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.
What is the best cut of meat for this recipe?
- Boston butt
- Picnic shoulder
- Whole shoulder
Can you overcook this in the slow cooker?
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 this recipe?
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
What should you do with leftovers?
There are many uses for this recipe. 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 leftovers?
Yes, this recipe 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.
How do you reheat leftovers?
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 while it cooks.
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 roast that is roughly 6 or 7 pounds for this recipe.
How to Make
Gather all the ingredients, then chop the onions and peel the garlic cloves.
Put all the spices along with the brown sugar in a small bowl.
Mix them together with a spoon to make your homemade rub.
Rinse the Boston butt with cold water and pat it dry with paper towel.
Use your hands to rub the spice mixture on both sides of the Boston butt.
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.
Pour in the low sodium chicken broth.
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.
The roast is done when it reaches 190 F on a meat thermometer and is very tender.
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.
Once it has cooled enough so you can touch it, shred it with two forks.
If you like, add the smashed garlic cloves back into the meat and mix it together.
While you're at it, add the cooked onions back.
If you'd like to add some of the liquid from the slow cooker, add it one tablespoon at a time. Now you have some finger licking Southern pulled pork. Enjoy it soon with some family and friends.
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!
- Add a flavorful broth. Other ideas are apple juice and some apple cider vinegar.
- Like BBQ sauce? If you want, add your favorite BBQ sauce to the pulled pork and stir it in before serving on buns.
- Make this one day ahead to improve the flavor.
- Make a homemade rub with spices you love.
- 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.
- Rival 6-Quart Slow Cooker: this slow cooker is the easiest way to cook pulled pork.
- 4-Cup Glass Measuring Cup: we love using this cup for measuring and pouring.
- Bamboo Cutting Board: a sturdy cutting board is a must for every kitchen!
- ThermoPro Digital Thermometer: this quick-read thermometer folds up for easy storage.
- Kansas City Style Sweet & Smoky Barbecue Sauce: this is our family's favorite barbecue sauce!
Make a crowd-pleasing Southern feast with these other great recipes.
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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 ½ cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- ½ teaspoon liquid smoke
- Stir together the rub mixture spices in a medium bowl.
- Rinse and pat dry the pork roast with paper towels, then rub the spice mixture all over the roast.
- 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 roast fat side up.
- Cover and cook on high for 8 hours or on low for 12. The roast is done when it is very tender.
- 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.
- 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 meat.
- 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.
- Serve on hamburger buns with BBQ sauce, coleslaw and pickled red onions, on soft tacos, or as is with some BBQ sauce.
- To improve the flavor, make this one day ahead.
- A homemade rub with spices you love is the best way to go.
- Save time, don't sear the meat before putting it in the slow cooker.
- Skim off the fat before reserving the juice.
- As a short cut to guests, stir in your favorite BBQ sauce to the pulled pork before serving on buns.
- Category: Dinner
- Method: Slow Cooker
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: Pulled pork, slow cooker