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Perhaps you want an easy dinner for a crowd? Or maybe you just want to dish something up a little extra this weekend? This Slow Cooker Pulled Pork recipe won’t let you down!

Slow cooker pulled pork recipe with honey and chipotle

My favourite thing about this pulled pork recipe is it gives the impression of ‘pulling’ out all of the stops (boom boom), when in fact the effort and cost involved is super low.

This Slow Cooker Pulled Pork uses pork shoulder, which lends itself beautifully to a long, slow cook – 12 hours no less – and then you have tender, meltingly delicious meat in a rich barbecue sauce with a wonderful depth of flavour. 

Yes, you heard that right – 12 hours! (I will go into how to manage cooking times for this one). It’s a classic ‘dump recipe’ (stick it all in together) and you can then serve it up as you please, from Pork Carnitas-stye or simply in a burger bun.

And let’s not forget the convenience of this slow cooked shredded pork, which cooks for ages all on its own, leaving you free to get on with other things and preparing the rest of dinner relatively stress-free!

Why you’ll love this easy Slow Cooker Pulled Pork recipe

⭐️ Low cost pork shoulder makes this value for money

⭐️ Just a handful of ingredients

⭐️ Mouth-watering results for little effort

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork served in a bread bun with coleslaw

Ultimate Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

The origins of BBQ Pulled Pork go back to southern USA, where pork shoulder was typically cooked slowly outdoors over a barbecue and then shredded and mixed with sauce. The dish has travelled far and wide, but it hasn’t changed much in variations. 

My recipe is made with chipotle for a bit of spice and a sticky barbecue marinade (the most DELICIOUS pulled pork rub) for that rich, smoky flavour. I also use pork shoulder because it’s undoubtedly the best cut of meat for pulled pork.

If I find there’s some excess fat, I simply remove what’s visible carefully with a sharp knife, remove the string, and get it in the slow cooker.

Other slow cooker recipes with pulled pork that offer something a little different include my Campfire Stew and my Pork Carnitas.

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Ingredients

Ingredients for Slow Cooker Pulled Pork recipe laid on a counter.
  • Pork shoulder – This cut is really good value and is best when cooked slowly and shredded. You can use a less fatty cut of pork but the meat won’t be as tender or succulent.
  • Chipotle paste – This adds smoky flavour without being too spicy. If you’re worried about any heat at all, just half of the amount in the recipe to be sure (the strength will depend on the brand you use!)
  • Honey – Runny honey is best here.
  • Balsamic vinegar – Use a rich, good quality balsamic if you can.
  • Tomato ketchup – Use your regular favourite brand.

How to make the BEST Slow Cooker Pulled Pork recipe

Step 1 in the recipe Slow Cooker Pulled Pork. Add to slow cooker and add chipotle paste.

1. If there is a layer of skin on the pork, remove this with a knife, then put the pork in the slow cooker and start to add the marinade ingredients.

Step 2 in the recipe for Slow Cooker Pulled Pork. Remove excess fat and smother on marinade.

2. Mix the sauce ingredients together and smother over the boneless pork. Put the lid on and cook (according to the recipe at the bottom of this post).

Step 3 in the recipe for Slow Cooker Pulled Pork. Pull apart meat after 12 hours of cooking with two forks.

3. Once cooked, remove the juices from the pan, remove the fat layer from the liquid and set aside. Shred up the pork using two forks.

Step 4 in the recipe Slow Cooker Pulled Pork. Add juices back to the meat.

4. Add the juices back into the meat and mix in.

Hint: If you have less time you could cook on HIGH. It will be delicious but it won’t be quite as tender as the ultra slower cooked pulled pork version. It should take around 6–7 hours on HIGH.

How to store any leftover pulled pork

In the fridge You can keep this recipe in the fridge for 3 days.

In the freezer This recipe freezes well. Just wait until it’s totally cold and then put into a freezer proof container and freeze for up to 3 months. Defrost thoroughly before reheating.

How to reheat slow cooker pulled pork Do this either in your microwave, on the hob or in the oven. It may need covering in the oven to stop it drying out, and always make sure it is heated all the way through. It should be hot.

How long to cook pulled pork in a slow cooker

Cooking schedule:
To serve this for dinner at, say, 7pm, I’d put this on to cook at 6am (I always allow an hour or two grace with slow cooking in case they need extra time – it’s not an exact science!)

To serve this for lunch at 1pm, say, you have a couple of different options. Cook it the day before, allow it to cool and store in the fridge, covered. Then reheat in a saucepan, with the cooking sauce, stirring until hot through when you want it.

OR use a nifty plug timer to start your slow cooker off in the middle of the night.

What to serve with pulled pork:

  • In bread rolls, or as pulled pork sandwiches – add some apple sauce and pour over extra gravy.
  • Pulled pork tacos or tortilla wraps, lime, avocado, sour cream/yoghurt and cheese (like Pork Carnitas).
  • American-style with homemade potato wedges (or chips), baked beans and coleslaw.
  • Add to tomato sauce and pasta for a pork ragu-style dish.
  • Those following a low carb diet you could also serve on salad, or on top of scrambled or fried eggs as a protein packed breakfast.
  • On tortilla chips for loaded nachos.

Shredding and sauce:
When the meat is cooked, drain and keep the juices. Using a couple of forks, shred up the pork into chunks. Now you have a few choices:

  • If the juice you drained off doesn’t look too fatty, just add back into the meat.
  • If there’s a LOT of fat (that layer at the top) pour that carefully off the top before adding the juices back into the meat.
  • If you want a more dry finished pulled pork, you can put the juices into a small pan over a high heat and let them bubble for a few minutes until they reduce. Then add back to the pork. (I don’t often do this as the meat kind of absorbs the juices as it sits in them, keeping it moist.)

Simple Pulled Pork Slow Cooker Recipe FAQs

Can I use pork loin or does it have to be shoulder?

You could use a pork loin for this recipe but it just doesn’t really have enough fat.

I think it’s much better to use a more economical cut like boneless pork shoulder and then drain the excess fat. It’s cheaper than pork loin and the fatty stripes through the meat mean it lends itself very well to this kind of cooking.

I do cut off the pork skin and any excess visible fat (plus the string!) before popping in the slow cooker.

Could you recommend a good slow cooker?

I use: Morphy Richards Sear & Stew Slow Cooker (it’s light and you can use it for browning on the hob too).

For induction hob users: Lakeland Digital 6.5l Slow Cooker.

How to slow cook Pulled Pork shoulder in the oven?

You can cook this recipe in the oven instead but be sure to use a lidded casserole dish.

You’ll need to cook it at 160C for about 3 hours or until the pork roast is soft and tender. You will need to add additional liquid to the pot to ensure it doesn’t dry out (a cup or two of water and keep an eye on it) as cooking in an oven can dry out in a way that a slow cooker doesn’t.

Is this spicy chipotle Pulled Pork?

I would say that it has a smoky warmth rather than heavy spice. This will depend slightly on the brand of chipotle paste you use though!

If you’re very concerned about using any spice, I’d suggest using HALF of the chipotle measurement in the recipe and then when the pork is cooked, adding more if needed.

Do you need liquid in Slow Cooker Pulled Pork?

The pulled pork seasoning/BBQ sauce rub we’ve used in this recipe (chipotle, honey, ketchup and balsamic vinegar), plus the fat from the meat, is enough to make a substantial sauce for the dish.

If you find it does need a little extra liquid, just add a little beef stock, a bit at a time.

Can you leave Pulled Pork in the slow cooker too long?

Like any dish, if you leave meat cooking for too long it will begin to dry out and toughen up. That said, pork shoulder is more forgiving when being slow cooked than most, thanks to the very low heat setting and the fat content, so a little longer shouldn’t hurt it too much.

Let me know how you got on and what you thought of these recipes. Please rate the recipe using the ⭐️ below.

Also I’d LOVE to see your cooking creations. If you’d like to share yours with me, you can tag me on Instagram (@tamingtwins).

4.87 from 61 votes

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork {The BEST Recipe!}

The ultimate Slow Cooker Pulled Pork recipe – Smothered in honey and chipotle, this easy crock pot pork shoulder creates a delicious sticky and smoky sauce. A winning base for so many meals, this pulled pork freezes well too.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 12 hours
Total Time: 12 hours 5 minutes
Servings: 8 Servings


  • 1.5 kg Pork shoulder
  • 90 g Chipotle paste, x1 jar
  • 4 tbsp Honey
  • 2 tbsp Ketchup
  • 2 tbsp Balsamic vinegar


  • Set your slow cooker to LOW. 
  • Mix the chipotle paste, honey, ketchup and balsamic vinegar. 
  • If there is a layer of skin on the pork, remove this carefully with a sharp knife, then rub the marinade onto the pork.
  • Place in the slow cooker and cook on LOW for 12 hours. 
  • Once finished, drain all of the juices from the slow cooker and remove the fat. Shred the pork with two forks into bite-sized chunks.
  • Add the juices back into the meat and mix.


Cooking time: If you have less time you could cook on HIGH. It will be delicious but it won’t be as meltingly tender as the slower cooked version. It should take around 6–7 hours on HIGH.


Calories: 278kcalCarbohydrates: 10gProtein: 42gFat: 6gSaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 112mgSodium: 343mgPotassium: 732mgSugar: 10gVitamin A: 20IUVitamin C: 0.2mgCalcium: 13mgIron: 1.7mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Family Food
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Sarah Rossi founder of and author of 'What's for Dinner?' books.


Hi, I'm Sarah. I help busy people decide 'What's for Dinner?' Find hundreds of recipes here, and also in my bestselling recipe book. Hope my recipes make your life easier ❤️

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  1. 5 stars
    We love this recipe and have done it several times – it goes a long way and is delicious! I would highly recommend!

  2. 5 stars
    I’ve never cooked pulled pork before, and I don’t have much luck with slow cooked meals, but this tasted amazing! I could only get a small piece of pork but it was enough for 6 of us with some left over. It will be a family favourite now and I’ll be trying more of your slow cooker recipes now! Thank you 🙂