Pulled Pork Recipe

Just 3 ingredients and barely any work make this Pulled Pork recipe one of my favorite easy dinners. You will not be able to stop eating this fall-apart-tender meat!

Pulled pork recipe

This recipe is part of my Dump It ‘Til It’s Hot series of dump recipes. It’s all about making delicious food with minimal prep, no pre-cooking, the ability to freeze for a great make-ahead meal. And trust me when I say, easy never tasted so good!

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Pulled Pork Recipe

Ready for your random-Jessy-factoid-of-the-day? For a short time, I was a manager at a pretty popular local barbecue restaurant. While the job wasn’t a great fit for me and we ultimately parted ways, I did learn some valuable information about smoking meats and making pulled pork that continues to serve me in my quest to make and eat delicious food. When I’m not using my smoker, I find that the simplest and most tasty way to get my pulled pork fix is this slow cooker pulled pork.

Now, I do stand by the fact that my favorite way to prepare pulled pork is by smoking it, low and slow. But that’s not always practical (I’m looking at you, weeknight dinners!). So when my friend shared a recipe that involves placing items into a slow cooker, covering it and turning it on, I knew that it was worth a try. So try I did and I’ve been a believer ever since! This resulted in fall-apart tender meat that I top with my favorite barbecue sauce.

pulled pork

crock pot pulled pork

Tips for making Crock Pot Pulled Pork

  • You’ll know it’s done because the meat will be super tender and falling apart.
  • Pork butts usually have a one large bone in them and one single nerve ending that is no larger than an inch or two. The bone should be very loose and easy to wiggle and pull out.
  • When you’re shredding the pork you’ll want to remove as much of the fat as possible and that nerve ending if you can locate it (usually near the bone- if you can’t find it, don’t worry!).
  • Do not, I repeat: Do not over-pull your pork! You don’t want to over-work it and shred it down to nothing because the texture can get kind of mushy. A rough shred is a great starting point. Remember, when you mix in the sauce, it’ll naturally shred up a bit more anyway.
  • Don’t go too heavy on the sauce. If you use too much the pork also gets that mushy, undesirable texture and in some cases can get a little soupy. I like to lightly coat it with a little bit of barbecue sauce and serve plenty of extra sauce on the side for drizzling.
  • If you’re planning on making this in the instant pot, you want to use no more than a 3 pound pork butt (so really half of a pork butt) and cut it in half before placing it into the instant pot for optimal results.

slow cooker pulled pork

Frequently asked questions about making Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

  • How much does this make? A full size pork butt is enough to feed a good size crowd (depending on the weight anywhere from 12-16 people). For the four of us, I pick up a pork butt and had the butcher cut it in half to freeze the other half for another time. This allows us a meal + plenty of leftovers
  • Can I freeze this pulled pork recipe? Yes. You can freeze it raw as a dump dinner and you can also freeze the leftovers once it’s cooked.
  • How long do you cook crock pot pulled pork? Around 8-10 hours on low. This recipe is pretty flexible, so if it goes longer, it won’t adversely affect it.
  • Can I put a frozen pork but in the crock pot? I don’t recommend it because it’s such a large cut of meat.
  • What temperature should pork be cooked to? 145 degrees is considered the safe temperature to consume pork chops. The temperature of this recipe ends up higher than that due to the style of cooking (but don’t worry, it’ll be fall-apart tender!).
  • How do you serve pulled pork? Eat it on it’s own. Eat it in a sandwich. Eat it on a salad. Eat it on nachos (pulled pork nachos are always a good idea, trust me on this!).
  • Does a pork butt come from the pig’s rear end? No- it actually comes from the pig’s shoulder.

pulled pork recipe slow cooker

Pulled Pork Recipe Upgrades

Although this is designed to be a dump-and-go recipe, here are a few “upgrades” you can make if you have a little extra time on your hands and don’t mind doing a small amount of extra work. You don’t have to do them to have a delicious meal, but they will make this recipe come out even more delicious:

  • Sear the pork butt before placing it into the slow cooker (if you’re using an instant pot, you can do this on the saute setting).
  • Toast the buns in the oven prior to making a pulled pork sandwich.
  • Strain the juices through a strainer and thicken the juices into a gravy.  It’s probably a good idea to use a fat separate before thickening.
  • I like to serve with tater tots from the freezer section and coleslaw on the side- you can always use pre-made mashed potatoes and salad kit from your local grocery store for minimal effort if you don’t want to make one of the below recipes.

pulled pork crock pot recipe

Make it a meal!

A few great recipes to round out and complete this meal would be:

Helpful tools:

  1. Slow cooker
  2. Instant pot
  3. Gallon freezer zipper bags
  4. Slow cooker liners
  5. Chef’s knife
  6. Cutting board

Video Tutorial for making this Pulled Pork recipe

 

Pulled Pork recipe
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
10 hrs
Total Time
10 hrs 5 mins
 

Just 3 ingredients and barely any work make this Pulled Pork recipe one of my favorite easy dinners. You will not be able to stop eating this fall-apart-tender meat!

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: pulled pork recipe
Servings: 12 servings
Author: Allison Stephens
Ingredients
  • 1 3 pound pork shoulder (this is about half a pork shoulder but you can also use a whole pork shoulder for the slow cooker and just double the other ingredients)
  • 1 can or small bottle ginger ale
  • 1 large onion, cut into chunks
Optional extras
  • BBQ sauce
  • Rolls
Instructions
Slow Cooker instructions
  1. Place onions into the slow cooker pot.

  2. Place pork butt onto onions.

  3. Pour ginger ale onto pork butt.

  4. Cover and cook for 8-10 hours on low.

  5. Remove pork butt and shred using 2 forks (remove the bone and nerve and don't over shred).

  6. Pour a small amount of the juices from the slow cooker onto the pork to moisten it. 

  7. Drizzle with a small amount of BBQ sauce and gently mix to combine. Serve immediately with extra sauce on the side.

Instant Pot instructions
  1. Place onions into the Instant Pot.

  2. Place pork butt onto onions.

  3. Pour ginger ale onto pork butt.

  4. Cover and cook on high pressure for 1 hour and then do a 25 minute natural release.

  5. Remove pork butt and shred using 2 forks (remove the bone and nerve and don't over shred).

  6. Pour a small amount of the juices from the Instant Pot onto the pork to moisten it. 

  7. Drizzle with a small amount of BBQ sauce and gently mix to combine. Serve immediately with extra sauce on the side.

Now that you know how to make this Pulled Pork Recipe, be sure to share it and tag @thelifejolie on Instagram and Facebook.  And be sure to pin it to save for later or bookmark it!

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Just 3 ingredients and barely any work make this Pulled Pork recipe one of my favorite easy dinners. You will not be able to stop eating this fall-apart-tender meat!

Just 3 ingredients and barely any work make this Pulled Pork recipe one of my favorite easy dinners. You will not be able to stop eating this fall-apart-tender meat!

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10 Comments

  • Reply
    Paris Anderson
    June 22, 2015 at 9:57 am Yum! What a great and easy recipe for summer! Paris Anderson recently posted...Farmland Ribs and Pasta Salad RecipeMy Profile
    • Reply
      Jessy
      June 22, 2015 at 11:56 am Thank you :)
  • Reply
    Tiffany
    June 22, 2015 at 10:23 am This recipe looks delicious! I'm a huge fan of pulled chicken and pulled pork and an even bigger fan of slow cooker recipes. Pinning this for future reference :) xo, Tiffany Tiffany recently posted...My Summer Slay KitMy Profile
    • Reply
      Jessy
      June 22, 2015 at 11:56 am THank you- me too- I love when meat is fall-apart tender! Enjoy :)
  • Reply
    Liz @ Infuse With Liz
    June 26, 2015 at 6:14 am This sounds easy enough for me! I enjoy a good pulled pork sandwich so I'll give this a try! Thank you for sharing and for the tips about shredding the meat. Liz @ Infuse With Liz recently posted...4th of July Dining IndoorsMy Profile
    • Reply
      Jessy
      June 26, 2015 at 11:10 am It is pretty easy (I try to focus on easy recipes!). Let me know how it is!
  • Reply
    Kennedy Cole|KCole's Creative Corner
    June 27, 2015 at 10:35 pm I love slow cooker meals! They"re so incredibly easy! This recipe looks so flavorful. I've never tried adding ginger ale to pork, but I'm sure it gives it plenty of moisture. Great recipe! You may want to also check out my food blog. Thanks, Jessy! :D http://kcolescreativecorner.com Kennedy Cole|KCole's Creative Corner recently posted...Thyme and Rosemary Roasted Baby CarrotsMy Profile
    • Reply
      Jessy
      June 27, 2015 at 10:38 pm Me too, Kennedy- anything that allows me to put ingredients into a pot and turn it on is awesome :) Thanks for stopping by, I'll be sure to check yours out.
  • Reply
    Thalia
    June 28, 2015 at 1:37 am I've never made pulled pork before.. but you make it look so easy and delicious. I must try this recipe! Thalia recently posted...Cookies and Cream Crumb CakeMy Profile
    • Reply
      Jessy
      June 28, 2015 at 2:02 pm Thank you- I hope your enjoy and look forward to hearing how it turns out :)

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