shortcut of a store-bought bbq sauce here making it doable for busy days (but feel free to use homemade if you got some on hand).

Then for me it’s not complete without a side of coleslaw. The two just go hand in hand right?

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My coleslaw of choice for pulled pork is this simple recipe HERE, but I’ll I do like to add blue cheese crumbles when pairing it with pulled pork. It takes it over the top.

Pulled Pork ingredients needed shown here

Ingredients for Pulled Pork

For the dry rub you’ll need:

  • 1 1/2 Tbsp salt and 1 Tbsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp paprika
  • 1/2 Tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper (or a little more if you want it spicier)

For the roast and broth you’ll need:

  • 4 pound boneless pork shoulder roast (aka Boston Butt roast)
  • 2 cups apple juice
  • 2/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp Worcestershire
  • 1/2 Tbsp liquid smoke
  • 1 1/4 cups BBQ sauce (I like to use Bullseye)

Then don’t forget about the buns and coleslaw!

Pulled Pork Sandwich

How to Make Pulled Pork Sandwiches in the Slow Cooker

  • In a small mixing bowl whisk together salt, pepper, brown sugar, paprika, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper.
  • Place roast in a baking dish and rub entire roast with dry rub mixture, pressing mixture over the roast. Cover roast with plastic wrap and allow to rest in the refrigerator at least 2 hours, or overnight.
  • In a medium mixing bowl combine apple juice, apple cider vinegar, Worcestershire and liquid smoke.
  • Place roast in a slow cooker, pour several tablespoons of the apple juice mixture over the top of the roast, then pour remaining mixture on the side of the roast (I do this so all the dry rub isn’t washed off the top).
  • Cover slow cooker and cook on low heat 8 – 10 hours.

Pulled Pork shown here finished cooking in crockpot

To Finish it Up

Remove roast from slow cooker and shred (leave broth in slow cooker). Return shredded pork to slow cooker (in broth) and allow to cook on low 10 – 20 more minutes.

Drain most of the broth from pork (I leave about 1/2 cup), pour in barbecue sauce and toss.

Serve in buns with coleslaw if desired.

Pulled pork shown here in crock pot pouring barbecue sauce over top.

Tips for the Best Pulled Pork

  • Pick the right cut of meat – stick with Pork Shoulder (AKA Boston Butt) for flavorful, tender results.
  • Add a good seasoning before cooking. The dry rub used here is tasty and doesn’t call for 101 ingredients.
  • Simmer in a flavorful broth. The roast will soak up the flavors of the broth (which is apple juice and apple cider vinegar based here) throughout that lengthy cook time.
  • Cook low and slow. I love the slow cooker method for pulled pork because it yields perfectly tender shredded pork.
  • Don’t forget the sauce. Pulled pork is all about that barbecue sauce. I recommend using a smokey rich sauce that isn’t too sweet.
  • Add coleslaw for texture, freshness and color. It makes the sandwich look that much more appealing.

Pulled Pork

Can I Use a Bone-In Pork Roast?

A bone-in roast works great here too. Look for one that’s about 4.5 to make up for the weight of the bone.

Pulled Pork shown here in a bun with coleslaw sitting on parchment paper on a marble surface

More Recipes You Might Like

Print

Pulled Pork Sandwiches (Slow Cooker)

5 from 3 votes

This is my go-to pulled pork recipe! It's super easy to make, amazingly tender, and deliciously flavorful. Put it in the slow cooker in the morning and come home to a dinner that's practically ready after work.

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Pulled Pork
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 8 hours 15 minutes
Total Time: 10 hours 25 minutes
Servings: 8 people
Calories: 338 kcal
Author: Jaclyn

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 Tbsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp paprika
  • 1/2 Tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 4 pound boneless pork shoulder roast (aka Boston Butt roast)
  • 2 cups apple juice
  • 2/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp Worcestershire
  • 1/2 Tbsp liquid smoke
  • 1 1/4 cups BBQ sauce (I like to use Bullseye)

Instructions

  1. In a small mixing bowl whisk together salt, pepper, brown sugar, paprika, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper.

  2. Place pork shoulder in a baking dish and rub entire roast with dry rub mixture, pressing mixture over the roast. Cover roast with plastic wrap and allow to rest in the refrigerator at least 2 hours, or overnight.

  3. In a medium mixing bowl combine apple juice, apple cider vinegar, Worcestershire and liquid smoke.

  4. Place roast in a slow cooker, pour several tablespoons of the apple juice mixture over the top of the roast, then pour remaining mixture on the side of the roast (I do this so all the dry rub isn't washed off the top).
  5. Cover slow cooker and cook on low heat 8 - 10 hours. 

  6. Remove roast from slow cooker and shred (leave broth in slow cooker). Return shredded pork to slow cooker (in broth) and allow to cook 10 - 20 more minutes. 

  7. Strain most of the broth from pork (I leave about 1/2 cup), pour in barbecue sauce and toss.

  8. Serve in buns with coleslaw if desired.

  9. Recipe source: adapted from Food Network

Recipe Notes

I like to serve with this coleslaw HERE. I like to add some blue cheese crumbles to it as well it pairs deliciously with the pork.

Serve with fresh bakery buns for best results. Skip those down the bread isle.

Nutrition Facts
Pulled Pork Sandwiches (Slow Cooker)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 338 Calories from Fat 90
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 10g 15%
Saturated Fat 3g 15%
Cholesterol 92mg 31%
Sodium 1921mg 80%
Potassium 747mg 21%
Total Carbohydrates 31g 10%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Sugars 24g
Protein 27g 54%
Vitamin A 20.8%
Vitamin C 3.2%
Calcium 5.5%
Iron 15.4%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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39 comments

  • Lori K.: So good! And easy! I made this a few days ago and I’m still drooling in anticipation of leftovers for tonight’s dinner. I never would’ve thought of adding blue cheese, but am I ever glad I did! This one’s a keeper. October 17, 2018 at 12:43pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks for taking to the time to leave a review Lori! Happy to hear you like the addition of blue cheese too! October 17, 2018 at 1:03pm Reply

  • lstall63: Just let me say this recipe is awesome!! We come from the Mississipi Delta where we fine hone our grilling and bar-b-que…I moved away and do not have access to a grill now and this recipe hit on all cylinders! The only thing I would change is the amount of liquid (1/4 cup vs 1/2 cup) left after shredding the pork before adding the bbq sauce. Sweet Baby Ray’s really adds an element of sweetness with the rub and is great!! Thank you for bringing a piece of home to our new home!! October 13, 2018 at 6:24pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Happy to hear it reminded you of home :). Thanks for your tips! October 13, 2018 at 11:37pm Reply

  • Jacqueline Scribner: Made this for my granddaughter’s birthday party and it turned out great. Everyone enjoyed it and asked for the recipe. Very easy even for a first timer. October 8, 2018 at 10:27am Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m happy to hear everyone enjoyed it Jacqueline! Thanks for your comment! October 8, 2018 at 11:39am Reply

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