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Meet your new favourite Pulled Pork recipe. Cooked in your slow cooker for tender, fall apart meat and drizzle with a sticky, speedy homemade barbecue sauce for the ultimate flavour.

A slow cooker pan on a white tablecloth, filled with cooked pulled pork, with sauce on top and small bowls of condiments to the side.

If you love Pulled Pork, you need to try this slow cooker version. It’s been tried and tested so many times to make it the best you’ll ever make at home.

It’s a perfect hands-off dish (whether you’re cooking in the oven or slow cooker – there’s oven instructions below). Leave it alone to do its thing, before bringing it out to impress your guests.


Why you’ll love this BBQ Pulled Pork recipe

⭐️ Pork shoulder is great value

⭐️ Mouthwatering results for little effort

⭐️ Perfect to cook for a crowd

More slow cooker pork recipes…


Two brioche buns filled with pulled pork and coleslaw, on a serving board with ketchup in a bowl on the side.

How we came up with this recipe

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.

I wanted to create a family friendly version of my own that was as simple as possible and kept flavours relatively subtle, so we can serve it up without much fuss when cooking for a crowd, but also worked for an easy weekend treat.

Here I show you how to make this Pulled Pork in the slow cooker (perfect after 6-8 hours) AND the oven (takes about 5 hours), marinated in an aromatic spice rub.

There’s also a simple BBQ sauce that’s made with its own juices with simple store-cupboard ingredients, but an option to make the sauce a bit more in-your-face if that’s your thing. I hope you love it!


Slow Cooked Pulled Pork Ingredients notes

The ingredients for making slow cooker pulled pork, laid out on a white counter before cooking.
  • 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
  • To make the rub – This goes onto the meat at the start and is a mixture of sweet smoked paprika, soft dark brown sugar, garlic granules, ground cumin, sea salt and freshly ground black pepper (measurements in the recipe below)
  • To make the sauce – This goes in with the meat once it’s almost cooked and is made up of tomato ketchup, dark brown sugar, apple cider vinegar and mustard powder (measurements in the recipe below)

How to make Slow Cooked Pulled Pork

The first step of making slow cooker pulled pork, with the raw meat in the pan covered with powder ingredients.

1. Remove the outermost layer of fat from the pork using a sharp knife and coat in the rub. Slow cook either in the oven or slow cooker, according to the recipe instructions.

A red sauce in a glass Pyrex jug with a spoon to stir for step 2 in the process of making slow cooker pulled pork.

2. Meanwhile, mix up your sauce in a small bowl.

A bowl filled with cooked pulled pork, shredded and ready to serve.

3. Once cooked, place the pork into a clean bowl. Pour the liquid into a measuring jug to add to the sauce. Shred the pork with two forks.

A close up of slow cooker pulled pork with red sauce on top, cooked and ready to serve.

4. Add the shredded pork back into the slow cooker/oven, pour over the sauce and mix well. Cook on according to the recipe instructions.


leftovers

In the fridge You can keep leftovers 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 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.

TOP TIPS

BBQ sauce options

If you are looking for a stronger barbecue sauce flavour in this, you could either use a store-bought version (instead of the homemade ingredients, use about 150 ml plus the cooking liquid as per the recipe).

OR if you’d rather leave this plain, leave out the sauce altogether and just return some of the cooking liquid back to the pork after you’ve shredded it (about 200ml).

How to serve Pulled Pork

My favourite way is simple – in a burger bun with coleslaw. You could also add extra sauce or apple sauce. 

You could also make these into Pulled Pork Tacos using tortilla wraps, add the meat into a pasta for a pork ragu-style dish, or you could simply add to salad.

See my side dish suggestions below ⬇️

What to serve with pulled pork…

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 or pan for the oven?

The Morphy Richards Sear & Stew is my all-time favourite slow cooker because you can use it for initial browning on the hob and it’s really light. 

I wrote up a whole slow cooker review though, where you might find another one to suit your needs. Have a read here.

When it comes to pans, I also put some to the test a while ago. Read my pan review here. I hope it helps!

How long does Pulled Pork take to cook in the oven?

It takes about 5 – 6 hours at 150C, in a heavy casserole with the lid firmly on, then a further 30 minutes after it’s been shredded and the sauce has been added in. (I like to leave the lid off for this 30 minutes at the end to get some little crunchy bits.)

Make sure you turn the meat over in the dish at the halfway mark.

Do you need to add liquid for Slow Cooked Pulled Pork?

The pulled pork seasoning/BBQ sauce rub we’ve used in this recipe, plus the fat from the meat, is enough.

Do I need to remove the fat from the pork before cooking?

Yes, I would definitely recommend taking off the fat before you cook it. I have tried both ways and leaving the fat on makes the meat quite fatty and greasy. 

I would also recommend checking the liquid after you’ve drained it from the meat (after cooking). Make sure you pour away any fat from the top before you pour it back in to make the sauce.

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).

4.88 from 64 votes

Slow Cooked Pulled Pork {ULTIMATE recipe!}

This Slow Cooked Pulled Pork can be made in the oven or slow cooker, resulting in deliciously tender, shredded meat with a delicate BBQ sauce. It’s an easy but impressive crowd pleaser of a dish.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 6 hours
Total Time: 6 hours 5 minutes
Servings: 8 Servings

Ingredients 

  • 1.5 kg Pork shoulder

To make the rub:

  • 2 tbsp Sweet smoked paprika
  • 3 tbsp Soft dark brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp Garlic granules
  • 1 tbsp Ground cumin
  • 1 tsp Sea salt
  • 1 tsp Freshly ground black pepper

To make the sauce:

  • 6 tbsp Tomato ketchup
  • 3 tbsp Dark brown sugar
  • 4 tsp Apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp Mustard powder
  • 8 tbsp Reserved liquid from cooking

Instructions 

  • ‌Mix together the ingredients for the rub.
  • Remove the outermost layer of fat from the pork using sharp knife. Coat the pork in the rub using clean hands.

To cook in the slow cooker:

  • Slow cook for on HIGH for 6-8 hours until the meat is very tender and falls apart easily.
  • Meanwhile mix up your sauce in a small bowl.
  • Remove the pork from the slow cooker and place into a clean bowl. Pour the liquid from the slow cooker into a jug and set aside. Add 8 tbsp to the sauce ingredients.
  • Using two forks, shred the pork, and remove and discard any fatty pieces.
  • Add the shredded pork back into the slow cooker, pour over the sauce, mix well and cook on HIGH for a further 30-45 minutes.

To cook in the oven:

  • Pre-heat oven to 150C fan.
  • Place the pork in a large lidded oven proof dish. (If you don’t have a lidded dish you could cover with foil.)
  • ‌‌Cook for 2.5 hours, turn the meat over, return to the oven and cook for a further 2.5 hours.
  • Make the sauce as per the recipe.
  • Remove the pork from the oven, it should be tender and falling apart. Drain the cooking the liquid and reserve. Shred the pork gently using two forks.
  • Pour the sauce over the pork, making sure it is well coated.
  • Put the pork back into the oven and roast for a further 30 minutes.

OPTIONAL: BBQ sauce

  • If you'd like a stronger flavour, you can use a store bought version (about 150ml plus the cooking liquid as above).
  • OR for a plainer dish, leave out the sauce altogether and just return some of the cooking liquid back to the pork after you’ve shredded it (about 200ml).

Notes

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
Serving suggestions: My favourite way is simple – in a burger bun with coleslaw. You could also add extra sauce or apple sauce. You could also make these into Pulled Pork Tacos using tortilla wraps, add the meat into a pasta for a pork ragu-style dish, or you could simply add to salad
Storing:
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 it into a freezer proof container and freeze for up to 3 months. Defrost thoroughly before reheating

Nutrition

Calories: 297kcalCarbohydrates: 14gProtein: 43gFat: 7gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0.03gCholesterol: 113mgSodium: 500mgPotassium: 825mgFiber: 1gSugar: 11gVitamin A: 931IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 36mgIron: 3mg

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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We improved and updated this recipe in May 2024, but I know some of you may have enjoyed the first recipe so much that you’d like to stick to it. If that’s the case, here it is below ⬇️

Previous Pulled Pork Recipe

(published in 2021)

INGREDIENTS

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

METHOD

  1. If there is a layer of skin on the pork, remove this, then rub the other ingredients onto the pork. Place in the slow cooker on LOW for 12 hours.
  2. Once cooked, remove the juices from the pan, remove the fat and set aside. Shred up the pork using two forks.
  3. Add the juices back into the meat and mix.

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Sarah Rossi founder of TamingTwins.com and author of 'What's for Dinner?' books.

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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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19 Comments

  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 🙂