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.

A pulled pork sandwich topped with green apple slaw in front of a large bowl of slaw, a large bowl of pulled pork, and another pulled pork sandwich.

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 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.

Ingredient Notes

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.

A large raw pork butt on a plate next to a bottle of Primal Kitchen Classic BBQ Sauce on a marble surface.
  • 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 use our recipe for homemade BBQ sauce.

Preparation

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.

How to Slow Cook Pulled Pork

Ready for the easiest, most impressive recipe ever? Here we go!

A large crock pot filled with chunks of raw pork butt.
A large crock pot of raw pork butt covered in BBQ sauce.
A jar of BBQ sauce being poured into a large crock pot of raw pork butt.
A crock pot of BBQ pulled pork. Some of the pork is being pulled out with metal tongs.
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Cook – cook the BBQ pork for 3-4 hours on high or 6-8 hours on low.
  4. 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.

Serving Suggestions

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
A person using metal tongs to place green apple slaw on top of a pulled pork sandwich.

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

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.

A pulled pork sandwich topped with green apple slaw in front of a large bowl of slaw, a large bowl of pulled pork, and another pulled pork sandwich.

More Favorite Pork Recipes

The Best Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Recipe

5 — Votes 5 votes
By Cassy Joy Garcia
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 6 hours
Total: 6 hours 10 minutes
Servings: 8 Servings
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!

Ingredients  

  • 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

Instructions 

  • 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!

Recipe Notes

Nutrition

Calories: 386kcal | Carbohydrates: 23g | Protein: 52g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.03g | Cholesterol: 136mg | Sodium: 1579mg | Potassium: 992mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 19g | Vitamin A: 128IU | Vitamin C: 0.3mg | Calcium: 36mg | Iron: 2mg

Additional Info

Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Servings: 8 Servings
Calories: 386
Keyword: bbq pulled pork

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Brandi Schilhab


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2 Comments

  1. Making this for dinner this week! What are the best gluten free buns you recommend from HEB? Thank you!