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Slow Cooker Pulled Pork - Awesome!

Updated on August 22, 2013
Try my Slow Cooker Pulled Pork for sandwiches!
Try my Slow Cooker Pulled Pork for sandwiches! | Source

Crock Pot Recipes – Slow Cooker Recipes

Is slow cooker pulled pork one of your crock pot recipes? If not, it should be - it’s easy and delicious. Before I get started with my pulled pork recipe, let’s discuss crock pots and slow cookers for a minute. Is there a difference? Technically, there is. The two appliances heat differently, and a true slow cooker isn’t always recommended for large cuts of meat like pork roasts. In most cases, however, the two terms are used interchangeably, so I’ll go with that. Actually, I think the term “crock pot” is reserved for the Rival brand of slow cooker. Anyway, crock pot recipes are great when you want a home cooked meal without having to tend it much. When I was teaching, I’d often assemble my crock pot meals the night before and leave them in the fridge. The next morning, I’d place the meal in the cooker, and I’d turn the unit on low, and by that evening, I’d have a hot, hearty meal to enjoy with my family. One of our favorite crock pot recipes was, and still is, slow cooker pulled pork.

Crock pot barbecue made with beef.
Crock pot barbecue made with beef. | Source

Pulled Pork

First of all, for the best pulled pork, you need to start with the right type and cut of pork. Choose a pork butt, also called a Boston butt – the end of a pork shoulder. Since you’re cooking the pork butt in a slow cooker, you won’t have to worry about the meat’s getting dry, so you won’t need a pork butt with a lot of fat. Choose a lean Boston butt that doesn’t have a lot of marbling. Don’t worry about the fat cap on the exterior of the pork butt. That can be removed easily with a sharp knife. You might want to leave some of the fat cap on, though, to give your pulled more flavor and juicy goodness. You can always trim the fat once the meat is done.

As for sauce to use with your slow cooker pulled pork, use your favorite – homemade BBQ sauce or a commercial brand. Personally, I like a sauce that’s sweet and hot, like Sweet Baby Ray’s chipotle BBQ sauce. You might prefer a mustard-based sauce or a vinegar-based BBQ sauce. If you can’t find a commercial sauce that suits your taste, make your own!

Pulled Pork
Pulled Pork | Source

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

I’m a true southerner who used to be married to a pork producer. I’m also a good cook, and my husband and I do a lot of meat smoking – especially pork. I know a thing or two about pulled pork, and we often cook BBQ for crowds and get rave reviews. Good pork barbecue has to be cooked for hours over low heat. Preferably, the heat is supplied by BBQ wood, like hickory, oak, pecan, or some type of fruit wood. The smoke from the wood gives the barbecued pork its distinct smoky flavor and aroma.

Obviously, you can’t exactly match that with a crock pot or slow cooker. Of course, the meat will cook low and slow in the appliance, but it won’t have the advantage of smoke. To get a similar smoky flavor, you’ll have to add your own to the cooking device. A product called Liquid Smoke makes a decent substitute for real smoke, so I strongly suggest using it if you like smoke flavor. Ready for my slow cooker pulled pork recipe?

butt rub
butt rub | Source
Liquid Smoke
Liquid Smoke | Source

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Recipe

This is a great slow cooker pulled pork recipe I sometimes use when we don’t want to bother with outdoor cooking. I’ll state right up front that no slow cooker recipe is as tasty as pulled pork that’s cooked low and slow over a great BBQ wood. Of course, that’s just my personal opinion, but I’m sure many barbecue fans will agree with me on this, especially if the barbeque fans are from the South and enjoy a more traditional type of pork barbecue. That said, this slow cooker pulled pork is an acceptable substitute when you don’t want to spend the time and effort that outdoor meat smoking entails. If you add a little Liquid Smoke to the pork butt, at least you can enjoy some of the smoky flavor that you’d otherwise get from BBQ wood. Oh, use one of my dry BBQ rub recipes on the butt, or if you like, use a wet rub. Click for the recipes. Another thing: this slow cooker pulled pork recipe can also be used with beef roasts.

Rate my pulled pork recipe. Thanks a bunch!

5 stars from 2 ratings of Best Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

Cook Time

Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 8 hours
Ready in: 8 hours 15 min
Yields: Makes 12 - 15 servings.


  • 6 - 7 pound pork butt
  • Butt Rub Recipe
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup apple juice
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 - 2 tablespoons Liquid Smoke
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • BBQ sauce


  1. Rinse the pork butt and pat dry. I like to cut the pork (or beef) into large chunks, but you don’t have to. This step makes removing any interior fat, gristle, and bone easy. It also gives the meat more surface area with which to soak up more flavors. With a typical pork butt, I’ll usually divide it into perhaps four chunks.
  2. Next, make your BBQ rub. For pulled pork cooked in a crock pot, I think a dry butt rub works best. To see one of my favorite butt rub recipes, click the link in the list of ingredients. Just use the dry ingredients I list to make the BBQ rub. Rub all surfaces of the pork butt with the dry rub. Once the meat has been seasoned, wrap all the chunks together in plastic wrap and refrigerate it for at least four hours. Eight hours is better.
  3. Place the onion, water, apple juice, cider vinegar, Liquid Smoke, and minced garlic in the crock pot. Place the pieces of Boston butt on top. Place the lid on the cooker and set the knob to low. Cook the meat for 8-12 hours, until the fibers of muscle begin to separate.
  4. When the pork butt is done, drain off the liquid from the crock pot or slow cooker. Using bear claws or two forks, shred the pork butt. Stir in your favorite barbecue sauce. Serve the meat as is, or use it for pulled pork sandwiches.

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