You owe it to yourself to try this slow cooker pulled pork recipe.  It's so easy and healthy--just rub on the homemade seasoning, add some aromatics, and pour on some liquids.  The perfect dinner idea for a crowd at your next summer BBQ.  Pile it on tacos, sandwiches, sliders, or serve it with coleslaw.  It's a classic!

Prep Time: 35 minutes
person holding a bowl of pulled pork with greenery in the background
Main Course, Meat, Pork

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Recipe

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This post was originally published on May 3, 2018.

I want to fill you in on a little secret.  This slow cooked pulled pork recipe can be a game changer for you.  Why?  It is so easy to make, and the end result is mouthwatering.  After all, who doesn’t love a big helping of moist, fall off the bone, pork roast?  And with a slow cooker, you can fix it and forget it.

person holding a serving of pulled pork

The first time I had pulled pork was in a sandwich in Savannah, Georgia, after I was a mom.  I encourage you not to wait that long–it’s too good.  Go to the grocery store,  grab the ingredients, and make this for supper tonight.  You will be so glad you did!

What is the best cut of meat for pulled pork?

  • Boston butt
  • Picnic shoulder
  • Whole shoulder

white bowl of pulled pork with two forks, greenery, and gray fabric

Can you overcook slow cooker pulled pork?

Yes, you can.  Make sure you cook it until the internal temperature reads 190F with a meat thermometer.  When it’s done, it should be moist and very tender.  This should take 8 hours on high or 12 hours on low.  The texture can be mushy if it’s cooked too long.

What do you serve with pulled pork?

In the South, you will see a variety of side dishes.  Some popular ones are:

  • Mac and cheese
  • Baked beans
  • Hush puppies
  • Corn casserole
  • Fried okra
  • Green beans
  • Black eyed peas
  • Collard greens

glass dish of pulled pork

What should you do with leftover pulled pork?

There are many uses for pulled pork.  Below are some suggestions.

  • Mexican: tacos, taquitos, enchiladas, nachos, burrito bowls, or quesadillas
  • American: sandwiches, chili, mac and cheese, breakfast hash, sliders, or on top bratwursts on a hot dog bun
  • Italian: pizza, rigatoni, or spaghetti
  • Asian: Vietnamese Bah Mi, or Chinese pulled pork lettuce wraps

Can you freeze leftover pulled pork?

Yes, pulled pork freezes very well.  Let it cool completely, then put two cups into each airtight container or zip-top freezer bag.  It should keep for up to two months.  Make sure to label it, so you know when it will expire.

holding a forkful of pulled pork

How do you reheat leftover pulled pork?

The easiest way is to microwave it, but you can also reheat it in a skillet–just add a little oil and cook over medium heat until it’s warmed through.

Do you leave the fat on pulled pork?

Yes, it’s a good idea to leave the fat on your Boston Butt.  It will give it extra flavor and will help keep the meat moist.

How much does pork shoulder cost?

In coastal Georgia, you’ll find pork shoulder costs roughly $3.00 per pound.  You’ll want to get a pork roast that is roughly 6 or 7 pounds for this recipe.

glass dish of pulled pork

How to Make Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

Gather all the ingredients, then chop the onions and peel the garlic cloves.

ingredients for slow cooker pulled pork

Put all the spices along with the brown sugar in a small bowl.

spices for pork rub in a bowl

Mix them together with a spoon to make your homemade rub.

holding a spoonful of the spice rub for a pork roast

Rinse the Boston butt with cold water and pat it dry with paper towel.

patting dry the pork roast

Use your hands to rub the spice mixture on both sides of the Boston butt.

patting the spice rub onto the pork roast

Place the sliced onions, peeled garlic, and bay leaves in the bottom of a large crock pot, then add any leftover spices from the rub.

layering the onions, garlic, and bay leaves in the slow cooker

Pour in the low sodium chicken broth.

pouring the chicken stock into the slow cooker

Place the Boston butt fat side up, then add the Worcestershire sauce and the liquid smoke.

Cover and cook on high for 8 hours or on low for 12.

placing the pork roast in the slow cooker

The roast is done when it reaches 190 F on a meat thermometer and is very tender.

cooked pork roast in the slow cooker

Place the Boston butt on a large cutting board with grooves.  Let it rest for 30 minutes.  Separate the cooked onions and the garlic cloves into separate bowls, then mash up the garlic cloves with a fork.

mashing garlic cloves with a fork

Once the pork has cooled enough so you can touch it, shred it with two forks.

pulling apart the pork roast with two forks

If you like, add the smashed garlic cloves back into the pulled pork and mix it together.

holding a spoonful of mashed garlic cloves

While you’re at it, add the cooked onions back into the pulled pork.

adding the cooked onions to the pulled pork

If you’d like to add some of the liquid from the slow cooker, add it one tablespoon at a time. 

adding some of the broth to the pulled pork

Now you have some finger licking Southern pulled pork.  Enjoy it soon with some family and friends.

Pro Tips for Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

  • Make this one day ahead to improve the flavor.
  • Make a homemade rub with spices you love.
  • Add a flavorful broth.  Other ideas are apple juice and some apple cider vinegar.
  • You don’t need to sear the meat before putting it in the slow cooker.
  • You can reserve the juice, just skim off the fat.
  • Use two forks to shred the meat once it’s cool enough to handle.
  • Like BBQ sauce?  If you want, add your favorite BBQ sauce to the pulled pork and stir it in before serving on buns.

Our family’s favorite way to eat pulled pork is to make it into a sandwich.  It’s awesome!  Top the pulled pork with creamy coleslaw, pickled red onions, crunchy dill pickles, and BBQ sauce served on a soft hamburger bun.

Round out your Southern meal with potato salad, easy southern cheese straws, and serve no bake banana pudding for dessert.  Oh, and don’t forget the sweet tea.  It’s a must!

slow cooker, thermometer, measuring cup, and barbecue sauce

Our Go-To Kitchen Tools for Pulled Pork

Make a crowd-pleasing Southern feast with these other great recipes.

white bowl of southern potato salad with two black spoons and gray fabric person holding half of a Southern cheese straw white plate of banana pudding with a drink and two spoons

The pleasure of a 5-star review for this slow cooker pulled pork would be greatly appreciated.

person holding a bowl of pulled pork with greenery in the background

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Recipe

  • Author: Brooke
  • Prep Time: 35 minutes
  • Cook Time: 8 hours
  • Total Time: 8 hours 35 minutes
  • Yield: 16 servings 1x


You owe it to yourself to try this slow cooker pulled pork recipe.  It’s so easy and healthy–just rub on the homemade seasoning, add some aromatics, and pour on some liquids.  The perfect dinner idea for a crowd at your next summer BBQ.  Pile it on tacos, sandwiches, sliders, or serve it with coleslaw.  It’s a classic!



For the Rub

  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 heaping tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

For the Meat

  • 7 pound pork shoulder roast (Boston butt), boneless

For the Aromatics

  • 1 large yellow onion, sliced
  • 5 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2 bay leaves

For the Liquids

  • 2 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke


  1. Stir together the rub mixture spices in a medium bowl.
  2. Rinse and pat dry the pork roast with paper towels, then rub the spice mixture all over the pork roast.
  3. Slice the onion into rings and peel the garlic, then place them at the bottom of the crock pot.  Add two bay leaves and dump any remaining spices from the rub mixture into the crock pot.  Pour in the liquids and place the pork roast fat side up.
  4. Cover and cook on high for 8 hours or on low for 12.  The roast is done when it is very tender.
  5. Once the roast is done, place it on a large cutting board.  Let the meat rest for 30 minutes.  Shred the meat with two forks and discard any extra fat, then place the pulled pork in a very large bowl.  This should take 15 minutes.
  6. Take the cooked onions and garlic out of the crock pot and place in a small bowl.  Mush up the garlic with the tongs of a fork, then add the garlic and onions to the pulled pork.
  7. This step is optional: add the extra cooking liquid to the pulled pork, one tablespoon at a time, until the meat is as moist and flavorful as you desire.
  8. Serve on hamburger buns with BBQ sauce, coleslaw and pickled red onions, on soft tacos, or as is with some BBQ sauce.


The pleasure of a 5 star review for this slow cooker pulled pork recipe would be greatly appreciated.

  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Slow Cooker
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Pulled pork, slow cooker

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