This easy Slow Cooker Smoky Pulled Pork is a wonderful solution to feeding a large group or for busy weeknights! Throw all of the ingredients into your slow cooker in the morning, and 10 hours later, dinner is served. An easy slow cooker dish with minimal ingredients, plus it’s kid-friendly!
The Players aka The Ingredients
- Pork Shoulder – I use about 4 1/2 pounds of pork shoulder. Most stores call this, “Picnic Roast” so look for that. Pork Shoulder has one large bone that can easily be pulled out once it’s fully done cooking.
- Barbecue Sauce – In this slow cooker pulled pork recipe, I use a whole 18 ounce bottle of barbecue sauce. I prefer to use just a ‘plain’ barbecue sauce rather than a ‘sweet’ sauce, because we’ll be adding in our own brown sugar.
- Dark Brown Sugar – I prefer to use dark brown sugar in this pulled pork recipe due to the high molasses content.
- Apple Cider Vinegar – I know it stinks, but you don’t need much! Just enough to keep it flavorful and juicy!
- Yellow Mustard – just a little bit of this condiment will add a little bit of tanginess to the pulled pork.
- Worcestershire Sauce – adds savoriness to the pulled pork
- Liquid Smoke – a little bit goes a very long way with liquid smoke. This will help bring a nice smoky flavor to the pulled pork.
- Garlic Powder – you can use fresh minced garlic if you prefer!
- Onion Powder – you can substitute fresh diced onion if you’d like.
- Club Rolls – you can use any roll or bun you’d like!
How to make Slow Cooker Smoky Pulled Pork
To make this insanely delicious slow cooker pulled pork, just throw everything together in a slow cooker. Truly, that’s it!
Now I love to use slow cooker liners anytime I make anything in my slow cooker. However, for this slow cooker pulled pork, I prefer no liner. I want to make sure I can really shred the pork as much as possible, without having to worry about tearing the liner.
Lay the pork shoulder inside your slow cooker that has been sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Add in all of the other ingredients (besides the rolls), cover, and let it cook for at least 10 hours.
Do you need liquid in the slow cooker for pulled pork?
Pork shoulder does hold some water content that is released when in the slow cooker, but to keep it from being dry, I add in good old, Apple Cider Vinegar.
While you can technically swap out the apple cider vinegar for any other liquid like water, beef broth, or chicken broth, I really encourage you to try it at least once. It really helps keep the pulled pork nice and juicy. The apple cider vinegar also aids in creating a tender pulled pork, along with adding a very slight tangy profile.
The Secret to Tender Pulled Pork
To get that fall-off-the-bone tender pork, you’re going to want to cook this low and slow. I wouldn’t even try and rush it by putting it on high for 8 hours. Adding good quality meat and allowing it to cook in your slow cooker for at least 10 hours is essential. No peeking either! When you open your slow cooker, you lose a lot of the heat upon taking the lid off, and it can take a little bit longer to get back to the original heat. Just trust that your slow cooker is doing its job!
How to Serve this Slow Cooker Smoky Pulled Pork
There are several different ways you can serve up this incredible pulled pork! One of the more tried and true ways is on a toasted bun. I served this slow cooker pulled pork on toasted club rolls and my family devoured them. You can absolutely serve this on hamburger buns as well!
My favorite way to eat this pulled pork is on top of my Creamy Stove-Top Macaroni and Cheese with some sliced jalapenos on top! Essentially, a pulled pork mac & cheese bowl! Oh my goodness, it is absolutely fantastic! Please try it and let me know what you think!
Watch me make this Easy Slow Cooker Smoky Pulled Pork on my YouTube Channel!
Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Topping Ideas:
Here are some ideas on the best toppings for this slow cooker pulled pork recipe!
- Cole Slaw
- Sliced Onions
- Pickled Cucumbers
- Pepperoncini’s or Sliced Jalapeno’s
- Yellow or Stone Ground Mustard
- Extra Barbecue Sauce
- Sliced Cheese (Pepperjack would be incredible!)
- Pickled Onions
- Onion or Fig Jam
Watch me make this slow cooker smoky pulled pork on my YouTube Channel!
Looking for other quick dinner ideas? Check this out next!
- Slow Cooker Creamy Chicken Dinner
- Easy Shrimp Scampi with Linguine
- Baked Creme Brulee French Toast
- The Best from Scratch Belgian Waffles
Pin it for Later!
If you end up giving this Pulled Pork recipe a go, please leave me a comment down below of the toppings that you served it with! Any toppings that are unique to you and your family that I should try next time? Let’s chat!
Easy Slow Cooker Smoky Pulled Pork
- 4-5 pounds pork shoulder
- 1 bottle barbecue sauce (18 ounces)
- 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/3 cup dark brown sugar
- 2 tbsp yellow mustard
- 2 tbsp worcestershire sauce
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp liquid smoke
- 8 club rolls or hamburger buns, toasted
- In a slow cooker that has been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray, add in your pork shoulder.
- Add to your slow cooker the barbecue sauce, apple cider vinegar, dark brown sugar, yellow mustard, worcestershire sauce, onion powder, garlic powder, and liquid smoke.
- Cover and cook for 10-12 hours on the low setting*
- Remove shoulder bone and shred the pork.
- Serve with toasted club rolls or hamburger buns.