Pulled pork is one of those delicious dishes that is perfect for a cozy night in or a backyard barbecue. However, making it can often seem intimidating, especially if you’ve never cooked it before. But fear not, because with the help of a slow cooker, making pulled pork is easy and stress-free!

To get started, you’ll need a few basic ingredients: a pork shoulder or butt, your favorite barbecue sauce (or homemade sauce if you’re feeling adventurous), and a few spices like garlic powder, onion powder, and paprika. The most important piece of equipment for this recipe is, of course, a slow cooker. With this appliance, you can set it and forget it, allowing the pork to cook low and slow for maximum tenderness and flavor. So, dust off your trusty slow cooker and let’s get cooking!

Choosing the Right Cut of Pork

One of the most important things to consider when making pulled pork in a slow cooker is choosing the right cut of pork. The best cuts for making pulled pork are those that are high in fat and connective tissue, as these cuts will break down and become tender during the long cooking process. Here are some of the best cuts of pork for making pulled pork:

Pork Shoulder

Pork shoulder, also known as pork butt or Boston butt, is the most common cut of pork used for making pulled pork. This cut comes from the upper part of the pig’s foreleg and contains a lot of fat and connective tissue, making it ideal for slow cooking.

Pork Loin

While pork loin is not as fatty or as tough as pork shoulder, it can still be used to make pulled pork. It’s important to note that pork loin will not break down as easily as other cuts, so it’s important to cook it on low heat for a longer period of time.

Pork Belly

Pork belly is a fatty cut of pork that is traditionally used for bacon, but it can also be used to make pulled pork. This cut is not as commonly used as pork shoulder, but it can be a delicious alternative.

Prepping the Meat

Once you’ve chosen your cut of pork, it’s time to prep it for cooking. Here are some tips to ensure your pulled pork turns out as delicious as possible:

Trim Excess Fat

While some fat is necessary to keep the meat tender and juicy during cooking, it’s important to trim any excess fat from the pork before cooking. This will prevent the meat from becoming greasy and ensure that the pork takes on the flavors of any seasonings or marinades you use.

Season the Meat

Before placing the meat in the slow cooker, be sure to season it with your preferred spices and seasonings. This is your chance to add flavor to the meat, so don’t be afraid to experiment with different combinations of seasonings.

Marinate Overnight

For even more flavor, consider marinating the pork overnight before cooking. This will allow the seasonings to penetrate the meat and infuse it with flavor.

Cooking the Meat

Now that your meat is prepped and ready to go, it’s time to start cooking! Here’s how to cook pulled pork in a slow cooker:

Add Liquid

Before placing the meat in the slow cooker, add a small amount of liquid to the bottom of the pot. This can be water, stock, or your favorite barbecue sauce. The liquid will help keep the pork moist and tender during cooking.

Cook on Low

To ensure the pork is as tender as possible, cook it on low heat for at least 8-10 hours. This slow cooking process will allow the fat and connective tissue to break down and create a tender and juicy pulled pork.

Shred the Meat

Once the pork is fully cooked and tender, use two forks to shred the meat into small pieces. Be sure to remove any excess fat or bones at this point as well.

Serving Suggestions

Now that your pulled pork is ready, it’s time to serve it up! Here are some serving suggestions:


Pulled pork sandwiches are a classic way to enjoy this delicious dish. Simply place a generous portion of pulled pork on a bun and top with your favorite toppings, such as coleslaw, pickles, or barbecue sauce.


For a Mexican twist on pulled pork, try serving it in tacos. Top with shredded cabbage, avocado, and a squeeze of fresh lime juice for a delicious flavor combination.

Serving with Sides

Pulled pork goes well with a variety of sides, such as mac and cheese, baked beans, or cornbread. Serve up a feast and your guests won’t be disappointed!

Preparing the Meat

When it comes to making pulled pork, the meat is the most important ingredient. You want to choose a cut of pork that is well-marbled and has a good amount of fat on it, such as a pork shoulder or Boston butt. These cuts are perfect for slow-cooking as they stay moist and tender throughout the cooking process. Before cooking, you’ll want to remove any excess fat and silver skin from the meat as it can make the pork taste greasy.

Seasoning Your Pulled Pork

Once you’ve prepared your meat, it’s time to add some flavor. There are countless recipes and rubs out there, but one of the most popular is a simple mix of salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and paprika. You’ll want to rub this seasoning mixture all over your pork and let it sit for at least an hour before cooking. This will allow the flavors to fully permeate the meat and create a delicious crust.

Adding Liquid to Your Slow Cooker

To ensure your pulled pork stays nice and juicy, you’ll want to add some liquid to your slow cooker. A combination of chicken broth and apple cider vinegar is a great option, but you can also use beer or cola for a unique twist. You’ll want to pour enough liquid into your slow cooker to cover about one-third of the pork. This will create a moist environment where the meat can cook slowly and absorb all the flavors.

Cooking Time and Temperature

The beauty of making pulled pork in a slow cooker is that it requires little effort on your part. Once you’ve seasoned your meat and added the liquid, all you need to do is set your slow cooker to low and let it do its magic. Cooking time will vary depending on the size of your cut of meat, but plan on cooking it for at least 8-10 hours. You’ll know your pork is done when it shreds easily with a fork.

Shredding Your Pulled Pork

Once your pork is fully cooked, it’s time to shred it. Remove the meat from the slow cooker and place it on a cutting board. Use two forks to shred the meat, pulling it apart in opposite directions. Discard any excess fat or bone. You can use the leftover liquid in your slow cooker as a sauce by skimming off any excess fat and reducing it in a saucepan.

Serving Suggestions

Pulled pork is a versatile meat that can be used in a variety of dishes. One of the most popular ways to enjoy it is on a sandwich with coleslaw. The sweetness and crunch of the slaw complement the savory pork perfectly. You can also serve it on top of baked potatoes or mixed into mac and cheese for a hearty meal.

Storing and Freezing Your Pulled Pork

If you have leftover pulled pork, it can easily be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to four days. You can also freeze it for later use. Divide your cooled pulled pork into portions, wrap them tightly in plastic wrap, then place them in a freezer-safe container. Your pulled pork will keep for up to six months in the freezer.

Tips for Perfect Pulled Pork

To ensure your pulled pork turns out perfectly every time, here are a few tips to keep in mind:

– Choose a well-marbled cut of pork
– Remove any excess fat before cooking
– Let the meat sit with the seasoning for at least an hour
– Use a combination of liquid (broth, vinegar, etc.) in your slow cooker
– Cook the meat on low for at least 8-10 hours
– Shred the meat when it’s still warm
– Use the leftover liquid as a sauce
– Experiment with different rubs and seasonings
– Pair pulled pork with complementary foods (coleslaw, baked potatoes, mac and cheese, etc.)
– Store leftover pulled pork in the fridge or freezer for later use


Making pulled pork in a slow cooker is one of the easiest and most delicious meals you can make. With just a few simple steps, you can create tender, juicy pork that can be used in a variety of dishes. Whether you’re cooking for a crowd or just want a comforting meal at home, pulled pork is the perfect choice. So grab your slow cooker, choose your favorite cut of pork, and get cooking!

Choosing the Right Cut of Pork

When it comes to making pulled pork in a slow cooker, choosing the right cut of pork is crucial. The goal is to select a cut that is tough and has a lot of connective tissue that will break down during the cooking process, resulting in tender and flavorful meat. Here are some options to consider:

Pork Shoulder

Pork shoulder is one of the most popular cuts for making pulled pork. It’s a relatively inexpensive cut that comes from the front leg of the pig and is also known as pork butt or Boston butt. Pork shoulder is marbled with fat and has a lot of connective tissue, making it perfect for slow cooking.

Pork Butt

While pork butt and pork shoulder are often used interchangeably, they are technically two different cuts of meat. Pork butt comes from the upper part of the shoulder and is a bit more tender than pork shoulder. It’s also slightly smaller than pork shoulder, which may be a factor to consider if you’re cooking for a smaller group.

Pork Loin

Pork loin is a leaner cut of meat, making it a healthier option than pork shoulder or pork butt. However, it is also less forgiving when it comes to cooking and can quickly become dry if overcooked. If you choose to use pork loin for pulled pork, be sure to monitor it closely and remove it from the slow cooker as soon as it’s cooked through.

Pork Ribs

Pork ribs are another option for making pulled pork in a slow cooker. They are flavorful, tender, and have a lot of connective tissue that breaks down during the cooking process. However, they are also a bit more expensive than other cuts of pork and may require more prep work, such as removing the membrane from the back of the ribs.

Other Cuts

While the above cuts of pork are the most popular for making pulled pork, you can also experiment with other cuts if you’d like. Some other options to consider include pork belly, pork neck, and pork shank. Just be sure to choose a cut that has enough fat and connective tissue to make it suitable for slow cooking.

Cut of PorkFat ContentConnective TissueCooking Time
Pork ShoulderHighHigh8-10 hours on low
Pork ButtHighHigh8-10 hours on low
Pork LoinLowLow4-6 hours on low
Pork RibsHighHigh6-8 hours on low
Other CutsVariesVariesVaries

In conclusion, choosing the right cut of pork is the foundation of making delicious pulled pork in a slow cooker. While pork shoulder and pork butt are the most commonly used cuts, there are other options available depending on your taste preferences and budget. Just be sure to select a cut that has enough fat and connective tissue to yield tender and flavorful meat.

Time to Dig In!

Now that you know how to make a delicious pulled pork dish in your slow cooker, it’s time to give it a try! Don’t worry if it doesn’t turn out perfect the first time – cooking is all about experimentation and learning. Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed learning this recipe. Make sure to come back to my blog for more tasty and easy-to-follow recipes!