Slow Cooker Zesty Pulled Pork

Slow Cooker Zesty Pulled Pork Recipe – pork shoulder slow-cooked all day in a mixture of garlic, onion, brown sugar, soy sauce, and vinegar – our new go-to slow cooker pulled pork recipe! Serve this as a main dish on slider buns with creamy coleslaw and your favorite barbecue sauce. Leftover pork is great on nachos, tacos, and baked potatoes. This makes a lot of food. It is perfect for summer parties and game day! Give this a try ASAP!

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Best Pulled Pork Recipe

This Slow Cooker Zesty Pulled Pork is perfect for a 4th of July dinner! It is easy and tastes great! It is our favorite way to make pulled barbecue pork! Pork shoulder slow cooked all day in garlic, bay leaves, onion, brown sugar, soy sauce, and vinegar. So simple to make and has the perfect blend of spices! This is a great recipe for potlucks, tailgating, and summer dinner. I also love to take this to football parties in the Fall. Whenever you decide to make this it is sure to be a hit!

bbq sandwich on a plate

How to Make Slow Cooker Zesty Pulled Pork

This recipe is super easy to make with only a few simple ingredients. In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Season pork butt roast with salt and pepper. Sear the roast in the hot oil until lightly brown on each side. Place pork in the bottom of the slow cooker. Add crushed garlic, bay leaves, and onion wedges. In a small bowl, whisk together brown sugar, soy sauce, and white vinegar. Pour the soy sauce mixture over the pork. Cover the crock pot and cook on LOW setting for 8 hours. Remove the pork from the slow cooker and place on a cutting board. Shred the pork with two forks. Discard any excess fat. Return the shredded pork to the slow cooker and keep warm while serving.

Helpful Tips & Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is that best cut of meat is best for pulled pork? I used a bone-in pork shoulder for this recipe. You may also see this cut of meat referred to as a pork butt, pork shoulder roast, or Boston butt.
    • You can use boneless pork roast in this recipe. A boneless pork shoulder will not take as long to cook as a bone-in roast. Check the pork roast at 6 hours to see if it is fall-apart tender.
    • Can substitute a pork loin of an equivalent amount of pork tenderloin.
  • Cook the pork shoulder until it reaches in an internal temperature of 195ºF to 200ºF. At that temperature, the connective tissue will have broken down and pork will be easy to pull apart.
  • I use white vinegar. You can substitute apple cider vinegar.
  • Add a little bit of liquid smoke to the slow cooker to give the pork a nice smoky flavor.
  • Here is our recipe for Homemade BBQ Sauce: https://www.plainchicken.com/homemade-bbq-sauce/
  • My favorite store-bought BBQ sauces are G. Hughes, Sweet Baby Rays, Stubbs, and Williamson Brothers.
  • Can pulled pork be reheated? Yes! You can make the pork ahead of and store it in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Reheat the pork on the stovetop or in the microwave.
  • Can pulled pork be frozen? Yes! Make the pork as directed and shred. Toss the pork with sauce, if desired. Let the pork cool completely and place in a freezer bag and freeze. When ready to serve, thaw the frozen pork and reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop.
  • Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
pulled pork sandwich topped with bbq sauce and pickles on a plate

What to Serve with The BEST Slow Cooker BBQ Pork

We love to make pork sandwiches with this shredded pork. Pulled pork and creamy coleslaw piled high on slider buns and topped with your favorite barbecue sauce. YUM! Leftover pulled pork is delicious on pork nachos, in pork tacos, soups, on baked potatoes, or in our Pulled Pork Pastry Puffs.

We like to serve our pulled pork sandwich with some potato salad and baked beans. Whip up a batch ASAP! You won’t be disappointed!

Looking for more side dish ideas? Here are a few of our favorite recipes from the blog that go great with this easy slow cooker recipe:

Pineapple Casserole

Pineapple Casserole – one of our favorite side dishes! I took this to a potluck and everyone raved about this…

pulled pork sandwich topped with bbq sauce and pickles on a plate with text overlay

Slow Cooker Zesty Pulled Pork

Yield: 8 people
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 8 hrs
Total Time 8 hrs 10 mins
Slow Cooker Zesty Pulled Pork Recipe – pork shoulder slow-cooked all day in a mixture of garlic, onion, brown sugar, soy sauce, and vinegar – our new go-to slow cooker pulled pork recipe! Serve this as a main dish on slider buns with creamy coleslaw and your favorite barbecue sauce. Leftover pork is great on nachos, tacos, and baked potatoes. This makes a lot of food. It is perfect for summer parties and game day! Give this a try ASAP!

Ingredients:

  • 1 (4-lb) bone-in pork shoulder/Boston Butt
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 12 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 onion, cut into 8 wedges
  • ¾ cup packed light brown sugar
  • ¾ cup soy sauce
  • ½ cup white vinegar

Instructions:

  • Season all sides of pork shoulder with salt and pepper. In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Cook pork in hot oil until lightly brown on each side. Remove pork from skillet and place in 6-qt slow cooker. Add garlic, bay leaves and onion.
  • Whisk together brown sugar, soy sauce, and vinegar. Pour over pork. Cover and cook on LOW for 8 hours.
  • Turn off the slow cooker. Remove pork from the slow cooker and shred. Remove onion and bay leaves from slow cooker. Return shredded pork to slow cooker to keep pork warm while serving.
  • Serve pork on hamburger buns, if desired.

Notes:

  • What is that best cut of meat is best for pulled pork? I used a bone-in pork shoulder for this recipe. You may also see this cut of meat referred to as a pork butt, pork shoulder roast, or Boston butt.
    • You can use boneless pork roast in this recipe. A boneless pork shoulder will not take as long to cook as a bone-in roast. Check the pork roast at 6 hours to see if it is fall-apart tender.
    • Can substitute a pork loin of an equivalent amount of pork tenderloin.
  • Cook the pork shoulder until it reaches in an internal temperature of 195ºF to 200ºF. At that temperature, the connective tissue will have broken down and pork will be easy to pull apart.
  • I use white vinegar. You can substitute apple cider vinegar.
  • Add a little bit of liquid smoke to the slow cooker to give the pork a nice smoky flavor.
  • Here is our recipe for Homemade BBQ Sauce: https://www.plainchicken.com/homemade-bbq-sauce/
  • My favorite store-bought BBQ sauces are G. Hughes, Sweet Baby Rays, Stubbs, and Williamson Brothers.
  • Can pulled pork be reheated? Yes! You can make the pork ahead of and store it in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Reheat the pork on the stovetop or in the microwave.
  • Can pulled pork be frozen? Yes! Make the pork as directed and shred. Toss the pork with sauce, if desired. Let the pork cool completely and place in a freezer bag and freeze. When ready to serve, thaw the frozen pork and reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop.
  • Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Steph

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Pin this recipe to your favorite board now to remember it later!

Pin This Recipe
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