This easy slow cooker pulled pork recipe is sure to be a go-to comfort food meal! Pork shoulder is generously coated with lots of yummy spices and slow cooked with onions and a simple mixture of broth, barbecue sauce and apple cider vinegar. Once cooked, it’s incredibly juicy and delicious, and you’ll find yourself using this pulled pork in so many recipes.
I seriously love this slow cooker pulled pork recipe and hope you do too!
Aside from how incredibly tasty it is, it uses really simple ingredients and it’s quite easy to prepare. Plus, there are so many ways to use pulled pork. Like, a lot! And who doesn’t love recipes like that?
When the pork was cooked, I could barely take it out of the slow cooker, it was falling apart that much. The bone literally just fell out, clean off the meat.
What is the Best Cut for Pulled Pork?
I prefer to use a pork shoulder or pork butt (Boston Butt) for this slow cooker pulled pork recipe. These cuts yield a super tender and delicious result!
I used a bone-in pork shoulder roast, but if your butcher or grocery store has boneless, that’s perfectly fine to use.
Should I Trim the Roast?
It pretty much goes without saying that pork, especially pork shoulder, is a fattier cut. And it also goes without saying that that fat adds flavour and moisture to the pork.
Having said that, I do prefer to trim the thick fat cap on the pork shoulder roast and any other excess fatty bits. It’s not like the pork shoulder is being roasted and the fat is getting crispy. Plus, I like to minimize the amount of fat rendering into the pulled pork sauce.
The seasoning for the pork shoulder uses common, everyday ingredients, like:
- Garlic powder
- Black pepper
- Cayenne pepper
- Smoked paprika
- Mustard powder
- Chili powder
- Dried oregano
If you like more of a particular flavour, feel free to add a dash or two more!
How To Make Slow Cooker Pulled Pork
Here’s an overview of how to make slow cooker pulled pork (refer to the recipe card below for full details):
- Make the pulled pork spice rub by combining the seasoning ingredients (as mentioned above) in a small bowl until well combined.
- In another bowl, make the liquid component of the slow cooker pulled pork by combining chicken broth, barbecue sauce, apple cider vinegar and brown sugar.
- Season the pork shoulder all over with the pulled pork spice mix (get into all those nooks and crannies, it will be well coated when you’re done)! All those seasonings means tons of flavour for the pork shoulder. Place onions in the slow cooker, then pour over the chicken broth mixture. Place the pork shoulder over top.
- Cover and cook until the meat is cooked through and shreds easily.
- Remove the pork from the liquid and place it into a large mixing bowl. Once it’s cool enough to handle, start shredding it (you can discard any bones and fatty bits).
- Using a fine-mesh strainer, strain the liquid in the slow cooker (if you want a smoother sauce) into a saucepan and skim off any excess fat/grease. Bring to a simmer on the stovetop and cook until it has thickened and reduced by about half. Pour the sauce over the pulled pork and serve.
How To Use It
Oh the possibilities!! Some of my favourite ways to use pulled pork are in:
- Sandwiches or sliders
- Rice bowls
- Loaded fries (so good with cheese)
I have some delicious pulled pork recipes coming soon, so stay tuned!
Leftovers and Storing
Properly store leftover pulled pork in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 to 4 days. Alternatively, freeze in resealable freezer bags or freezer containers for up to 2 to 3 months (thaw in the refrigerator overnight when ready to reheat and enjoy).
When reheating pulled pork, you want it to reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
My favourite way to reheat pulled pork is to spread the meat out in a large sauté pan with a little bit of broth (if you have any cooking liquid from when you cooked the pork, that’s even better). Reheat over medium heat, stirring occasionally until it’s heated through. You want to add enough broth to keep the pork moist, but not too much that it’s overly wet.
What To Serve With It
Pulled pork is delicious on its own, of course. But sides? Sides are some of my favourite things with any meal. It’s what makes the whole thing complete, if you ask me. Some delicious accompaniments to serve with pulled pork are:
- Coleslaw (especially good with pulled pork on a sandwich)
- Mac and cheese
- French fries or wedges
- Baked beans
- Creamy polenta
- Thick slice of homemade bread
If you make this slow cooker pulled pork recipe, be sure to leave a comment below!
Slow Cooker Pulled Pork
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1.5 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon mustard powder
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- 1.5 cups chicken broth
- ½ cup barbecue sauce
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 2 yellow onions, peeled and sliced
- 1 (5-pound) boneless or bone-in pork shoulder, trimmed of excess fat (mine was about 3 ¾ pounds after trimming)
- Make the seasoning mixture by adding the salt, garlic powder, black pepper, cayenne pepper, smoked paprika, mustard powder, chili powder and oregano to a small mixing bowl and stir until well combined. Set aside.
- In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the chicken broth, barbecue sauce, apple cider vinegar and brown sugar. Set aside.
- Season the pork shoulder all over with the seasoning mixture to ensure it's well coated (there's lots of flavour there in that mixture).
- Place the onions in a 6-quart slow cooker, then pour over the broth mixture. Place the pork shoulder over top. Cover and cook on high for 5 to 6 hours or low for 10 to 12 hours or until the meat is fully cooked through and shreds easily with a fork.
- Once the pork is fork tender, remove it from the liquid and place it into a large mixing bowl (I like to use a slotted spoon to remove the onions as well). Once the pork is cool enough to handle, start shredding it with a couple of forks (discard any bones and fatty bits). Note: After the pork is shredded, you can mix in the onions or serve them separately.
- Using a fine-mesh strainer, strain the liquid in the slow cooker (if you want a smoother sauce) into a saucepan and skim off any excess fat/grease. Place the saucepan over medium to medium-high heat, bring to a simmer and cook until it has thickened and reduced by about half (this could take approximately 10 to 15 minutes).
- Pour the sauce over the pulled pork and serve. Enjoy!
A note on times provided: appliances vary, any prep and/or cook times provided are estimates only.
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Tried this recipe?
If you do make this recipe, thank you!! It would mean so much if you could leave a comment below. Love to know how you enjoyed it, and it helps other readers too!
David @ Spiced
We almost always keep bags of pulled pork in the freezer for easy meals – quesadillas, tacos, sandwiches, soups…the list goes on! That spice rub you used here sounds fantastic, Dawn!
My family loves pulled pork, and I love having it at the ready in the fridge and freezer — for tacos, burritos, taco salads, etc. This version sounds incredibly flavorful and delicious. 🙂 ~Valentina