This crockpot pulled pork recipe makes the BEST tender pulled pork that’s packed with flavor. This easy recipe uses only 5 simple ingredients and can also be made in the Instant Pot!
Why You’ll Love Crockpot Pulled Pork Recipe
A foolproof recipe like this slow cooker pulled pork is sure to become a family favorite. Here are a few reasons why:
- Juicy and Tender: Allowing the pork to slow cook all day in the crockpot leaves you with juicy and flavorful pork that is so tender it falls apart!
- Budget Friendly: I can usually find pork roasts on sale for as little as $2 per pound. The other basic ingredients are pantry staples you likely already have on hand!
- Great for Potluck: Crock pot pulled pork travels great and is a delicious and economic solution to the age-old question: What can I bring? A 3 to 5 pound pork butt or roast will easily feed 8 to 12 people with leftovers!
- Enjoy it Lots of Ways: Enjoy it just as it is or stuffed inside potatoes, tacos or quesadillas. It also makes the best pulled pork sandwiches!
What You’ll Need
One of the reasons I love this recipe so much is that it only uses FIVE ingredients. That’s it! Scroll down to the recipe card for exact amounts.
- Pork: You can also use pork shoulder, Boston butt or pork roast. If it’s on the bone, leave it! The bone is very easy to remove after cooking, and adds extra flavor.
- Coke: A regular cola product produces great results, but diet, zero sugar or any dark soda will work, too. Try Dr. Pepper or a cherry soda for a slight flavor twist!
- Garlic Salt: Or use 2 tablespoons garlic powder and add 1 teaspoon kosher salt.
- Chili Powder
- BBQ Sauce: I recommend using your favorite bbq sauce. I like Sweet Baby Ray’s original, but you can also use spicy, if you like a little heat!
How to Make Pulled Pork in Crockpot
This is one of the tastiest, no-fail slow cooker recipes around. All of the cook time is hands off! Deceptively simple, but always melt-in-your-mouth delicious, this will become one of your favorites. Scroll down to the recipe card for full detailed instructions.
- Season: Place your pork in the slow cooker and season with garlic salt and chili powder.
- Pour: Add the cola around the sides of the roast to prevent washing the seasoning off your meat. (The pork does not have to be fully submerged.)
- Cook: Set the crockpot to low and cook for 8 hours, until meat is tender.
- Shred: Remove the pork from the crock pot and discard most of the liquid, saving some to help keep the pork moist. Shred the pork with two forks.
- Finish: Add the barbecue sauce and stir to combine. Switch the heat to warm and place the lid on top until ready to serve!
A few tips and tricks to ensure your crockpot pulled pork recipe turns out perfect!
- The Cut: You can use a pork butt, pork roast, Boston butt, or even a pork loin. Pork loin is a much leaner cut of meat for pulled pork, so it will be less moist, but still very tasty!
- Fat Cap: If your pork cut has a thick fat cap on one side, you can carefully remove the excess fat with a knife OR leave it to moisten and flavor the pork. If keeping the fat cap, place pork in the slow cooker with the fat layer facing up, leaner side facing down. When pork is fully cooked, easily remove the fat layer with tongs and discard it before shredding.
- Seasoning: Substitute 3 to 4 tablespoons of your favorite pork, rib, or barbecue rub for the garlic and chili powder.
- Instant Pot: This crockpot pulled pork is Instant Pot friendly and just as easy! See step #7 in the recipe card below to convert this recipe.
- Easy Cleaning: Use a slow cooker liner to make clean up as effortless as the hands-off cooking for this crock pot pulled pork!
- Double the Recipe: If you want to double the recipe, use a large 8+ quart crockpot and cut your pork into 2 to 3 inch cubes. This should ensure it will all fit!
What to Serve with Crockpot Pulled Pork
My favorite way to enjoy this juicy pulled pork is in a toasted bun! I always use the leftovers to make this pulled pork crescent ring. It’s my families favorite weekend lunch.
- Sandwiches: Serve as pulled pork sandwiches on toasted buns. You can dress them up with sliced red onions, pickles, mango slaw and extra bbq sauce! This pork is also great for pulled pork sliders for a party.
- Stuffed Potatoes: Pulled pork is perfect stuffed inside a baked potato for a hearty dinner, but I personally love pulled pork stuffed sweet potatoes the best!
- Mexican Twist: Use the leftovers to make a whole new dinner with these easy pulled pork quesadillas. You may also enjoy these pulled pork tacos or pulled pork nachos.
Storage and Freezing
Pulled pork stores wonderfully for another easy meal a few days, or even months, later! Here’s how to save your leftovers:
- Fridge: Transfer cooled pulled pork to an airtight container. Store in the fridge for up to 5 days.
- Reheat: If reheating a large amount of pulled pork, you can add it right back to the crockpot on high for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. To reheat an individual portion, microwave for about a minute, until heated through.
- Freezer: Place cooled pulled pork in an airtight freezer-safe container. Freeze for up to 3 months. For best results, transfer to the fridge to thaw overnight before reheating.
Crockpot Pulled Pork
- 3 pound pork butt, or pork shoulder
- 2 liter coke, or any dark soda
- 3 tablespoons garlic salt
- ¼ cup chili powder
- 1 to 1 ½ cups BBQ sauce, I recommend Sweet Baby Ray’s Original
- Pour the coke in around the edge of the crockpot, adding just enough coke to almost cover pork. You do not need to cover the pork completely.
- Cook on low for 8 hours. It can cook longer, no worries if it has to sit a little longer. (You can try cooking the pork on high for 4 to 6 hours, but it may still be a little tough. The lower and slower cooking time leads to the most tender meat.)
- Remove pork from crockpot and discard 95% of the coke mixture…leaving just a little behind to help moisten the pork.
- Place the pork back into the crockpot (or in a large bowl) and then use two large forks to shred the meat. Add BBQ sauce and combine. (Above it says 1 to 1 1/2 cups BBQ sauce, which just means add as much, or as little, bbq sauce as you like.)
- Leave slow cooker on low, or warm, to keep things hot until you are ready to serve.
- INSTANT POT: Cook on manual, high pressure, for 75 minutes. Do a natural pressure release. Then follow directions from #4 down.
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