The slow cooker came out of hibernation this weekend for a family get together to celebrate my daughter’s sixth birthday.  While this Slow Cooked Pulled Pork can’t beat the 10-12 hour smoker preparation I featured in July, the consensus was that it takes a close second with a lot less effort.

I am fond of any dish that you can put in a crock pot at 10 a.m. and let it do its thing while you host a party with twenty plus kids at the Splash Zone at Chelsea Piers. While my daughter, her friends, and my husband (still a kid at heart), were riding down water slides at warp speed and I was tooling around with my son in the pool, this pulled pork slowly got succulent.

I am also happy to report that this pulled pork is Kid Tested and Approved.  It was eaten by the two 2 year old boys at the party last night.  My daughter, enjoying the birthday spotlight, was not as big of a fan, preferring cheese quesadillas, but she tried it.  The adults ate it up, and some of us had seconds :).

Some things to think about.  If you have the time to let this monster of a piece of meat sit for a couple of hours or even overnight in the rub (I didn’t get my act together to do this), do it.  I would also recommend letting this dish slow cook overnight and bringing it to a tailgate party.  You can keep it on a very low heat even after the bbq sauce is mixed in and it will only get better.  If you want to keep it easy, you can serve this dish with store bought cole slaw and guacamole.  If you want to take it the next level,  make your own red cabbage slaw with jalapeno and top it with some truly Rockin’ Guac..  It’s much tastier, fresher and healthier (no mayo!).

If you prefer to skip the buns, that is your choice.  But a nice potato bun really is an excellent way to hold the meal together so you can hold an ice cold beer in the other hand 🙂

Slow Cooked Pulled Pork
Recipe type: Main
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8-10
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 4-5 lb bone in pork shoulder
  • 2 tbsp light brown sugar
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • ¼ tsp cayenne
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tbsp coarse sea salt
  • 1 tsp fresh ground pepper
  • 1 sweet onion, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ cup plus 1½ cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 cups BBQ sauce
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • dozen or more potato buns for serving
Red Cabbage Slaw
  • 1 small chopped red cabbage
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • ¼ cup cilantro
  • 2 chopped green onions
  • ½ chopped and deseeded jalepeno
  • 1 chopped garlic
  • Juice of one lime
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp honey
  • Sea Salt and Fresh ground pepper to taste
  1. Trim excess fat from pork shoulder.
  2. Combine brown sugar, paprika, cumin, cayenne, oregano, coriander, salt and pepper in small bowl. Rub all over pork and let sit for a couple of hours or overnight.
  3. Heat canola oil in dutch oven or slow cooker with a sauté/braise option. Brown the pork on all sides, about 10-12 minutes. Remove pork from pan.
  4. Add onion and saute for 5 minutes.
  5. Add garlic and saute for 1-2 minutes more.
  6. Add half a cup of broth, tomato paste and vinegar and bring to a boil. [Move the broth to the slow cooker at this point.]
  7. Add pork back to the slow cooker along with remaining broth and cover. Let it slow cook for 8 hours.
  8. Remove pork from slow cooker and pull the pork from the bone.
  9. Bring broth to a boil and reduce by half. Add in bbq sauce and honey and pulled pork. Return slowcooker to low.
  10. Meanwhile, combine the slaw ingredients and dressing ingredients. 4 hours before serving toss the slaw with the dressing.

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