Amazing Pulled Pork Recipe

5 from 9 votes

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This amazing Pulled Pork Recipe is a crowd-pleasing, super simple way to cook pulled pork. You only need a crockpot or slow cooker and a few hours to cook! 

Are you a pulled pork lover or hater? We are pulled pork lovers at my house. I don’t make it very frequently, but when I do it doesn’t last long. It’s one of my husband’s very favorite things and always goes over well to whoever you are serving. I always try to make mine in a Crockpot or Slow Cooker for easy cleanup and ease.

Pulled Pork Sandwich

First of all, what is Pulled Pork?

Pulled Pork is an American dish, originating from the South which uses shredded pork shoulder as the main ingredient with other regional-based sauces added on after cooking slowly over a smoker, wood fire, or in a slow cooker or crockpot.

Pulled Pork Recipe

For this specific recipe, I used very basic ingredients that usually everyone has on hand. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • BBQ sauce – Use a really good BBQ sauce that you love. We like KC Masterpiece. Gordon’s parents swear by Sweet Baby Ray’s. It really doesn’t matter. As long as YOU like the taste, that’s all that matters.
  • Onions & Garlic – I love the flavor these give off. After hours of cooking, these just melt into the sauce leaving flavor behind.
  • Brown Sugar – Extra sweetness never hurt anyone! If you don’t have brown sugar, granulated sugar, maple syrup or even honey are all great substitutes.
  • Yellow Mustard – This adds a slight kick in flavor that blends well with the brown sugar.
  • Water – This acts as the majority of cooking liquid. I didn’t love the way chicken broth or beef broth tasted, so opted for water.
  • Pork Shoulder – More info about what type of meat to use for the best pulled pork is below.

Love this Pulled Pork Recipe? Try these other recipes: Loaded Pulled Pork NachosSlow Cooker Root Beer Pulled Pork Sandwich RecipeCarolina BBQ Pulled Pork Frito BitesSweet Potato Pulled Pork Sliders, and Crispy Cheese Pulled Pork Tacos with Sesame Slaw.

What meat is best for Pulled Pork?

As mentioned above, Pork Shoulder, sometimes referred to as Pork Butt, is the cut of pork used for all Pulled Pork Recipes. It is some of the most tender and flavorful meat after being cooked low and slow. Partly because it’s naturally very fatty, but also because it just falls off the bone after cooking.

I used a hefty 3-pound roast that I’ve lightly trimmed. When pork shoulders go on sale, pick up one or two, and make this easy meal for your family. You will all love it! (Beware when buying from Costco; You’ll need several crockpots to cook it all!)

Pulled Pork

Crockpot or Smoker?

No need to go out and get a smoker, your Crockpot or slow cooker will do. You are essentially braising this large piece of meat to get that glorious, shreddable texture. You can definitely just use a dutch oven and bake this meat as well, but I find cooking it in the crockpot is the easiest way to make this pulled pork recipe.

If you happen to have a smoker, by all means, use it. But for the greater population, slow cookers are just as good and get the job done.

How to Make Pulled Pork

  1. In a crockpot, place pork, water, bbq sauce, salt, pepper, and onion. Cover and cook (see Cooking Time section below).
  2. Remove all meat from the crockpot. Spoon off fat from the remaining liquid in the crockpot and discard. Pour out remaining cooking liquid and set aside.
  3. Shred pork removing excess fat. Return to crockpot and stir in garlic, bbq sauce, brown sugar, mustard, and more salt and pepper. Add in cooking liquid as needed to moisten. Cook another 30 minutes to 1 hour.
  4. Serve with homemade or Hawaiian sweet rolls and coleslaw.

Cooking Time for Pulled Pork

The only thing you need when cooking large cuts of meat is time–and lots of it! For best results, cook 8-10 hours on low. If you don’t have that much time, cook for 4-5 hours on high.

Of course, you can make this in advance and keep it warm until you’re ready to serve. The beauty of a crockpot–it’s so versatile! It makes my life easy. Great for a party, too!

Pulled Pork Recipe

Leftovers

Any leftover Pulled Pork can be saved by refrigerating in an airtight container for up to 4 days! To reheat, simply warm in the microwave, lightly covered (to retain moisture), until heated through, stirring occasionally.

Need ideas for how to use those leftovers? See here!

Side Dishes

Below is the printable recipe card. Save it and enjoy, friends!

5 from 9 votes

Amazing Pulled Pork Recipe (Crockpot)

This amazing Pulled Pork Recipe is a crowd-pleasing, super simple way to cook pulled pork. You only need a crockpot or slow cooker and a few hours to cook! 
servings 6 servings
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 8 hrs
Total Time 8 hrs 10 mins

Ingredients

For cooking:

  • 3 lb. pork shoulder trimmed
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup BBQ sauce
  • salt & pepper
  • 1/2 yellow onion diced

After cooking:

  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 cups BBQ sauce
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon yellow mustard
  • salt & pepper

Instructions

  • In a crockpot, place pork, water, bbq sauce, salt, pepper, and onion. Cover and cook on low heat for 8-10 hours until very tender. (Or cook on high heat for 4-5 hours or until very tender.)
  • Remove all meat from the crockpot. Spoon off fat from the remaining liquid in the crockpot and discard. Pour out remaining cooking liquid and set aside.
  • Shred pork removing excess fat. Return to the crockpot and stir in garlic, bbq sauce, brown sugar, mustard, and more salt and pepper. Add in cooking liquid as needed to moisten. Cook another 30 minutes to 1 hour.
  • Serve with homemade or Hawaiian sweet rolls and coleslaw.

Nutrition

Calories: 635kcal | Carbohydrates: 71g | Protein: 45g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 151mg | Sodium: 1675mg | Potassium: 1140mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 59g | Vitamin A: 335IU | Vitamin C: 3.8mg | Calcium: 94mg | Iron: 3.8mg
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Keyword: pulled pork, pulled pork crock pot, pulled pork recipe, slow cooker pulled pork
Polaroid photo of granola bars

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Recipe Rating




35 Responses
  1. Kristin

    Just last month I found a great BBQ Pulled Pork recipe and I've already made it twice. I'm going to have to try this one. In the recipe that I already have instead of water it has beef broth. I think it adds a little something extra. Can't wait to try this one out.

  2. Lindsay

    5 stars
    WE LOVED this recipe! And I was so happy it was so good, because I was feeding my family for the 4th of July so we had quite a few people! Thanks for sharing this, it was really really good! We'll be having this again! 🙂

  3. Brian

    5 stars
    Great BBQ Pulled Pork! Loved this recipe and will make it again. You were right on about taking out more liquid than you think or it will turn out too watery. Thanks so much!

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  10. Stephanie Hansbur

    5 stars
    I used this instead of my usual crock pot pulled pork recipe – WOW. It was such an nice punch and just as easy as the old recipe. Thank you!

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    […] Last week my brother called me concerned that my Dad was making my pulled pork the wrong way. A few things that I find amusing about this: {a} my family actually reads my food […]

  12. Marilyn Brennan

    5 stars
    Here I am back again to make this recipe. We just LOVE this one! When I tell my husband that’s what we’re having, he always brightens up.

  13. Anne

    I used a seven pound roast since that’s the all the store had. Is 8-20 still good? I just doubled the water and sauce.

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    1. Lauren

      Yes, either chicken breasts or thighs would work. Since they are much smaller, it would probably take half the time to cook them all.

  15. Maria Olson

    I’m excited to try this recipe with the coleslaw. I may even try to make the rolls too! I love that you made suggestions of what to eat with it. I often struggle with knowing what would go well together.

  16. Rosa María moreno

    5 stars
    Hi!!! I love to cook in my crockpot, and this recipe it’s amazing!! Thank you for shearing!!! And congratulations for you 10 years!!!!

  17. Tiffany Van Norman

    Has anyone made this recipe in the Crock-Pot using the high heat method for 4 to 5 hours? I was just wondering if it came out tender if you cook it on high in the crock pot?