Slow Cooker BBQ Pulled Pork

Is there anything easier than slow-cooking? It’s no wonder that so many people are simply enamored with their slow cookers. If you live any kind of a busy life (or even if you just want to veg out and watch an all-day Veronica Mars marathon), then slow-cooking is for you. 

One of the most amazing things about slow cooking is how it can turn a huge hunk of meat into a pot of tender, juicy meat shreds with so little effort on your own part. Take this slow cooker pulled pork, for instance. The roast I used was about 6.5 pounds heavy–that’s enough to feed a family of 4 for several days. And all I did was a little mixing and chopping, throwing ingredients into a pot, and pressing some buttons. Sometimes I feel like the bulk of the work is waiting around for your food to be done. 

Pulled pork is a great dish for any night because it’s so versatile. Probably the most common thing is to have it on a sandwich, served with some pickles and maybe some chips on the side. But really, it can act as a protein to almost any meal that you’re planning to serve. Plate it up with some rice and fresh veggies, or serve it with some warm corn tortillas and fresh pico de gallo for taco night. It would also be great in a casserole or on pizza, or even stuffed into a pirozhki. The possibilities are really endless. 

My huge 6.5-pound pork roast made an enormous amount of this stuff, so I ended up freezing some of it. I have to say, the defrosted pork wasn’t really my favorite; I felt like it lacked some of the tender juiciness of the fresh pork. But on the whole it wasn’t bad for a quick meal, especially if used in small quantities.  If you’re going to freeze it, put individual-sized portions into small freezer bags. Be sure to add some of the juice to each bag and squeeze out as much air as possible before freezing. To use again, let it sit out to defrost, and then microwave it to piping-hot, give it a good stir, and do a taste test to make sure you still like the flavor before adding it to another recipe.

Slow Cooker BBQ Pulled Pork
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  1. 1 5-7 lb. pork shoulder roast
  2. 3 tbsp brown sugar
  3. 1 tbsp salt
  4. 1 tbsp paprika
  5. 2 tsp. garlic powder
  6. 1 tsp. ginger powder
  7. 1 medium brown onion
  8. 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  9. 1/2 cup water
  10. 2 cups BBQ sauce
  1. 1. Mix together brown sugar, salt, paprika, garlic powder, and ginger powder. Thoroughly rub spice mixture over all sides of a pork shoulder roast. Place roast into slow cooker pot.
  2. 2. Slice onion into thin half-rings and place in pot, leaving some slices on top of roast. Pour vinegar, water, and 1 cup of BBQ sauce over roast. Cover pot and set slow cooker to high for 8-10 hours.
  3. 3. After 8 hours, uncover pot and using tongs, pull pork into thick shreds, removing any skin or bone from the roast. Add remaining cup of BBQ sauce and continue to cook until pork is fork tender and sauce is reduced. Serve immediately.
  1. My 6.5-lb roast was fully cooked after about 8 hours, but I cooked it for an extra hour to make it extra tender. You might have to adjust the cooking time depending on the size of your roast.

{ 13 comments… add one }

  • LaMisha October 10, 2013,

    would love to try this recipe!! just wondering how much water you added?! thank you :)

    • plentytude October 11, 2013,

      Hi! Just the half cup of water and half cup of vinegar in the recipe should be enough. Maybe a bit more if your roast is particularly big. It’s not gonna look like enough when you pour it in, but the roast and onions will release their own water as they cook. It took me a long time to get used to only putting that much water in, but it works every time! You kind of just have to trust it. Let me know how it turns out!

  • polarrow October 30, 2013,

    Just want to make sure that the slow cooker has to be on High? and not low. Thanks

    • plentytude October 30, 2013,

      Yes, I cooked mine on high since it was all one piece of meat, on the heavier end. If your roast is smaller, you might be able to reduce the cooking time. Let me know how it works out!

      • polarrow October 30, 2013,

        Yes, I will. All I know is the aroma in the house right now is absolutely heavenly. Can’t wait for supper. I will continue to cook it the whole 8 hours before tearing it apart, I don’t think it will hurt it. There were two roasts which combined weighed about 7 lbs so this should work.
        Thanks again!

      • polarrow October 30, 2013,

        Ok; Just to let you know that this recipe is absolutely yummy! I did make my own homemade BBQ sauce to add to the pork once it was all shredded. And man, I had a sandwich with homemade bread and bread and butter pickles on it for supper and it was delicious!!! Thanks for your recipe.

        • plentytude October 30, 2013,

          Thanks so much for reporting back. Your meal sounds amazing!! Also, your comment reminded me to add a note to the recipe saying the weight of my roast and the time I cooked it, so that people can adjust the cooking time as necessary. So thank you for the feedback; I really appreciate it!!

  • chris February 1, 2014,

    I don’t have any apple cider vinegar so i’m going to try pineapple juice. I hope it is good!

    • plentytude February 2, 2014,

      Chris, that sounds yummy to me! Let me know how things go.

  • Jeanna March 5, 2014,

    Hey, wondering how big your slow cooker is? I need to buy one, also go a roast of around 6 lbs. Cheers

    • plentytude March 11, 2014,

      Hi Jeanna, my slow cooker is 6 quarts. Hope this helps!

  • Danny December 29, 2014,

    New to the whole croc pot world very excited to try. What about subing out the 1/2 of water for beef broth? Would that work? Also do you add in the bbq sauce at the begining and also towards the end once you shred it? I love bbq and I’m trying to nail this. Thanks in advance for the advice.

    • plentytude January 1, 2015,

      Hi Danny, the water that goes in the crock pot is mostly just to have a little extra liquid in there to get it steaming once it gets hot. A lot of water will come out of your roast, so I don’t think the 1/2 cup of water dilutes the flavor of the end product…but then again, I’m sure adding extra flavor with beef broth would pump up the flavor even more, or at least it couldn’t hurt!! Same idea with the bbq sauce; I like to put a little in to have a bit more liquid content in there, and also to add a little extra flavor to the liquid that comes out of the roast. Let me know how it goes for you! I’d love to hear your tips.