Slow Cooker BBQ Pulled Pork is juicy, tender and packed with flavor. This simple crockpot pulled pork recipe is perfect for sandwiches, or even just served over rice.
I love my slow cooker. Now that school has started up again, my afternoons/early evenings are absolutely crazy and it is the worst time to try to prep dinner. This BBQ Pulled Pork recipe can be prepped in the morning (with only a few minutes of prep!) and then the pork cooks all day long, so it’s ready whenever you finally have a few minutes to eat dinner on those super busy days!
Pulled Pork Recipe (Crock Pot Version)
This Slow Cooker BBQ Pulled Pork recipe is a great recipe because it starts with a bottle of your favorite barbecue sauce. Add some spices and peppers and onions to make the flavor even better. The recipe is super easy to make, but tastes so much better than just using plain BBQ sauce straight out of the bottle! This is absolutely the best pulled pork recipe that I’ve ever tried – it’s easily become a family favorite! Such an easy recipe to put in the regular meal rotation.
What is the best cut of meat for pulled pork?
I’ve used bone-in pork roast as well as boneless pork roasts and I think they’re both amazing. I tend to use the boneless variety more often because I buy them in bulk at Costco, and they are typically easier to fit into the crockpot too!
Why BBQ Pulled Pork is a favorite recipe
- Easy to make. Only a few minutes of prep for this delicious pulled pork recipe. The BBQ pork can be made in a slow cooker or an Instant Pot to save on time.
- High protein. I know many of you are trying to mindful of eating in a more balanced way and making sure you get enough protein in your diets! Each serving of pork has about 35 grams of protein! If you are trying to reduce your carbs, you can eat the pork over lettuce as a salad.
- Delicious and versatile. Many readers have confirmed that this BBQ Pulled Pork recipe is the best one that they’ve ever tried! My kids are pretty picky eaters, but this is one meal that they all love! Some eat the meat plain, some eat it on buns, some in a salad – everyone can customize the meat however they want, but everyone loves it!
What to Serve with Pulled Pork in a Crock Pot
BBQ Pulled Pork sandwiches go really well with sides like Creamy Parmesan Potatoes and Peas or Sugared Asparagus. My family loves when I serve this with Baked Sweet Potato Fries or Pepperjack Mac & Cheese as well! And don’t skip dessert! Have some Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip cookies or some Texas Sheet Cake for the perfect ending to your meal.
Easy Crock Pot Pulled Pork Ingredients
- Pork shoulder or pork butt roast – I like to use a boneless roast, but you can use one with the bone-in as long as it fits in your slow cooker! I use a 3-4 pound roast for this recipe. You’ll plan on each pound of roast feeding about 3 people.
- Spices: Several basic spices really take the flavor of this pulled pork to the next level. I use salt, cumin, paprika, black pepper and red pepper.
- Onion: I usually use yellow onions with this recipe. Slice the onion really thin before adding to the crockpot. If your kids are picky and don’t like onions, you can add some onion powder instead for some of that flavor.
- Green bell pepper: You’ll need one green pepper, sliced thinly into strips. This can also be left out, but it adds a lot of flavor to the sauce and the pork!
- Barbecue sauce – You’ll need an 18 oz. bottle of BBQ sauce. Whatever kind you prefer, but I usually use one that is more the plain side, since you’ll be adding quite a bit of flavor to it.
- Light brown sugar – Sweetens up the pork and the sauce just a little bit and gives all of it that amazing sweet BBQ flavor we all love!
How to Make Pulled Pork in Crock Pot
- Trim excess fat from pork.
- Combine salt, cumin, paprika, black pepper, and red pepper in small bowl; rub the dry rub all over roast.
- Place onion and bell pepper in slow cooker; add pork.
- Combine barbecue sauce and brown sugar; pour over meat.
- Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours.
- Transfer roast to cutting board. Trim and discard any fat from roast.
- Use 2 forks to pull pork apart.
- Serve shredded pork and sauce over rice or place it on buns to make pulled pork sandwiches. You can store any leftover pulled pork in the refrigerator to heat up later.
What BBQ sauce is best for crock pot pulled pork?
In the past, I have usually used Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ sauce, but I’ve been trying some others lately. Costco has been carrying the Kinder’s brand which I really love because it is organic, has much cleaner ingredients, and I actually think it tastes so much better than many of the other varieties that I’ve tried. I prefer the Mild BBQ flavor, but they have some varieties that have more kick to them if you like spicy!
Blues Hog has a reputation of having some of the best BBQ sauce out there, but I have actually never tried it. It is also made with all natural ingredients and there are quite a few varieties to try!
Storing and Reheating Pulled Pork
Pulled pork should be stored in an airtight container in the fridge. Reheat the leftovers in the microwave or in a saucepan on the stove.
Crock Pot Pulled Pork
- 3-4 lb. boneless pork shoulder or butt roast
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp black pepper
- ½ tsp ground red pepper
- 1 medium onion thinly sliced
- 1 medium green bell pepper cut into thin strips
- 18 oz. bottle barbecue sauce
- ½ cup light brown sugar
- Trim excess fat from pork. Combine salt, cumin, paprika, black pepper, and red pepper in small bowl; rub over roast.
- Place onion and bell pepper in slow cooker; add pork. Combine barbecue sauce and brown sugar; pour over meat. Cover; cook on low 8-10 hours.
- Transfer roast to cutting board. Trim and discard any fat from roast. Use 2 forks to pull pork apart. Serve pork and sauce over rice or place it on buns to make pulled pork sandwiches.
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FAQ for Crock Pot Pulled Pork
When you cook a pork roast in a slow cooker, how long you cook it for depends on how large your roast is. I use a small 3-4 pound boneless pork roast for this recipe and I like to cook it in a slow cooker on LOW for at least 8-10 hours, but if you have time, 10-12 hours is even better. You can cook it on HIGH for 4-5 hours, but I think the texture and flavor is better when you cook it on low.
I like to cook this pulled pork recipe in a 4.5 quart basic crock pot. (Basic but so pretty!)
Pork gives off enough liquid as it cooks that you don’t need to add anything other than what the recipe states.
Pork releases lots of juice as it cooks, so there’s no need to add water to the crockpot. In this recipe the only added liquid is BBQ sauce and you’ll find you have plenty once it’s cooked!
We find that adding BBQ sauce and flavor through a variety of spices combines with the juices pork releases while cooking to be the best liquid to cook pulled pork in.
Pulled pork is fall apart tender at 195°F degrees, which is reached by about 9-10 hours of slow cooking. Moist pork is pork that is perfectly cooked, so once that temp has been reached, switch your crockpot over to “warm” to prevent it from over cooking and drying out.
Pork will get increasingly more tender until 195°F degrees, when it’s “fall apart tender.” Letting the pork cook on low for the full 8-10 hours will yield the moist, tender pulled pork everyone wants!
HOW TO MAKE PORK ROAST RECIPE IN AN INSTANT POT
I’ve also begun making this in my Instant Pot and it’s AMAZING. It’s quite a bit faster than using a Slow Cooker (it takes about 2 hours total!) and I think I like the results even more! I use a small, 2-lb Pork Sirloin Tip Roast from Costco and add the remaining ingredients. It’s fall apart tender and so flavorful!
Place everything in the Instant Pot and set to Manual High Pressure for about 65 minutes for a 2 lb roast. Add 10 minutes per additional pound of pork roast. When the time is up, let it Natural Pressure Release. Once all the pressure is released, the pork should be super tender and fall apart easily!
LIKE THIS EASY CROCKPOT RECIPE? TRY THESE OTHER SLOW COOKER RECIPES ~
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Slow Cooker BBQ Pulled Pork is moist, tender and packed with flavor. This simple crockpot pulled pork recipe is perfect for sandwiches, or even just served over rice.