Easy Pulled Pork Crock-Pot Recipe

I cook by smell most of the time. If it smells like what I want to eat, the hint of sweetness combined with sunburn-like hotness, it usually tastes like what I want. Spicy and hot that always tingles your nose and almost makes you cough; that’s what I want. Sweet and tangy smells that makes you drool with a kick at the end. That’s what this bbq recipe is all about: mixtures of the devil-like spices and the soft angel sweetness.

This was my first time making pulled pork. I’ve made ribs and steaks and ham, but never took the time to make pulled pork. I had all these assumptions that it was an extremely difficult process and took a ton of time to make that I just wasn’t willing to devote. Crock pot, Mandy, duh. I didn’t even think about cooking it in my crock pot. My imagination always went to a smoker instead.

Crock pot pulled pork though is extremely easy and some of the best homemade bbq I’ve had. The meat was extremely easy to shred and eat while the sauce was able to melt its flavors into the meat while stewing. I love to have messy pulled pork sandwiches where you think you may need to entire roll of paper towels. Stewing the pulled pork meat in the bbq sauce made it easy to spoon out onto fresh buns and enjoy without having to add any extra sauce.

Set it and forget it. You don’t have to flip or flop or strain or chop or add items later on. You put everything in the crock pot and you walk away to eat cupcakes or whatever you desire doing at the time. The crock pot makes it easy for you to make delicious pulled pork while you’re at work or tending to other duties. You don’t have to worry about your crock pot pulled pork burning or over cooking or coming out dry. The recipe is designed to make this the most juicy and tender pulled pork you ever wanted.

Spices for this recipe range from sweet and gentle to burning hot. If you prefer pulled pork that’s more mild in flavor, don’t add as much cayenne, pepper, or paprika. However, if you’re like me and you’re a hot food junkie, you can even add some extra dry rub to the mixture. I like to always add some extra Dinosaur BBQ dry rub to my bbq recipes. Not only is it outrageously bursting with heat but it combines two of the best types of heat: the early punch and the late slow burn. It’s my ideal spice mix and I put it on everything. You can add about 1-2 TB (Tablspoon) of dry rub to the mixture of dry spices before you make the paste.

As for the meat, you want to make sure to cut off some of the fat on your pork shoulder. Some foodies/chefs love to keep the fat on for extra moisture but for me, if I bite into a piece of fat, my taste buds want to turn off. It’s an unpleasant change in texture plus it’s chewy and greasy. I like to have lean crock pot pulled pork where every bite is meat and no filler. The piece I happened to get at the store had a lot of extra fat on it that was easy to trim. It shouldn’t take too much time and hey, it’ll help your health in the long run.

My choice of sauce was easy. I was reading through other So Good Blog posts and came upon the homemade incredible pulled pork bbq sauce recipe. I knew I had to use it to marinate/top my crock pot pulled pork with since it was mustard-y South Carolina-style sauce. When it was cooking, the homemade bbq sauce made the entire house smell like a bbq pit. I adored it. A whiff up-close was strongly of mustard and hot spices but a taste revealed it wasn’t as hot to trot as it smelled. Perfect. It complemented the spice paste so well and it added a ton of moisture and flavor to the slow cooker pulled pork when it marinated for an hour. I definitely suggest using that bbq sauce recipe if you enjoy mustard-style sauces.

You no longer have to fret about cooking fresh pulled pork. This crock pot pulled pork recipe makes beginners look like kitchen pros with its complex blend of spices and soft meat. You can easily set this recipe up to cook overnight for an early afternoon picnic or let it stew all day while you’re at work. Coming home to a house filled with tantalizing food aromas fills me with excitement and joy that the clean up is minimal, the taste is exceptional, and the process was simple. For a quick and easy splendid family meal, try crock pot pulled pork and taste the juicy difference. 

Crock Pot Pulled Pork
Serves 8
Drool-over tender and spicy crock pot pulled pork
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
9 hr
Total Time
9 hr 15 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
9 hr
Total Time
9 hr 15 min
  1. • 3 TB (Tablespoon) paprika
  2. • 2 TB Kosher salt
  3. • 2 TS (Teaspoon) cayenne pepper
  4. • 2 TS black pepper
  5. • 2 TS garlic powder
  6. • 2 TS garlic salt with parsley
  7. • ½ TS thyme
  8. • ½ TS rosemary
  9. • 2 TB minced garlic
  10. • ½ cup honey
  11. • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  12. • 3 TB olive oil
  13. • 1 medium onion
  14. • 3-3 ½ lbs pork shoulder
  1. For the pork: In a medium bowl combine paprika through rosemary ingredients, in another medium bowl combine the minced garlic, honey, red wine vinegar, and olive oil, combine wet with dry ingredients to make a paste, turn slow cooker on low, peel and cut the onion into quarters, place the onion quarters on the bottom of the crock pot, trim some excess fat off pork shoulder, cut pork shoulder in half, place the halves in the crock pot, rub pork shoulder halves with paste making sure all is covered, cook on low for 7-8 hours until fork tender, shred pork in crock pot, cover pork with your favorite bbq sauce, let cook on low for 1 hour, spoon onto buns and try not to eat the sandwich all in one bite
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Recipe type: Entree

Recipe cuisine: American BBQ

Slow cook it:

  • In a medium-sized bowl, combine paprika through rosemary ingredients and stir with a fork

Crock Pot Pulled Pork dry ingredients mixture

  • In another medium-sized bowl, combine the minced garlic, honey, red wine vinegar, and olive oil

Crock Pot Pulled Pork liquid mixture

  • Combine the wet and dry ingredients to create a thick paste
  • Turn the slow cooker on low
  • Peel and cut the onion into quarters and place the quarters in the slow cooker

Crock Pot Pulled Pork onions quartered in crock pot

  • Cut the pork shoulder in half and place on top of the onion quarters in the slow cooker

Crock Pot Pulled Pork before spice rub

  • Cover both pork halves with the paste making sure all the meat is covered

Crock Pot Pulled Pork covered with spice paste

  • Cook this mixture for 7-8 hours or until fork tender

Crock Pot Pulled Pork after cooking for a little while

Crock Pot Pulled Pork cooking close up

Crock Pot Pulled Pork after cooking before bbq added

  • Shred the pork inside the crock pot and add your favorite bbq sauce (There is an awesome recipe for homemade mustard-y and spicy bbq sauce here.)

Crock Pot Pulled Pork homemade bbq sauce

Crock Pot Pulled Pork with bbq sauce added before cooking

  • Once you’ve added enough bbq sauce to cover all the meat, continue cooking on low for an additional hour to let the meat simmer and soak up the flavors of the bbq sauce

Crock Pot Pulled Pork after cooking with bbq

  • When the hour is up, remove the meat from the slow cook and place on your favorite buns. Grab the wet naps because you’re about to dive face first into a juicy, tender, and beautifully-sauced pile of crock pot pulled pork!

Crock Pot Pulled Pork finished on bun

Crock Pot Pulled Pork finished on bun close up

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I am in deep-fried love with food and travel. With Italian roots, I have a weakness for bread, marinara, and mozzarella. I’ll try anything once and am constantly searching for intriguing places to visit. When I'm not savoring the last bite or organizing my next trip, I'm indulging my inner bookworm and writing about my adventures. If you turn on college football and give me a local craft beer, you’ll see the happiest Hokie on the West coast.
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