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BBQ Crockpot Pulled Pork

CFKMFPW30
June 6, 2022 | Author: Ashley McCrary

This melt-in-your-mouth pulled pork is slowed cooked all day in a sweet and savory homemade BBQ sauce.
It’s perfect for a big crowd or even a weeknight family meal. This recipe can even be tailored to Keto, Paleo and Whole30.

Crockpot meals really do save lives, especially during those busy weeknights. This BBQ Crockpot Pulled Pork is pure magic and will have your family running back for more. Not only is it perfect for a busy weeknight meal, but awesome for family gatherings. Serve it over crunch coleslaw, inside a sweet potato, or in a butter bun. The possibilities are endless.

A plate with a BBQ sandwich, chips, coleslaw, pickles and onions

What Makes This Recipe Great

I’m all about food that feeds a crowd, and packs in a ton of flavor. This easy BBQ Crockpot Pulled Pork is exactly that. No need to grab your grill or smoker, this pork shoulder slow cooks right in the crockpot.

Whether you serve it on top of a salad, or on a butter bun, this savory and sweet pulled pork will become a favorite. It also requires simple ingredients and can be easily tailored to meet your Keto, Paleo, and Whole30 lifestyle with a few simple swaps.

Make a big batch on Sunday and use it for different meals throughout the week. This tip recipe will save you on those busy weeknights with the family.

Ingredients

  • Pork Shoulder
  • Ketchup
  • ACV
  • Brown Swerve
  • Worcestershire sauce OR Coconut Aminos
  • Hot Sauce
  • Liquid Smoke
  • Seasoning
  • Xanthan Gum or Corn Starch
Crockpot Pulled Pork ingredients

Ingredient Notes

Pork Shoulder: The star ingredient. Make sure to buy a boneless pork shoulder.

Liquid Smoke: This is a must-add if you like the flavor of a pork shoulder off the smoker. It gives this crockpot pork a nice smokey flavor. Feel free to omit it if that flavor is not for you.

Onions: Chopped onions add so much flavor to the final dish. They will cook down and you won’t even notice them once it’s finished cooking.

Homemade BBQ Sauce: My homemade BBQ sauce is both savory and sweet. This is what really takes this recipe over the top. So much better than store-bought.

Seasoning: Salt, pepper, cayenne, smoked paprika, ground mustard, garlic powder, and onion powder.  

Recipe Step by Step

Step by step of the recipe

Crockpot Cooking Method:

  1. Season the Meat: Season the pork all over with salt and pepper.
  2. Mix the Sauce: Place the ketchup, chopped onions, Worcestershire sauce, liquid smoke, vinegar, water, hot sauce, brown swerve, and seasoning into the bottom of the crockpot. Mix together until combined.
  3. Add The Pork Shoulder: Add the butt over the sauce. Spoon some of the sauce and cover the top of the butt.
  4. Cover and Cook: Cover with a lid and cook on low for about 9-10 hours, until it reaches an internal temperature of 200F.
  5. Shredding The Pork: When the pork is done cooking, shred with a fork and add in the xanthan gum and mix together. Allow it to heat up for another 5 minutes to thicken up the sauce. 

Instant Pot Cooking Method:

  1. Saute The Pork Shoulder: select saute; adjust to normal. Add the ghee or butter to the bottom. Once melted add in the pork shoulder and brown for 2 minutes on each side then select cancel.
  2. Mix the Sauce: In a medium bowl, place the ketchup, chopped onions, Worcestershire sauce, liquid smoke, vinegar, water, hot sauce, brown swerve, and seasoning. Mix together until combined. Pour this mixture over the pork shoulder.
  3. High-Pressure Cooking: Secure the lid; set pressure valve to sealing. Select manual and cook on high pressure for 90-95 minutes. Then select cancel and keep the pressure valve in the sealing position to release pressure naturally.
  4. Shredding: When cool enough to handle, shred the pork and allow to sit in the juices. Either leave it in the insert or move it to a large sheet pan. Keep the juices or discard. I like the meat sitting in the juice. It adds a ton of flavor.
Crockpot Pulled Pork

How To Serve

You can serve this Crockpot Pulled Pork in so many different ways!

  • Butter Bun (regular or gluten-free)
  • Over the top of a salad
  • Cauliflower Rice
  • Brown Rice
  • Spanish Rice
  • Corn tortillas or tortillas of choice for tacos
  • Stuffed inside a sweet potato with coleslaw.
  • Over tortilla chips as nachos
  • On top of coleslaw
  • Mixed in with Mac and Cheese
a close up photo of the Crockpot Pulled Pork on a butter bun

Mac’s Tips & Tricks

  • Quicker Cook Time: If you need to cut down on cooking time, cut the shoulder up in 3-4 sections.
  • Don’t Open The Lid: Try not to open the lid during the 9-hour cooking window. Heat will escape once you open the lid and that will increase the cooking time.
  • Adding Liquid Smoke: This is a must if you want that smokey flavor. It will taste as if it came off the smoker if you add a teaspoon or two of liquid smoke.
  • Boneless Pork Shoulder: Make sure to get a BONELESS pork shoulder when buying that at the store.
  • Prep It On Sunday: Prep a big batch on Sunday and use it throughout the week for different recipes. This one protein can be used in so many different ways.
  • Thickening The Sauce: Feel free to add xanthan gum or cornstarch dissolved in water to thicken the sauce. I add this in right after shredding and allow it to heat up for 5- 10 minutes. As it heats it will begin to thicken.
Crockpot Pulled Pork in a plate with coleslaw, pickles, and onions

BBQ Crockpot Pulled Pork: FAQs

What is a pork shoulder?

According to Masterclass, “Pork shoulder, also called picnic roast, is the primal cut that comes from a pig’s shoulder, above the forelegs. The National Pork Board calls it “the top portion of the front leg of the hog.” It’s typically broken down into two cuts: the top, or blade shoulder (aka Boston butt), and the lower arm shoulder (aka pork shoulder or picnic roast).”

Can I make this crockpot pork shoulder ahead of time?

You can absolutely make this ahead of time. You can cook it up to 3 days ahead of time and store it in the fridge in an air-tight container. Simply reheat in the oven or in the crockpot when ready to serve. Heat in the crockpot on low for 1 hour or in the oven at 225F for 30-4o minutes.

How do I know when the pork shoulder is done?

Whenever the internal temperature reaches 200F or when it begins to fall apart. If you place a fork in the shoulder and twist the meat, it should fall apart. That is when you know it is tender and perfectly done.

Can I freeze cooked pulled pork?

Yes! Simply store in an airtight container or a freezer-safe bag for 2-3 months. Make sure to remove any extra liquid before freezing. When ready to eat, thaw overnight in the fridge and heat until internal temp reaches 165F.

How long does the pulled pork last in the fridge?

If stored in an air-tight container, this pork will last in the fridge for up to 4 days.

Should I cook the pork shoulder on HIGH OR LOW?

While either setting will work, I highly recommend the low setting. It will get much more tender if you cook it low and slow. It will cook on high but you may not get super tender pulled pork.

Crockpot Pulled Pork in a sheet pan with a serving fork

More Delicious Recipes

Curry Coleslaw

Baby Back Ribs

Southern Green Beans

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Crockpot Shredded Pork

This melt-in-your-mouth tender pulled pork is slowed cooked all day in a sweet and savory homemade BBQ sauce. It’s perfect for a big crowd or even a weeknight family meal. Serve it with coleslaw for the perfect crunch.  

  • Total Time: 10 minute
  • Yield: 1012 servings 1x

Ingredients

Scale
  • 3.5 pound pork shoulder (or called pork butt)
  • 1 cup ketchup*
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 3 tablespoons Brown Swerve*
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce OR coconut aminos 
  • 1.5 tablespoon hot sauce
  • 1 tsp liquid smoke
  • 2 tablespoon butter or ghee* (For IP version only)

Seasoning

  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1.5 tsp salt plus more for the pork
  • 1/2 tsp pepper plus more for the pork
  • 1.5 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons mustard powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • Optional 1/4 tsp cayenne for extra spicy
  • 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum OR 2 tablespoons cornstarch dissolved in water

Instructions

Crockpot 

  1. Season the Meat: Season the pork all over with salt and pepper.
  2. Mix the Sauce: Place the ketchup, chopped onions, Worcestershire sauce, liquid smoked, vinegar, water, hot sauce, brown swerve and seasoning into the bottom of the crockpot. Mix together until combined.
  3. Add The Pork Shoulder: Add the butt over the sauce. Spoon some of the sauce and cover the top of the butt.
  4. Cover and Cook: Cover with a lid and cook on low for about 9-10 hours, until it reaches an internal temperature of 200F.
  5. Shredding The Pork: When the pork is done cooking, shred with a fork and add in the xanthan gum and mix together. Allow it to heat up for another 5 minutes to thicken up the sauce. Keep the juices or discard if desired. I like the meat sitting in the juice. It adds a ton of flavor.
  6. Serve: add inside corn tortillas, over rice, on top of a salad or even stuffed in a sweet potato. 

Instant Pot

  1. Sauté The Pork Shoulder: select sauté; adjust to normal. Add in the ghee or butter in the bottom. Once melted add in the pork shoulder and brown for 2 minutes on each side then select cancel.
  2. Mix the Sauce: In a medium bowl, place the ketchup, chopped onions, Worcestershire sauce, liquid smoked, vinegar, water, hot sauce, brown swerve and seasoning. Mix together until combined. Pour this mixture over the pork shoulder.
  3. High Pressure Cooking: Secure the lid; set pressure valve to sealing. Select manual and cook on high pressure 90-95 minutes. Then select cancel and keep pressure valve in the sealing position to release pressure naturally.
  4. Shredding: When cool enough to handle, shred the pork and allow to sit in the juices. Either leave in the insert or move to a large sheet pan. Keep the juices or discard. I like the meat sitting in the juice. It adds a ton of flavor.

Notes

Storage: If stored in an airtight container or bag, this pork will last for 3 to 4 days in the refrigerator or freeze for 2-3 months. When ready to eat from the freezer, thaw in the fridge overnight and reheat in a crockpot, oven, skillet, or microwave with a splash of water. 

Brown Swerve Sub: Sub brown sugar for the brown swerve if desired.

Whole30 + Paleo: use True Made or Primal Kitchen ketchup. These are approved brands. Also, remove the brown swerve and use coconut aminos instead of Worcestershire sauce. If using this instant pot use ghee. 

Shredding: Whenever the internal temperature reaches 200F or when it begins to fall apart. If you place a fork in the shoulder and twist the meat, it should fall apart. That is when you know it is tender and perfectly done. If it doesn’t shred easily, it needs more time to cook. 

  • Author: Ashley McCrary
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 9-10 hours
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Crockpot
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Keywords: Crockpot Pulled Pork, Slow Cooker BBQ Pulled Pork

One thought on "BBQ Crockpot Pulled Pork"

  1. Ashley McCrary says:

    My all time favorite way to cook pulled pork. It tastes better than cooking on the grill or the smoker.


 

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About Me

Welcome to Healthy Little Peach. I’m Mac, the lady behind the recipes. I believe in living a healthy lifestyle that consists of a mix of healthy whole foods, and full-fat comfort meals. Life is too short not to enjoy good food while maintaining a healthy body and mind. Here you will find gluten-free, dairy-free, paleo, keto, and even full-fat comfort recipes. Let’s have fun in the kitchen together!

About Me

Welcome to Healthy Little Peach. I’m Mac, the lady behind the recipes. I believe in living a healthy lifestyle that consists of a mix of healthy whole foods, and full-fat comfort meals. Life is too short not to enjoy good food while maintaining a healthy body and mind. Here you will find gluten-free, dairy-free, paleo, keto, and even full-fat comfort recipes. Let’s have fun in the kitchen together!