Slow-Cooker Pulled Pork

Pulled pork is easy to make in your slow cooker and super versatile. We often cook up a pork roast and have it in the fridge to shred and eat for several meals. It makes great sandwiches, tacos, stir fry meat, filling for tamales, meat to add to a soup or to a breakfast hash in the morning. Here are some general guidelines and ideas.

  1. Thaw and season your pork roast on all sides with salt and a few grinds of pepper. Don’t be shy with the salt!

2. Place in your slow cooker, with the fattiest side facing up.

3. Add onions. One chopped big onion is good. You can also add garlic if you want, or dried chilis and/or a couple bay leaves. For a Mexican version, we’ll add a Chipotle pepper. Whatever sounds good to you…

4. Add 1 cup of liquid. We like half and half beer and orange juice. You could also due a barbecue version with apple cider vinegar, ketchup and Coca-Cola. Or half broth, half wine. My grandma makes pulled pork in a base that’s half Pepsi, half cream of mushroom soup.

5. Slow cook it in your slow cooker on low. You be the judge of when it’s ready: ideally when it is falling apart when pulled with a fork. It helps to turn the meat from time to time during the day, but it isn’t necessary. This could take all day, so be ready to cook your pork overnight or start it in the morning.

6. Remove the meat from the liquid and place on a baking sheet to cool. Then shred the meat with a fork and a knife, discarding any gristle or parts that don’t look like what you want in your dish.

7. Pour the drippings from the slow cooker into a pot. If you can, remove any fat. Then reduce the liquids down to make a thick sauce. This is a good base for a barbecue sauce.

8. Add the meat back to the sauce (if that’s what you want to do) to reheat and get your shredded pork all glistening.

9. Serve and enjoy or place in the fridge for later.


Don’t have a slow cooker? Place all ingredients in a non-reactive dutch oven or heavy pan, cover, and cook in your oven at 250 degrees.