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+ servings
Pulled pork on a white plate.

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: southern food
Diet: Gluten Free, Low Lactose
Keyword: Carolina-style slow cooker pulled pork
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 8 hours
Total Time: 8 hours 30 minutes
Servings: 8 Depending on amount of pork. About ½ lb per person before cooking.
Calories: 223kcal
This slow cooker pulled pork turns out perfectly every time! Set it and forget it for Carolina-style pulled pork that's great year-round, for winter game-day or summer backyard parties. 
Print Recipe



  • 3-6 lbs pork shoulder depending upon the size of your slow cooker
  • apple cider vinegar use ¼ cup per pound of pork


  • 1 tablespoon strong coffee use instant expresso if desired
  • 2 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ tablespoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon paprika I used smoked, hot or sweet is also fine
  • cup brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoon molasses


  • Combine all rub ingredients in a small bowl and mix together until a paste forms.
  • Pat the pork dry with paper towels. Set aside about ¼ of the paste mixture and refrigerate.
  • Using your hands (a cook's best tools), spread the paste mixture all over the pork, being sure to work into all of the nooks and crannies of the meat.
  • Wrap the pork tightly and let marinate in the fridge for a few hours, or preferably, overnight.
  • Heat some vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Brown the pork on all sides and place in a 4-quart or larger slow cooker.
  • Add vinegar and reserved paste mixture to the skillet and bring to a boil. Be sure to scrape the pan for any fond left behind by the pork.
  • Pour the liquid over the pork, place the lid on the cooker and cook on low for 6-10 hours. I usually go the full 10, especially if you are cooking a larger piece of meat.
  • Remove the pork from the cooker (leaving remaining liquid in the cooker) and let it cool considerably, but not all the way to room temp. The longer you let it cool, the better the fat will distribute throughout the meat.
  • At this point, many people will tell you to "take two forks and shred the pork". Um, no. This will take you forever. And wear you out. Use your cook's best tools again - your hands - and get in there and shred it up.
  • Once the pork is 'pulled' add it back into the slow cooker and mix it with the remaining liquid. Heat up the meat on low until it starts to simmer, then switch the heat to warm and serve.


  • Be sure the pork has cooled enough to handle before shredding it with your hands. 
  • The longer you let the pork cool before shredding, the better the fat redistribution. Just don't let it get all the way to room temperature. 
  • Be sure to read the post above for answers to FAQs and serving suggestions. 
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Calories: 223kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 21g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 70mg | Sodium: 554mg | Potassium: 539mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 15g | Vitamin A: 637IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 50mg | Iron: 2mg