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Slow-Cooked Pulled Pork

Slow-Cooked Pulled Pork

This simple recipe serves a crowd and will make folks think you slaved over a smoker all day long. The meat is slathered with delicious spices and seasonings and kept overnight in the fridge. The next day, it gets transferred to the slow cooker, and that’s it!

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 8 hours plus time to marinate overnight
  • Yield: 12 to 14 sandwich servings


  • One 6-to 7-pound Boston butt pork roast, bone in or boneless
  • 8 large cloves garlic, peeled and halved lengthwise
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon sweet pimentón(smoked Spanish paprika)
  • 2 teaspoons Mexican or regular chili powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Mexican or regular oregano, crumbled between your fingers
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 12 to 14 soft buns or rolls, for serving
  • Your favorite barbecue sauce, for serving


  • Place the pork in a shallow baking dish. Using the tip of a paring knife, make 16 narrow but deep slits in the meat, evenly spaced and on all sides, and insert a piece of the garlic into each slit. In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, salt, pimentón, chili powder, oregano, cumin, crushed red pepper, cayenne, and coriander and stir to combine. Using your hands, rub the spice blend evenly over the entire surface of all sides of the meat. Cover loosely and refrigerate overnight.

  • Remove the pork from the refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature for 1 hour.

  • Place the pork in the crock of a 6-quart slow cooker, fat side up, and cook on high until tender and falling apart, about 8 hours. (As the meat becomes tender, break the roast into several smaller pieces.)

  • Remove the meat from the crock and transfer to a large heatproof bowl or platter. Remove any excess fat and/or bones and discard. Using two forks, pull the meat into shreds. Ladle on enough of the accumulated cooking juices from the slow cooker to keep the meat moist. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary.

  • Serve the meat hot, on toasted buns or rolls, with your favorite barbecue sauce. (Alternatively, adjust the setting on the slow cooker to the “keep warm” setting and remove about half of the cooking juices from the crock. Return the pulled pork to the remaining juices in the slow cooker and allow guests to serve themselves from the slow cooker. This is especially useful for parties or tailgating. The extra cooking juices make a great addition to soups, stews, or posole.)


Recipe Details