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My hack for great pulled pork is simple, in fact …SIMPLE *is* the hack. This super simple method for BBQ pulled pork will have you enjoying this saucy, delicious protein whenever you want. Don’t worry about firing up the smoker, you can make this entire dish from the comfort of your kitchen.
BBQ pulled pork, in most cases, is pork that has been slow cooked to the point that it’s fall-apart tender and then tossed in a BBQ sauce. It’s incredibly versatile as a super flavorful protein. You can serve it as-is next to your favorite sides (I love baked beans and slaw), you can spoon it over a baked potato, or you can serve it up, as we’ve done here, between two warmed burger buns with a generous scoop of a zesty apple slaw.
Advantages of Using a Slow Cooker to Make Pulled Pork
The number one advantage of using a slow cooker to make pulled pork is how completely hands-off the process is. This is a TRUE set-it-and-forget-it meal and the results are really, really impressive. Other advantages to consider:
- Juicy end product – the result of almost any slow cooker protein is juicy and fall-apart tender, and this one is no exception.
- Let it cook while you’re away – the fact that you can throw the seasoned pork + BBQ sauce into the slow cooker, set it on low for 6-8 hours, go about your day (work, errands, etc.), then come home to the main component of your meal ready and waiting for you is HUGE.
Just TWO ingredients (not including salt and pepper) make for the MOST delicious pulled pork. Find ingredient notes below + exact ingredient amounts in the recipe card.
- Boneless pork shoulder – boneless or bone-in will work here.
- Sea salt + ground black pepper
- BBQ sauce – feel free to buy BBQ sauce at the store or make your own.
The prep for the pulled pork itself is almost nonexistent, especially if you’re using store-bought BBQ sauce like we did. All you’ll need to do is cut the pork shoulder into 6 even-ish pieces.
If you’re serving your pulled pork on buns topped with Green Apple Coleslaw (we highly recommend that you do), you will need to prep the super easy, flavorful slaw. Find the full recipe HERE for specific instructions.
How to Slow Cook Pulled Pork
Ready for the easiest, most impressive recipe ever? Here we go!
- Cut and season the pork – using a sharp knife, cut the pork shoulder into 6 even-ish pieces, then season them with salt and pepper.
- Add the pork and BBQ sauce to the slow cooker – place the pork into the slow cooker, pour the BBQ sauce on top, and toss to coat.
- Cook – cook the BBQ pork for 3-4 hours on high or 6-8 hours on low.
- Shred and serve – shred the pulled pork with tongs, serve it on buns topped with slaw, and enjoy!
Shredding and Serving
Shredding and serving your pork is super easy! See below for more details.
Shredding the Pork
Shred your pork using either two forks or a pair of tongs. The pork will be incredibly juicy and tender, so it won’t take much effort at all to shred it.
We served this slow cooker pulled pork sandwich-style on buns topped with slaw. Some other ways to enjoy it:
- Stuffed in a baked potato + topped with sour cream, cheese, and chives
- In a bowl alongside rice and slaw
- Nacho-style on top of chips and then topped with cheese, jalapenos, and sour cream
- Taco-style in charred corn tortillas + topped with black bean and corn salsa
Tips and Tricks
While this recipe is as easy as recipes come, we always have at least a couple of tips in case you need them!
- Make the pulled pork even more flavorful by coating it in a BBQ dry rub (or just salt and pepper) and searing it on a skillet before popping it into the slow cooker. If you’re short on time (or just want to save your effort for something else), feel free to coat the pork in a BBQ rub, but skip the sear.
- Change up the flavors of your pulled pork by experimenting with different BBQ sauces! You can find some really neat BBQ sauce options next time you peruse that aisle at the grocery store.
How to Store and Reheat Leftovers
Store any leftover pulled pork in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Stored this way, it’ll keep for up to 5 days.
To reheat your pulled pork, you can either…
- Pop it into the microwave for 1-2 minutes.
- Add it to a skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 5-7 minutes
Frequently Asked Questions
How long does it take to cook pulled pork in a slow cooker?
A 3-5 pound boneless pork shoulder (or 5-7 pound bone-in pork shoulder) will take 3-4 hours on high or 6-8 hours on low.
How much pulled pork will I get from one pork shoulder/butt?
A 4-pound boneless pork shoulder yields about 10 cups of shredded pork, which is 6-8 servings worth.
Can I make this recipe ahead of time and reheat it later?
YES, you can absolutely make this recipe ahead of time! When it’s finished cooking, simply transfer the pork (and most of the juices) to an airtight container. Reheat the whole batch (juices included) in either a large pot on the stove or back in the slow cooker for a couple of hours.
More Favorite Pork Recipes
- Roasted Dry Rubbed Pork Tenderloin
- Pork Spare Ribs in the Oven
- Authentic Crispy Carnitas Recipe
- Pork Chili Verde
- Teriyaki Slow Cooker Pork Tenderloin
- Perfect Oven-Roasted Pork Tenderloin
- 3-5 pounds boneless pork shoulder (5-7 pounds bone-in)
- 1 tablespoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 16 ounces BBQ sauce homemade or store-bought
- Cut the pork into 6 even pieces, then season with salt and pepper.
- Place in the slow cooker. Pour in the BBQ sauce and toss to coat.
- Cook for 3-4 hours on high or 6-8 hours on low.
- Shred with tongs, serve, and enjoy!
- Suggested side: Green Apple Coleslaw
- Our favorite gluten-free buns
- Tips for the best bun: brush lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with flaky sea salt, then broil on high for 3-5 minutes until toasted on top.
Making this for dinner this week! What are the best gluten free buns you recommend from HEB? Thank you!
Brandi Schilhab says
We usually grab Udi’s or Canyon Bakehouse!