How to make The Best Slow Cooker Pulled Pork! Everyone is sure to love this amazing slow cooker pulled pork. The perfect blend of spices make it tender and so flavorful.
How to make The Best Slow Cooker Pulled Pork is a big claim but I can tell you I've tried a lot of pulled pork recipes and this one is at the top of my list! So simple yet plenty of flavor! This has been enjoyed as sandwiches, as tacos, as nachos and even just on it's own. Short of going through a major process of slow smoking the meat, this slow cooker version will be your new favorite and the best go-to option for slow cooker pulled pork without all the work! And it's perfect for busy days when you need to have a meal for entertaining. I've made this many times for many crowds, and it's always gone by the end of the night.
This recipe has also been converted for those of you that love pressure cookers and it's pretty amazing if I do say so myself!
What makes this the best slow cooker pulled pork?
Just the right blend of spices (most you should have on hand) rubbed into a pork shoulder roast make for a flavorful meat that has a tiny bit of kick but is generally mild enough for even picky eaters. Want some bold flavor? Up the spices to your liking... if you like spicy you can up the cayenne!! And I love setting out several different types of BBQ sauce so that everyone can make their own flavor combos.
Check out my video showing you just how easy it is to make this slow cooker pulled pork recipe:
What is the best cut of meat for pulled pork?
- pulled pork is generally made using pork shoulder
- there are two pieces to the shoulder usually available at the store - the butt and the picnic shoulder
- the first generally works the best, but I've had great results with the picnic shoulder too
What is also love is that.....
There is no need to brown anything up ahead of time which makes this a quick start meal.
How long do you cook pulled pork in a slow cooker?
Throw it in early in the day and let it slow cook for at least 8 hours (or even longer) for best results.
For meat like this to properly shred, it needs to reach an internal temperature of 205 degrees F. It will seriously fall apart. If your meat is hard to shred, it's not done yet.
A little bit of apple cider vinegar goes in here too and it really does the trick to break down the meat to make it more tender plus gives it just the right zip of extra flavor. I haven't tested it another way, but I'm guessing apple juice would work well also.
A few of my favorite sides to serve up alongside this pulled pork are:
The Best Slow Cooker Pulled Pork
- 4 pound pork shoulder
- 2 tablespoons paprika (try smoked paprika for more of that smoked flavor)
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
- ¾ cup water
- Mix together all of the dried spices and rub into all sides of the pork
- Place vinegar and water in bottom of slow cooker
- Carefully add pork (so you don't wash off spices)
- Cover and cook on low for about 8 hours
- Remove pork and shred (remove any large fatty pieces and discard)
- Add juices from slow cooker as desired
- Add extra kick: save a bit (don't overdo it) of seasoning and toss it with cooked pulled pork.
- For brown, crispy ends, put shredded meat on foil lined baking sheet and broil for a couple of minutes in the oven (watch carefully!)
- Shred meat with 2 forks, potato masher, shredder claws, or electric mixer.
- If meat is difficult to shred, it's not done yet. Put it back in the slow cooker for a bit longer.
Click here to convert to Instant Pot. Amazing Instant Pot Pulled Pork is everything it claims to be! Amazing!
Useful tools for making this pulled pork include:
- pulled pork shredder claws
- meat thermometer (a great investment if you cook any types of meat, I use mine almost every day)
Can I use this recipe with a turkey breast?
Yes, I would keep in mind the turkey will cook faster.
This is the only pulled pork recipe we will use 🙂 it’s a winner every time.
Can I cook this on high for half the time? Or can I make day before and reheat somehow?
I would make the day before. This one turns out better on low.
Hey! I love love this recipe. I plan to make an 8 pounder for a Halloween party. What would your recommendation be for cooking that?
I would cut it in half or quarters before cooking.
Excellent recipe! I put all the dry rub ingredients in a baggie and the wet ingredients in a water bottle and take this camping! Of corse I use a crockpot liner for easy clean up!
Amazing recipe, thanks for sharing!
How would you recommend reheating this as I have a ton left over?
It depends how I want to use it. If I'm making tacos or a sandwich I will often just heat in the skillet with a bit of oil. If you want a larger batch or want it to be juicier, you can heat in a saucepan with a bit of broth or even reheat in the slow cooker on low.
I love this recipe! My husband enjoys smoking meat and when we don’t have the time or the best weather, this is what we make. It is so delicious! I will eat with Sweet Baby Ray’s sauce or homemade. It is very easy and always yields great results! Much better than the recipes with soda.
I have been using this recipe for 6 years now and still LOVE it!!!! Turns out better than a lot of restaurant style pulled pork I have had! (And I live in the South!)
If you wanted to cook it in the instant pot- how long would you set the pressure for?
Here's the Instant Pot version!
This is our go-to pulled pork recipe! In the slow cooker early this morning for an amazing dinner! We can't wait!