Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Recipe
Learn the secret ingredient for Slow Cooker Pulled Pork so tender, it falls apart! Just two ingredients (plus your favorite sauce) and no browning needed!
This Genius Recipe (if I may be so bold as to use the term) is from my sister Monica who, one day, realized she was too lazy to cut up apples to cook with her pork roast.
So she opened her cupboard and pulled out a jar of applesauce. The rest is history, as they say.
What I do know is this: It tastes great, works like a charm, and is a heckuva lot easier than cutting up apples. And if we’re being honest here, cutting up apples isn’t even hard work.
Slow Cooker Pulled Pork is exactly that type of slow cooker recipe people are always asking for: The ones that require literally NO thought or effort.
I do recommend a long cooking time, at least 6 hours on HIGH. 8 if you can wait. That way, the pork just falls apart.
Using Pork Shoulder Roast
The best choice for pork is a pork shoulder roast. It has a lovely marbling of fat through it which yields seriously juicy pork. You don’t even need barbecue sauce on that. Although adding barbecue sauce is always a good idea.
Using Pork Loin
I’ve also made this recipe with pork loin (as you can see), because I’m that person that buys copious amounts of pork loin from Costco and freezes it. I decided to gather up all the packages of pork loin I could find and chuck them in my slow cooker.
Pork loin works well and tastes great, although the resulting meat is dryer than if you use pork shoulder roast (it’s obviously much leaner). I’d definitely add barbecue sauce if you make this recipe with pork loin.
Perfect for Everything
Magic Slow Cooker Pulled Pork is great for parties because it can be made in advance and then reheated the morning of the party.
It’s great for weeknight dinners because it can cook all day and be ready for shredding when you get home.
It’s great for weekends because it tastes so good. And is it just me, or is there some unwritten rule about food needing to taste better on the weekends? Like you suffered all week-long with frozen entrees for lunch and hasty dinners at night, and now since it’s Saturday you are really going to eat some GOOD FOOD.
Picky Eaters Rejoice
Even picky eaters tend to like this (I would know, I married the pickiest eater of them all). As long as you get good barbecue sauce, you are good to go. You can easily make your own barbecue sauce but if you decide to go the store-bought route, I like Sweet Baby Ray’s.
Customize how you eat it too! It’s great on buns for a quick sandwich, or grill some Texas Toast in a skillet with butter and make it open-faced like in the restaurants. Or just eat it plain, by the forkful. I’ve had it in a wrap with pepper jack cheese and grilled onions… yum. My dad loves it with cheddar and pickles. So many possibilities!
Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Recipe
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 3 pounds pork shoulder roast
- 1/2 cup applesauce
- 2 cups barbecue sauce optional
Browning the pork before adding it to the slow cooker is optional:
In a Dutch oven or large stock pot, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Sprinkle pork generously with salt on all sides. Add to pot and sear without moving until a dark brown crust forms on one side, about 5 to 6 minutes.
Flip pork over and continue browning on the second side until a dark crust forms, about 4 to 5 minutes longer. Remove from pot and transfer to slow cooker. Pour applesauce over the top.
Cover and cook on HIGH for 4 to 6 hours or LOW 8 to 10 hours. Using two forks, shred the pork. Pour barbecue sauce on top if using.
Cover and cook until barbecue sauce is heated through, about 30 minutes longer. Season to taste with salt and pepper.