Slow-Cooker Pulled Pork

Total Time

Prep: 20 min. + chilling Cook: 8 hours


10 servings

Updated: Mar. 07, 2023
Every time I bring this slow-cooker pulled pork to a potluck I'm asked, "Where did you get the pork?" People are surprised to hear that I made it. When I tell them how simple the recipe is, they're doubly surprised. —Betsy Rivas, Chesterfield, Missouri
Slow-Cooker Pulled Pork Recipe photo by Taste of Home


  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 4-1/2 teaspoons paprika
  • 2 tablespoons coarsely ground pepper, divided
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 boneless pork shoulder butt roast (3 to 4 pounds), cut in half
  • 1 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup beef broth
  • 1/4 cup barbecue sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons hickory liquid smoke, optional
  • 10 kaiser rolls, split


  1. In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, paprika, 1 tablespoon pepper, salt, chili powder and cayenne. Rub over roast; cover and refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight.
  2. Place roast in a 4- or 5-qt. slow cooker. Combine the vinegar, broth, barbecue sauce, Worcestershire sauce, liquid smoke, if desired, and remaining 1 tablespoon pepper; pour over roast. Cover and cook on low until meat is tender, 8-10 hours.
  3. Remove meat from slow cooker; cool slightly. Shred meat with 2 forks and return to the slow cooker; heat through. Using a slotted spoon, place 1/2 cup on each roll.
  4. Freeze option: Freeze cooled pork mixture in freezer containers. To use, partially thaw in refrigerator overnight. Heat through in a saucepan, stirring occasionally; add broth if necessary.

Slow-Cooker Pulled Pork Tips

Can you cook the roast on high for a shorter amount of time?

You can cut the cooking time down by half by setting the slow cooker to high instead of low, but keep in mind the roast might not be as tender. Cooking it low and slow will really help break down tougher cuts of meat, develop more flavor, and leave you with a better final product.

What can you serve with slow-cooker pulled pork?

We recommend serving pulled pork with classic side dishes such as sweet potato fries, creamy coleslaw or homemade potato chips, and balancing it with a fresh green salad. Check out our collection of side salads for inspiration.

How do you store slow-cooker pulled pork?

Store slow-cooker pulled pork in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, or in the freezer for up to 6 months. We recommend portioning the pork into smaller containers for last-minute meals and pulling it out of the freezer when you need it.

Can you use other cuts of pork for slow-cooker pulled pork?

Pork shoulder butt roasts are the most common cut for slow-cooking and using for pulled pork, but if you can’t find it in stores you can substitute a pork loin roast. This is a leaner cut of pork, though; it won’t be as rich in flavor since it doesn’t have as much fat as the shoulder.

Sarah Fischer, Taste of Home Associate Food Stylist

Nutrition Facts

1 sandwich: 419 calories, 16g fat (5g saturated fat), 81mg cholesterol, 1076mg sodium, 36g carbohydrate (5g sugars, 2g fiber), 29g protein.