Slow Cooker Pulled Pork with Island Jerk Seasoning

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Moist and delicious slow cooker pulled pork with warm and spicy Jamaican jerk seasoning. I love it in a sandwich with cilantro and BBQ sauce. Oh, if you haven’t already, head over here to enter to win a programmable slow cooker, a copy of our new cookbook, a year of carrots, a year of greens and a lot of potatoes!

Did you know that the word jerk in Jamaican Jerk Seasoning is related to another word in English? Not the word jerk that means “a quick, sharp pull, thrust, twist, throw, or the like; a sudden movement,” nor the word jerk that means “a contemptibly naive, fatuous, foolish, or inconsequential person,” nor either the 1960s or modern hip hop dances called the jerk.

There sure are a lot of English jerks out there! (This statement offended my husband (he’s a Brit) until I assured him that he’s not one of them).

O.K., which word is Jamaican jerk related to? It’s the word jerky, as in beef jerky.

Both of these jerk words are thought to be descended from the Quechua (Inca) word ch’arki meaning “dried flesh” and are related in that they’re both ways of preserving meat. Jerky is meat that has been preserved by salting it and slowly drying it out and jerk seasoning can be used as a cure for meat, as explained here.*

For today’s Island Jerk Slow Cooker Pulled Pork, the meat is not being preserved. It’s just being infused with some of the flavors typically found in jerk seasoning, like warm allspice and hot pepper. I like to serve this slow cooker pulled pork on buns with a bit of barbecue sauce and some fresh cilantro leaves.

Slow Cooker Island Jerk Pulled Pork Sandwiches

Today’s recipe is by Jill Holland, Sous Chef of Catering for Good and Chef-Instructor of Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida. Jill graciously donated this recipe to our cookbook Where Slow Food and Whole Food Meet: Healthy Slow Cooker Recipes from our Kitchens to Yours, and agreed to let a bunch of us publish the recipe on our blogs as well.

But this is the only recipe from the book that we’ll be giving out. If you want the other recipes, and trust me you do, you have to get them in one of the following three ways:

1) Head on over to Amazon and buy a copy of the print book. It will be delivered to your doorstep and all proceeds from the sale go to the Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida. When you do this, our sponsors Grimmway Farms, San Miguel Produce and Old Oak Farms will together give an additional $5 to the food bank. That’s quite a contribution!

2) Head over to the Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida and make a donation in any amount. When you do, you will be given the ebook version of the cookbook as a free gift.

3) Because I want you to be able to have this book even if you aren’t in a position to make a donation, you can alternately subscribe to my weekly newsletter and then I will give you the ebook version for free. (If you already subscribe, watch for the weekly emails because the info about getting the ebook will be in there too).

And now, here’s Jill Holland’s recipe for Slow Cooker Pulled Pork with Island Jerk Seasoning:

Moist and delicious slow cooker pulled pork with warm and spicy Jamaican jerk seasoning. I love it in a sandwich with cilantro and BBQ sauce.


  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
  • 1½ teaspoons ground cloves
  • 1½ teaspoons ground allspice
  • 1½ teaspoons thyme
  • 1½ teaspoons dry mustard
  • 1½ teaspoons coarse salt
  • 1 teaspoon sweet or hot paprika
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 3-pound boneless pork butt
  • 1 cup apple cider or apple juice
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 8-10 hamburger buns, sliced open
  • BBQ sauce
  • Fresh cilantro


  1. In a small bowl, combine onion powder, garlic powder, ginger, cloves, allspice, thyme, dry mustard, salt, paprika, cumin, sugar, black pepper, and cayenne. Use fingers to rub spices together to ensure that ginger is dispersed throughout. Rub spice mixture all over pork.
  2. Put the pork in the slow cooker, fat side up. Pour apple cider over pork and add bay leaf.
  3. Cook on low for 8 hours. Remove pork from slow cooker. Use two forks to shred meat. Skim fat off liquid in slow cooker. Drizzle a few tablespoons of the remaining liquid over the meat and mix to combine (see note).
  4. Serve on a bun as-is or slathered with your favorite BBQ sauce and sprinkled with fresh cilantro.



  1. The Top Ten Unique and Amazing Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Sandwiches | Slow Cooker or Pressure Cooker — August 2, 2017
  2. 5 Summer Slow Cooker Recipes to Keep the Kitchen Cool — June 26, 2015
  3. Fancied-Up Pulled Pork Sandwiches - Cook the Story — October 5, 2014

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