A step by step guide to making deliciously sweet and juicy slow cooker pulled pork that's perfect to use in burgers, tacos and salads.
With incredibly tender meat that literally falls apart in your mouth, and with just 10 minutes prep time, this family dinner recipe couldn't be any easier!
When it comes to easy family dinners, this Slow Cooker Pulled Pork is right up there.... along with everyone's favourite Cheesy Chicken Parma Balls or Chorizo & Chicken Empanadas.
Here's a simple 'set and forget' meal that pairs perfectly with burgers, nachos, pizza, wraps and more!
Why You're Going To Love This Recipe
- Family meal - slow cooker pulled pork is an all-time favourite dinner with the whole family.
- Versatile - serve this fall-apart meat in burgers, wraps, tacos or add to a salad or pizza!
- Quick & easy prep time - just 10 minutes prep time is all it takes!
- Great for busy weeknights - prep this meal in the morning, leave it to cook during the day and have dinner ready and waiting for you when you get home.
What You Need
This tender fall-apart pulled pork, smothered in a sweet rich sauce, is made using just a few ingredients.
Choosing The Best Cut Of Pork
Cooking pork in a slow cooker or crock pot is such a forgiving way to cook meat... you really can't go wrong.
This recipe can be made with the following cuts of pork:
- pork tenderloin/ pork fillet
- pork shoulder
The photos in this recipe post are of pulled pork made using a pork tenderloin/pork fillet (which is what I most often use for this recipe).
However you can also use a pork shoulder which is a slightly fattier cut of meat.
Homemade Sweet BBQ Sauce With Apple Cider Vinegar
The secret to the sweet sauce that my pulled pork is cooked in comes down to the combination of a few flavoursome ingredients:
- BBQ Sauce - a sweet and thick sauce
- Garlic - use minced garlic or mince your own
- Apple cider vinegar - or you can substitute with apple juice for a less tangy flavour
- Chicken stock - use chicken stock liquid or 1 tsp chicken stock powder dissolved in ½ cup water
- Brown sugar - either regular brown sugar or dark brown sugar can be used
- American mustard - a classic American mild yellow mustard
- Worcestershire sauce - such as Holbrooks or Lea & Perrins brand
... all of these ingredients together make the most delicious rich, sweet and tangy sauce.
Step By Step Instructions
Just 10 minutes and a few simple steps is all that it takes to prepare slow cooker pulled pork - and then it cooks itself!
Step 1 - Prepare The Sauce
Mix all of the sauce ingredients together in a bowl until smooth and combined.
Step 2 - Add The Pork & Onion
Place the chopped onion and the piece of pork into the slow cooker. Pour over the sauce and stir to coat. Cover with the lid and cook.
Cooking Times For Pulled Pork
Cook the pork and sauce in a slow cooker (crock pot) on LOW for 8 hours or HIGH for 4 hours.
Pull apart the pork with two forks (it should be super tender and fall apart very easily).
Allow it to cook for a further 20 minutes after shredding as this helps the pork to soak up the sauce.
Once you've got a slow cooker filled with the most amazingly tender fall-apart pork, it's time to serve it up!
You can keep things simple and serve the pulled pork on burgers with slaw, or mix it up with one of these yummy pulled pork recipes:
- Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Tacos
- Pulled Pork Nachos
- Pulled Pork Pizza
- Pulled Pork Loaded Baked Potatoes
Perfect for Friday night 'fakeaway'!
Expert Tips & FAQ's
Of course! Depending on the cut of pork you've used, you might find that your sauce is still a little liquidy at the end of the cooking time. Simply dissolve 1 tbs of cornflour in a small amount of cold water and then stir it through the sauce in the slow cooker. Please note that the sauce will continue to thicken on cooling (with or without the cornflour being added in).
The slow cooker is a very forgiving way to cook pork, and it won't make too much of a difference if you cook it an hour or so longer than specified.
You can't taste the apple cider vinegar in this recipe - it simply gives the sauce a delicious tangy flavour. However, you can always substitute it with apple juice if you prefer.
Pulled pork is delicious on burgers, sandwiches, in tacos, fajitas, or baked potatoes, on top of a pizza or simply in a salad.
Allow the cooked pork to cool before placing into the fridge. Use within 1-2 days or wrap well and place in an airtight container and freeze for up to 3 months.
More Slow Cooker Recipes
Nothing beats an easy slow cooker meal that you can prep in the morning and have it waiting for you by dinnertime. These recipes are all family-friendly, simple and delicious:
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Slow Cooker Pulled Pork
- 500 g pork fillet see notes
- 1 brown onion large, chopped
- 1 tsp minced garlic or 1 clove garlic, minced
- 225 g (1 cup) BBQ sauce
- 125 g (½ cup) apple cider vinegar
- 125 g (½ cup) chicken stock liquid
- 50 g (¼ cup) brown sugar
- 1 tbs American mustard
- 1 tbs Worcestershire sauce
- In a bowl, whisk together the minced garlic, BBQ sauce, apple cider vinegar, chicken stock, brown sugar, mustard and Worcestershire sauce.
- Place the pork fillet into the base of a slow cooker (or crock pot).
- Sprinkle the chopped onion over the top.
- Pour the sauce over the pork fillet. Stir to coat.
- Cook on HIGH for 4 hours, or LOW for 8 hours.
- Use two forks to shred the pork fillet (it should come apart very easily).
- Stir the pork through the sauce and allow to cook for a further 20 minutes.
- Serve with burger rolls and coleslaw, in tacos or salads.
- Cut of pork - I recommend using a pork tenderloin/pork fillet for this recipe. You can also use a pork shoulder (which is a fattier cut of meat), but you may need to increase the cooking time depending on the weight as it's a much thicker cut of pork.
- Cooking time - cook the pork and sauce in a slow cooker on LOW for 8 hours or HIGH for 4 hours.
- Shredding the meat - by the end of the cooking time, the meat will be so tender that it will be easy to pull apart with 2 forks.
- Thickening the sauce (optional) - if you find that your sauce is still a little too liquidy at the end of the cooking time, simply dissolve 1 tbs of cornflour in a small amount of cold water and then stir it through the sauce in the slow cooker.
- Storing pulled pork - allow the cooked pork to cool before placing into the fridge. Use within 1-2 days or wrap well and freeze for up to 3 months.
First time I made this, I did high for four hours, with a tea towel under the lid.
It turned out seriously AMAZING. I didn’t even expect it would be as amazing as it was. I also used powdered onion instead of real onion.
Second time, I did low for 8 hrs and no tea towel and it turned out watery. Used real onion instead of powdered onion. Any way I can fix this?
Hi Bianca, if you find it's too liquidy at the end, I recommend shredding the pork and then cooking it on high for a further 20 mins. That will thicken it up!
Hello there. What is the point of slow cooking a pork fillet? Is that the same cut as a tenderloin? People usually slow cook tough pieces of meat that soften up after cooking a long time, like the shoulder/Boston butt.
Hi Eve, a pork fillet makes excellent pulled pork when slow cooked which is why I use it in this recipe 🙂