Make the Best Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Recipe!

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Want the very best pulled pork recipe?  Then you’re in luck because this slow cooker pulled pork shoulder recipe is so perfect you can serve it all year long!

No need to wait for BBQ season and summer weather! Sounds awesome right? This is the easy family supper you need right now after a very hectic week.

All you need to do is get out the slow cooker, throw in a pork butt or pork shoulder, some water or ginger ale, your own personal spices and let it cook….slowly….until you have pork that melts in your mouth, shreds easily and becomes the best pulled pork sandwich anywhere!  Are you with me?

This post was originally published on August 14, 2017 and updated February 22, 2019.

You will need…. 3 to 5 lb pork shoulder (depends on the size of your crowd), 2 cups of water, Salt and pepper, 3-4 whole cloves, 2 chopped cooking onions, 2 pints of my Homemade BBQ Sauce!

pulled pork recipe with coleslaw and bbq sauce on a crusty roll, sitting on parchment paper on a dark wooden table top


We just love BBQ anything.  There is no getting around it.  Steaks, ribs, burgers, sausages, just about anything you can cook on a BBQ!  But when you are cooking a dish like slow cooker pulled pork and using a tougher cut of meat, like a picnic shoulder or blade roast, nothing but a slow cooker will do to cook that pork butt to perfection.

I started to make pulled pork many years ago at the family cottage.  My mother-in-law made the best homemade barbecue sauce, that she used on her famous BBQ ribs.   I was making my own batches of homemade sauce every year now too, so I knew I had that part of the recipe covered!

Using a slow cooker is something I started to do as a working mom.  I’m no longer having to get meals on the table for a hungry family, since Mark is retired and loves to cook!

But we still use the slow cooker on the weekends, especially during the summer when we’ve been out on the golf course all day!  Or when planning a BBQ party for our neighbours at the trailer park.

I love my instant pot for sure, but a slow cooker just makes everything slow and easy.  And some days you just need that slow cooker frame of mind.

two bbq pulled pork sandwiches on waxed paper with coleslaw and bbq sauce on a soft crust roll


1.  What is the best cut of meat for pulled pork?

Both a picnic shoulder or a blade shoulder roast, are the most popular.   A picnic shoulder is a cheaper cut, but when you are slow cooking that doesn’t matter.  And we all love to save money right?

2.  Can I use pork tenderloin for pulled pork?

Yes you can!  I often use a pork tenderloin when there is just the two of us.  And I find that grocery stores are always putting them on sale! I would make sure there is lots of liquid, since tenderloins can dry out, because they have less fat on them.

3.  How much pork do I buy for pulled pork?

I would buy enough pork for how many people you wish to feed.  The typical serving is half a pound of pulled pork per person, so for 10 people or servings.  Rule of thumb is the pork shoulder will lose 40% weight when cooked.  So a ten pound roast will five you 6 lbs of meat.

4.  Where is pulled pork from?

Pulled pork comes form the Deep South, where BBQ rules.  Thank you!

5.  What sides are good with pulled pork sandwiches?

We think the best side with a juicy pulled pork sandwich is creamy coleslaw!  I share my Mom’s homemade coleslaw recipe here on the blog.  It’s the best!


  • Season the pork shoulder with salt and pepper, and add to the slow cooker with the water, onions and garlic.
  • Follow the instructions in the recipe exactly.
  • Set the slow cooker setting to low – 8 hours
  • Go outside and play! Seriously! Enjoy your guests, or the day and be mindful of the pleasure you are feeling in getting this amazing meal ready.
  • Once pork is cooked, drain the pork shoulder
  • Put it back in the slow cooker pot, and using forks pull it apart, shredding all of the meat
  • Stir in my Best Homemade BBQ sauce
  • Turn it on high and let it cook for another 1-2 hours
  • Go and relax with a good book – or have a nap!


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I think this Crock-Pot Brand slow cooker is the absolute best.  I love the way the ceramic liner can be removed and you can use the liner as an extra casserole dish!  From slow cooker to table.  An Amazon’s Choice product and a versatile 8 quart capacity!

You may also like these slow cooker recipes!

My absolute fave slow cooker recipes!  I love to make desserts with my slow cooker!

Want more one pot meals?  This Country Living Roundup will help you out!


Dinner is ready –

You can still serve your family and friends the best food ever!  And the best part is, it’s so easy, you really do just prep the meat, set the slow cooker, and walk away and HAVE SOME FUN!

Place large servings of pulled pork on your favorite crusty roll, or ciabatta bun, add a big scoop of Creamy Coleslaw either on the sandwich or on the side – that’s a personal choice!  Round this out with fresh corn on the cob and you have a Feast!

Enjoy…..and let me know how you make your BBQ pulled pork sandwiches!  I love to get comments!

If you like this recipe, please give it a 5 star rating.

pulled pork on crusty bun with coleslaw and bbq sauce

The Best BBQ Pulled Pork from Your Slow Cooker!

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This is the best slow cooker pulled pork shoulder recipe ever with homemade BBQ sauce! Add some coleslaw, corn on the cob and dessert to complete this easy meal.
Add to Shopping List
Prep Time 20 minutes
Additional Time 8 hours
Total Time 8 hours 20 minutes
Course Dinner
Cuisine North American
Servings 10


  • 1 – 3 to 5 lb pork shoulder - depends on the size of your crowd
  • 2 cups water
  • Salt and pepper
  • 3-4 whole cloves garlic
  • 2 onions - cooking, chopped
  • 2 pints BBQ Sauce - Use our Homemade BBQ Sauce!


  • Season the pork shoulder with salt and pepper, and add to the slow cooker with the water, onions and garlic.
  • Set the slow cooker setting to low – 8 hours
  • Go outside and play!
  • Once pork is cooked, drain the pork shoulder
  • Put it back in the slow cooker pot, and using forks pull it apart, shredding all of the meat
  • Stir in Best BBQ sauce
  • Turn it on high and let it cook for 1-2 hours

These are estimated values generated from a nutritional database using unbranded products. Please do your own research with the products you’re using if you have a serious health issue or are following a specific diet.

Did you make this recipe? Please leave a comment, star rating or post your photo on Instagram and tag @pieladybakes
two pulled pork sandwiches with colesalw and bbq sauce on dark wooden table

The Best Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Shoulder

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Judy Kahansky is an experienced writer and baker, creating delicious desserts (including pie!) for over 40 years. She loves to take classic and vintage recipes and update them to fit the busy lives of her readers. When not baking, Judy and her husband Mark are passionate golfers, travelers and dog lovers, spending as much time as they can with their sweet pup Millie.