Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

Slow cooker pulled pork is incredibly juicy, tender and flavorful with the perfect blend of spices. It’s an easy “set it and forget it” slow cooker recipe that’ll you’ll love.

Pulled pork is great for serving a crowd or for weekly meal prep – especially as there’s so much you can do with it! And let’s be honest, pulled pork tacos are the best.

Slow cooker pulled pork is juicy, flavorful and delicious. The best slow cooker recipe!

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

My slow cooker is one of the most used appliances in my kitchen, right after my Vitamix. And it’s perfect for making the best slow cooker pulled pork you’ve ever tasted.

With how busy we all are it’s great to have a recipe that only takes 5 minutes to prep and cooks all on its own. There’s definitely no slaving away in the kitchen with this recipe. In fact, it’s quite possibly the easiest pulled pork recipe that exists.

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Recipe Video

Want to know how to make the best pulled pork? Let me show you. Watch the quick tutorial video below!

The Best Cut of Pork for Pulled Pork

When it comes to making pulled pork, look for a boneless pork shoulder. Sometimes it’s also called a pork butt or Boston butt. You can find bone-in pork shoulders, though I prefer a boneless pork shoulder for more meat in my slow cooker.

Choose a pork shoulder that’s well marbled (for extra flavor), but not too much fat on the edges. You can trim any excess fat off as well.

Slow cooker pulled pork is juicy, flavorful and delicious. The best slow cooker recipe!
Slow cooker pulled pork is juicy, flavorful and delicious. The best slow cooker recipe!

The Most Delicious Pulled Pork Rub

The spice rub I use on this pulled pork is a combination of paprika, oregano, cumin, salt and pepper. It’s flavorful spicy, but not hot spicy. And it tastes just as delicious as my brisket dry rub (though that one is more sweet and smoky).

How to Make Slow Cooker Pulled Pork – 4 Easy Steps

For the most perfectly spiced, cooked, tender, juicy, oozing with flavor pulled pork, follow these four easy steps:

  1. Place the diced onion, garlic and orange juice in the slow cooker
  2. Rub the dried spices on all sides of your pork
  3. Place the pork in the slow cooker and set the timer for 8 hours on low (don’t use high – it’s much more tender cooked low and slow)
  4. Remove the pork to a plate or cutting board and use two forks to shred

You barely have to lift a finger with this recipe and the outcome is the most delicious pulled pork you’ve ever tasted!

Slow cooker pulled pork is juicy, flavorful and delicious. The best slow cooker recipe!

What to Serve with Pulled Pork

Well, first, let’s not forget that you can eat it all on it’s on. But I also love to serve it with:

It’s also great mixed with your favorite barbecue sauce, made into a pulled pork salad or topped on some fried eggs for a savory, protein-packed breakfast. The options are endless. And that’s what makes this slow cooker pulled pork recipe so darn good.

Slow cooker pulled pork is juicy, flavorful and delicious. The best slow cooker recipe!

How to Store Any Leftover Pulled Pork

If you don’t happen to eat it all the pulled pork one sitting, not to worry – it’s delicious meal prep for later in the week. Just place it in a meal prep container. It will last for 4-5 days in the fridge or for 2-3 months in the freezer.

Slow cooker pulled pork is juicy, flavorful and delicious. The best slow cooker recipe!

BEST Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Recipe

4.91 from 64 votes
Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 8 hrs
Total Time: 8 hrs 5 mins
Servings: 8 servings
Author: Lisa Bryan
Slow cooker pulled pork is the tastiest recipe for your slow cooker! Pork shoulder that's slow roasted is so tender and juicy it literally falls apart on its own.


  • 4 1/2 pounds pork shoulder
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 orange, juiced


  • Place the diced onion, garlic and orange juice in your slow cooker.
    A slow cooker with onions for pulled pork
  • In a small bowl, mix all of the spices together.
    Spices in a bowl for slow cooker pulled pork
  • Trim all excess fat from the pork shoulder, then rub the spice mixture generously around the entire pork shoulder and place in the slow cooker.
    A slow cooker with pork in it.
  • Turn your slow cooker to low and cook for 8 hours.
  • Once your pork is fully cooked, remove it from the slow cooker to a plate or cutting board and use two forks to shred the pork.
    A plate of pulled pork

Lisa’s Tips

  • You can add some of the remaining liquid from the slow cooker to the pulled pork for extra moisture. 
  • This is a delicious BBQ sauce that’s also paleo and Whole30 friendly. It’s great on this pork!
  • I’ve also heard great things about this slow cooker, if you’re looking to buy a new one.


Serving: 1serving, Calories: 251kcal, Carbohydrates: 4g, Protein: 31g, Fat: 11g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Cholesterol: 104mg, Sodium: 411mg, Potassium: 625mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 885IU, Vitamin C: 11.5mg, Calcium: 40mg, Iron: 2.5mg
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: pulled pork, slow cooker pulled pork
©Downshiftology. Content and photographs are copyright protected. Sharing of this recipe is both encouraged and appreciated. Copying and/or pasting full recipes to any social media is strictly prohibited.
DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?Leave a comment below and share a photo on Instagram. Tag @downshiftology and hashtag it #downshiftology.

This recipe was originally posted May 2015, but updated to include new photos and information. 

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193 comments on “Slow Cooker Pulled Pork”

  1. I usually do not eat pork but all the pulled pork recipes looked too good not to try. I made this one today and it was so easy. I could not believe it. And the kitchen smelled delicious all day. The kids were quite exited and fabricated their own burritos in the oven with rice, black beans, pork and cheese. They ate it with guacamole, sour cream and some crudités. I went for the pulled pork, cabbage and arugula salad. So yummy. And we have so much left overs, so I can be lazy the next couple of days ;-)5 stars

  2. Lisa, this looks absolutely amazing! I want to make it, but pork is really expensive where I live and I was thinking about making it with chicken. Any tips?

  3. EVERYONE in our home loved it. Very easy, tasty, and freezer friendly. We were able to create several meals from this recipe (as a roast with veggies, tacos, on a salad, and a quick lettuce wrap for lunch.); this recipe is definitely a keeper. I highly recommend.5 stars

  4. The family thought this was very good, but we also thought it was missing a little something and couldn’t really put my finger on it. I used smoked paprika and we enjoyed the smokey flavour. My daughter added some acv to the liquid and thickened it with tapioca starch. The acv gave it that tang we were looking for :). Lovely with coleslaw on the side.4 stars

  5. This is super super easy to make. Thank you Lisa for all your easy to follow, no clutter, no fuss recipes. I have recently discovered you and your channel, and am a huge fan!5 stars

  6. This was so good! Added a touch of cayenne pepper. Cooked on the stovetop on low for 7 hrs. Thank you!5 stars

  7. Hi Lisa
    Thanks for the great recipe.
    I made the pulled pork for dinner tonight and my husband and I enjoyed it so much. This recipe is a keeper.
    Andrea5 stars

  8. Hi Lisa 
    I don’t have a slow cooker, can you recommend how cook pulled pork using either a Dutch oven or a general roasting rack in the oven? 
    It sounds like a delicious recipe and I want to do it justice! 
    Thank you 

    • Hi Mash- You can cook this in the oven as well! I would refer to my Carnitas recipe actually as I have oven instructions on that recipe post :) If you have any questions, feel free to ask!

  9. This was a super tasty recipe and my family loved it!
    We also used the leftovers to make your Pulled Pork, Cabbage & Arugula Salad and Pulled Pork Sliders!5 stars

  10. Let me just start by saying I usually don’t cook with meat. I had a family coming over and I’ve decided to prepare this pulled pork and make some tacos and OH MY GOSH! I can’t begin to tell you how amazing it was. Even extremely fussy 4 year old loved it and wanted more. So soft and delicate and recipe was so easy to follow. It was first time when I ever prepered meat like this and I’m definitely gonna do it again. The only thing I can say is that I neded some help to take it out of slow cooker, it was just falling to pieces, so soft. So for me extra pair of hands was helpful :)5 stars

    • Hi Karolina – That’s amazing that everyone loved this recipe for pulled pork tacos! That’s one of my favorite ways to use this pulled pork recipe. But yes, be careful when taking out as it becomes extremely juicy and tender!

  11. Thank you!!!  The spice rub was perfect!  Slow cooker is my cheat for larger pieces of meat, as it’s pretty much fail safe, and takes about zero effort.  Most especially though, thank you for the suggested sides.  I came for the pulled pork, and left with a full meal:  made the cucumber salad with it, AND snagged the avocado egg salad for later.  5 stars

    • Hi Valerie- Wow, you’re on a roll with all those recipes! And I’m glad you loved this pulled pork – it really does make for the perfect ingredient for many meals :)

  12. I made this for the first time & am delighted with it. We had awesome tacos for lunch today! I saved the broth too, strained it and let the fat separate off in the fridge. The resulting stock is amazing. I had an espresso cup of amazing broth just now and can’t wait to use the rest when I cook this week. Thank you! 5 stars

    • Hi Susan – Amazing! Saving the pork broth is something I’ll definitely need to do next time. But I’m so glad you enjoyed this recipe overall :)

  13. Just made a batch of this as part of a food prep, and I couldn’t believe how easy and incredibly tasty it was! 
    Will absolutely do it again, but I’d love if you could post a recipe of a homemade sauce to serve with (gluten, paleo free). 

    Tnx for awesome inspiration! 
    Jessica5 stars

    • Hi Jessica – So glad you loved this recipe! It’s definitely great for meal prepping as this can go with tons of other ingredients :) As for a sauce, I will definitely keep that in mind for a future recipe!

  14. I have made pulled pork many different ways, including dutch ovens, electric smokers, and even whole roast hogs, and this was the easiest by far, and everyone loved it. My only tweak was to add a tablespoon of ground mustard to the seasoning. I was thrown by the orange juice but it works! I am deleting my other pins for pulled pork!5 stars

    • Hi Jim – So glad you found a pulled pork recipe that you love! Adding ground mustard would taste delicious in this.

  15. Looks amazing! Can you make an insta pot version of the recipe? 5 stars

  16. Just made this yesterday – (Love the slow cooker on Sundays!) This recipe was easy and very good!! I put away 2/3 of it in the freezer for future use and will use the other this week in meals. Made pulled pork sandwiches last night. (the Primal Kitchen Classic BBQ sauce was also very good!) Later this week I will make pork taquitos in the air fryer (pork rolled up in GF corn tortillas with some taco seasoning, air fry, dip in salsa) I plan to try some easy pork enchiladas too. (Found a decent GF enchilada sauce) Also, just eat it plain with a side dish! Yum. It is tasty. Thank you, Lisa!5 stars

    • Hi Becky – Amazing! Isn’t this recipe so universal when it comes to making meals throughout the week :) Can’t wait to see how the rest of your meals turn out with this pulled pork.

  17. I’ve fixed this several times…delish!5 stars

  18. Hi Lisa, 

    Can I use beef instead of pork? How will it taste?


  19. Anybody try this in the Instant Pot yet?

  20. So easy and delicious! 5 stars

  21. This is such a great pulled pork! I used smoked sea salt and a smokier paprika to still get a cooked outside effect with a lot less work! This turned out really well, and I definitely recommend adding back some of the cooking liquid to keep it moist (and orangey).5 stars

  22. Hello! I have orange juice in the fridge but no oranges – how much should I use? Thanks!

  23. Hi! This sounds delicious! The pork shoulder I bought is only about 2.5lbs. Do I need to adjust cooking time! Thanks!5 stars

    • Hi Ellen – your pork will likely be done a bit sooner (you can check on it an hour earlier), but it’s okay if it cooks for 8 hours as well. It will just be super tender. :)

  24. The link to your recommended BBQ sauce is broken. Can you tell us what kind it is?

    BTW, your recipes, videos, and website are awesome! I’m SOOO glad I stumbled across them on YouTube. I continue to try new recipes every week….thank you!!

  25. We tried this recipe today. It was amazing. My son couldn’t wait for his 3rd serving. Its a keeper in my family for sure. I regret not making more than 3 pounds. I’ll be trying many more of your recipes.5 stars

    • Hi Swapna – I’m glad you and your family enjoyed this recipe! It’s such a versatile dish to include in so many meals :)

  26. Excellent recipe. Super easy and fresh! It’s an instant hit with my family. So versatile too! Can make tacos, salads, sandwiches. Thank you Lisa! Super yummy go-to recipe! I added bay leaves for good measure lol5 stars

  27. Since stumbling across this I can’t stop making it. Everyone loves it. I suggest using smoked paprika and thus far haven’t needed more than 6 hours to cook it, although leaving it on low for much longer didn’t seem to make a difference.5 stars

    • Hi Tony – Glad to hear you and everyone loved this pork! It’s definitely one of my favorites to add to any meal :)

  28. I made this and it was delicious!! I made pulled pork tacos with cassava flour tortillas and topped it with cilantro, onions, and spicy guacamole. This is a good idea for a quick dinner meal since it’s in the crock-pot. I used the leftovers to make breakfast tacos with a fried egg on top! So good!!5 stars

  29. Smelled wonderful while cooking and tasted great. I didn’t have any orange juice so I substituted white wine. yummy.5 stars

    • Hi Kat – I’m so glad you loved the pulled pork! And white wine is always a great substitute ;)

  30. Hi Lisa,

    I’m following a keto diet but would love to make this for the family. Would it be okay to swap the orange juice for lemon juice?

    • Hi Sara – I’m not sure how that would turn out. The orange juice makes it sweet, so the lemon juice might make it a bit tart. You can certainly give it a try though and if you do, let me know how it turns out!

  31. This is a great recipe, love  ? it!  I don’t have a slow cooker but I made it in a dutch oven at low 140C for 7 hours and just added some water to achieve the pulled pork. 5 stars

  32. Great for rainy or snowy days, but as good as it is, it can’t touch smoked pork shoulder. Impossible to get that traditional smoked pulled pork in a slow cooker.4 stars

  33. I have made this twice now for my family. It gets eaten up quickly! This pork shoulder goes into any meal! Eggs and pork check! Salads check! Any skillet meal with tons of veggies for dinner check! Right out of the fridge check! Sandwiches check! Great recipe!5 stars

    • Thanks, Brianne! This pulled pork recipe is truly versatile, isn’t it? I’m so glad you love it as much as I do! :)

  34. This ia a grsat and easy recipe – very tasty – but the link to the BBq sauce recipe takes me to Amazon…..5 stars

    • Hi Debs – Thanks, I’m so glad you liked the my pulled-pork recipe! The BBQ sauce is linked to a brand I love on Amazon, but you can always use homemade or store-bought BBQ sauce. :)

  35. I accidentally bought a bone in pork shoulder roast/ suggestions?

  36. Hi Lisa!

    I’ve tried it twice and it didn’t work both times. I used pork shoulder. Any suggestions as to why it didn’t work? The pork would not shred. Thanks!

    • Oh no, Marlene! How long did you cook the shoulder and at what temperature? This may give me a better idea of why it didn’t work.

  37. This recipe was so good! Only change I made was to use SMOKED paprika, and added a little extra S&P to taste after shredding. I reserved about a cup of the fatty liquid to keep the meat nicely moist and add flavor. Baked some fresh Brioche buns and plenty of fixins. What a supper! Will definitely be making this again and again. Thanks for the easy and delicious recipe!5 stars

  38. Thank you Lisa for this delicious recipe! Made it for Sunday dinner and my entire family loved it! The pork was so tender and flavorful.5 stars

  39. I just made this receipe. It’s absolutely delicious! What do you do with the juice in the pot? 5 stars

  40. Hi Lisa! Do you have any recommendations for the people who don’t have a slow cooker and may want to try to do something similar in an oven?

  41. I don’t own a slow cooker and don’t plan to buy one. Any recommendation on how I can translate this to a stove-top or oven recipe?

  42. Dear Lisa,

    Thank you for all these new recipes !
    Just a little question what kind of slow cooker are you using, I live in France and I am looking to see if I can buy one here.
    Thank you , Marleen

  43. Drooling! Looks so delish! Pinning for later.5 stars

  44. I made this recipe yesterday for dinner and my family LOVED it! My husband especially. yessss! This is the perfect recipe for me.5 stars

  45. That looks and sounds wonderful, such great flavours! You can’t beat some shredded pork on a sandwich!5 stars

  46. I love slow cooker anything and your pictures do complete justice to this pulled pork recipe. So few ingredients too!5 stars

  47. This is making me hungry!! I love that you can keep this in the fridge or freezer for a few months as I can see how handy it would be to have it at home and not have to worry about cooking. Cheers for sharing.5 stars

  48. I love pulled pork! Looks so delicious and I love how easy it is to make!5 stars

  49. Your recipes have helped me change the way I eat, thank you!  I was wondering if pork tenderloin could be substituted for this recipe? 

  50. Why cut the fat?5 stars