This Slow Cooker Pulled Pork is incredibly easy to make and really juicy and tender - it's the best way to cook pulled pork. The perfect blend of spices with paprika and garlic and a hint of sweetness, it is oh-so simple, yet oh-so delicious! Just put it all in your slow cooker and then you can forget about it until it's ready. Pulled pork in slow cooker is great for feeding a crowd, and it freezes well too.
This slow cooker pulled pork recipe is a great meal to batch cook and then add to meals throughout the week as it's super versatile. With a deliciously smoky and slightly sweet sauce, this is the BEST BBQ pulled pork and it only takes a few minutes to prep. Super easy to make and then you can just shred it all up and it is ready to eat.
If you are looking for some more easy slow cooker recipes, then why not try our delicious Slow Cooker Chocolate Cake, curry favourite Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala, comforting Slow Cooker Vegetable Soup or our easy Slow Cooker Bread?
Why you will love it
- An easy dump and leave meal - There is no browning needed for this pulled pork recipe. You just put it all in the slow cooker and let it cook.
- Great for feeding a crowd - This makes a huge amount of pulled pork. It's great for something a little different at a dinner party.
- Value for money - Pork shoulder is a great value joint and when shredded up, a little goes a long way.
- Freezes well - We always make extra to keep in the freezer to add to meals. We have lots of ideas below of how to use slow cooked pulled pork.
- The best way to make pulled pork - Slow cooked pulled pork is the only way to go as cooking it low and slow gives the most tender pork.
- Pork - When it comes to making pulled pork, a boneless pork shoulder is the joint you want to use. This joint will be really easy to shred once it is cooked. You want to make sure it doesn't have too much fat on it, however you could cut the extra fat off it before putting it in the slow cooker. Don't use something like pork tenderloin, as it's just too lean. The fat is where the flavour comes from.
- Liquid sweetener - We used Sweet Freedom, as it is made from just fruit, so it keeps this pulled pork naturally sweetened with fruit. You could use another liquid sweetener like honey or maple syrup though.
- Orange juice - This not only adds some extra sweetness, but it lightens it a little too.
- Ketchup - This is the base of the BBQ sauce. Use a good quality one, as it's important for the flavour.
- Balsamic vinegar - This helps to add some sweetness, and a lovely flavour.
- Paprika and garlic - A lovely smokiness is added from the paprika.
- Salt and pepper - Generously season.
A full ingredients list with measurements is in the recipe card below.
How to make slow cooker pulled pork - Step by step
One: In a bowl, put the orange juice, liquid sweetener, ketchup, balsamic vinegar, garlic powder and paprika (a). Mix well to combine (b).
Two: Put the pork into the slow cooker and season with salt and pepper on both sides.
Three: Pour the marinade over the pork and, using your hands, rub into the meat on all sides.
Four: Cook on high for 6 hours or on low for 12 hours.
Five: Remove the meat from the slow cooker and put onto a chopping board. Using the backs of two forks, pull the meat apart until it is completely shredded.
Six: Return the shredded meat to the slow cooker and mix into all the liquid.
BBQ Pulled Pork
If you wanted to make an easy BBQ sauce version of this, then add our Homemade Healthy BBQ Sauce to the pork in the slow cooker. You could use your favourite store bought BBQ sauce, however it's so easy to make your own.
A mixture of passata, garlic, honey, paprika, balsamic and Worcestershire sauce. This sweet and smoky BBQ sauce is so good, make sure you make extra to pour on the pulled pork after.
How long to cook slow cooker pulled pork
When it comes to cooking meat in the slow cooker, we think low and slow is best. We recommend cooking it on low for 7-8 hours. However you can cook it in your slow cooker on high for 4-5 hours. It will depend on your slow cooker and the size of your pork shoulder too. If your pork isn't falling apart then it isn't tender enough and it needs some extra time.
Using a fatty meat like pork shoulder means it's almost impossible to overcook it. So this is a very forgiving recipe and can be left in a bit longer.
What to serve with slow cooked pulled pork
This recipe has so many uses. You can serve it on top of rice (try our Oven Cooked Rice) or mashed potatoes (have you tried Creamy Microwave Mashed Potatoes?), use it on nachos, enchiladas and tacos or even put leftovers on a salad. We love ours in a brioche bun with some homemade slaw, and some pineapple salsa on the side.
This recipe makes a big batch so you will have lots of leftovers to use in different ways.
Any leftovers can be stored in an air tight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. It will dry out if stored any longer though.
Yes, pulled pork freezes really well. You can portion it out and it will keep in the freezer for 2-3 months.
The best way to reheat pulled pork is in a pan with a little oil. It will only takes a couple of minutes.
When it is cooked, put it on a chopping board and use two forks to pull all the meat off. It should just fall apart.
There really is no rule here, just make sure that all the ingredients can fit in your slow cooker. We use a Crock Pot DuraCeramic Slow Cooker and we love it. What I love most about it is that you can put the bowl insert on the hob too - not necessary for this recipe, but helps with others. I also love that it has a clear lid, as I am so impatient that I want to keep looking and seeing what it is doing. If you don't have a clear lid, then lifting it to see will release lots of the heat and add to the cooking time.
Yes, you can cook this in the oven, but you will need a large casserole dish with a lid on. Cook it for about 3 hours at 160°C/320°F/Gas 3.
• Slow cookers all cook things at different rates. You want to make sure that you don't overcook your pork as it will dry out. The pork is cooked when it easily shreds with a fork.
• If you like your food with a kick of heat, add some red chilli flakes or chipotle paste which adds some smokiness too.
• If there is a lot of juice in your slow cooker after you take the joint out to shred, then you might want to remove some of the mixture before putting the shredded meat back in.
• Adding some liquid smoke really gives it an incredible flavour.
More slow cooker recipes
If you’ve tried this slow cooked pulled pork recipe, let us know how you got on in the comments below.
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Slow Cooker Pulled Pork
- 950 g (2 lb) Pork shoulder - fat trimmed
- 60 ml (0.25 cups) Orange juice
- 3 tablespoon Liquid sweetener
- 2 tablespoon Ketchup
- 2 tablespoon Balsamic vinegar
- 2 teaspoon Smoked paprika
- 2 teaspoon Garlic granules
- 2 pinch Sea salt and black pepper
- In a bowl, put 60 ml Orange juice, 3 tablespoon Liquid sweetener, 2 tablespoon Ketchup, 2 tablespoon Balsamic vinegar, 2 teaspoon Garlic granules and 2 teaspoon Smoked paprika. Mix well to combine.
- Put 950 g Pork shoulder into the slow cooker and season with 2 pinch Sea salt and black pepper on both sides.
- Pour the marinade over the pork and, using your hands, rub into the meat on all sides.
- Cook on high for 6 hours or on low for 12 hours.
- Remove the meat from the slow cooker and put onto a chopping board. Using the backs of two forks, pull the meat apart until it is completely shredded.
- Return the shredded meat to the slow cooker and mix into all the liquid.
- Slow cookers all cook things at different rates. You want to make sure that you don't overcook your pork as it will dry out. The pork is cooked when it easily shreds with a fork.
- If you like your food with a kick of heat, add some red chilli flakes or chipotle paste which adds some smokiness too.
- If there is a lot of juice in your slow cooker after you take the joint out to shred, then you might want to remove some of the mixture before putting the shredded meat back in.
- Adding some liquid smoke really gives it an incredible flavour.
Drooling over this pulled pork. Looks delicious.
So simple and so flavoursome - we love to use this pulled pork in so many ways!
My kids really love pulled pork. Yum! I can't wait to make this using my slow cooker.
Now this is one of the easiest pulled pork recipes I've seen to date. I can't believe how easy the instructions are, too. Amazing!