Need an easy dinner recipe that you can prep in 10 minutes and then leave to cook all day while you head off to work? This Slow Cooker Pulled Pork with Alabama White Barbecue Sauce is a simple Crock Pot meal that's perfect for busy weeknights or potluck parties with friends!
Easy Slow Cooker Pulled Pork
Barbecue is one of our favorite meals around here, so it makes a regular appearance on our weekly menu. From smoked pork, roasted brisket, shredded chicken, and just about anything else that can be bar-b-que'd, we've tried it and enjoyed it! Crock Pot Pulled Pork is one of the easiest and most affordable slow cooker dinners you'll ever make, so it's ideal for busy days when you don't have the time or attention to tend to a more high-maintenance smoker or grill. With just a few minutes of prep, you can have a big batch of tender, juicy meat to use in tacos, sandwiches, wraps or salads all week long.
And let's not forget the sauces! We don't discriminate between Memphis BBQ, Texas BBQ, North Carolina BBQ, or any other homemade concoction that comes our way.
Alabama White Barbecue Sauce
When Aunt Bee recently sent me her recipe for Alabama White Barbecue Sauce, I instantly knew that it would be a hit with my boys. This mayonnaise-based sauce is the perfect combination of creamy, acidic, slightly sweet, and perfectly spiced. Basically, it's a dream -- and it's going to change your barbecue game!
The easy-to-make white barbecue sauce was invented in 1925 by Robert 'Big Bob' Gibson at Big Bob Gibson's Bar-B-Q restaurant in Decatur. It's delicious when used as a marinade, basting sauce, or serving sauce, and it works equally well on pork, chicken or just about any other meat that you'd like to barbecue.
Ingredients for White BBQ Sauce
- Cider vinegar
- Brown sugar
- Salt and pepper
- Lemon juice
To prepare the sauce, just whisk all of the ingredients together in a small bowl or jar. Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks!
The Best Cut of Meat for Slow Cooker Pulled Pork
This recipe calls for a Boston Butt, which is a cut located above the shoulder blade on a hog. It has a lot of juicy, marbled fat, which lends itself well to juicy, slow-cooked meat! You can also use a Pork Shoulder for this recipe, if that's how your store labels the meat available to you.
How to Make the Best Slow Cooker Pulled Pork
This quick Crock Pot pulled pork recipe requires a handful of basic ingredients that you probably already have stashed in your kitchen. Best of all, after a few minutes of hands-on prep time, it's an all-day slow cooker meal that cooks low-and-slow while you go about the rest of your business!
Step 1: Add Onion, Garlic and Broth to Slow Cooker
Step 2: Make Pulled Pork Seasoning
Stir together the brown sugar, chili powder, salt, cumin, paprika, garlic powder and onion powder.
Step 3: Season and Slow Cook
Pat the pork dry, then rub the seasoning all over the outside of the meat. Place the pork in the slow cooker, cover with a lid, and cook on LOW for 10-12 hours or on HIGH for 6-7 hours. You may need to adjust the cooking time, depending on how hot your Crock Pot runs (and how big your pork is). The pork will be fall-apart tender when it reaches an internal temperature of 190-195 degrees F.
Step 4: Shred
When the pork is done, it can be a bit overwhelming to try to shred the entire piece of meat on one cutting board. It's juicy, hot and messy, so I prefer to cut or pull off smaller sections at a time. Shred a small amount of pork on the cutting board with two forks, and then move on to the next section.
How to Serve Pulled Pork
This versatile meat can be served in a variety of ways! We prefer pulled pork sandwiches with a drizzle of white barbecue sauce, but you can also serve the pork on top of a salad, in a wrap, stuffed into baked potatoes with barbecue sauce and cheese, as Pulled Pork Sliders, or as Crock Pot Pulled Pork Tacos!
On the side, try pairing the pulled pork with:
- Buttermilk Biscuits or Drop Biscuits
- Cowboy Baked Beans
- Creamy Baked Macaroni and Cheese or Creamy Stovetop Mac and Cheese
- Skillet Cornbread or Corn Muffins
- Pumpkin Bread or Pumpkin Muffins
- Southern Macaroni Salad
- Southern Collard Greens
- Baked Potato Wedges
- Easy Potato Salad
- Arkansas Green Beans with Bacon
- Broccoli Cauliflower Salad
- Fried Apples
- Southern Succotash, Fried Corn or corn on the cob
Leftover pulled pork will stay fresh in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. To keep the pork longer, you can freeze the cooked meat in an airtight container for up to 3 months.
If you want to reheat your cooked pulled pork in the Crock Pot, place the cooked pork (and all of the reserved juices) in the slow cooker on the "WARM" setting for 2-4 hours. This is a great option if you need to prep a meal in advance!
Does Pulled Pork in the Slow Cooker Need Liquid?
You will want to use at least a little bit of liquid when slow cooking the pork. This recipe calls for chicken broth, which adds a little bit of mild flavor that doesn't overpower the rub or the taste of the meat. If you prefer a sweet pulled pork recipe, you can swap out the chicken broth and substitute with an equal amount of another liquid. For instance, try Crock Pot Pulled Pork with Coke, ginger ale, apple cider, root beer, or Dr. Pepper soda. For a tangy option, try using vinegar. For an adult audience, try Crock Pot Pulled Pork with beer!
Pulled Pork in the Oven
To make this pulled pork recipe in the oven, follow all of the same instructions, but place the ingredients in a large Dutch oven with a lid. Roast the pork at 350 degrees F for about 45 minutes per pound, so a 5-lb. Boston Butt would require about 3 hours and 45 minutes.
Tips for the Best Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Recipe
- You may need to adjust the cooking time, depending on how hot your Crock Pot runs (and how big your pork is). The pork will be fall-apart tender when it reaches an internal temperature of 190-195 degrees F.
- If your slow cooker pulled pork is tough, it's probably because you haven't cooked it long enough. The collagen in the meat is what keeps it tough, so you need to allow plenty of time in the Crock Pot for those fibers to break down. Just extend the cooking time and make sure that there's enough liquid to keep the pork moist as it simmers.
- Cooking for a Smaller Family? This meat freezes really well! I like to package leftovers in individual containers, label them, and stash them in the freezer for later meals. The pulled pork is delicious served on sandwich rolls, but it also works well on salads, in baked potatoes, in quesadillas, or on pizza! Get creative and enjoy the leftovers in a variety of ways!
- Prep Ahead: The Alabama White Barbecue Sauce can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Give it a stir just before serving to make sure that all of the seasoning is evenly distributed again. You can also prepare the spice rub in advance so that it's even faster to get the pork in the slow cooker in the morning!
More Pulled Pork Recipes To Try
Slow Cooker Pulled Pork with Alabama White Barbecue Sauce
FOR THE PORK:
- 1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
- 4 teaspoons minced fresh garlic
- 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 tablespoon packed dark brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt, plus more as needed
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- 1 (4 ½- to 5-pound) bone-in Boston Butt or pork shoulder (or sub with boneless)
FOR THE WHITE BARBECUE SAUCE:
- 2 cups mayonnaise
- ½ cup apple cider vinegar
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- ½ teaspoon salt, or more to taste
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Juice from ½ of a lemon
Prepare the White Barbecue Sauce:
- Place all sauce ingredients in a large bowl and whisk until smooth. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use (it will stay good in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks).
Prepare the Seasoning Rub and Pork:
- Place the onion and garlic in the bottom of a large slow cooker. Pour chicken broth over the onions and garlic.
- In a small bowl, stir together brown sugar, chili powder, salt, cumin, paprika, garlic powder, and onion powder.
- Pat the pork dry with paper towels. Rub the spice mixture all over the pork and place the meat on top of the onions and garlic. Cover and cook until the pork is fork tender, about 6 to 8 hours on HIGH or 8-10 hours on low. Larger pieces of pork may require 10-12 hours on LOW.
- Turn off the slow cooker and remove the pork to a cutting board. Use two forks to shred the meat, discarding any large pieces of fat.
- Serve the pulled pork on sandwich rolls, on salad, or stuffed into baked potatoes. Spoon Alabama White Barbecue Sauce over top!