Slow cooker pulled pork: the juiciest recipe ever

This slow cooker pulled pork recipe delivers the ultimate party-friendly meat that goes with virtually anything – and a little goes a long way

Slow cooker pulled pork
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

The ultimate slow cooker pulled pork recipe is here: and it's probably the easiest slow cooker recipe ever. We don't say that lightly, but you really can pretty much throw any ingredients you have in your kitchen at it, and it'll still be nice. There's also likely no better way to make pulled pork than in a slow cooker – it's almost as if slow cookers were invented for the stuff. However, you can cook it in an oven, too. 

Not got a slow cooker yet? Take a peek at our best buys below. For more food advice and recipe ideas, go to our hub page.

Slow cooker pulled pork recipe

The joy of this recipe is that the ingredient list is very flexible. Essentially, to make pulled pork, you need something to season it and something acidic to break down the protein, which is what delivers the falling-off-the-bone tenderness. So, if you don't have one of the ingredients on our list, you can almost certainly replace it with something similar.

Without further ado, the rough ingredient list for this recipe is:

  • Pork shoulder, 500-750 grams, with the fat trimmed off
  • Dry white wine/apple cider vinegar/ketchup, 250ml – either of these acidic ingredients will do
  • Stock, chicken or vegetable, 250 ml
  • Salt, to taste
  • Onion, finely chopped, one
  • Garlic, four cloves
  • Paprika, two teaspoons

Method:

1. Rub a generous amount of salt and paprika (or meat spice rub) into the pork before placing it into the slow cooker – or a deep, oven-proof dish if you don't have one. This is supposed to be a salty, flavoursome meat, so don't hold back on the salt, or it could turn out bland.

2. In a pouring jug, combine the stock, the acidifier (wine/vinegar/ketchup), the onion, and the stock. 

3. Pour over the mixture over the pork. Tuck in the garlic cloves. 

4. If you are cooking in a slow cooker, set it on a low setting and cook for six to eight hours, until the meat is easily pulled away with a fork. If you're cooking it in the oven, cover it with a lid (or make a lid with foil) and cook at 150ºC/130ºC (fan oven)/gas mark 2 for upwards of four hours – you want the meat to literally fall apart. If it isn't, give it longer. As long as you don't let the stock dry out, you can continue to cook the pork at this temperature for up to eight hours. If it does dry out, add more stock.

5. Serve with warmed mini tortillas, coleslaw, lime and coriander (as shown in the photo), or with a brioche bun, slaw, and sweet pickled gherkins.

Find more gorgeous slow cooker recipes in our feature – starters, mains, and desserts sorted. 

Pulled pork burger variations

A pulled pork burger is quite possibly even more satisfying than a regular burger, because it doesn't fall apart quite as easily as a regular burger does. A couple of brioche buns, plenty of slaw with extra mayo, gherkins, jalapenos...you just press it all into the soft brioche – et voila! It does make for messy eating, though, so serve with plenty of napkins! 

Some people also like serving pulled pork on top of their beef burger. Overkill? You decide!

If you want to try an exciting alternative to the brioche bun format and live somewhere with access to a Chinese food store, try serving your slow cooked pulled pork with steamed Chinese bao buns. Add vegetables of your choice, or try with kimchi.