Seriously, can someone grab a stack of napkins? Because I’m up to my elbows in fall-apart tender Pulled Pork Barbecue in Crockpot! It is everything you want: Tangy/sweet/meaty, dripping with sauce and creamy coleslaw. And did I mention easy?
Do you remember the first time you tried that Classic American Pulled Pork Barbecue Sandwich? Because depending upon where you were geographically, it could’ve been a somewhat different sandwich than the kind your friend or neighbor makes. That’s because the process of the barbecue (smoked, grilled, roasted), the spice rub (or lack thereof), the sauce (if used), and toppings vary depending upon where area of the country you are from. It’s all somewhat complicated.
Different regions of the country, different states, different cities – all have their own versions of barbecue and of barbecue sauce – whether it’s vinegar-based sauce (North Carolina), mustard-based (South Carolina), mayonnaise-based (Alabama – don’t knock it ’til you try it!), sweet and tangy tomato-based (Kansas City), or dark, spicy and tangy (Texas), and even the proteins used all are different. But, truly, all are delicious!
Now, my Pulled Pork Barbecue made in a Crockpot is as simple as it gets! I make mine with both a dry rub, so all that flavor is infused into every morsel while it cooks, and I top it with a sweet/tangy/spicy sauce on top, because who doesn’t like a sauce? (I’ll sauce anything!) Then I add some simple, tangy coleslaw and bread-and-butter pickles. Put it on a toasted brioche bun, and it’s about the best bite of flavor I can think of.
All this may sound time-consuming and difficult, but it’s one of the easiest dishes to make. I just mix together the spice rub, rub it onto cubes of pork shoulder, drop it into my Slow Cooker, and about 7 or 8 hours later, it is so tender it practically falls apart by itself. It’s a great meal to just toss into the CrockPot before work, and when you come home, shred it, sauce it, serve it!
So, do you have a favorite Barbecue Sauce? I truly love them all and cannot pick a favorite. For me, a Kansas City Style is always popular in my house, but really, any will do!
Looking for other sandwiches? Don’t miss these:
PIN Slow Cooker Pork BBQ ->
Recipe Details for Pulled Pork Barbecue ->
You can make Pulled Pork Barbecue using so many different methods. If you have a smoker, a Slow-Cooker, an Instant Pot, a Dutch oven – any of these will work. I’ve used all of the devices, with the exception of a smoker. When I’m short on time, I use my Instant Pot, because it can make a nice pulled pork in about an hour and a half, start to finish. A Dutch Oven is an enameled, covered, Cast-iron pot. It is excellent for stews and soups, but can also be used for meats cooked low and slow in the oven.
How and Why to use the Slow Cooker?
But, some days, when I just want to set-it-and-forget-it, I love using the slow cooker. I use one I’ve had for 20 years, but if you’re in the market for a newer one, check out this review from Good Housekeeping that makes it easy to find a good one that will work for your purposes.
I like the CrockPot because it creates some darker, crispy edges on the pork that are hard to come by in an Instant Pot, and it’s easier to keep an eye on than the Dutch oven. That’s why the Slow Cooker is my favorite method for this dish.
Anyway, I start by slicing the meat into smaller pieces. If you have 10-12 hours, you may not want or need to cut it up into smaller pieces, but I often don’t have that much time. And, the idea behind the smaller pieces is that I like to have more surface area to spread the sweet and spicy rub! And, with smaller pieces, it can be ready to shred and eat in 7-8 hours when cooked at the low setting.
Can I use my InstantPot?
If you want to use InstantPot, just set it on the Manual setting for about 50 minutes, and release the pressure 10 minutes after the 50 minutes end. You don’t need to cut up the pork shoulder, but if you want to increase the surface area for the spice rub, go ahead and cut the shoulder into 3 or 4 smaller pieces.
Topping the Sandwich
Either way, top with some barbecue sauce – no need to decide whether to have dry rub or a wet sauce, because you really can have both! Add some simple, tangy slaw and sweet pickles and you have one tasty CrockPot Pulled Pork Barbecue sandwich! And, leftovers!Print
Pulled Pork Barbecue in Crockpot
Tangy, Sweet, Savory. This barbecued pulled pork will become a go-to meal for your slow cooker. Just set it and forget it. 8 hours later, you’ll have one of the tastiest sandwiches of your life! Just add your favorite barbecue sauce if you like, top with some creamy coleslaw and bread and butter pickles and grab some napkins!
Prep and cook times for Pork only. Nutrition information is for dry-rubbed pork only, 4 oz, cooked.
- Prep Time: 15 min
- Cook Time: 8 hours
- Total Time: 8 hours 15 minutes
- Yield: 14 servings 1x
- Category: Meats
- Method: Slow Cooker
- Cuisine: American
For the Pulled Pork
- 3 1/2 – 4 1/2 lb Boneless Pork Shoulder, Pork Butt, or Country Ribs
- 3 T Brown Sugar (Dark or Light is ok)
- 2 T Kosher salt
- 2 T Smoked Paprika
- 1 T Ground Cumin
- 1/2 t Cayenne Pepper
- 1/2 t Black Pepper
- 1 T Apple Cider Vinegar
For Coleslaw: (see Note 1)
- 8 c Shredded Cabbage (from 1 small cabbage)
- 3 T Apple Cider Vinegar
- 2 T Granulated Sugar
- 1/2 t Salt
- 1/4 t Pepper
- 1/3 c Mayonnaise
- 2–4 T Buttermilk or Milk
- Your favorite Barbecue Sauce
- Bread and Butter Pickles
Make the Dry Rub:
- Mix together all of the dry rub ingredients. Set aside
- Cut pork shoulder or butt into 2 – inch thick sections, and then cut each of those sections into 1-2″-wide strips, simmer to country ribs.
- Rub each piece with dry rub until all rub is used. Place rubbed pieces into Slow cooker.
- Mix 1/2 cup water with 1 T Cider Vinegar. Gently pour over the pork.
- Set Slow cooker to Low, and cook until it easily shreds with 2 forks. For a 4 1/2 lb pork shoulder, this should take 7 1/2 – 8 hours. Once done, remove pork pieces from the liquid and shred by pulling pieces of meat in separate directions with 2 forks. Discard liquid, or feel free to mix a bit (1/3 cup for each cup of BBQ Sauce) of it with your barbecue sauce for even more flavor!
- Serve on buns with coleslaw, pickles and barbecue sauce, if desired.
Make the Coleslaw
- Place the shredded cabbage in a medium bowl.
- In a 1-cup measure, or small bowl, mix together the sugar and cider vinegar. Add the salt and pepper. Whisk in the mayonnaise and add enough milk to make the sauce a bit thinner – up to 3 or 4 tablespoons. Pour over cabbage. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Stir.
- It’s best to make the coleslaw while your pork is cooking. Like the meat, it gets better as the day goes on.
- Serving Size: 4oz, cooked
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