Slow Cooker Pulled Pork
This juicy Pulled Pork is easily made in your slow cooker. Enjoy the melt in your mouth flavor on it’s own, or atop a fresh bun, over grits, in a tortilla, in an omelette, the possibilities are endless!Jump to Recipe
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Slow cookers are amazing. You can haphazardly throw some ingredients in, close the lid, turn it on, and in hours have a delicious meal ready to enjoy. One of my favorite things to make in my slow cooker is meat. I often cook a large amount at a time, then portion and freeze the cooked meat for easy dinners.
One of the best meats to make in the slow cooker is by far pork shoulder, aka pork butt. It’s incredibly versatile depending on how you season it, and it’s generally an inexpensive cut of meat. My grocery store had a great sale this week, and it just so happened to be around National Pulled Pork Day, so I jumped on the opportunity to make up some tender and juicy Pulled Pork!
How Do You Make Slow Cooked Pulled Pork?
Making your own Pulled Pork at home is SO easy. All you need is a few ingredients, a slow cooker, and time!
Start off by mixing up the marinade. In a small bowl combine paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, pepper, and salt. Add the apple cider vinegar and mix well. Next, add the molasses, Worcestershire, and tomato paste and whisk until you have a smooth liquid.
Place the pork shoulder in your slow cooker and pour the marinade over the top. The roast doesn’t need to be completely submerged in the marinade, just make sure the top is coated and that there’s at least an inch of liquid in the bottom of the slow cooker.
Close the lid and you’re ready to go! If you’re going to be gone all day, set the slow cooker to low and it can cook for 8-10 hours. You can also cook it a little faster by setting the temperature to high for 6 hours.
Use tongs to check to see if your Pulled Pork is ready by gently pinching off a piece of the meat. It should easily pull apart…hence the name.
Take the pork shoulder out of the slow cooker and place it on a work surface like a cutting board. Use a slotted spoon to fish out all remaining solid pieces from the liquid.
Now here’s where the pulling comes in. You can use tongs or forks, but I just get in there with bare hands. Pull the meat apart and discard any excess fat, and the bone if there is one. Once the pork shoulder is all shredded, you’re done!
I generally like to reserve some of the cooking liquid to add back into the shredded meat to help retain more flavor and moisture. How much you add is up to you.
What Do I Serve With Pulled Pork?
Pulled pork is excellent as a main dish and can accompany almost endless sides. I love it with roasted carrots and an arugula salad. Or for that Summer BBQ feel serve with corn on the cob, baked beans, and potato salad.
You can also feature Pulled Pork in a number of other recipes. On a bun with some BBQ sauce is delicious, or pile it atop a bowl of corn grits with sharp cheddar. Tacos are another excellent vehicle for the juicy meat!
As far as adult beverage pairings, choose something with bold flavor. For wine I prefer a flavorful Tempranillo or Merlot. If beer is more your style a Pale Ale would go nicely, with a strong hop flavor to compliment the meat. To really take it up a notch sip an Old Fashioned alongside your Pulled Pork meal!
How Long Can It Be Stored?
Keep your leftovers (if you have any) in an airtight container in your refrigerator for up to 3 to 5 days. If you’re like me and like to have cooked meat on hand in the freezer, vacuum seal the pork and freeze for up to 6 to 8 months.
How Can I Make It Spicy?
If you love heat on your meat, Tabasco is the most recommended hot sauce for this Pulled Pork recipe. Louisiana hot sauce is another good option. Or you can also coat it with your favorite spicy BBQ sauce.
Slow Cooker Pulled Pork
- 3-5 pound Pork Shoulder (aka pork butt)
- 1 teaspoon Paprika
- 1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
- 1 teaspoon Onion Powder
- 1/2 teaspoon Pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon Salt
- 1/2 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon Molasses
- 2 Tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
- 2 Tablespoon Tomato Paste
- In a small bowl mix paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper.
- Add the apple cider vinegar and stir well.
- Add the molasses, tomato paste, Worcestershire and whisk until you have a smooth liquid.
- Place pork shoulder in slow cooker and pour the marinade so it coats the roast.
- Cover with the lid and cook on high for 6 hours or low for 8-10 hours.
- Remove the meat and all solids from the slow cooker, reserving the juices.
- Shred the meat with tongs or your hands, discarding any bones or excess fat.
- If you'd like mix the shredded meat with some of the reserved cooking juices.
- Serve warm, or store for up to 5 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator.