October 26, 2022

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

This Slow Cooker Pulled Pork is incredibly flavorful, easy to make, and so versatile. A simple recipe, with just a few ingredients, it’s perfect to meal prep in advance.

Why You’ll Love This Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

  • It’s so easy! Seriously, this recipe could not be easier. All you have to do is season and sear the meat and then let your slow cooker do the rest!
  • It’s versatile! This easy slow cooker pulled pork can be served a variety of ways which makes it a great option for meal prep.
  • It’s freezer friendly! I love making a batch of this pulled pork and then freezing half for later. It’s perfect to pull out of the freezer on those nights when you need something quick and easy.

slow cooker pulled pork ingredients

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Ingredients

Pork Butt Shoulder: you’ll need a 3-4 pound pork boneless pork butt shoulder for this recipe. Going with a boneless cut makes it even easier meat at the end.

Spice Rub: this slow cooker pulled pork gets some delicious flavor thanks to an easy to make spice rub that goes onto the pork shoulder before cooking. The rub is made from several spices like chili powder, paprika, and dry mustard along with some sweet dark brown sugar.

Yellow Onion: you’ll slice this up to add to the slow cooker along with pork.

Garlic: we’re using plenty of fresh garlic to really give the pork some good flavor.

Apple Cider Vinegar: to help tenderize the meat and add a little tang we’re using a bit of apple cider vinegar.

Apple Juice: to keep the meat nice and juicy you’ll add a bit of apple juice to the slow cooker.

Ingredient Substitutions

  • Use a different meat – don’t want to use a pork shoulder? you can use boneless skinless chicken thighs instead. You’ll just need to cook them for much longer.
  • Swap the apple juice for broth – if you don’t have apple juice you can easily swap it for broth (chicken or veggie will both work!) or water.
  • Use coconut sugar – if you prefer you can swap the brown sugar in the spice rub for coconut sugar.

Helpful Kitchen Tools

SLOW COOKER

MIXING BOWL

TONGS

MEASURING CUPS

MEASURING SPOONS

pork shoulder on with spices on sheet pan

How to Make Pulled Pork in the Slow Cooker

Step One: Add all of the spice rub ingredients to a small mixing bowl and stir until well combined.

Step Two: Place the pork shoulder on rimmed baking sheet and then pat dry with paper towels. Rub the spice rub all over the pork shoulder, pressing it into the meat to help it stick. Let the pork sit uncovered for 1 hour, in the fridge, uncovered.

Step Three: After the meat has marinated, remove it from the fridge. Heat a large dutch oven or cast iron skillet over medium-high heat.

Step Four: Once the dutch oven is hot or skillet is hot, add 1 tablespoon of oil. Add the sliced onion and smashed garlic and sauté for 2-3 minutes until the garlic is fragrant and the onion begins to soften. Transfer the mixture to the base of a slow cooker and then add the apple cider vinegar and apple juice.

Step Five: Next, add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil to the dutch oven or skillet. Once hot, add the pork shoulder and sear for 2-3 minutes on each side until browned all over. Transfer the pork to the slow cooker.

Step Six: Cook the pork on high for 4-6 hours or on low for 6-8 hours until it is fork tender and easy to pull apart.

Step Seven: Remove the pork from the slow cooker and transfer to a large plate or dish. Use two fork to shred the meat, removing any large pieces of fat.

Step Eight: Skim any excess fat off the top of the cooking liquid in the slow cooker and then return the shredded pork to the slow and toss until the pork is well combined in the juices.

shredded pork in bowl with forks

How to Store and Reheat

Store: If you have a tight fitting lid for your slow cooker then you can store the shredded pork right in the slow cooker inside the fridge. If not, once the pork has cooled, transfer the pork to an air-tight storage container and keep in the fridge for 3-4 days.

Freeze: this pulled pork is incredibly freezer friendly and I love to make a batch and then freeze half for a rainy day. Once the pork has cooled, you can transfer it to a freezer safe container and then place in the freezer. The pork should be good for up to 3 months. When you are ready to reheat, allow the shredded pork to thaw in the fridge.

Reheat: The easiest way to reheat this slow cooker bbq pork is either on the stove top or in the microwave. To do so on the stove, just heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot add the pork and cook until heated through. You can add a bit of oil if you want to crisp up the pork. If using the microwave, just heat the shredded pork for 30 seconds to a 1 minute at a time until warmed through.

pulled pork on buns

How to Turn Your Pulled Pork into Sandwiches

Make the coleslaw – for a quick and easy coleslaw all you need is some shredded coleslaw mix (a combination of shredded cabbage and carrots), green onion, a little apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, celery seed, Dijon Mustard, and olive oil. Toss everything together for a bright and refreshing coleslaw that’s perfect for sandwiches.

Toast your buns – toasted brioche buns are always by bun of choice for these pulled pork sandwiches. Toast them in a bit of butter or olive oil for a minutes to get them nice and golden brown.

Assemble your sandwiches – just start with a toasted bun, add a bit of pulled pork, and then top with coleslaw. You can add a few sliced pickles and a bit of bbq sauce to each sandwich as well if you like!

Additional Ways to Serve

pulled pork on buns

More Delicious Slow Cooker Recipes

Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken Sandwiches

Slow Cooker Chicken Tacos

Healthy Slow BBQ Cooker Chicken

Slow Cooker Cranberry BBQ Meatballs

Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken Salad

I hope you give this Slow Cooker Pulled Pork a try! It’s easy to make, so versatile, and full of flavor.

Leave a comment with a star rating below. You can also snap a photo & tag @allthehealthythings on INSTAGRAM. Your reviews and ratings help support All the Healthy Things and make it possible for me to continue to create the recipes you trust and love.

Print

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

  • Author: Ashlea Carver
  • Prep Time: 75 minutes
  • Cook Time: 8 hours
  • Total Time: 9 hours 15 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Slow Cooker
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Gluten Free
/
Scale:
  • Author: Ashlea Carver
  • Prep Time: 75 minutes
  • Cook Time: 8 hours
  • Total Time: 9 hours 15 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Slow Cooker
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Ingredients

  • 3.54 pounds boneless pork butt shoulder
  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil
  • 1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 6 cloves smashed garlic
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup apple juice

Spice Rub

  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon salt (I used pink Himalayan salt)
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

For Serving

  • 4 toasted brioche buns

Homemade Coleslaw

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery seed
  • 1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • salt, to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 cups shredded coleslaw mix
  • 1/4 cup sliced green onion, plus more for garnish

Method

  1. Add all of the spice rub ingredients to a small mixing bowl and stir until well combined.
  2. Place the pork shoulder on rimmed baking sheet and then pat dry with paper towels. Rub the spice rub all over the pork shoulder, pressing it into the meat to help it stick. Let the pork sit uncovered for 1 hour, in the fridge, uncovered.
  3. After the meat has marinated, remove it from the fridge. Heat a large dutch oven or cast iron skillet over medium-high heat.
  4. Once the dutch oven is hot or skillet is hot, add 1 tablespoon of oil. Add the sliced onion and smashed garlic and sauté for 2-3 minutes until the garlic is fragrant and the onion begins to soften. Transfer the mixture to the base of a slow cooker and then add the apple cider vinegar and apple juice.
  5. Next, add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil to the dutch oven or skillet. Once hot, add the pork shoulder and sear for 2-3 minutes on each side until browned all over. Transfer the pork to the slow cooker.
  6. Cook the pork on high for 4-6 hours or on low for 6-8 hours until it is fork tender and easy to pull apart.
  7. Remove the pork from the slow cooker and transfer to a large plate or dish. Use two fork to shred the meat, removing any large pieces of fat.
  8. Skim any excess fat off the top of the cooking liquid in the slow cooker and then return the shredded pork to the slow and toss until the pork is well combined in the juices.
  9. Serve the pulled pork on toasted brioche buns with a drizzle of bbq sauce and topped with coleslaw, if desired.

Keywords: slow cooker pulled pork, pulled pork slow cooker, pulled pork in slow cooker, how to make pulled pork in slow cooker

Recipe by: Ashlea Carver / All the Healthy Things | Photography by: Eat Love Eat

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