Slow Cooker BBQ Pulled Pork Recipe

Pulled pork tastes like it should be complicated and take hours to make - but this pulled pork recipe is the definition of simple.

slow cooker pulled pork recipeThis Slow Cooker BBQ Pulled Pork recipe is full of flavor and deeply satisfying – and it’s so easy to make!

Folks always want to know how I get such a deep, rich flavor from pork cooked in the slow cooker. The secret is the right blend of spices (trust me on the espresso powder), the right cut of meat (you want bone-in) and the low-and-slow cooking that makes BBQ so good.

It’s perfect in a pulled pork sandwich of course, and I serve it in tacos, over baked sweet potatoes and tossed into eggs in the morning. Since you don’t add the BBQ sauce until the pork is pulled, you can use it for pretty much anything.

I usually make my own BBQ sauce for this pulled pork recipe with GF Worcestershire and soy sauce, but if I’m in a pinch I buy Rufus Teague or Annie’s – they are both GF and corn free too.


Slow Cooker Barbecue Pulled Pork

Pulled pork tastes like it should be complicated and take hours to make - but this pulled pork recipe is the definition of simple. Put all the ingredients in a slow cooker, turn it on, and get ready to drool.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: barbecue recipes, gluten-free pulled pork, pulled pork recipe, slow cooker recipes
Author: K.C. Cornwell


  • 2 TBSP smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp mustard powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp espresso powder
  • 2 1/2 TBSP Kosher salt
  • 1 TBSP freshly ground pepper
  • 1 4.5-6 pound bone-in pork shoulder
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 4-5 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1 TBSP olive oil
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 TBSP tomato paste
  • 2 TBSP gluten-free Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 TBSP gluten-free soy sauce


  • Prepare a slow cooker for use.
  • In a small bowl, combine paprika, mustard, cumin espresso powder, salt and pepper. Set aside.
  • Place the pork shoulder in the slow cooker and cover thoroughly with the spice rub, applying all of it to the meat. Place the shoulder with the fat cap up, and add the shallot and garlic in the cooker. Pour the olive oil and honey over the meat.
  • Whisk the vinegar, tomato paste, Worcestershire and soy sauce together, and pour it into the bottom of the slow cooker. Put the lid on the cooker, set to low setting for 8 hours.
  • When pork is done, transfer meat to a cutting board. Pull the pork with two forks or roughly chop and combine with 1 cup of the cooking liquid, being sure to avoid the garlic cloves. Serve with BBQ sauce and coleslaw.
  • This recipe is naturally Dairy Free, use coconut aminos in place of soy sauce and Worcestershire for Paleo-Friendly


photos by Katie Roletto