Crock Pot Pulled Pork recipe

Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 8 hours 10 minutes
Servings 16 servings

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This Crock Pot Pulled Pork recipe is so easy and so flavorful! It starts with a garlic herb rub and hangs out in the slow cooker until it’s fall apart tender. 

crock pot pulled pork in slow cooker with metal tongs stuck in and buns in the background

Crock Pot Pulled Pork

Pulled pork is one of my all time favorite dinner recipes.

I mean, easy crockpot meals of any kind are usually a win, but this one is definitely a crowd pleaser.

Here, we’re all about flavor, and this crock pot pulled pork gets a ton of it from a savory rub, a cup of apple juice that hangs out with the pork loin in the slow cooker (you can take this a variety of different ways for different flavors!), and whatever sweet and smoky delicious BBQ sauce you smother it in afterwards (totally optional! It’s got great flavor as is).

This is one recipe we make over and over again, and it was time to share.

It’s an easy crockpot meal that the whole family adores!

Looking for more crockpot recipes? Try my Slow Cooker Pork Tenderloin!

crock pot pulled pork with bbq sauce overhead on grey plate with chips pickles and coleslaw

If you’re looking for a crock pot pulled pork recipe that’s got a little more tang, try this Slow Cooker Honey Balsamic Pulled Pork — another one of our favorites!

Reasons to love this Crock Pot Pulled Pork recipe:

  • dump and go — no babysitting or adding things half way through! Perfect for long work days.
  • It’s melt-in-your-mouth tender and shreds so easily!
  • It’s got great flavor, thanks to a garlic herb rub that I use on my slow cooker pork loin recipe as well.
  • It makes a ton, so you can include it in your weekend meal prep and use it in different ways all week long, or save some in the freezer.
  • It’s just as good for a summer barbecue as it is for a cozy winter meal

What is the best cut of meat for pulled pork?

I always, always use a boneless pork loin for pulled pork, and there are a few different reasons.

It’s an easy-to-cook, fairly lean cut of meat so I don’t have to deal with any bones. This way, I get the most bang for my buck, I don’t have to do a lot of trimming, and it’s just plain delicious.

Pork loin also tends to go on sale often for a great price, and I will pick up a few to store in the freezer until a craving for this slow cooker pulled pork hits.

I know that many prefer to use pork shoulder. The pork shoulder is high in fat which will make a very juicy pulled pork and it is another great option.

The best meat for pulled pork really depends on your preferences: I tend to prefer leaner, boneless cuts of meat (I don’t want my pulled pork too fatty), and some others prefer more fat for more juiciness.

Either way this pulled pork recipe is going to be tender, juicy and delicious after a long, slow cooker!

crock pot pulled pork sandwich on grey plate with pickles chips and coleslaw

Variations on this Crock Pot Pulled Pork recipe:

  • Mix up the liquid and try a can of soda — try Cranberry Ginger Ale, Sprite, Coca-Cola, Dr. Pepper or go totally in your own direction and try something new!
  • Once it’s shredded, mix it up with your favorite barbecue sauce and serve it on sandwich buns.
  • Try tossing it in buffalo sauce for a pork-y twist on buffalo chicken — great for game day sandwiches!
  • Stir in some honey garlic sauce and serve with rice or noodles.

What to do with leftover pulled pork:

  • Freeze it! It freezer perfectly for up to 3-4 months in a heavy duty freezer bag or freezer container.
  • Make pizza
  • Make tacos
  • Serve it up in a grilled cheese sandwich
  • Stir it into pasta or soup
  • The options are endless!

What to serve with slow cooker pulled pork:

Honestly, we usually eat this alone with some buns and maybe some pickles and chips, but here are a few great side options that go well with pulled pork:

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The BEST Crock Pot Pulled Pork

5 from 89 votes
This Crock Pot Pulled Pork recipe is so easy and so flavorful! It starts with a garlic herb rub and hangs out in the slow cooker until it’s fall apart tender. 
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 8 hours
Total Time 8 hours 10 minutes
Cuisine American
Course Main Course
Servings 16 servings
Calories 222cal


  • 4 lb boneless pork loin or pork shoulder (trimmed if desired)
  • 1 cup apple juice (or soda)
  • 1 tablespoon seasoning salt
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon dried mustard
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 cups barbecue sauce as desired


  • Place pork loin in a 4-6 quart crock pot and pour in apple juice.
  • Combine seasoning salt, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, mustard, onion powder and black pepper and sprinkle half over pork loin. Turn and sprinkle on the remaining half.
  • Cover and cook on low until fall apart tender — 8 to 10 hours. 
  • Shred with two forks, discarding excess fat. Toss in remaining juices and coat with barbecue sauce as desired. Serve on hamburger buns.


Ingredients and Substitutions:

Pork: I often use pork loin but it is leaner and will result in a leaner pulled pork. I don’t find that this is a problem because the slow cooker and juices keep the pork so moist that we don’t miss the extra fat. Pork shoulder is typically the best cut of meat for pulled pork because it is fatty, which makes it very tender when cooked. You choose which you prefer!
Apple juice: I love apples and pork, so this is my favorite liquid, but you can use broth, water or soda (Dr. Pepper or Root Beer are both delicious!).
Barbecue sauce: Choose your favorite barbecue sauce, or try my Homemade BBQ Sauce, this Easy Homemade Dr Pepper BBQ Sauce or this Homemade Dr Pepper BBQ Sauce.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 222cal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 71mg | Sodium: 859mg | Potassium: 532mg | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 85IU | Vitamin C: 0.3mg | Calcium: 24mg | Iron: 1mg
Keywords crockpot pulled pork, slow cooker pulled pork

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Meet Ashley

My name is Ashley Fehr and I love creating easy meals my family loves. I also like to do things my way, which means improvising and breaking the rules when necessary. Here you will find creative twists on old favorites and some of my favorite family recipes, passed down from generations!

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Reader Interactions


  1. Katie says

    I made this over the weekend, and I’m over the moon in love with it! As soon as I open the container of leftovers, my mouth starts watering because of the aroma. A coworker sampled it today and loved it too! I can’t wait to make it again!

  2. Lauren says

    I have made it before but this time I wanted to try OJ or Cranberry juice instead of Apple would that be ok?

    • The Recipe Rebel says

      Hi Cc! You should be able to use it. I’ve only used the pork loin so let me know how it goes!

  3. Amber says

    This recipe was a HUGE hit for my family, My 3 year old and 1 year old have been picky with meats but they ate this and wanted more. I wasn’t sure how many pounds my Pork Loin was, as it was gifted to us and the weight wasn’t on the packaging so I used a 12oz can of sprite in this recipe and it was perfect. I also ran out of Italian Seasoning before making this so I mixed some other seasonings (Parsley, Oregano, and I think Thyme). Anywho, this is great, Thank you for sharing, looking forward to making it again.

  4. Rachel K says

    If it make this ahead of time and freeze, what’s the best way of reheating?
    Or how long does it stay good refrigerated right after cooking it?

    • Ashley Fehr says

      It should keep in the fridge up to 4 days. You can reheat it in the microwave, stove top or slow cooker — all would be great! You may want to add a splash of liquid or barbecue sauce when reheating

  5. Lynda J Jennings says

    Made this for dinner last nite. My husband was skeptical as I am no cook…but he is raving about it. Literally, easiest thing I have ever made!!!!!

  6. Ana says

    If I do 8 lbs of pork loin instead of 4 will it need more time than the 8-10 hours or is it 8-10 regardless of the lbs we’re cooking?

  7. Jen says

    This dinner is always a hit! Love making it in the summer so I don’t have to heat up the whole house by turning on the oven. It’s so easy to change up the sauces and make it new too.

  8. Renee Goerger says

    This is my favorite dish for feeding a crowd. Great tasting sandwiches. Thanks for the recipe!

  9. Heather Smith says

    This has to be the most tender and juicy a tenderloin has ever turned out for me! I tweaked it a bit. I only had cranberry/pomegranate juice so I used that. I shredded part of it for bbq sandwiches and the rest was sliced for simple Sunday lunch. Plenty of food for the week ahead. I also cooked it on low for 2 hrs and then turned it to high for another 2hrs and it was perfect ! Thank you!

  10. Brenda says

    That’s a great idea for using leftover pineapple juice from a can of pineapples! I’m so glad you shared that!

  11. Brenda says

    USE THE LIQUID! I used Sprite and 4 thick pork chops (approx 3 lbs). There was a lot of liquid left and the chops were dry. I shredded them and put it back in the liquid and as Ashley said in some comments, that’s where all the flavor is. PERFECT! Full of flavor and no longer dry. It also soaked up all the liquid. Thanks Ashley!

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