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Carolina-Style Pork Barbecue Recipe

Carolina-Style Pork Barbecue Recipe

I am originally from North Carolina (where swine is divine) and this recipe for the slow cooker is a family favorite. My husband swears my authentic Carolina ‘cue is the best BBQ he has ever eaten! —Kathryn Ransom Williams, Sparks, Nevada
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 30 min. Cook: 6 hours YIELD:14 servings


  • 1 boneless pork shoulder butt roast (4 to 5 pounds)
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 medium onions, quartered
  • 3/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 4 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 14 hamburger buns, split
  • 1-3/4 pounds deli coleslaw


  • 1. Cut roast into quarters. Mix brown sugar, salt, paprika and pepper; rub over meat. Place meat and onions in a 5-qt. slow cooker.
  • 2. In a small bowl, whisk vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, sugar and seasonings; pour over roast. Cook, covered, on low 6-8 hours or until meat is tender.
  • 3. Remove roast; cool slightly. Reserve 1-1/2 cups cooking juices; discard remaining juices. Skim fat from reserved juices. Shred pork with two forks. Return pork and reserved juices to slow cooker; heat through. Serve on buns with coleslaw. Yield: 14 servings.

Recipe Note

Test Kitchen Tip

  • Some like it hot but if you're not one of them consider reducing the crushed red pepper flakes and cayenne pepper in this sauce by half.
  • Nutritional Facts

    1 sandwich: 453 calories, 22g fat (6g saturated fat), 85mg cholesterol, 889mg sodium, 35g carbohydrate (14g sugars, 3g fiber), 27g protein.

    Reviews for Carolina-Style Pork Barbecue

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    Chumley5 User ID: 6210995 270169
    Reviewed Jul. 31, 2017

    "This recipe was just ok. I agree with another review that true NC pork barbecue should be smoked. The true flavor comes with smoking the shoulder with a bone-in cut. I much prefer the Eastern NC "que" with a simple sauce of white vinegar, a bit of sugar, salt and pepper although with a pinch of red pepper sauce served with Eastern NC style slaw served on the side. Still, the recipe posted is a good one for winter."

    Mrs Steven User ID: 7828767 267487
    Reviewed May. 30, 2017

    "Delicious and easy!"

    Paula User ID: 9110306 267447
    Reviewed May. 29, 2017

    "Wish we could like it but can't. From Illinois and perhaps that's the problem. Other than the "hotness" the taste is pretty blah."

    hipquest User ID: 2093278 266305
    Reviewed May. 24, 2017

    "While this is a delicious recipe, it in no way or form represents BBQ from NC or SC. This would more accurately be described as pulled pork with a really great sauce. Authentic BBQ MUST be smoked. With that said, I got a fantastic deal on pork loin and needed a recipe that would work with a lean cut of meat and this fit the bill. Overall a very good recipe. Thanks Kathryn!"

    Sagehopper User ID: 7303988 257681
    Reviewed Dec. 4, 2016

    "I like spicy..and sweet together. This prep does it all !! And anything left over, if ANY, will be good the next day. This is a great recipe !"

    pmchampion User ID: 7483306 255088
    Reviewed Oct. 6, 2016

    "Simple, fast, delicious!"

    gunslinger User ID: 544392 252690
    Reviewed Aug. 14, 2016

    "My store had boston butts on sale so I was looking for a new recipe to try. This Carolina style barbecue was what I tried and it was delicious! I cut back on the hot pepper flakes and cayenne since some had said it was too spicy but when I shredded it I went back and added more then heated it for another hour. Served it with 9 day slaw another TOH recipe that was great!"

    AllisonO User ID: 7446023 250490
    Reviewed Jul. 15, 2016

    "Perfectly juicy and tender! I would highly recommend this recipe. The only change I made was to take the recommendation of a previous reviewer and cut back on the red pepper flakes and cayenne (my children and grandma can't tolerate too much heat, though if my husband and I were the only ones eating it, I would go with the full amount called for in the recipe). Two thumbs WAY up!"

    ennaida User ID: 8655209 248975
    Reviewed Jun. 2, 2016

    "This is the best Carolina barbeque recipe I have come across. Absolutely delicious. Looking forward to making it again."

    dljorrell User ID: 8496192 231577
    Reviewed Aug. 22, 2015

    "Warning...very spicy! You may want to reduce the red pepper flakes and cayenne for those who can't tolerate the heat."

    thewyatts4 User ID: 5840451 229819
    Reviewed Jul. 19, 2015

    "Very easy to make and so good tasting."

    brookeparker User ID: 1435217 123429
    Reviewed Jul. 10, 2014

    "KATHRYN, My husband is from N Carolina and I've been lectured repeatedly on the different styles of bbq in north and south Carolinas and even the areas (Piedmont, mustard, vinegar, etc.). Have come up with one he likes pretty well, but will try this one on him to see if it is closest to High Point bbq that he grew up with, thank you for the help with picky people! If anyone has a High Point recipe, please send to me at [email protected], thanks."

    IDShawna User ID: 3501843 125828
    Reviewed Jul. 9, 2014

    "I have made this several times and it is always a big hit. Truly a great pork recipe."

    velvajean User ID: 2248904 127439
    Reviewed Jul. 7, 2014

    "I followed the recipe to a t. I then tripled everything that makes the sauce and cooked on low in a separate pan and had lots of sauce to pour over the pork. Yummy!!!!!"

    Candiv7 User ID: 7599712 152916
    Reviewed Jan. 25, 2014

    "This was a wonderful, flavorful recipe! The red pepper & cayenne add a nice bit of kick but can probably be lessened for a milder flavor. The pulled pork was awesome on some toasted onion rolls. My only question was we wanted a BBQ sauce from the left over juice to top our sandwiches- any suggestions to make that?"

    jamathews User ID: 7442915 123427
    Reviewed Oct. 15, 2013

    "BOOM!!!!! Soooo good, the pork barely made it to the buns for sandwiches! My girls ate it in a bowl by itself :)"

    rjhh67 User ID: 7209437 198107
    Reviewed Sep. 26, 2013

    "My husband is an eastern NC barbecue snob. The fact that my whole family loves this pulled pork - including my husband - definitely makes this a keeper! I've made it multiple times already and am getting ready to make it again."

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