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BBQ Pulled Pork

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posted: 05/09/21

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This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy

BBQ Pulled Pork comes together with an easy pork rub and the most delicious homemade bbq sauce. It slow cooks all day, and makes for the perfect pulled pork sandwiches. Your whole family will love this delicious crock pot pulled pork.

bbq pulled pork on a bun with coleslaw

When hosting a group, I love making BBQ Beef or pulled pork sandwiches. They are easy recipes that are perfect for feeding a crowd. Additionally, they are great for grazing. The meat stays warm in the slow cooker and guests can serve themselves as they arrive.

This simple BBQ Pulled Pork is made with a homemade rub and sauce. The two together make for a delicious recipe that has just the tiniest hint of spice balanced beautifully with the zing of apple cider vinegar, salt, and brown sugar.

How to Make Pulled Pork

  1. Make the Pork Rub: Combine all of the ingredients for the pork rub and rub it into the pork shoulder. For maximum flavor, cover the pork shoulder, and refrigerate it for up to 24 hours.
  2. Make the BBQ Sauce: Combine all of the bbq sauce ingredients in a small saucepan. Bring it to a boil, reduce it to a simmer, and simmer uncovered for 15 minutes stirring occasionally.
  3. Cook the pork: Pour a little bit of the bbq sauce into the bottom of the slow cooker. Add the pork, and then pour the rest of the bbq sauce over the pork. Cook on low for 7 to 8 hours.
overhead of pulled pork in a crock pot

Why we Prefer Cooking BBQ Pulled Pork on Low

When it comes to cooking a big piece of meat in your slow cooker, I always recommend to pick the longer time frame and cook it on low. In general, this allows the meat plenty of time to become tender.

While you can cook this recipe for 3 to 4 hours on high, you will enjoy it so much more if you cook it for 7 to 8 hours on low. The low and slow cooking will make for the best pulled pork recipe, meat that just falls apart.

Pulled Pork Rub

Using a rub on meat is similar to marinating. It is a great way to add some extra flavor to your meat. Add this pork rub to your pork shoulder up to 24 hours before you plan on cooking the meat. I like to add it at least four hours before it goes in the slow cooker.

Pork Rub Ingredients

I love this pork rub recipe because it is made with simple ingredients that are already in your pantry. They compliment the bbq sauce seamlessly, and the two together make for amazing slow cooker pulled pork.

  • paprika
  • brown sugar
  • black pepper
  • kosher salt
pulled pork sandwich with pickles on it

BBQ Sauce

The slow cooking in our BBQ sauce is what makes the BBQ pulled pork so tender. You will find that our homemade BBQ sauce has amazing reviews and is very well loved. It too is made with simple ingredients that are easy to keep on hand. It comes together with very little effort and you will love it with this pulled pork and dozens of other recipes.

BBQ Sauce Inredients

  • brown sugar
  • ketchup
  • apple cider vinegar
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • paprika
  • onion powder
  • black pepper
  • salt
slow cooker pulled pork in a crock pot

Pulled Pork Sandwiches

We love using this recipe to make pulled pork sandwiches. After cooking all day in the crock pot, the pork is perfectly tender, and shreds easily. Add it to hamburger buns or rolls and top with pickles or coleslaw for the perfect pulled pork sandwich.

FAQ

Can I use a bigger piece of pork?

Absolutely! And you will be able to keep the measurements of the rub and bbq sauce the same up to a five pound piece of pork shoulder. The cooking time will need to be on the longer end, but the recipe will work perfectly.

Can this recipe be made ahead?

Yes! You can cook this recipe all the way through shredding the meat. Then refrigerate the shredded meat right in the slow cooker pot. An hour before you are ready to serve the meat, take it out of the refrigerator, turn your slow cooker on low and let it warm up.

Can I use store bought BBQ Sauce?

Of course. We prefer our homemade recipe, but we also are big fans of you doing what works for you to feed your family. If taking that short cut helps you out, do it. You will need 2 1/2 cups (or 20 liquid ounces) of bbq sauce to replace our recipe here.

What do I do with BBQ Pulled Pork leftovers?

Leftovers should be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Be sure to only reheat leftovers once (that includes if you make it the day before as described above). So only take out and reheat leftovers that you plan on eating then.

close up of a bbq pulled pork sandwich made in the slow cooker with coleslaw on it

If you make this BBQ Pulled Pork recipe or any of our other recipes, please leave me a comment and let me know what you think.

bbq pulled pork on a bun with coleslaw
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BBQ Pulled Pork

Serves: 8 people
(tap # to scale)
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 8 hours
Total: 8 hours 20 minutes
BBQ Pulled Pork comes together with an easy pork rub and the most delicious homemade bbq sauce. It slow cooks all day, and makes for the perfect pulled pork sandwiches. Your whole family will love this delicious crock pot pulled pork.

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds pork shoulder

Pork Rub

  • 3 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

BBQ Sauce (see note)

  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar packed
  • 1 1/2 cups ketchup
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt

Instructions

  • Four to eight hours before you plan on cooking the pork, make the pork rub. Mix all the ingredients for the pork rub in a small bowl. Spread in generously on all sides of the pork. Refrigerate for 4 to 8 hours (or overnight).
  • To make the BBQ Sauce, combine all the ingredients in a small sauce pan over medium heat. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Pour a small amount of the BBQ Sauce in the bottom of your slow cooker. Add the pork shoulder. Pour the remainder of the BBQ Sauce over the top of the pork. Cook on low for 7 to 8 hours. (Or on high for 3 to 4 hours – see the notes in the post about why we prefer on low.)
  • At the end of the cook time, remove the pork from the slow cooker. Using two forks, shred the meat, discarding large pieces of fat. Return the shredded meat to the crock pot to keep warm, or make sandwiches right away, topping them with more BBQ sauce from the crockpot.

Notes

We always use our homemade BBQ Sauce when we make this recipe, because we love it. It takes a total of 20 minutes to make. If you would like to skip this step, you can use 2 1/2 cups of your favorite bottled BBQ sauce.
Author: Lisa Longley
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
bbq pulled pork on a bun with coleslaw

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BBQ Pulled Pork

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