The Kitchn Blog: Best Pulled Pork in the Slow Cooker

I know, I know… I just blogged yesterday. But here I am again because I need to tell you how delicious the slow cooker pulled pork was that I feasted on last night!

Cooked low and slow for about 15 hours, this recipe was so easy to follow and the outcome was ridiculous. (i.e. Ridiculously tasty!)

The spice rub is great and tastes a lot like the Milwaukee Ave steak seasoning I always pick up from The Spice House whenever I find myself in Chicago.

Because my slow cooker isn’t huge, I used about 5 lbs of boneless pork butt, which I picked up from La Grotta. For the “cane cola” the recipe called for, I simply used a can of A&W root beer.

Anyway, MAKE THIS! I’ll let these photos do the rest of the talking.

Recipe rating: 5 knives out of 5

Bon appétit!



How To Make Pulled Pork in the Slow Cooker

Makes 16 servings (about 4 pounds of cooked meat)

What You Need

2 tablespoons kosher salt, preferably smoked
2 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons paprika
1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
2 teaspoons dry mustard
2 teaspoons garlic powder (no salt)
2 teaspoons onion powder (no salt)
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon celery seed
1 pork shoulder or pork butt (7 to 8 pounds with bone, 6 to 7 pounds if boneless)
2 medium onions, quartered
1 1/2 cups cane-sweetened cola (not diet)
1 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

Wire rack
Baking sheet
Aluminum foil
Mixing bowls
Paper towels
6-quart or larger slow cooker
Fine-mesh strainer


  1. Heat the oven: Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 500°F. (Use convection if you have it.) Fit a wire rack inside a rimmed baking sheet lined with aluminum foil.
  2. Make the rub: Place the salt, brown sugar, paprika, black pepper, chili powder, smoked paprika, dry mustard, garlic powder, onion powder, cornstarch, cayenne, and celery seed in a small bowl and mix to combine.
  3. Roast the pork: Pat the pork dry with paper towels. Evenly coat the meat with rub. Reserve the remaining rub. Place the meat on the wire rack fat-side up if possible. Roast until the meat is sizzling with a bit of char on the edges, about 10 minutes, but don’t let the spices burn and turn acrid.
  4. Prep the slow cooker: Meanwhile, place the onions in a 6-quart or larger slow cooker. Sprinkle with the reserved rub. Pour in the cola, vinegar, and Worcestershire.
  5. Add the meat: Carefully transfer the meat to the slow cooker. (Try stabbing a fork into each end to use as handles.) Cover and cook on LOW until the meat is soft enough to pull apart with a spoon, 14 to 16 hours.
  6. Shred the meat: Transfer the meat to a large bowl and let stand until cool enough to handle. Pull the meat apart into large chunks or shred with a fork, discarding any bone, connective tissue, and large clumps of fat.
  7. Strain the liquid: Pour the cooking liquid through a fine-mesh strainer set over a medium bowl and discard the solids. If you are serving immediately, spoon off as much fat as possible from the surface. For best results, refrigerate until the fat solidifies and collects on top, then scrape off and discard the fat (keep the meat covered and refrigerated during this time).
  8. Moisten the meat: Toss the meat with enough defatted cooking liquid to moisten. Serve the meat warm, or let cool, cover, and refrigerate to use in other recipes.

Recipe Notes

  • Make ahead: The spice rub can be made ahead and stored in an airtight container at room temperature for a few months.
  • Storage: Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days or frozen for up to 3 months.

Recipe copied from:


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