slow cooker pulled pork on a bun with coleslaw

One of my favorite ways to use the slow cooker is to toss in a large pork roast with a little of this and a little of that, then pop the lid on top and ignore it for the entire day. Don’t call me, I’ll call you.

Long-cooking crock pot recipes are a busy family’s dream come true which is why my family of five not only relies on — but cheers — when Slow Cooker BBQ Pulled Pork is on the menu!

This 5-ingredient crock pot recipe is succulent and fall apart tender, easy to toss together, and extremely versatile. Plus it slow cooks all day long so all you have to do at dinnertime is shred then devour.

Got leftover pulled pork? It freezes beautifully!

slow cooked bbq pulled pork on a fork

5 Ingredients Needed

You read that right — all you need is five ingredients to get this succulent bbq pulled pork on the table. (Plus a slow cooker — here’s the 6-quart Slow Cooker that never fails me and my family.)

  1. Pork butt: despite the name, a pork butt roast actually comes from the shoulder of a pig. It can come bone-in or boneless, and you can use either for this recipe. Pork butt is an ideal cut of meat for cooking low and slow then shredding into long, tender strands.
  2. Garlic salt: is a mixture of garlic powder and salt that seasons the pork.
  3. BBQ sauce: is added both to the crock pot to flavor the pork as it cooks, then mixed with the shredded pork before serving. We like Stubb’s Sticky Sweet Barbecue Sauce.
  4. Cola or root beer: lends a nice sweetness that tastes so delicious with pork. I recommend Coca-Cola or your favorite root beer. NOTE: do not, under any circumstances, use Pepsi or any type of diet soda! Ask me how I know.
  5. Yellow onion: sliced onion sprinkled on top of the pork permeates the dish with flavor as it slow cooks.

Ways to Use Slow Cooker BBQ Pulled Pork

What I love so much about this recipe is that I can make it often and serve it in a variety of ways so nobody gets sick of it. Plus it feeds a crowd so it’s great for larger families, or cookouts, grad parties, etc.

  • Pulled Pork Sandwiches: mix the shredded slow cooked pork with BBQ sauce then pile onto buns with quick coleslaw (ie bagged coleslaw mix tossed with Italian dressing.)
  • Quesadillas: the pulled pork makes awesome BBQ Pulled Pork Quesadillas. Follow my recipe outline for BBQ Chicken Quesadillas.
  • Pork Nachos: top tortilla chips with the shredded pork mixed with BBQ sauce, and shredded cheese. Broil until melted then top with pickled jalapenos or banana peppers, and diced red onion.
  • Pork Tacos: nestle the shredded pork into crunchy or soft tortillas then added your favorite taco fixins.
  • Stuffed Sweet Potatoes: follow my recipe outline for BBQ Chicken Stuffed Sweet Potatoes using the shredded pork instead — or use regular russets if that’s more your style!
  • Chili: add the shredded pork to my Signature Chili recipe instead of ground beef.
  • Pizza: spread pizza crust with bbq sauce instead of tomato sauce then top with shredded pork and cheese. Bake until crispy then top with chopped green onions and minced cilantro.
  • Mac and Cheese: top bowls of gooey mac and cheese with shredded pork mixed with BBQ sauce. The mash up you never knew you needed!
  • Salads: add the warm or chilled pulled pork to fresh salads with any and all veggie toppings.

Freezer Friendly Pulled Pork

Something I love about this recipe — and most slow cooker pork recipes in general — is that the shredded meat freezes so very well.

  • To freeze: shred the pork then mix with a bit of the cooking liquid and let it cool to room temperature. Transfer the meat to a gallon-size freezer Ziplock bag then spread into an even layer and freeze flat for up to 6 months.
  • To thaw: thaw the bag of shredded pork in the refrigerator or in a bowl of cool water then use as desired.

crock pot bbq pulled pork on a bun

Serve with Gluten Free Cornbread

How to Make Slow Cooker BBQ Pulled Pork

Step 1: Trim then slice the roast.

Start the by trimming a 4-5lb pork butt (could also be labeled “pork shoulder”) of any large pieces of excess fat and/or connective tissue then slice the roast into 5 or 6 big hunks.

pork shoulder roast on a cutting board

Step 2: Season then slow cook.

Place the pieces of pork into the bottom of a 6-quart crock pot then season generously with garlic salt. Add your favorite bbq sauce, then pour in enough cola or root beer to nearly cover the pork.

  • Tip: the pork will generate it’s own juices as it cooks, so if the pork pieces are not entirely covered with BBQ sauce + cola — that is completely fine!
  • Tip: it’s worth repeating — do NOT use diet soda or Pepsi unless you like pepsi-flavored meat!

pork shoulder in a crock pot with bbq sauce

Cover the top of the pork with thinly sliced yellow onions then cover the crock pot and cook on for 8-10 hours on LOW.

I highly recommend you slow cook pork butt on low heat, vs high heat, to ensure it comes out as tender and juicy as possible.

sliced onions in a slow cooker

Step 3: Shred then serve.

Shred the pork with two forks then mix it with as much of the cooking liquid as you like. Lastly, mix the shredded pork with more BBQ sauce then use as your heart desires!

What to Serve it With

Slow Cooker BBQ Shredded Pork pairs well with a variety of fresh veggie and pasta salads, and BBQ sides. Here are some ideas:

shredded pork with bbq sauce on a bun

More Easy Slow Cooker Recipes

Slow Cooker BBQ Pulled Pork

4.5/5 (4 REVIEWS)


Slow Cooker BBQ Pulled Pork is a long-cooking crock pot recipe that's as tender and juicy as it is versatile. Use for sandwiches, nachos, tacos, and more!


serves 6-8

  • 4-5lb pork butt (also called pork shoulder), trimmed of excess fat then cut into large pieces
  • garlic salt
  • 1 cup BBQ sauce, plus more for serving
  • 12oz root beer or cola (do not recommend Pepsi)
  • 1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • Buns, for serving


  1. Place the pork pieces into the bottom of a 6-quart crock pot then generously season with garlic salt. Add the BBQ sauce and enough root beer or cola to nearly cover the meat then stir to combine.
  2. Sprinkle the onions on top then cook on low for 8-10 hours or until the pork shreds easily with two forks. Mix the shredded pork with more BBQ sauce if desired then serve on buns.

This recipe is courtesy of Iowa Girl Eats,

photo collage of slow cooker pulled pork