White platter of pork, partially shredded with forks.

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Recipe

  • Author: Christine Pittman
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Refrigerate: 8 hours
  • Cook Time: 10 hours
  • Total Time: 18 hours 10 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x
  • Category: Entrée
  • Method: Slow Cooker
  • Cuisine: American


Low and slow. It truly is the secret to the best pulled pork. This slow cooker pulled pork recipe requires a little planning, but the results are so worth it!

Serving Suggestions: buns, coleslaw, tortillas, salsa


Units Scale
  • 1 (4-lb.) boneless pork shoulder roast, trimmed of excess fat
  • 2 Tbsp. Kosher salt
  • 2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 3/4 cup water (or chicken broth)
  • 3 Tbsp. tomato paste
  • 2 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 tsp. ground mustard
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and cut into 1-inch wedges


  1. In a small bowl combine the salt and pepper. Sprinkle the mixture on all sides of the pork, and pat into the meat. Wrap tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight.
  2. When ready to cook, add the water, tomato paste, brown sugar, vinegar, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, mustard, and cumin to a 6-quart slow cooker. Stir to combine.
  3. Remove the pork from the refrigerator, unwrap and place the pork, along with any juices that may have accumulated during the dry brining, in the slow cooker. Scatter the garlic and onions around the pork.
  4. Cover and cook on LOW for 8 to 10 hours. The meat should be tender and pull apart easily with a fork.
  5. Transfer the pork to a large bowl and shred with 2 forks.
  6. Remove and discard the solids with a slotted spoon.
  7. Pour 2 cups of the cooking liquid over the pork. You can save any remaining liquid to add the leftovers to keep them moist.
  8. Serve on grilled buns with barbecue sauce and coleslaw or on warm tortillas with cilantro and salsa.

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