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Slow Cooker Barbecue Pulled Pork Recipe

We make Barbecue Pulled Pork in our slow cooker several times a year.

It takes little time to prepare and turns out amazingly delicious every time!

In fact, you really can not mess up this recipe.

barbecue pulled pork sandwich

It is what we consider a ‘Dump & Go’ recipe. You literally put everything in the slow cooker, turn it on and walk away.

And magically, in about 5-8 hours, you have fall apart pork that could almost shred itself!

What Type Of Pork Roast To Use

The absolute best cut of pork to use for barbecue pulled pork is a Pork Shoulder.

However, in the grocery store you may find it labeled Pork Butt or even Boston Butt.

No matter what the name, this pork roast will make the BEST pulled pork.

frozen pork shoulder
Frozen pork shoulder in the slow cooker ready to be made into pulled pork.

It contains just the right amount of fat to flavor the meat and to allow it to become fall off the bone tender when slow cooked.

Some people use a traditional pork roast, however I find that the meat turns out too dry and tough.

Therefore, we stick to the Pork Shoulder/Butt when making Barbecue Pulled Pork.

Why Make Barbecue Pulled Pork In A Slow Cooker

With other methods of cooking available, you may wonder why we use the slow cooker to make pulled pork.

First of all, there is just something about coming home to a meal that is ready to be on the table in minutes of walking in the door.

shredding barbecue pulled pork
The pork will become fall apart tender and can easily be shredded with two forks.

Not to mention the, the wonderful aroma that fills the house after a long day and the thought of not having to prepare something for dinner at the last minute makes you relax and enjoy the evening.

If you have read our other recipes you know that we love the pressure cooker function of the Instant Pot. It allows you to make traditionally slow cooked meals in the fraction of the time.

Although there are sometimes when we make Instant Pot Barbecue Pulled Pork, there are other times when making barbecue pulled pork in a slow cooker makes much more sense.

For instance, we prefer to use the slow cooker when we are coming home from a long day away from the house and we need to eat within a few minutes of arriving.

shredded pulled pork
Easy to make, slow cooker, barbecue shredded pork.

Or if we hosting or attending a party or pot luck and we have several things to get done that day we prefer to use our Crock Pot Slow Cooker.

It has a programmable feature that allows you to set a timer to the exact cook time desired. Once that time expires, it will automatically turn the slow cooker to a Keep Warm setting.

You can’t beat the satisfaction of putting all the ingredients in a slow cooker in the morning and going about your day and not having to worry about it over cooking.

Other Slow Cooker Recipes

Then when you are ready to eat or head out, the tender, fall apart pork can easily be shredded and served.

Barbecue Sauce and Seasonings

One of the greatest features of this recipe is that you can use whatever barbecue sauce that you like.

We typically use our own Homemade Barbecue Sauce. However, if we don’t have any on hand, we use a store-bought variety.

sugar free barbecue sauce
If we are out of our homemade barbecue sauce we try to use a sugar free version.

Although we love Sweet Baby Ray’s barbecue sauce, we try to use a sugar free sauce when available.

We used G Hughes Smokehouse Maple Brown BBQ sauce this last time and it was delicious!

But in order to make this the best barbecue pulled pork recipe, we add in a few additional ingredients as well.

The most important ingredient is the apple cider vinegar. I promise that you won’t taste the vinegar at all.

seasoned barbecue pulled pork in slow cooker
The pork shoulder is seasoned and ready to be slow cooked.

The vinegar helps break down the connective tissue in the roast which is the key to making it fall apart tender.

In addition to the vinegar, we add in a little garlic, onion and chili powder. This gives the barbecue sauce a little boost which adds so much flavor to the meat once cooked.

Shredding The Barbecue Pulled Pork

Once the roast has slow cooked, it is time to shred the meat. Which, by the way, is ridiculously easy!

Even if you start with a frozen chunk of Pork Shoulder that you put in your slow cooker, your meat will end up falling off of the bone.

cooked pork shoulder
The meat is literally falling off the bone.

In fact, 9 out of 10 times we use a frozen chunk of meat. I usually purchase a pork shoulder roast when they are on sale and put it in our freezer.

Then when we are hosting a party, pot luck, or just need an easy to prepare type of meal, we will put it in our slow cooker for the day.

You will know when your pork is ready to be shredded. Simply open the lid and if you can take a fork and pull it apart, your meat is cooked to perfection!

shredded pulled pork
After you shred the meat toss it in the barbecue sauce mixture left in the slow cooker.

Shred the entire roast with two forks and toss it in the barbecue sauce left in the bottom of the slow cooker.

Then it is time to eat! Most often we use the meat to make Barbecue Pulled Pork Sandwiches.

However, you can get creative on other ideas to use the pulled pork. For instance, add it to the top of a bed of rice along with some chopped green onions.

Or use as a filling for tacos, burritos, quesadillas and more.

barbecue pork nachos
You can even use the meat to top your nachos!

And don’t forget, you can use it as a topping for nachos when the late night craving hits you!


Mary and Jim

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Yield: 8

Slow Cooker Barbecue Pulled Pork

Slow Cooker Barbecue Pulled Pork

Pull apart, fork tender pork flavored with spices and barbecue sauce that makes this easy to make, dump and go recipe a crowd favorite!


  • 2.5-3 pounds pork shoulder/pork butt
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 cup barbecue sauce
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper


  1. Pour the water in the liner of a slow cooker. Add the pork and pour the barbecue sauce and apple cider vinegar over top of the pork.
  2. In a small bowl mix together the chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper and then sprinkle over the top of the pork.
  3. Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours or high for 5-6 hours, until the pork shreds easily with two forks.
  4. Remove pork to a cutting board and shred with two forks. Return the meat back into the slow cooker and toss it in the juice.


Serving suggestions: on buns for sandwiches, on top of rice, filling for tacos, quesadillas, lettuce wraps and topping for nachos.

Recipe courtesy of Old World Garden Farms

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:

1 grams

Amount Per Serving: Unsaturated Fat: 0g
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