Slow-Cooker Pulled Pork

by Amy on 7 September 2012

I know you’re thinking, another slow cooker recipe?! I confess, I’m addicted to my new crock-pot. I promise I won’t post a crock-pot recipe each week … unless you want me to, + then I totally will!

With both NFL + college football back in swing, it’s a wonderful time to share a sports-watchin’ meal with you. This absolutely delicious pulled pork is perfect for that. First, it requires very little hands-on time – most of the time is spent happily slow-cooking. Second, you can pop it in the slow cooker the night before + the next morning, it’s ready to be grazed on all day, or transported to a tailgate or friend’s house. Third? It feeds a crowd – at least 10 people depending on your appetites.

If you’re not feeding a crowd, it makes for fantastic leftovers. My husband + I ate it for a couple dinners, a lunch, a breakfast (with fried eggs = YUM) + still had leftovers to freeze. I love my pulled pork drizzled BBQ sauce, served with homemade mac + cheese + collard greens. It would also be great with baked beans, cole slaw, or even just chips if you’re feeling casual. Throw in on a bun, eat it on a plate, or even put it in a taco or quesadilla – this pulled pork is amazing AND versatile + you’ll be thrilled you made it!

Slow-Cooker Pulled Pork

serves about 10-12, adapted from tyler florence + the country cook


for the spice rub:
3 tablespoons paprika
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
3 tablespoons coarse sea salt

1 (5 to 7 pound) bone-in pork roast, preferably shoulder or Boston butt
1 can (12 ounces) of coca cola, dr. pepper, or root beer (i used dr. pepper)
1 tablespoon hickory liquid smoke

optional: 1 bottle (about 16 ounces) of your favorite bbq sauce (read last paragraph of recipe for instructions)


First, create the spice rub by combining the first 7 ingredients. Rub the spice blend all over the pork. Cover + refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or preferably overnight.

Place the spice-rubeed pork in your slow cooker. Pour in the 12 ounces of soda + liquid smoke. Cover + cook on LOW for 8-10 hours, until the pork is very tender. (Note: I’ve made this recipe times, and have found that it’s very forgiving. If it cooks longer than that because you’re cooking it overnight, it’ll still be fantastic).

Remove the pork from the slow cooker + reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid. While the pork is still warm, you want to “pull” the meat: Grab 2 forks. Using 1 to steady the meat, use the other to “pull” shreds of meat off the roast. Put the shredded pork in a bowl (or back in the crock-pot) + pour the 1/4 cup reserved cooking liquid over it. If it looks like it could use some more, pour in the remaining 1/4 cup liquid. Stir it all up well.

NOTE: I prefer my pulled pork served with just a small side of BBQ sauce, not smothered in it, so I just topped with a drizzle of BBQ at this point. If you like yours saucy + smothered in BBQ sauce, you can RETURN the shredded pork to the crock-pot at this point, add in one bottle of your favorite BBQ sauce + continue to cook covered on LOW for 20-30 minutes, until pork is fully hot again.

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{ 52 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Mommyof2Girlz/StephD September 7, 2012 at 6:20 am

I was just thinking of looking for a pulled pork recipe yesterday..perfect timing! Hubby is going to love this!

2 Rachel @ Baked by Rachel September 7, 2012 at 6:38 am

I love that you’ve become addicted to your slow cooker lol. It’s one of those things that’s SO easy to love! I’ve never made pulled pork but I really should!

3 angela@spinachtiger September 7, 2012 at 7:59 am

Everyone loves a good pulled pork, and I’m with you, very little sauce for me please. I once topped my pork with a fennel/jam combo that I loved more than the sweet barbecue sauces. I need to start using our crock pot more!

4 Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious September 7, 2012 at 9:02 am

I can never get sick of slow cooker recipes! Keep them coming! And I love that this makes tons of leftovers – I’ve been trying to make freezer-friendly foods for Jason while he’s in SF!

5 elizabeth @ chronic venture September 7, 2012 at 9:13 am

loooove pulled pork from the crockpot–so many ways to mix it up. and so easy!! yum!

6 Kathryn September 7, 2012 at 10:44 am

Pulled pork is one of my absolute favourite things, love this recipe!

7 Anna @ hiddenponies September 7, 2012 at 11:03 am

I could go for a slow cooker recipe every week for sure! I love pulled pork, it’s one of my go-tos when I have a big crowd coming.

8 amy September 7, 2012 at 2:46 pm

well, you might just get your wish! =)

9 Angela @ AnotherBitePlease September 7, 2012 at 4:10 pm

Ok you know I love pulled pork – now I can make in a slow cooker – yeah! Keep the slow cooker recipes coming!

10 Choc Chip Uru September 7, 2012 at 5:16 pm

You have every right to be addicted to your crockpot if you produce such wonderful recipes 😀

Choc Chip Uru

11 Kristen @ notsodomesticated September 7, 2012 at 9:19 pm

I pinned this one! This would be perfect for a football weekend! 😉

12 wendy (the weekend gourmet) September 8, 2012 at 9:58 am

It’s just about time to pull my crockpot out for fall…and this is just my kind of game day food too: easy and delish! pulled pork isn’t as popular as brisket down here in texas, but i LOVE pork!

13 Sarah K. @ The Pajama Chef September 8, 2012 at 11:16 am

pulled pork is always a favorite. love this version!

14 Julie @ Table for Two September 8, 2012 at 8:47 pm

mmmm i LOVE slow cooker pulled pork!!! this is making me drool!

15 Marina September 9, 2012 at 5:43 am

I don’t eat meat, but I think my husband would die for this 😀

16 Beth September 9, 2012 at 3:51 pm

Who doesn’t love pulled pork? This looks awesome!

17 JulieD September 9, 2012 at 6:19 pm

Curtis would love this…he loves pulled pork!!

18 Kiran @ September 10, 2012 at 2:51 am

I need slow cooker in my life. Pronto!

19 amy September 10, 2012 at 5:55 am

you do! I can’t believe how much use I’m getting out of it – it’s crazy!

20 Amy (Savory Moments) September 10, 2012 at 5:56 am

I love making pulled pork in the crock pot! It’s so easy and so delicious! Looks yummy!

21 Tracey September 10, 2012 at 10:48 am

Mmmmm, pulled pork and football – Sundays really don’t get much better than that for me :) We eat so much pulled pork when the weather cools down, I can’t wait!

22 Jed Gray (sportsglutton) September 10, 2012 at 10:48 am

Glad to see the liquid smoke, because as much as I love the slow cooker you gotta have some smoke in there. Looks delish Amy.

Hope you enjoyed the first full weekend of football action!

23 amy September 10, 2012 at 11:19 am

it was my first time working with liquid smoke + i loved the results. and yes, i had a great first football weekend – we went to the Titans/Patriots game in person! =)

24 Marta@What Should I Eat For Breakfast Today September 10, 2012 at 11:51 am

I’ve been hearing about this great piece of equipment for a long time now. I hope I’ll be able to use it one day. Your sandwich looks delicious.

25 Erin @ Texanerin Baking September 10, 2012 at 12:12 pm

Oh man. You are up to… something. So much yummy stuff! I’ve been waiting to make your quesadillas for a week and tomorrow is finally the day. Yay! But now I’m craving pulled pork. I might have to see if I can find the meat somewhere.

And crock pot recipes are fun!

26 Megan {Country Cleaver} September 10, 2012 at 3:27 pm

This needs to happen in my house, NOW.

27 Stephanie @ Macaroni and Cheesecake September 10, 2012 at 4:29 pm

Oh I love pulled pork and yours looks fantastic! Love that you made this in the slow cooker too!

28 Megan @ girl by the lake September 10, 2012 at 6:12 pm

I am telling you…I have to find that darn box with my crock-pot. You are killing me. And this, THIS recipe is my favorite one so far! This is perfect for football Saturdays and Sundays!

29 amy September 10, 2012 at 7:00 pm

yes! it’s definitely football-watchin’ food. =) you gotta find your crock-pot!

30 Renee September 10, 2012 at 7:29 pm

I seriously love pulled pork bbq sandwiches. I’ll have to try your recipe with the cola. I have made a ham with cola so the next thing for me is pulled pork.

31 Ashley @ Kitchen Meets Girl September 10, 2012 at 7:53 pm

Pulled pork is one of my fave things to make in the slow-cooker. I LOVE liquid smoke, but I’ve never tried it this way (I use it for fajitas)–I’ll definitely be trying this version soon. I’m always looking for easy entertaining meals for football Saturdays! :-)

32 Jackie @ Domestic Fits September 10, 2012 at 8:43 pm

There you go again, making me want to run out and buy a slow cooker :)

33 Jen L | Tartine and Apron Strings September 10, 2012 at 11:02 pm

Me, too. I like only a small dose of BBQ sauce on the side. Hmmm, in the summer, I was wishing for an ice cream maker. Now that Fall and Winter are here, I am wishing for a crock pot! I love pulled pork! So if I don’t have a crock pot, how do I cook these so they turn out comparably good? Thanks!

34 amy September 11, 2012 at 5:57 am

hey Jen, if you don’t have a slow-cooker, you can just make this in the oven. preheat the oven to 300 degrees, follow all the steps as described above, then roast in a dutch oven/roasting pan for about 6 hours, until the pork is fall-apart tender + the thickest part of the meat registers 170 degrees F. hope that helps!

35 natalie@thesweetslife September 11, 2012 at 10:46 am

so glad you’re getting such use out of your crockpot!! I looooove pulled pork and am always up for trying a new recipe. This one looks great!

36 Ashley@BakerbyNature September 11, 2012 at 11:26 am

Recipes like this always remind me how sad I am to not own a slow cooker! Need to get my paws on one before winter hits!

37 amy September 11, 2012 at 11:28 am

If you’re anything like me, getting a slow cooker will *definitely* be worth it – i’ve been using mine at least once a week since I got it, usually more!

38 Chuck September 23, 2012 at 10:20 am

After pulling the pork and tossing with a bit of sauce, we like to spread it out on a pan and put it under the broiler for a couple of minutes. It gives the pork some texture and simulates ‘bark’ from traditionally smoked shoulder. Great recipe!

39 Anjali January 21, 2013 at 12:37 pm

This sounds great, can’t wait to try, but I would rather not use soda, can you suggest a substitute? Thanks!

40 amy January 21, 2013 at 12:46 pm

Hi Anjali! Really, any liquid would work just fine – vegetable, chicken, or beef broth.stock, apple cider or apple juice, ginger beer, white grape juice, wine, or even water in a pinch. If I had to choose, I’d vote for apple cider or apple juice. =)

41 υγρα αναπληρωσης June 28, 2013 at 6:07 am

I was more than happy to uncover this site. I wanted to thank you for ones time for this particularly wonderful read!! I definitely liked every little bit of it and i also have you bookmarked to check out new things on your site.

42 Mary Hall October 28, 2013 at 9:30 pm

Made it tonight. Fantastic!!!! This is definitely a family favorite…and it was so simple to make!

43 amy October 29, 2013 at 8:55 am

That’s so wonderful to hear, Mary!

44 RogerRoger February 11, 2014 at 9:12 am

This is insanely good. The best pulled pork I have ever made.
I used a 10 pound boston butt and doubled everything else except the root beer.
I also put everything in an oven bag and would baste the meat by simply lifting up on the bag. Thank you.

45 amy February 11, 2014 at 2:00 pm

So happy to hear you liked it, RogerRoger! I’ve got to make it myself again soon – it’s one of my favorites!

46 nicsy March 18, 2014 at 12:58 pm

if i’m going to cut the portions in half, how long should i leave this on the pressure cooker?

47 amy March 18, 2014 at 2:24 pm

Hi Nicsy! I’ve only made this a slow-cooker/crock-pot, never in a pressure cooker, so I’m not sure how long it would take in a pressure cooker. However, if you’re going to halve the portions and still make it in a slow-cooker/crock-pot, it will still take a while – probably 6-8 hours on low. Hope that helps!

48 Mark Levin October 14, 2014 at 8:00 pm

Can your pulled pork be made with pork brisket ? If not what can I do with a pork brisket? I made the apple bacon quesadillas and they were good . I’m gonna get some differnt variety of apples and do again. This cooking stuff is fun and tastes better than microwave meals thanks Mark L

49 amy October 15, 2014 at 8:22 am

I’ve actually never cooked with pork brisket, but I just did some reading, and yes, it seems like that cut would work great with this recipe. Look forward to hearing how it turns out!

50 sherry February 9, 2017 at 10:22 am

have you tried cooking it in the crockpot for half the time on high?

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