This Pulled Pork Slow Cooker Recipe is super easy! Tender and juicy pulled pork is cooked low and slow overnight, and then gets smothered in barbecue sauce, served on a homemade bun. Perfect for a crowd or for meal prep!
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The BEST Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Recipe
Slow cookers are a great way to cook pulled pork low and slow without keeping the oven on all day. The meat ends up super tender, juicy, and loaded with flavor. This Pulled Pork Slow Cooker recipe is really easy to make and is pretty much impossible to mess up.
When I say this Slow Cooker Pulled Pork is easy to make I mean it. I place the pork roast in the slow cooker overnight and when I wake up I have perfectly cooked tender pulled pork. I like to cook the pulled pork overnight and place it in the fridge to keep it fresh during the day, before reheating it for dinner. You will need 11 hours to cook this pulled pork so make sure you give yourself enough time to cook.
The roast gets cooked in a homemade dry rub made of garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, chili powder, brown sugar, salt, and pepper. There is no liquid added to the slow cooker.
Ingredients for Slow Cooker BBQ Pulled Pork
- Pork: For this recipe, I used a pork shoulder roast, however, pork butt or a pork leg joint would work as well. You may need to slice the leg joint to fit it into the slow cooker.
- Olive oil: Olive oil keeps the pork from sticking to the slow cooker.
- Seasoning: Tons of flavor is added with garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder, and paprika along with salt and pepper. This creates a rub that is rubbed all over the pork shoulder before cooking.
- Sugar: For just a little sweetness, I added some brown sugar. I prefer brown sugar in this recipe as it gives a slight caramel taste as well, on the other hand, if all you have is granulated sugar that can work too.
- Barbecue Sauce: I love to use homemade barbecue sauce like my Bourbon Barbecue Sauce. It’s such an easy recipe! Your favorite store-bought BBQ sauce will work too!
- Buns: I make my own hamburger buns and they are PERFECT for pulled pork sandwiches! With 11 hours of cooking, there is certainly enough time to whip up a batch.
How to make this Pulled Pork Slow Cooker Recipe
- Prep the slow cooker: To make these Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Barbecue Sandwiches, begin by drizzling some olive oil in the bottom of a slow cooker.
- Add the pork: Next, place the pork in the slow cooker and rub it with the seasoning.
- Slow cook: Cook the pork in the slow cooker on low for 10 hours. Overnight works well for me!
- Strain: After 10 hours, take out the roast and strain the liquid. You can add this liquid to soups or stews later so save it in the fridge!
- Shred and add BBQ sauce: Shred the pork and add it back to the slow cooker along with your favorite barbecue sauce. Use homemade barbecue sauce, store-bought, or try my Bourbon Barbecue Sauce.
- One more hour! Cook for an additional hour and serve!
- Serve: Serve the shredded pulled pork on your favorite bun and enjoy!
- Store: After the pulled pork has cooled completely, store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
- Reheat: Reheat this pulled pork slow cooker recipe in a pot on the stove, the oven, or the microwave until heated through. Feel free to add more BBQ sauce if needed!
- Freeze: This Pulled Pork recipe freezes really well! Store in an airtight container or freezer bag for up to 4 months. Thaw completely before reheating.
Tips for Success
- Don’t add liquid to the slow cooker! The pork cooks absolutely perfectly without any extra liquid, and the liquid will just make it watery and less flavorful. The only liquid you’ll eventually add is BBQ sauce at the end.
- Shred the meat either with two forks or a hand blender! My hand blender shreds slow-cooked meat in just two minutes. It’s SO easy!
- You can serve this pulled pork slow cooker recipe on buns, wraps, in a baked potato or baked sweet potato, or even on its own with a side salad. It’s also an amazing topping for loaded pulled pork nachos!
Frequently Asked Questions
- What is the best liquid to cook pulled pork in? None at all! Keep that pork dry! It will produce its own liquid while it slow cooks.
- Should you sauce pulled pork? Really, it’s up to you, but I’d say yes! I love pulled pork smothered in barbecue sauce. It’s salty, sweet, and addictive! The pork will be juicy and delicious on its own as well.
- Do you put BBQ sauce on before or after cooking pulled pork? Add it after! The sauce itself doesn’t need to be cooked, just heated up. The pork secretes liquid when it is cooking, so if you add the BBQ sauce at the beginning, it will be too liquidy in the end.
What should I serve pulled pork with?
- Three Cheese Mac and Cheese
- Spicy Pepper Jack Mac and Cheese
- Grilled Sweet Potato Wedges
- Baked Fries
- Baked Sweet Potato Fries
- The BEST Baked Beans
- Berry Fruit Salad
- Cucumber Avocado Salad
Here are more delicious Sandwich Recipes to try!
- Grilled Hawaiian Chicken Sandwich
- Asian Sloppy Joes
- Slow Cooker French Dip Sandwiches
- Italian BLT Grilled Cheese
- Easy Grilled Vegetable Panini
Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Barbecue Sandwiches
- Drizzle oil in the bottom of the slow cooker.
- Mix the garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder, paprika and light brown sugar together in a small bowl.
- Place the roast in the slow cooker and sprinkle with salt and pepper and rub with the spice blend.
- Cover and cook the roast on low for 10 hours.
- Take the meat out of the slow cooker and discard the leftover juice.
- Shred the meat and add back to the slow cooker. Pour in the barbecue sauce and cook the pork for an additional hour on low.
- Serve the pulled pork on buns with coleslaw if desired.