This slow cooked pulled pork is so irresistible you won’t be able to stop yourself from stealing bites while it cooks. It’s incredibly versatile and can be used for sandwiches, tacos, Cubanos, and more!
Have you ever had a meal so good that you could eat it every day without getting bored? A food that you find yourself sneaking bites of while it’s cooking and even after you are done eating? What about as leftovers straight out of the fridge when it’s still cold? That you lick off your fingers after you’ve stolen a bite because you refuse to waste a single drop?
That’s what this pulled pork is for me.
It’s literally finger licking good. And I’m not ashamed to say that. Both my husband and I have been caught stealing bites out of the leftover container when we make this pork.
And it makes a TON. Like enough for a week’s worth of meals for our family. I’ll make it on a Sunday for lunch after church and then we will use it over and over. I’ve made BBQ pork pizza, burrito bowls using it as carnitas, always a dinner of Cubano sandwiches, and sometimes I even throw it in breakfast burritos. It’s so dang good.
It also freezes really well! I portion it into quart freezer bags and lay flat for easy storage or I put it in my favorite freezer containers labeled with the name and date. Make sure to include some juices when you freeze it so it doesn’t dry out!
What is slow cooker pulled pork?
Pulled pork is best made using a cut of pork like a pork butt or pork shoulder. The terms are often interchangeable. It’s rubbed with spices and cooked low in a slow cooker until it practically falls apart when you try and pick it up.
Pulled pork is often served on buns with barbecue sauce and coleslaw but this pulled pork is ideal for sandwiches, tacos, burritos, and many other meals. We really love making homemade Cubano sandwiches with this pork but the possibilities are endless!
How to make slow cooker pulled pork
This pulled pork is so simple and only requires a short amount of hands on time. All the seasonings are basic pantry staples that you probably have on hand right now. I like to mix the seasonings together before adding them to the meat to make sure they are evenly distributed over the whole roast.
Make this first thing in the morning to have it ready for dinner or you could even put it together the night before and turn it on in the morning.
I adapted this recipe from The Pioneer Woman. We don’t use whole onions in this house and her original recipe called for four of them! It also called for fresh garlic cloves which we don’t keep on hand. Instead I changed up the ingredients to the spices that are always in the cupboard and we have been in love ever since! I also changed her recipe from roasting in the oven all day to a slow cooker recipe.
Tips for success making slow cooker pulled pork
The most important tip for making the best pulled pork in your slow cooker is to not overcook it. Keep the cooker on low instead of being tempted to speed up the process. The fat needs to melt into the meat to keep it tender.
Don’t be afraid to rub the spices all over the meat and get it in every nook and cranny. This will help all that flavor penetrate every bite. We also usually flip the roast over halfway through the cooking process to move the juices through the meat.
Ingredients for making slow cooker pulled pork
Other than maybe the pork roast, you probably have everything you need in your home right now!
- Pork shoulder (also called pork butt), patted dry
- Brown sugar
- White wine vinegar (I’ve also used regular vinegar)
- Olive oil
- Chili powder
- Garlic powder
- Black pepper
- Onion powder
Tools needed for making slow cooker pulled pork
You will barely need anything to make this incredible pulled pork!
- 4qt-6qt slow cooker
- Cutting board (one that catches the juices is best so you don’t lose any!)
- Large forks for shredding
If you want to get extra crazy you could try a pair of these meat claws and really have fun shredding the pork!
Let's make Slow Cooker Pulled Pork!
Irresistible Slow Cooker Pulled Pork
- Slow cooker
- 4-5 lbs pork shoulder or pork butt patted dry
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 3 tbsp white wine vinegar
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp salt
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1 tsp cumin
- 2 tsp chili powder
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tbsp onion powder
- to taste black pepper
- Mix together everything except the pork shoulder in a small bowl.
- Using your hands, rub the pork shoulder down with the seasoning blend. Be sure to get it completely covered.
- Place the pork into the slow cooker and cover.
- Cook on low for 6-8 hours, flipping once if desired.
- Remove from slow cooker and discard large chunks of fat plus any bones. Shred meat using two forks (or the meat claws).
- It’s ready to serve!
- For pulled pork sandwiches, serve with buns and barbeque sauce
- For tacos, burritos, or bowls, serve with rice, beans, cheese, lettuce, and any other desired toppings.
- For pizza, use my homemade crust or your favorite crust, top with barbeque sauce, pulled pork, and pizza cheese then bake at 400*F until browned and bubbly.
- For Cubanos, smear a mix of mayo and mustard on each slice of a deli roll. Layer pulled pork, swiss cheese, deli ham, and pickles inside. Use a panini press to grill flat until the cheese is gooey. Slice on the diagonal to serve.