Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

This Slow Cooker Pulled Pork is our family favorite recipe. Perfectly seasoned, tender pulled pork with sauce on the side if you like. Pile on buns, stuff into baked potatoes or top a bowl of creamy mac and cheese.

We use this pulled pork to make so many different recipes like these Honey Mustard Pulled Pork Taquitos. Or try stirring in cheese and barbecue sauce to make Cheesy BBQ Pulled Pork.

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork is an recipe that can be used in many different ways

Why You’ll Love This Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

This Slow Cooker Pulled Pork recipe is really tough to beat. It’s perfectly seasoned, super tender and really, everyone loves it.

  • Pleases Everyone: Our pulled pork recipe doesn’t have barbecue sauce mixed in, but you can certainly add it. We love the flavor of this pork, seasoned with a perfect dry rub and lots of sweet onions. But do serve it with sauce on the side for those who want it.
  • Feeds A Crowd: This recipe will feed at least 10 adults, if not more. Perfect for holidays, BBQ’s or any gathering. It’s also a great recipe to meal prep with for easy lunches and dinners.
  • Easy To Prepare: Don’t be afraid of the pork butt! All there is to do is make a quick dry rub seasoning, rub it all over the pork and get it into a slow cooker. We add lots of sliced onion and garlic for additional flavor.

How To Make Pulled Pork In A Slow Cooker

There’s only a few steps for this recipe, just allow at least 8 hours of cooking time. For complete instructions, scroll to the recipe card at the bottom of the post.

  • Prepare Pork Butt (or shoulder): Make the dry rub and use it to season the pork all over, pressing into the meat. Add sliced onions and garlic to the bottom of a slow cooker and then place the pork butt on top.
  • Cook And Shred: Cook the pork on low for 8 – 10 hours until tender. Remove the pork butt from the slow cooker and shred the meat, discarding any bones and fat. Add the meat back to the slow cooker and stir to combine with the juices and onions.

What Is The Best Cut Of Meat For Making Pulled Pork?

The best cut of meat for making pulled pork is a pork shoulder, either bone in or boneless. The bone in pork shoulder will take a little less time to cook than the boneless and also will be a little juicier than a boneless pork shoulder.

Or you can use what’s called a Boston butt, a pork butt. A Boston butt is half of a pork shoulder, the other half is called a Picnic Shoulder.

There are also a lot of recipes for pulled pork that use pork tenderloins, but those aren’t my favorite. You’re definitely not going to get the flavor from a pork tenderloin that you will from a pork shoulder or pork butt.

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork is made with a delicious dry rub instead of BBQ sauce

Ways To Serve Pulled Pork

Typically, we’re piling this pulled pork onto buns, with or without bbq sauce. However, there are so many more ways that we use this delicious pork, if not just enjoying it on its own.

  • Pile on baked potatoes
  • Use in quesadillas
  • Add to nachos
  • BBQ pulled pork pizza
  • Add to grilled cheese sandwiches
  • Make a burrito bowl
  • Top a bowl of macaroni and cheese
Slow Cooker Pulled Pork is shredded and mixed with the cooking liquid and onions

Sides That Go With Pulled Pork

Whether you’re serving this meal for a party or just dinner at home with the family, sides are always welcome! Try one or two or more of these popular side dishes.

Looking For More Pork Recipes?

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork is an easy pulled pork recipe that can be used in many different recipes

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

  • Author: Dan
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 8 hours
  • Total Time: 8 hours 5 minutes
  • Yield: 10 servings 1x

This pulled pork recipe is our family favorite! Add your favorite BBQ sauce or enjoy as is!



  • 5 pounds pork butt, bone in (If using boneless you might need to increase the cooking time)
  • 1/2 cup apple juice
  • 2 medium red onions, peeled and sliced
  • 5 cloves of garlic

For the Dry Rub:

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons – 1 tablespoon cumin (depending on your taste, we use 1 tablespoon)
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar


  1. Add the ingredients for the dry rub into a small bowl and mix together.
  2. Use all of the rub to coat the pork, it will seem like a lot but the dry rub flavors the pork as well as the juice when the pork is done.
  3. Add the pork to your slow cooker along with the apple juice, onions and garlic.
  4. Set the slow cooker on low for 8 hours. Since slow cookers cook at different temperatures, check the pork after 6 hours to see if it shreds easily with a fork, if not let it go for another hour or two.
  5. Remove the pork from the slow cooker to a board to cool slightly. Drain the juices from the slow cooker into a bowl, discarding the garlic cloves.
  6. Shred the pork with two forks or meat claws and add back to the slow cooker. Add the onions (if using) and up to a cup of the reserved juices. You don’t want the pulled pork to have too much liquid so add the juices a little at a time and stir until you have the right consistency.

Recipe Notes

You can also use a boneless pork shoulder, the cooking time might be closer to 8 hours.

Keep this pulled pork on the warm setting until you are ready to serve and also to keep warm during your party if needed.

  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: slow cooker
  • Cuisine: American

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35 Responses
  1. Ana Manley-Black

    This dry rub creates a super delicious dish. I don’t like sweet meat, so I cut the brown sugar down to 1 tsp. I would have eliminated it, but I used the full amount of cumin, and I thought the imperceptible amount of brown sugar would mellow and counterbalance the heavy cumin. By far, this is the best pulled pork I’ve ever had. Every single person who ate it raved about it. Every. Single. One. This recipe is a keeper. Thank you mantitlement. I’ll be back to check out what else you’ve got cooking.

  2. Maria Burmeister

    I have meat leftover from a pig roast and would like to have pulled pork sandwiches tonight. Could I Season the meat with the dry rub?

    1. Dan

      You can try it on high for 4-6 hours, but I do recommend cooking on low. i feel like it’s more tender and juicy that way.

    1. Dan

      If you’re talking about jarred, minced garlic yes you can use it. I think they have a measurement on the label that says 1 teaspoon is equal to one clove?

  3. Jill J

    Oh my goodness this is by far the best pulled pork I’ve had. I had no apple juice so used a whole chopped up apple and 1/2 c water. I used about 2T of jarred minced garlic. Once the meat and onions were out, I took a stick blender to the broth to get smooth out the apple pieces and minced garlic.

  4. Dina

    I smoke on my Traeger all the time. But honestly this is every bit as good. Especially when you factor in the minimal work needed to end up with a succulent product. Thank you for this recipe. It’s our new go to.

  5. Mary

    Made this for a large gathering, and in fact and I am making it again!
    Great flavor, perfectly moist. And the onions really add to the finished product. Thank you so much it is now my go to recioe!

  6. Melissa

    I just made this and it taste amazing!!! The only thing I didn’t add was the powder ginger cuz I didn’t have any. I don’t think it made that much of a difference on the taste but next time I will just to see if there’s any difference in the flavor. The pulled pork by it self has a lot of flavor and a nice kick to it. I shredded the pork, threw back in the crockpot with its juices, onion and garlic and I added some bbq sauce. I cooked it for another 30 min and oh man! Thank you for the recipe!!!

    1. Dan

      Do you have any juice available like pineapple juice? If not, I’d use any kind of broth that you have on hand.

    2. Sue Fralick

      I’m using a 3lb pork roast. Is it alright to follow the recipe using the measurements for the 5lb roast?

      1. Christie George

        You l’ll probably use less seasoning on theorist, but go ahead and make the spice rub up and save what you don’t use. A 3 pound roast will take less time to cook too so just start checking it sooner!

  7. Denise Wilson-Browning

    I have never cooked pulled pork in my life. So at 59 years young I wanted to do this for July 4th. This was a very easy recipe to follow and my family loved it. It was gone very quickly. I am not a fan of red onions but I am glad I used them. The juice was fantastic poured over the pulled pork. I will be doing this again. Thanks for sharing your recipe.

  8. Cathy

    I was looking for a pulled pork recipe that didn’t use bbq sauce. This was absolutely delicious, best pulled pork I ever had! The only change I made was I used smoked paprika and a little less than 1 tsp of the cayenne pepper. Thank you for this wonderful recipe!

  9. Renae

    Wonderful recipe, it’s so delicious! I’m planning to make this for a summer picnic – have you ever made this in an electric cooker or oven? I need to make enough to feed 36 people, any tips would be greatly appreciated.

  10. Mary Jo

    So easy and delicious. I did not have any apple juice so used orange juice. With some home made BBQ sauce this was a hit and a new family favorite! THANK YOU

  11. Mila

    Bought a huge piece of meat so my son & his GF could have easy meals while visiting. Just found out she doesn’t like any sort of BBQ sauce…. My fingers are crossed sir!!

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