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I have plenty of simple tutorials here on Wholesome Yum, like cooking a perfect baked chicken breast, pan searing pork chops, and browning a sirloin steak. But with cooler weather, it’s time to bring out the slow cooker recipes… so it’s about time for me to show you one of the simplest things to do with it: how to make pulled pork!
This slow cooker pulled pork is made from scratch, but takes just 10 minutes to prep. Then you can let the slow cooker do its work, and you’ll end up with this easy pulled pork Crock Pot recipe that is fall-apart tender and loaded with sweet and savory flavors. It’s a staple, and there are so many ways to use it (I’m sharing my favorites below!).
What Is Pulled Pork?
Homemade pulled pork consists of a well seasoned, slowly cooked pork that’s cooked over many hours, until it shreds easily. Once you’ve made your pulled pork in the Crock Pot, you can use it for so many different meals, which is one of the reason it’s such a great recipe!
Why You’ll Love This Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Recipe
- Succulent, savory taste
- Tender and juicy
- Takes just 10 minutes of prep
- Simple, healthy ingredients
- Versatile in so many dishes (or for meal prep!)
What Is The Best Cut Of Meat For Pulled Pork?
If you’re wondering what cut of pork to use for pulled pork, the best one is pork shoulder, as it has ideal fat content to keep it nice and juicy, and gets incredibly tender when slow cooked.
This cut also sometimes called pork butt, boston butt, or pork shoulder roast.
Do I Remove Fat From Pork For Pulled Pork?
Yes, I recommend trimming the excess fat, which will make it easier to handle the final shredded pork later. Don’t remove all the fat, but keep just a little bit to keep the meat juicy.
The Best Pulled Pork Seasoning Ingredients
In addition to the pork itself, you’ll need other ingredients and plenty of pulled pork seasonings to make it moist, juicy, fall-apart tender, and just generally the best pulled pork recipe:
- Spice blend – Including smoked paprika, sea salt, garlic powder, cumin, and cayenne pepper. You could also use black pepper instead of the cayenne.
- Olive oil – For browning the pork. Any oil that can handle high heat, such as avocado oil, will work fine.
- Onion – I used a white onion, but you could also use yellow.
- Beef bone broth – Bone broth will give your pork a rich, deep flavor, but you can also use regular beef broth. Chicken broth will work as well.
- Apple cider vinegar – Apple cider vinegar gives the sauce great tang, plus it acts as a tenderizer. You can also use other vinegars if you like.
- Coconut aminos – This adds a touch of sweetness and loads of flavor. You can also use soy sauce if that works for you, I prefer to avoid soy. Worcestershire sauce will also give a similar flavor, but has more sugar.
- Blackstrap molasses – This is optional, but helps give the slow cooker shredded pork a sweet flavor. Some people prefer to add a touch of brown sugar, but molasses will give all the flavor with much less sugar.
How To Make Pulled Pork In A Crock Pot
This section shows how to make the best pulled pork with step-by-step photos and details about the technique. For full instructions, see the recipe card below.
- Dry. Pat the pork dry with paper towels — this helps it get a nice sear.
- Season. Season all sides with the dry rub of smoked paprika, sea salt, garlic powder, cumin, and cayenne. Let it sit for 20 minutes.
- Sear. Heat oil in a large dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add pork and sear on both sides, until browned.
- Mix sauce. In a small bowl, whisk together broth, coconut aminos, apple cider vinegar, and molasses.
TIP: If you like a smoky flavor, add a tablespoon of liquid smoke. This is optional and not in the ingredient list below, but I think it makes the best Crock Pot pulled pork!
- Slow cook pork. Add the pork to the slow cooker, over a bed of diced onions. Pour broth around the pork, but not directly on it, so the spices don’t wash off. Cover with the lid and slow cook until it’s fall-apart tender.
- Shred. Transfer the pork to a large bowl, leaving onions behind. Shred with two forks.
- Add pan sauce. Strain the onions out and stir pork into the juices from the slow cooker. Top with homemade BBQ sauce, if desired, or see below for more serving ideas.
What Temp For Pulled Pork?
An ideal internal temperature for pulled pork is 205 degrees F. At this temperature, the collagen in the pork will break down and the resulting meat will be very tender.
How To Pull Pork?
The best way to pull pork is to use two forks to gently pull the meat apart. It should be so tender that this is done easily.
How Much Pulled Pork Per Person?
A good estimate is about 1/3 to 1/2 pound meat per person. While it may sound like a lot, the raw meat loses about 40% of it’s weight during cooking.
Is Pulled Pork Healthy?
Yes, pork is a great source of protein and this recipe is made with natural ingredients.
How long does pulled pork last in the fridge?
Store leftover pork in the refrigerator for 4-5 days.
Can you freeze pulled pork?
Yes, you can freeze pulled pork in an airtight container or freezer bag for 2-3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before reheating.
How to reheat pulled pork?
You can reheat pork in the microwave if you have to, but it can get a bit dry. The best method is to place the pork in a baking dish with the juices (or a little broth), cover with aluminum foil, and bake at 250 or 300 degrees F until warm. The combination of foil and juices will keep it moist.
What To Serve With Pulled Pork
Serve the pulled pork Crock Pot recipe with some sides:
- Healthy Breads – Try some of these healthy bread alternatives like almond flour bread, fathead rolls, or low carb cornbread, or use your favorite bread. Or make sandwiches, described in the leftover section below, but they are just as good fresh!
- Salads – Healthy salads like spring mix salad, kale crunch salad, or creamy cucumber salad all pair well with pulled pork in the Crock Pot.
- Starches – Potatoes or rice are popular options. In particular, potato salad goes very well with it. I prefer healthier cauliflower potato salad or cauliflower rice.
- Vegetable Sides – Vegetable sides like sauteed cabbage, sauteed zucchini, or sauteed broccoli all pair well with pork.
What To Do With Leftover Pulled Pork
You’ll love having leftover easy slow cooker pulled pork shoulder, there are so many different ways to use it. Choose your favorite way:
- Pork Sandwiches – Stuff pulled pork into your favorite bread, rolls, slider buns, or hamburger buns. Top with coleslaw for a crunchy topping and your favorite barbecue sauce (I use sugar-free BBQ sauce).
- Tacos or Burritos – Top your favorite tortillas (flour, corn, or almond flour tortillas) with meat, salsa, cheese, and any other taco fixings.
- Pork Nachos – Top chips with shredded pork and shredded cheese and bake until melted. If you’re looking for a healthier option, try my cauliflower nachos, but swap out the meat for leftover pulled pork.
- Lettuce Wraps – Put warm pork into lettuce leaves (butter or iceberg work well) and top with a dressing or sauce.
- Pizza – Top your favorite pizza crust (zucchini pizza crust and cauliflower pizza crust are two of my faves) with your favorite BBQ sauce, shredded pork, and shredded cheese.
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Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Recipe
Learn how to make pulled pork perfectly in the slow cooker! This easy pulled pork Crock Pot recipe takes just 10 minutes to prep, then cooks slowly until tender.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 hours 5 minutes
Resting Time 20 minutes
Total Time 10 hours 15 minutes
Tap underlined ingredients to see where to get them. Please turn Safari reader mode OFF to view ingredients.
Tap on the times in the instructions below to start a kitchen timer while you cook.
Use paper towels to pat the trimmed pork dry. Season all sides with smoked paprika, sea salt, garlic powder, cumin, and cayenne. Rub in the seasonings with your hands. Let sit for 20 minutes.
Heat the oil in a large dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the pork and sear for 1-2 minutes per side, until browned on the outside.
Meanwhile, place the diced onion into the slow cooker.
In a small bowl, whisk together the broth, coconut aminos, apple cider vinegar, and molasses.
Place the pork roast into the slow cooker. Pour the broth mixture around (but not directly onto) the pork.
Cook for 10-12 hours on Low, until pork is fall-apart tender.
Transfer the pork roast to a bowl, leaving the onions behind in the slow cooker. Shred the pork with two forks.
Strain the onions out of the slow cooker liquid using a colander over a bowl. Pour the extra liquid over the pulled pork and stir to combine. (Alternatively, you can remove the pork, strain the onions, then return to the slow cooker to shred with the liquid.)
Serving size: 1 cup
Nutrition info does not include onion, which gets strained out and discarded.
Amount per serving. Serving size in recipe notes above.
Total Carbs 2.6g
Net Carbs 2g
Nutrition facts are provided as a courtesy. Have questions about calculations or why you got a different result? Please see our nutrition policy.
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