Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Recipe
See my guide on how to use an Instant Pot.
The best Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Recipe! Tender and flavorful pulled pork is so easy to make in your crockpot. Perfect for busy days or for feeding a crowd.
This pulled pork recipe is so delicious and so easy! I often make it for dinner on busy days because it requires so little prep work.
And it’s family-friendly so everyone is happy at dinner time!
It takes just five minutes to throw everything for this pulled pork in your slow cooker in the morning. It can cook all day if you are going to be at work or otherwise out of the house.
This pulled pork recipe is a crockpot dump recipe, meaning you put everything in your crock pot, turn it on, and that’s it. The pulled pork cooks low and slow all day and you come home to a flavorful home-cooked meal.
If you’re craving pulled pork and forget to plan ahead for your slow cooker, try my Instant Pot Pulled Pork.
What cut of meat to use for pulled pork
You can make this pulled pork recipe with pork tenderloin, pork shoulder or Boston butt. Most pulled pork recipes call for pork shoulder or pork butt, but I often use pork tenderloin because it is leaner. Pork shoulder/Boston butt creates a slightly more flavorful pulled pork because it is a fattier cut of meat. Pork tenderloin makes a healthier pulled pork because pork loin is a leaner cut of meat.
If you are making this pulled pork recipe for a large group of people, I recommend using a pork shoulder or Boston butt because they are usually a larger cut of meat and more budget-friendly.
You’ll need just 5 ingredients, plus salt and pepper, to make this tender, flavorful BBQ pulled pork:
- Pork Shoulder/Boston Butt or Pork Tenderloin. See my notes above about which cut of meat to use for this pulled pork recipe.
- BBQ Sauce. Use your favorite BBQ sauce since the flavor will create the flavor of the final dish. I like to look for a BBQ sauce with lower sugar and a short ingredient list. If you have five extra minutes I highly recommend making my homemade BBQ sauce. You can just dump all of the BBQ sauce ingredients in your slow cooker (no need to simmer on the stove).
- Apple Cider Vinegar. This helps to tenderize the meat and adds a kick of flavor.
- Pulled Pork Rub. For this recipe, I keep the spice rub simple with chili powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper. You can also use my pork rub, which is delicious on pulled pork.
How to make Slow Cooker Pulled Pork
- This slow cooker pulled pork recipe is so simple to make! You don’t need to sear or brown the meat before adding it to your slow cooker. You won’t notice much difference in the flavor of the pulled pork if you do brown the meat, so save yourself a step and some time.
- To prep this recipe, put all of the ingredients in your slow cooker. You can either cook it for 8-9 hours on the low setting or for 5-6 hours on the high setting. I recommend the low setting if you have the time because the slower cooking process allows the meat to turn out more tender.
- The pulled pork is done when it shreds easily with a fork. Before shredding, let the meat rest on a cutting board for 10 minutes. This will help the juices to redistribute throughout the meat, for juicier shredded pork.
What to do with leftover pulled pork
I like to make a batch of pulled pork at the beginning of the week because I can serve it a couple of different ways throughout the week. Our favorite are classic BBQ pulled pork sandwiches. Serve the pork on toasted burger buns or rolls, with extra BBQ sauce and my homemade coleslaw recipe.
This pulled pork recipe also makes great tacos, nachos, quesadillas and lettuce wraps.
Freezing Pulled Pork
Leftover pulled pork freezes well. Cool the shredded pork completely, seal it in an airtight container with the cooking sauce, and freeze for up to 2-3 months. Thaw, heat and serve when you are ready.
Before cooking, you can make this slow cooker BBQ pulled pork recipe as a freezer to crockpot meal. Place all of the ingredients in a heavy duty zip-top bag and freeze for up to 3 months. When you are ready to cook the pork, thaw it for 24 hours in the refrigerator and then cook in your slow cooker as directed in the recipe.
You can reheat pulled pork in the microwave, but I get the best results reheating it on the stove. Place your pulled pork in a small saucepan and add a little BBQ sauce, water or broth. Cover the pot and heat over low until warmed through, stirring occasionally. If your pulled pork is frozen, it’s best to thaw it overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
What to serve with pulled pork
- These sweet potato fries are our favorite with this pulled pork recipe.
- It’s delicious with my macaroni salad recipe.
- Fruit salad is perfect for a family dinner or a barbecue.
- Instant Pot corn on the cob is an easy side dish.
Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Recipe
- 2.5 pounds pork tenderloin or boneless pork shoulder/pork butt
- 1 cup BBQ sauce
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- Place pork in bottom of slow cooker. Add the BBQ sauce and apple cider vinegar.
- Sprinkle the chili powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper over the pork.
- Cover and cook on low for 8-9 hours or high for 5-6 hours, until the pork shreds easily.
- Remove pork to a cutting board and let rest for 10 minutes.
- Shred pork. Serve on toasted burger buns or rolls for sandwiches. Or serve in tacos, quesadillas, nachos or lettuce wraps.
- Leftover pulled pork freezes well. Cool the shredded pork completely, seal it in an airtight container with the cooking sauce, and freeze for up to 2-3 months.
- You can reheat pulled pork in the microwave, but I get the best results reheating it on the stove. Put the pulled pork in a small saucepan and add some BBQ sauce, water or broth. Cover the pot and heat over low until warmed through, stirring occasionally. If your pulled pork is frozen, it's best to thaw it overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
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