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Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

October 3, 2011

I have been on a pork kick ever since we went to Key West this spring and had some delicious cuban pork. While I haven’t figured out yet how to recreate the cuban pork, I did make a delicious pork shoulder in the crockpot this weekend. I think I read every pork shoulder recipe on the internet and combined a few different methods.

You need to make sure to have your meat a day before you plan to cook it as it requires overnight salting! Many recipes called for brines, but this was easier and turned out great – plus it is what America’s Test Kitchen said to do and I trust them. I also didn’t really measure my rub ingredients..just eyeballed them but here’s a good guess at the amounts.

Everything I read called for cooking the shoulder with the fat side up whether it was in the oven or the crockpot. I did trim a little excess fat from other parts, but the top layer pulled right off when done cooking.


  • 1 boneless pork shoulder (or can be called a butt) – mine was 4 lbs
  • 1/3 cup kosher salt
  • 1 T brown sugar
  • 1/2 t paprika or chili powder (most recipes call for paprika but I didn’t have any so subbed in chili powder)
  • 1 t Lawry’s seasoning salt
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 chicken bouillon cube (or 1 cup chicken broth)
  • 1 cup water


  • The night before you plan to cook the roast, rinse and pat dry. Cut slits into the fat on top and then rub the kosher salt all over (I only did it on the top…not the bottom too). Wrap in plastic wrap and place in fridge overnight.
  • The next morning, combine sugar, paprika/chili powder, and seasoning salt. Remove pork from fridge and rub the top with the dry rub mix.
  • Dissolve chicken bouillon cube into 1 cup of water and pour into crockpot (sub 1 cup chicken broth if you don’t have bouillon). Add in 2 whole garlic cloves and then place pork in the water.
  • I cooked on the 6 hour high option. When time is up, pork will be falling apart.
  • Remove from crockpot and shred with forks, removing all fatty parts. Discard remaining liquid.
  • Return shredded pork to the crockpot and IĀ  let it cook on “warm” for a little bit longer. You could also add in bbq sauce at this point but I left mine plain as I love the flavor of the pork by itself.
  • Serve and enjoy!
  • **Note you could do this in the oven too if you don’t have a slow cooker – just roast on a low heat like 300 until the meat reaches 200 to 220 degrees internally – about 3 to 4 hours maybe. You want the internal temp to be higher than when normally making pork so that it is pull apart ready, not a sliceable roast.

Here’s how it looked pre-cooking with the rub on. If you don’t want to use a rub that will be fine as I’m pretty sure all the flavor came from the overnight salting.

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