BBQ Pulled Pork (Slow Cooker) that’s wonderfully tender, sweet and smokey and couldn’t be any easier!
This Slow Cooker BBQ Pulled Pork is perfect for large gatherings, busy weekdays or whenever you are craving the “Best” BBQ pulled pork! This BBQ Pulled Pork is made super easy in the crock pot so you can prep it and forget it and makes fabulous BBQ Pork Sandwiches!
BBQ Pulled Pork Recipe
If you are wondering why this post is lacking in my customary plethora of photos (sorry, it’s my weakness, I can’t just post a couple photos — I just love food and photography too much — sorry if you hate it, thank you if you love it!), I am minutes away from walking out the door to our week-long Mexican cruise and will just be getting back by the time you get this post (thank you auto scheduler).
But I had to post this bbq pulled pork recipe before I leave so you can sink your teeth into the sweet bbq tender pork sooner rather than later. It’s that good.
Patrick ‘s 50-minute work commute has its perks (he is such a champ, never complains). He works within 10 minutes of his parent’s home, which means special days like when he brought home the best bbq pork I had ever devoured — made by his mom, spruced up by his dad. Patrick was telling me how “perfect” the pork was on his drive home and even though Patrick never exaggerates when it comes to food — he is my very honest food critic — I still couldn’t imagine just how good it was until I ate it for myself.
No bun, no sandwich, no distractions, just straight up pork, because it was straight up ah-mazing. After I had devoured every last bite of bbq pork, I knew I had to make it again – soon. Very soon. (and that’s when I made these adorable Easy, Cheesy, BBQ Pork Sliders with Bacon Broccoli Slaw )
I based my bbq pork after my mother-in-law’s version of slow cooking the pork in Cherry Coke with a splash of orange zest and liquid smoke. I added seasonings including ground ginger, smoked paprika and red pepper flakes and finished it off with green chilies. Once the pork is fall apart tender, you smother it with your favorite barbecue sauce for multi-dimensional flavorful pork that is so easy you can satisfy your cravings any day of the week. Or every day of the week.
I suggest you start tomorrow.
Crockpot BBQ Pulled Pork Ingredients
Simple is the name of the game when making this bbq pulled pork in the slow cooker.
- Pork shoulder: Trim the pork of any excess fat before popping it into the Crockpot.
- Mild diced green chiles: Use spicier chiles to kick up the heat of this dish.
- Cherry Coke: Use regular Coke, NOT diet!
- Brown sugar: Sweetens the sauce and helps deepen the molasses flavor.
- Apple cider vinegar: Adds the balancing tang to offset the sweetness.
- Liquid smoke: This is a very common ingredient and should be easy to find next to the barbecue sauces in your grocery store.
- Dried herbs and spices: I used quite a few herbs and spices to lend flavor and heat to this sauce.
- Orange zest: Adds a little something-something to the bbq pulled pork recipe.
- Bbq sauce: Use your favorite store-bought brand or make a Homemade BBQ Sauce.
What’s the Best Pork for Pulled Pork?
For best results, use pork shoulder or pork butt to make the best pulled pork.
How to Make BBQ Pulled Pork
The beauty of this Crockpot bbq pulled pork recipe is that the slow cooker does all the work for you!
- Spray slow cooker insert with non-stick spray. Place pork in slow cooker.
- Add rest of ingredients to slow cooker.
- Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours or on high for 4-6 hours, or until the pork is very tender.
- Remove pork to a cutting board and shred. Drain slow cooker of any liquid if there is any.
- Return pork to slow cooker and stir in barbecue sauce until evenly coated, adding more or less as desired.
Tips for the Best Pulled Pork
- Shred pork. You can shred the pork on a cutting board using two forks. I’ve also heard that you can add it to the bowl of a stand mixer and mix it with a paddle attachment to shred. Who knew?!
- BBQ Sauce. I prefer making my own bbq sauce whenever possible, but you can of course use store-bought sauce if that’s easier for you.
- Drain pork. You will have some leftover juices after your bbq pork is cooked. You can either use tongs to grab your meat, or I find it easier to strain the pork. To do this, I place my strainer on top of a large bowl to catch the slow cooker contents so the fat doesn’t go directly in my sink, then refrigerate the bowl and skim the fat later and ditch the rest of the juices in the sink sans fat.
BBQ Pulled Pork Variations
- Make it spicy. Add extra chipotle chili powder or cayenne pepper to give the bbq sauce more of a kick.
- Make it sweeter. Add more brown sugar to make the bbq sauce sweeter.
- Make it tangier. Add a little extra vinegar to bump up the tanginess of this Crockpot bbq pork.
Can I Prep Crockpot BBQ Pork in Advance?
Absolutely! You can cook and shred the bbq pork, then store in the fridge for later. If serving a crowd, place the bbq pulled pork back into the slow cooker to reheat.
How to Store Crockpot BBQ Pork
This bbq pulled pork should be stored in an airtight container in the fridge. It’ll last up to 4 days.
How to Reheat BBQ Pulled Pork
This Crockpot bbq pulled pork can be reheated in the slow cooker on low, in the microwave, or in a saucepan over low heat.
How to Freeze Slow Cooker BBQ Pork
Slow cooker bbq pulled pork freezes beautifully! To freeze:
- Prepare the bbq pork according to directions.
- Cool to room temperature.
- Add the meat to a large freezer bag OR portion into smaller size sandwich bags.
- Press bag(s) flat and squeeze out excess air to prevent freezer burn.
- Seal, label, and freeze for up to 3 months.
- To thaw, place in your fridge overnight.
What to Serve with BBQ Pulled Pork
Not sure what to serve with pulled bbq pork? Here are a few of my favorite bbq pork side dishes:
- Million Dollar Macaroni and Cheese
- Baked Beans with Brown Sugar and Bacon
- Award Winning Sweet Moist Cornbread
- Kicked Up Classy Creamy Potato Salad
- Company Mashed Potatoes
- Slow Cooker Hawaiian Baked Beans
- Baked Parmesan Fingerling Potato Fries
- Cheesy Pull Apart Pesto Bread
- Slow Cooker Creamed Corn
- Greek Pasta Salad with Sun-Dried Tomato Feta Pesto
- Wedge Salad with Blue Cheese Ranch
Looking for More Pork Recipes?
- Slow Cooker Asian Caramel Pulled Pork
- Tacos Al Pastor
- Chipotle Sweet Pulled Pork
- Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Sloppy Joes
- Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas
- Sheet Pan Chili Dijon Pork Tenderloin with Green Beans and Potatoes
Carlsbad Cravings original inspired by my mother-in-law, Marcia
Never miss a Carlsbad Cravings Creation:
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