Treat yourself to the mouthwatering flavor of tender, slow-cooked pulled pork, effortlessly prepared using the slow cooker!
A CROCK POT BBQ PORK RECIPE
This Crock Pot Pulled Pork recipe has been my go-to recipe for years. I recently just created an Instant Pot Pulled Pork version based on this one. It’s just so good and flavorful. It doesn’t take a lot of ingredients. You can even pop it all into the slow cooker the night before so it’s ready for you the next day! And you have to serve it with some Southern Style Cole Slaw.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT PULLED PORK:
This is my tried-and-true recipe for all my pork recipes. Just mix it all up and rub it well into the pork shoulder.
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon mustard powder
2 teaspoons salt
3 teaspoons brown sugar
Yes. You can certainly use a pork tenderloin using this same recipe. Because is much smaller, It won’t take as long to cook though as a pork shoulder. About 4-6 hours on low.
No, of course not. You have to use very minimal amounts of liquid smoke or it will overwhelm other flavors so I am only using a small amount here but it adds amazing flavor!
This is one that is always up for debate. A lot of times I just get what is on sale. However, if I have to pick a favorite it would be Sweet Baby Ray’s or the K.C. Masterpiece Black Label barbecue sauces. If you really want to make this special, try making a Homemade BBQ Sauce! Or, if you like a vinegar based sauce, try my Crock Pot Eastern Carolina Pulled Pork recipe!
You want to purchase one that will fit in your slow cooker. This recipe will work with any size of bone-in pork shoulder. I use either a 6 quart or 8 quart oval slow cooker depending on the size of the pork shoulder.
Store leftovers in a lidded container in the refrigerator and it will keep for up to 3 days. I like to add some of the liquid leftover in the slow cooker to the container. That way, when I go to reheat it, those juices will ensure that the pork stays moist!
INGREDIENTS NEEDED: (SEE RECIPE CARD BELOW FOR THE FULL RECIPE)
- pork shoulder roast (pork butt) – this will work with pretty much any size pork shoulder roast. I generally get one that is between 4-6 pounds with the bone-in. Just make sure it fits in your slow cooker.
- Dr Pepper – root beer or Coca-Cola also work.
- hickory liquid smoke – this is going to give you that light smokey flavor as if you had cooked it on the smoker. You don’t need a lot of this so don’t use more than what the recipe calls for.
- pork rub seasoning (store-bought or homemade) – see my FAQ’s (Frequently Asked Questions) above for the recipe I use. It’s also in the recipe card below.
- BBQ sauce (store-bought or homemade) – if I am using store-bought BBQ sauce, then I almost always go with Sweet Baby Rays.
HOW TO MAKE CROCK POT PULLED PORK:
Rinse the pork shoulder and pat dry. Rub pork rub all over pork shoulder until it is fully covered.
Place seasoned pork shoulder in a 6-8 quart oval slow cooker. Pour in can of cola and liquid smoke, all around the sides of the pork.
Cook on low setting for 8 to 10 hours, until the pork is very tender. Remove the pork from the slow cooker and discard the remaining liquid (optional: you can keep a little bit of liquid if you plan to keep this pork on the warm setting for serving – you don’t want it to dry out). Remove the bone and shred the pork using a couple of forks, removing any excess fat. You can take it one step further depending on how small you like your pieces of pork. You can chop up the pork into smaller pieces using a large, sharp knife.
At this point you can place the meat back in the slow cooker along with the bottle of barbecue sauce and continue to cook for another 20-30 minutes then put it on the warm setting. This option is best when serving a crowd.
Or you can place on hamburger buns and let everyone spread BBQ sauce on their own sandwiches (which my family prefers).
CRAVING MORE RECIPES?
Originally published: December 2011
Updated & republished: August 2023
Crock Pot Pulled Pork (+Video)
- 4-6 pounds bone-in pork shoulder roast (or pork butt)
- 1/4 cup store bought or homemade pork rub, see notes for recipe
- 1 can Dr Pepper (Coca Cola or root beer work too)
- 1 Tablespoon hickory liquid smoke
- 1 bottle your favorite BBQ sauce
- Rinse the pork shoulder and pat dry. Rub pork rub all over pork shoulder.
- Place in a 6-8 quart oval slow cooker (use the proper size slow cooker depending on the size of your pork shoulder).
- Pour in can of Dr Pepper and liquid smoke all around the sides of the pork.
- Cover and cook on low setting for 8 to 10 hours, until the pork is very tender.
- Remove the pork from the slow cooker and discard the remaining liquid (or hold onto to some of the liquid if you plan on reheating the pork later or you need to keep the pork warm for an extended period of time.)
- Remove the bone and shred the pork using a couple of forks, removing any excess fat. Optional step: Chop up the pork using a larger sharp knife to make smaller pieces of pork.
- Place the shredded meat onto a hamburger bun and add the desired amount of sauce per sandwich.
- Please refer to my FAQ’s and ingredient list above for other substitutions or for the answers to the most common questions.
- Optional: you can place the meat back in the slow cooker along with the bottle of barbecue sauce and continue to cook for another 20-30 minutes. You can also leave your shredded pork in your slow cooker and leave it on the keep warm setting until ready to eat.
- Don’t use more liquid smoke than I listed above. It can be overpowering if you use too much.
- Most dark sodas will work for this recipe: Root beer and Coca-Cola are good alternatives.
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon mustard powder
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 3 teaspoons brown sugar
“The Country Cook” is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories can vary quite a bit depending on which brands were used.