This slow cooker BBQ pulled pork is so tender and packed full of flavour with very little effort! You’ll love how simple it is to put it on in the morning and then have the most delicious and flavourful meat ready at the end of the day. Pulled pork is so versatile and there are endless serving options but you really can’t go wrong with a simple sandwich!
I absolutely love my slow cooker as having delicious food cooking away in the background without me needing to really do anything is definitely the vibe for busy days. And while we usually look towards the slow cooker in winter months when wanting soups and stews, this BBQ pulled pork is the ultimate reason to get this appliance out in summer.
Pulled pork is a great option for feeding a crowd instead of a traditional BBQ, and by using the slow cooker you can spend more time with your guests and less time cooking. Simply lay out the pork in the middle of the table with your salad and some buns and you have an easy lunch that everyone is going to love.
My friends always do a pulled pork when we have drinks on their deck and it’s always devoured and honestly I just think it’s such a great idea.
This is my version that uses a very simple homemade spice rub that gives the pork so much flavour. This is then enhanced with the BBQ sauce that coats the meat and prevents it from becoming dry.
Now I am not usually a sauce girl but I love the sweet and sticky BBQ sauce range from Sweet Baby Ray’s with this pulled pork. It also happens to be gluten-free making this a great option when guests have food intolerances (just be sure to also provide gluten-free buns / wraps!). But use your favourite as there are soooo many sauces out there now with interesting and delicious flavours.
You don’t need many ingredients to make a tasty pulled pork, but a well stocked spice rack is going to make sure all those yummy flavours infuse into your meat. Here is what you’ll need.
Note all ingredients and their quantities are laid out in the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
- Pork shoulder – you want a fattier cut of meat when making pulled pork so the pork shoulder also sometimes called pork butt is perfect for this recipe. It’s also relatively cost effective for the quantity of meat, especially when on sale at the supermarket.
- Brown sugar – this forms the base of our rub that is going to give the pork all the flavour.
- Spices – adding to our rub is a combination of smoked paprika, ground cumin, chilli powder, and ground coriander. All these flavours infuse into the pork as we slow cook it and ensure it tastes amazing (and trust me it smells just as good when cooking!).
- Salt and pepper – it’s essential to ensure your meat is well seasoned so enhancing that rub with a good amount of salt and pepper. You’ll also season again once the meat has been pulled.
- Chicken stock – while the meat will release a lot of juice while cooking, we need to add some liquid to help the cooking process. Chicken stock will give that extra bit of flavour but water will also work fine if you don’t have stock.
- BBQ sauce – this wouldn’t be a BBQ pulled pork without the BBQ! Use your favourite sauce to finish off the meat. Make sure your sauce is labelled as gluten-free as well if you want to make sure this dish is suitable for gluten-free diets.
Honestly I love making a slow cooker pulled pork because it’s SO EASY with very little hands on time and makes enough to feed a crowd and is very versatile so you can make a few different meals.
The main equipment you’ll need is a slow cooker of course. Make sure your slow cooker and your pork shoulder are compatible in size as well. Some pork shoulders can get quite big so you want to make sure it will fit before getting started.
To start, you’ll make your spice rub which is just combining the brown sugar with the spices and salt and pepper. Rub this all over the meat, ensuring all surfaces have been covered.
Place the pork into the slow cooker with the chicken stock and place on the lid and set the slow cooker to low. Now it’s time to get on with your day and check back in 8ish hours.
Depending on the size of your pork, it could take anywhere up to 12 hours. For my 2.2kg shoulder, it took about 10 hours until that pork was cooked well enough to pull.
Once the meat falls apart with your fork, it’s time to remove it from the liquid and pull it using two forks. Place all of the meat into a large dish and mix through the BBQ sauce. You can adjust the amount of sauce you add based on your preference. The idea is that all of the meat has a light coating.
From here, you’re ready to serve!
What to serve with pulled pork
I love pulled pork because it’s so versatile in terms of serving applications. Here are a few ideas;
- Pulled pork sandwiches – this is the obvious and best way to serve pulled pork IMO. Add the pork to fresh soft buns with coleslaw and extra BBQ sauce and you will be happy!
- Tacos – char up a soft taco, add a little hot sauce, some avo and shredded cabbage and you have a delicious and easy lunch or dinner.
- Traditional BBQ – serve up on the table with a bunch of your favourite sides such as mac and cheese or potato salad.
- Baked potato – top your baked potato with the pulled pork and then all of your usual favourite toppings!
- Breakfast wrap – I love to fry up some of the pork with eggs and hot sauce for a delicious savoury brekky.
How to store pulled pork
The best thing about this recipe is that it makes a lot of food so it’s a great option to feed a hungry family or a small gathering.
But if you do end up with leftovers, then it stores in the fridge for up to 4 days. With it being versatile its a great recipe for meal prep as you can cook on the weekend and know you have lunches or dinners sorted for the week.
If you want to keep it a bit longer, you can freeze the pork in airtight containers for up to three months.
Heat any leftovers in the microwave or covered in the oven. You can also pan fry small amounts to get extra little crispy bits.
More slow cooker recipes:
Slow Cooker BBQ Pulled Pork
- 2-2.5 kg approx. boneless pork shoulder
- 3 tablespoons light brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon ground chilli
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 cup chicken stock
- ¼ cup BBQ sauce
- In a small bowl, mix together the brown sugar with the spices and salt and pepper. Rub all over the pork shoulder, coating the outside.
- Place the pork shoulder into the base of a slow cooker. Add in the chicken stock and place on the lid.
- Cook the pork for 8-12 hours on low or until the pork is tender. The cooking time will depend on the exact size of your pork shoulder.
- Once the pork is cooked, remove from the slow cooker. Remove the fatty cap and shred the meat using two forks. Place the meat into a tray and mix through BBQ sauce. You can adjust the amount based on your preference – you just want to make sure all pieces are coated. Season again with salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve the pulled pork with fresh buns, coleslaw and extra BBQ sauce or however you prefer.
Nutritional information is provided as a guide only and is calculated using automated online tools, therefore we cannot guarantee the accuracy. We encourage you to make your own calculations based on the actual ingredients used in your recipe.