Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

plate of pulled pork with a side of rice.

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Delicious, fall apart pulled pork in a savory sauce. Easy to make in a slow cooker.




  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1 tsp paprika


  • 2 1/2 lbs pork shoulder or pork butt, trimmed of any large pieces of fat on the outside of the meat
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp orange juice
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp of the spice blend


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ an onion, chopped
  • 1 tbsp spice blend
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 8 ozs chicken broth
  • 2 tbsp ketchup
  • 1 tsp smoked maple syrup (optional)
  • Reserved marinade


  • ¼ cup ketchup
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp spice mix


  1. MAKE THE SPICE BLEND: Combine the spice blend ingredients, from the cumin through the paprika, in a bowl. Set aside.
  2. MAKE THE MARINADE: In a bowl, combine the pork marinade ingredients from the soy sauce through the tablespoon of spice blend.
  3. Pat dry the pork, then place it in a large sealable plastic bag. Pour in the marinade, seal, and toss the pork gently a few times to make sure all the meat is well coated with the marinade. Place in the refrigerator to marinate overnight or at least 8 hours.
  4. PREPARE FOR SLOW COOKING (PHASE 1): Have your slow cooker at the ready. Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet. Add the onions, and cook on medium for 5 minutes. Take the pork out of the marinade, reserving the marinade. Add the pork to the skillet, and cook for 5 to 10 minutes, turning the meat occasionally to brown it on all sides.
  5. Transfer the pork and onions to the slow cooker. Add the remaining Phase 1 ingredients to the slow cooker: tablespoon of spice blend, sugar, chicken broth, 2 tablespoons ketchup, smoked maple syrup if using and reserved marinade.
  6. Cover the slow cooker. Set the slow cooker to low, and cook for 8 hours.
  7. After the 8 hours of slow cooking, the meat will be fall apart tender. Remove the meat to a platter, and give it a few minutes to cool. Then use two forks to shred the pork, breaking it into bite sized pieces.
  8. Return the shredded pork to the slow cooker along with the Phase 2 ingredients: 1/4 cup ketchup, 2 tablespoons soy sauce, tablespoon maple syrup and 1 tsp of spice mix.
  9. Cook on low another 30 to 60 minutes. The longer cook time will allow for more of the liquid to be absorbed by the pork.
  10. Scoop and serve the pork out of the slow cooker with a slotted spoon. Enjoy!


  • As we mentioned in the accompanying article, if you are pressed for time, you can cut the marinating time significantly, from just 30 minutes to 2 hours, if you don’t want to do the 8 hour / overnight marinade.
  • You can also skip the step of cooking the onions and browning the pork in the skillet, if you are pressed for time. If doing this, just put the raw onions and pork into the slow cooker, skipping the part where you brown it in the skillet. 
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