This crock pot pulled pork is made with pork shoulder simmered in clean ingredients (no sodas or pre-packaged ingredients). Makes a great freezer crock pot recipe!
There was a time in my life when I was ‘not a saucy pulled pork person’. Oh how times have changed! I love love LOVE the tangy sweet & savory sauce that goes with this crock pot pulled pork, and I love even more that it is made with simple, clean pantry ingredients.
If this crock pot pulled pork looks familiar, that’s because it’s the same recipe as this Instant Pot Pulled Pork...so if you have a pressure cooker and are impatiently wanting pulled pork without the long wait time, I encourage you to check out that post!
Don’t forget to pin this post to save it for later!
We love this clean crock pot pulled pork because
- it has a clean (and short) ingredient list
- it requires no pre-cooking, so you can dump everything in the slow cooker and let it do it’s job
- it makes a big batch of pulled pork, so you can enjoy it for multiple meals through the week
How to make this pulled pork slow cooker recipe
The BEST thing about this recipe is that you don’t need to sear it or pre-cook in any way. Simply stir up your sauce add in the pork shoulder, and let the slow cooker do it’s job!
- Place all the spices, tomato sauce, maple syrup and apple cider vinegar in the insert of a 6 quart slow cooker and stir up.
- Add the pork shoulder in. Turn to coat.
- Put the lid on and cook on low for 8 hours.
- Remove the pork shoulder from slow cooker and transfer to a large bowl, shred and return to the sauce in your slow cooker. Enjoy!
Can I cook this pulled pork crock pot recipe in an Instant Pot? Yes! Check out this Instant Pot Pulled Pork Recipe for full instructions.
What cut of pork is best for this pulled pork crock pot recipe? I have always used pork shoulder (aka: pork butt or picnic), since it is typically quite tough and benefits greatly from ‘low and slow’ to tenderize. Since there is quite a bit of fat on a pork shoulder, it doesn’t dry out over a long cook time like some cuts do. However I recently heard that pork loin makes a great lighter pulled pork and I want to test this out soon!
Can I freeze this pulled pork crock pot recipe? YES! This can be frozen in one of two ways: 1) as a freezer crockpot meal (assemble all ingredients in a freezer bag before cooking, then thaw and dump everything into the IP before cooking), or 2) freeze the cooked pulled pork for 1-2 months.
How to serve this slow cooker pulled pork shoulder?
- on a bun with a quick cabbage slaw
- in a Pulled Pork Meal Prep Bowl
- in Pulled Pork Enchiladas
- in Tacos with Kale & Brussels Sprouts Slaw
- in Pulled Pork Burrito Bowls
- in Pulled Pork Stuffed Zucchini Boats
Tips & equipment for slow cooker pulled pork shoulder
Crock Pot Pulled Pork
- 13.5 oz can of tomato sauce 398 mL
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/3 cup maple syrup
- 2-3 lb pork shoulder (see *notes)
- Combine all ingredients except the pork shoulder in the base of a 6 quart slow cooker. Stir until smooth.
- Add the pork shoulder, turning to coat.
- Cook on low for 8 hours.
- Transfer pork shoulder to a bowl. Remove visible globs of fat using tongs, then shred with two forks or an electric hand mixer.
- Add cooking liquid to the pork as desired. If you like a saucy pulled pork, return to the slow cooker and toss in all of the cooking liquid.
- Leftovers keep in the fridge for up to 4 days. They freeze well and can be kept for up to 3 months.
To make ahead and freeze
- To convert this recipe into a freezer crock pot recipe, combine all ingredients in a sturdy gallon-sized freezer bag. Squeeze out air and freeze for up to 3 months.
- Thaw completely before transferring to the slow cooker and cooking as directed above.