This slow cooker pulled pork has a secret ingredient that makes it so tender and full of flavor! This easy pulled pork recipe has minimal prep time and leaves you with perfectly shredded pork! Top with coleslaw for the perfect pulled pork sandwich. This pulled pork recipe is perfect for party’s, BBQ’s, and entertaining.
What pork should I use?
When making pulled pork it’s best to use the whole pork shoulder because of it’s fat content and how well it shreds. Pork shoulder can be hard to find so you can substitute Boston butt (or Boston roast) and picnic roast for pulled pork.
How much pork should I buy?
I got this great pack of pork shoulder from Costco. If I am hosting a party I’ll use this whole pack which was about 8 pounds, or i’ll use half and freeze the rest. The pork will shrink while cooking, so you’ll want to get about ⅓lb (uncooked) per guest. This pulled pork recipe is easy to scale if you’re hosting a large party, I just double the ingredients.
Prepping the pork
When preparing the pork, make sure to trim extremely fatty areas to ¼ inch. Having too thick of fat will affect the cooking time of the pork, not allow the flavors to get into the meat, and trimming will streamline your shredding later. Pork shoulder/roast will release a ton of juices, so you don’t have to add any liquid, but I like to add a little bit of zesty Italian dressing. The vinegar in the Italian dressing helps breakdown the connective tissues making the pork extra tender. You can also substitute the Italian dressing with some beer.
Next comes the most important part, the spices! This is where the flavors of the pork are enhanced. I use a blend of: ground cumin, smoked paprika, garlic powder, dried oregano, onion granules, kosher salt, and fresh ground black pepper.
Mix the spice blend, pour half over half the pork, lay more pork on top, then pour the rest of the spices on the top. Using tongs, mix up all the pork so that the seasoning gets evenly distributed. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours.
After the slow cooking is done…
Using tongs, remove each piece of pork from the slow cooker. Then using two forks (the method I use), shred the pork into pieces. Reserve some of the juices from the pulled pork to keep it moist, especially if I’m going to freeze some.
You can serve the slow cooker pulled pork as it is, but I love to make it into pulled pork sandwiches with my favorite BBQ sauce slathered on the pork with cold coleslaw on top or on the side.
Perfect for BBQ cookouts, family gatherings, or delicious meals during the week. This slow cooker pulled pork recipe is going to be in your recipe line up forever.
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- 4 lb boneless pork shoulder (or Boston butt) trimmed of excess fat
- ⅓ cup zesty Italian dressing
- 1 ½ tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 2 tsp dried onion flakes
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp fresh ground black pepper
- Fresh bread rolls
- Favorite BBQ sauce
- Trim excess fat off boneless pork shoulder to about ¼ inch. Add the pork shoulder to a crockpot/slow cooker. Add in the ⅓ cup of Italian dressing and spread the mixed spices over the top. Using tongs, mix/turn the pork until it is fully coated in the spices.
- Turn the slow cooker on low heat for 8 hours and allow the pork to slow cook.
- After the 8 hours, remove the pork with tongs and place on a cutting board. Using two forks, or meat shredding claws, shred the pork. Reserve about ½ cup of the excess juices to keep the pork moist.
- Serve alone, or use your favorite BBQ sauce to slather on the pork and put it on a fresh roll with coleslaw on top!
- When making pulled pork it's best to use the whole pork shoulder because of it's fat content and how well it shreds. Pork shoulder can be hard to find so you can substitute Boston butt (or Boston roast) and picnic roast for pulled pork.
- To scale pork, figure about ⅓ lb uncooked per guest. 4 pounds will serve about 8 guests. Double the ingredients to serve about 16.
- When preparing the pork, make sure to trim extremely fatty areas to ¼ inch. Having too thick of fat will affect the cooking time of the pork, not allow the flavors to get into the meat, and trimming will streamline your shredding later.
- You can substitute the Italian dressing with beer instead (use a lighter beer)Reserve some of the juices from the pulled pork to keep it moist, especially if I'm going to freeze some.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 791Total Fat: 39gSaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 23gCholesterol: 201mgSodium: 626mgCarbohydrates: 39gFiber: 2gSugar: 6gProtein: 65g
*Note: Nutrition information is an estimate. Values vary based on different brands and ingredients*