This post may contain affiliate links. Read our disclaimer.
This Slow Cooker Pulled Pork is seasoned with a flavorful dry rub, then cooked low and slow in your crock pot and coated in your favorite bbq sauce. It requires just 5 minutes of prep work, making this an incredibly easy recipe to prepare!
Slow cooker pulled pork is what dreams are made of!
With warmer weather just around the corner, it’s time to start thinking about family and friend gatherings, which if we’re being honest, basically just revolve around food. ….nothing wrong with that!
Trust me when I say, you’re going to want to be THAT person who brings pulled pork. Everyone will thank you, but little will they know that you only spent 5 minutes preparing this dish.
Honestly, I’ve been so into my Instant Pot and air fryer lately, that I kind of forget about my slow cooker. I know, I know, what gives?! I love making my butternut squash chickpea chili in the crock pot, but this pulled pork might just take the cake.
- Made with pork butt or shoulder, making it ideal for low and slow cooking
- Seasoned with spices and your favorite bbq sauce
- Only requires 5 minutes of prep, and the slow cooker does the rest of the work!
- Pork: You’re going to want to use either pork butt or pork shoulder (sometimes called Boston butt), both of which are fattier parts of the pork and therefore lend themselves to being cooked low and slow in the slow cooker. I also recommend using boneless pork instead of bone-in.
- Vinegar: The vinegar compliments the spices really well, and while I opted to use apple cider vinegar, white distilled vinegar would be a fine substitute. You could also use chicken broth if you prefer, though it will alter the flavor.
- Spices: Don’t leave out the spices! While the main flavor is the bbq sauce, the seasonings take the pork to the next level.
- BBQ sauce: Use your favorite kind! I used the basic 365 brand by Whole Foods and thought it was fantastic.
Step 1: Season the pork. Start by combining the salt, garlic powder and smoked paprika in a small bowl, then use your hands to rub it all over the pork, making sure it’s completely coated.
Step 2: Cook in the slow cooker. Add the vinegar to the bottom of your slow cooker, then place the seasoned pork on top. Cook it on HIGH for 5 hours, or on LOW for 7 hours (warning: your house will smell amazing!)
Step 3: Add the barbecue sauce. Once the time is up, pour in the bbq sauce, then cook for 45 more minutes or until the pork shreds easily.
Step 4: Shred. Use two forks to shred the pork -- it should fall apart incredibly easily -- that’s a good thing! Give it a good toss in the sauce and be prepared to devour it.
Tips and tricks
- I'm giving options to cook this pork on high or low settings; however, if you have time, I highly recommend cooking it on low heat. This will allow the pork to become nice and tender and basically fall apart when you shred it.
- While many of my recipes serve 2-4 people, this recipe makes enough for a crowd (just keep that in mind). If you’re wanting to make this for only 2 people, I’d recommend halving the recipe, or plan on storing at least half of it in the freezer.
- Want to add even more smoky flavor to this? Try adding 1 tablespoon of liquid smoke.
- Use pulled pork to make pulled pork sandwiches with coleslaw (similar to my crispy cod sandwich) or even tacos!
Do I have to use BBQ sauce?
Technically no. If you don’t want to use bbq sauce, you could try adding chicken/beef stock, beer or even apple juice instead.
What is the best cut of meat to use?
As mentioned above, opt for pork butt or pork shoulder, preferably boneless. You don't want to use pork tenderloin or pork chops because the result will be a dry meat, which we don't want.
What can I serve alongside pulled pork?
Serve it by itself or with:
- Roasted potatoes
- Mac and cheese
- Air fryer sweet potatoes
- Pea salad
- Cheesy cauliflower bake
- Braised greens
- Refrigerator: Store cooked pulled pork in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
- Freezer: To freeze, wait for the pork to cool to room temperature, then transfer it to foil and wrap it up as tightly as possible (you may need to do this in batches). Then, place the foil in a freezer-safe plastic bag, remove as much excess air as possible and seal it up. Store pork in the freezer for up to 6 months.
- To reheat: I recommend reheating in the oven. Heat your oven to 300°, place pork and all of its juices in a baking dish with a lid and heat it until it reaches 165° (use a meat thermometer), stirring occasionally.
More delicious pork recipes
If you made this recipe, be sure to leave a comment and star rating below. Thanks!
Slow Cooker Pulled Pork
- Combine the salt, garlic powder and smoked paprika in a bowl, then use your hands to rub the spice mixture all over the pork, making sure it's completely coated.
- Pour the apple cider vinegar into your slow cooker, then place the pork on top and put a lid on it. Cook on HIGH for 5 hours or on LOW for 7 hours, then, remove the lid, pour in the bbq sauce and cook for 1 more hour.
- Use two forks to shred the pork, toss it in the sauce and enjoy!
UPDATE NOTE: This post was originally published in April 2021. It was updated with new text in April 2023.