Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Sandwiches are truly something special. We lived in the NYC area for about 30 years and just recently moved back to Texas, so a smoker is in our near future.
But trust us, this slow cooker version comes real close to the classic smoker version.
This recipe was developed with a smoker mentality, but for a slow cooker. Trust me on this. It’s good. It’s really good.
HOW TO MAKE SLOW-COOKER PULLED PORK AT HOME
Of course, pulled pork starts with a good piece of meat. We love going with a Boston butt.
It’s nice and marbled, which means loads of flavor and that amazing shred-apart texture when done cooking. An 8 lb. bone-in butt will yield about 12 to 18 sandwiches.
Watch us show you how to make Slow-Cooker Pulled Pork Sandwiches!
EXPERT TIP: Ask your butcher to remove the layer of fat on the top of the roast. This is called the ‘fat cap.’ Or, you can carefully remove it yourself with a sharp knife and a steady hand.
Use your hands to really get the rub into the roast before cooking.
CAROLINA PULLED PORK IS VINEGAR-BASED
As a born and raised Texan, I may get in trouble for saying this..but I love the North Carolina way of making pulled pork. Carolina ‘cue is vinegar-based, and made with a good mop.
That’s the basis for this pulled pork. Bold, delicious, and in-your-face good. And did I mention fork-tender? If you want another amazing pork recipe, try our Delmonico Pork Steak!
Looking for other amazing slow-cooker recipes? How about:
- BBQ Brisket Sandwiches
- Beef Braciole
- Pork Carnitas Tacos
- Baby Back Pork Ribs
- Corn on the Cob
- Chicken Chow Mein
In the meantime, let’s take a closer look at this amazing Slow-Cooker Pulled Pork!
SLOW-COOKER PULLED PORK FAQs:
- What is the best roast to use? We love a Boston butt, but any pork shoulder cut will work. If going boneless, slow-cook for 8 hours. Bone-in, slow-cook for 10 hours.
- Can the roast be slow-cooked in the oven? Yes! Follow the recipe as is, however, instead of slow-cooker, place the seasoned pork into a large Dutch oven and cover. Slow-cook in your oven at 300°F for 3 hours, or until the roast is tender. Shred, and discard all but 1 cup of the liquid. Add the meat, 1 cup of liquid, and 2 cups of the sauce back into the Dutch oven, and return to the oven for another 30 minutes on high (400°F).
- Can the pulled pork be re-heated in the slow-cooker? Yes! To expedite heating, let the prepared meat come to room temperature and then place in your slow-cooker. About an hour before serving, turn the slow-cooker on high until heated through, then switch to “Warm.”
- Can the pulled pork be frozen? Yes! For up to 2 months! The sauce, too!
The sauce is what really brings it all together. It can be made up to 1 week in advance of cooking the pork.
Some like a little extra sauce on their slow cooker pulled pork sandwich.
Others like ’em dry.
Either way…you can’t go wrong.
SLOW COOKER PULLED PORK SANDWICHES ARE PERFECT ALL YEAR LONG
Don’t have a smoker to slow cook your pork shoulder? Trust me, these will rival almost any pulled pork across the land!
We like to go with bone-in, because it adds even more flavor, but you can use a boneless butt (a Boston butt is perfect). Add the rub and the liquid mop and cover on low for 10 hours (if bone-in) and 8 if boneless. Make your sauce. Make some slaw. Toast your buns.
Put it all together, and you’ll have one of the best pulled pork sammys you’ve ever had.
Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Sandwiches
- Slow Cooker, or large Dutch oven
FOR THE RUB
- 3 tbsp black pepper
- 3 tbsp brown sugar
- 3 tbsp smoked paprika
- 2 tsp course salt ie, sea salt
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper
FOR THE LIQUID MOP
- 1 cup apple cider
- ¼ cup water
- 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tsp vegetable oil
- 1 tbsp black pepper
- 1 tbsp salt ie, sea salt
FOR THE SAUCE
- 1 ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
- ¾ cup ketchup
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp crushed red pepper
- 1 cup BBQ sauce
FOR THE PULLED PORK SANDWICHES
- 1 8 lbs bone-in pork shoulder Boston butt, is good
- 8 buns split, butter and lightly toasted
- Mix together the ingredients for the rub in a medium bowl.
- Mix together the ingredients for the liquid mop
- Press the rub into the meat and place in slow cooker.
- Pour the liquid mop over the meat.
- Cook on low: Bone-in: 10 hours. Boneless: 8 hours.
- When the meat is almost done, put all the sauce ingredients in a medium sauce pan and heat over medium heat for about 10 minutes.
- Carefully remove meat from cooker.
- Discard all but about 1 cup of the liquid (set aside).
- Shred the meat from the bone using two forks.
- Place the meat back into the cooker and add the reserved liquid.
- Mix in 2 cups of the sauce and cook for another 30 minutes.
- Toast the buns on a grill or a hot skillet
- Place shredded pork onto toasted buns and top extra sauce and coleslaw.
- Pass remaining sauce in separate dish.
POST UPDATE: This post was originally published in August, 2018, but we clarified a few items in the recipe, included new photography and a brand new video in September, 2019.
Just made this yesterday and it was a hit. I love the tangy and sweetness of the sauce. This is definitely a recipe that I will make over and over again. It is my new pulled pork favorite. FYI, didn’t have apple juice so I subbed a little applesauce to keep the flavor profile and as true to the original recipe as possible. Wouldn’t change the recipe at all. Thanks, Barbara
Hi Barbara!!! That is just so fantastic! Your modification was spot on!! We are thrilled it turns out so great and THANK YOU for letting us know and for the great reviw! That means the world to us!! All the best, Kris & Wesley
This recipe looks amazing, however; I don’t have apple cider available. And no time to run to the store. what would you suggest to substitute? I was thinking could I use a cup of applesauce for the same flavor profile? Thanks in advance.
I looked for a pull pork recipe for a long time. This is far most the best! Made it my slow cooker and came out great! I will try it next time (next weekend) in my Dutch oven pot. Will let you know how it came out.
Hi Griselda!! That is just amazing to hear! We are so thrilled you had such success with the pulled pork, and yes! This will work wonderfully cooked low and slow in your Dutch oven!! Please do let us know! And thanks for letting us know and for the GREAT review! That means the world to us!! All the best, Kris & Wesley
I was looking for a good pulled pork recipe and couldn’t settle on anything that seemed knock out. Then, I remembered you guys (I’ve made your mahi mahi fish taco recipe before with rave reviews). SO glad I came back to your site for this recipe. IT WAS DELISH! And the coleslaw too. Now, I’ll just try your site first! So good!
Woo hoo!!! That is so awesome to hear! We are so glad you came and found our pulled pork recipe. We do love it so much, too. And we are SO THRILLED you had success with the dish…and the coleslaw! That makes us so happy! Thank you so very much for letting us know and for the great review. As always, that means the world to us!! Stay in touch! All the very best, Kris & Wesley
Thank you for a wonderful recipe, my son loved it. Next time I have to get so coleslaw. Keep the recipes coming, every time you post I save the recipe.
Thank you, Jerry!! So glad you and your son enjoyed the Pulled Pork!! And thank you so much for letting us know!! Stay tuned, lots more on the way!! Best, Kris & Wesley
does it call for “apple cider” in the liquid mop or is that meant to be apple cider vinegar?
Hi Anthony, for the mop, we go with a good apple cider (not vinegar). The vinegar comes in when you make the sauce. Hope this helps! Best, Kris & Wesley
Thanks!! I really love the website, it is very helpful and the recipes have been excellent. My wife and I recently had a baby and I have taken over all cooking duties in the house and this website has really been a great help! My wife says thanks as well!
Anthony! Thank you so much! Nothing makes us happier than to hear something like this. And CONGRATULATIONS on the new addition to your family! How wonderful. You guys sound like an amazing family. We are so glad we can contribute a little in the kitchen! Please stay in touch and don’t hesitate to ever ask a question or let us know what you think! Tell your wife we said ‘hi’ and congratulations!! Best, Kris & Wesley
I made this tonight for the second time and these sandwhiches are BEYOND delicious! The meat was so tender and fell off the bone so easily. The slaw was crunchy perfection. The combo of warm pork with cold slaw, spicy with sweet, crunchy with soft, make these sandwhiches award winners!
That’s awesome Janine! I gotta say, those pulled pork sammies are on of my all-time favorites. I agree, the combination of the slaw with the tender pork just can’t be beat. These get requested quite a bit in our household. Thank you so much for sharing and we couldn’t be happier that they worked so well for you! Stay in touch! Kris & Wesley
Just reading over the recipie. I’m pretty sure that you put the liquid mop into the slow cooker with the meat but it doesn’t specify that in the instructions. I have yet to try pulled pork in a slow cooker and this one looks like it may be the one to finally try.
Hi Linda! Thank you for bringing that to my attention! I added a step to the instructions. Add the mop liquid with the rubbed meat, and then cook on low. It’s really good, let us know how it turns out!