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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 bbq sauce is a simple Crock Pot meal that’s perfect for busy weeknights or potluck parties with friends. Use the pulled pork in nachos, casseroles, salads, tacos, pizza, and sandwiches, or offer it alongside coleslawpicklescollard greenspotato wedges, or cornbread!

Close up side shot of a plate of crock pot pulled pork sandwich with sides

Pulled Pork Slow Cooker

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! Slow cooker pulled pork is one of the easiest and most affordable Crock Pot 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 BBQ Sauce

When Aunt Bee recently sent me her recipe for Alabama white bbq 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.

Process shot showing how to make Alabama white bbq sauce

Ingredients for White BBQ Sauce

This is just an overview of the ingredients that you’ll need for a big batch of white bbq sauce. As always, specific measurements are included in the printable recipe box at the bottom of the post.

  • Mayonnaise: we prefer Duke’s brand.
  • Cider vinegar: for plenty of acidity that balances out the rich, creamy mayo.
  • Brown sugar: for a touch of sweetness.
  • Salt and pepper: to enhance the other flavors in the sauce.
  • Cayenne: makes it just a touch spicy. Add more cayenne if you like an even spicier sauce.
  • Lemon juice: a bright, fresh, acidic note.

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!

Jar of homemade white bbq sauce

The Best Cut of Meat for Crockpot Pulled Pork

The best cut of meat for pulled pork is called a “pork butt” or a “Boston butt.” Some grocery stores often label this as a “pork shoulder.” Boston butt comes from high on the hog, above the shoulder blade. It has a lot of juicy, marbled fat, which lends itself well to juicy, slow-cooked meat.

Can I use a boneless pork butt?

Yes! Using a bone-in pork butt adds even more flavor to your meat; however, you can certainly use a boneless pork butt instead. In general, a boneless pork butt will require slightly less cooking time than a bone-in piece of meat, so keep an eye on it and adjust accordingly.

Adding sliced onion to slow cooker

Can I use pork tenderloin for pulled pork?

Yes, you can — but it’s not ideal. Pork tenderloin is a very lean cut of meat, which does best when cooked quickly at a higher temperature (like this grilled pork tenderloin with bbq rub). It doesn’t lend itself as well to the low-and-slow cooking process, and instead has a tendency to become dry or tough when it’s cooked for too long.

That said, if you’re looking for a leaner cut of meat for pulled pork, then slow cooker pork tenderloin just might be your answer! It will have a different taste and texture than the pork shoulder (since it’s a different cut with less fat), but if you cook it in the Crock Pot for about 8 hours on LOW, it should stay fairly moist.

Homemade bbq dry rub in a small bowl

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Ingredients

This is just a quick overview of the ingredients that you’ll need for a big batch of slow cooker pulled pork. As always, specific measurements and complete step-by-step instructions are included in the printable recipe box at the bottom of the post.

  • Onion and Garlic: these add great flavor to the meat, breaking down and becoming so tender and sweet during the long cooking process that you can shred them right along with the meat and sauce at the end.
  • Pork Butt: also called “Boston butt” or “pork shoulder,” this inexpensive cut has a lot of marbled fat, which keeps the meat juicy and tender during the long cooking process.
  • BBQ Dry Rub: you’ll make your own barbecue rub, which includes brown sugar, chili powder, kosher salt, smoked paprika, garlic powder, cumin, and onion powder. It’s slightly sweet and zesty, but not too spicy. You can substitute with your favorite store-bought rub if you prefer.
  • Chicken Broth: adds moisture to the slow cooker for braising the pork. You can substitute with a different cooking liquid if you prefer. For instance, try beer, apple cider, Dr. Pepper, or Coca Cola.
Coating pork shoulder with bbq dry rub

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!

  1. Place sliced onion, minced garlic, and chicken broth in the bottom of a slow cooker.
  2. Stir together the brown sugar and spices to make the bbq rub.
  3. Pat the pork dry, and then rub the seasoning blend all over the meat.
  4. Place the pork in the slow cooker, cover with a lid, and cook on LOW for 10-12 hours or on HIGH for 5-6 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 205°F.
  5. Shred the meat with two forks, discarding any fatty pieces.
  6. Return the meat to the juices. Taste and season with additional salt and black pepper, if desired.
  7. Whisk together the white bbq sauce.
  8. Spoon the sauce over the pulled pork and serve on sandwich buns.
Square overhead shot of a bowl of slow cooker pulled pork drizzled with Alabama white bbq sauce on a dinner table

The Best Way to Shred Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

Before shredding, allow the pork to cool enough so that you can easily touch it without burning your hands. When you have such a big piece of meat, it can be very juicy and messy, so I like to put the pork on a rimmed baking sheet. This helps to prevent the juices from spilling all over the counter. Since the meat is so tender, it should basically just fall apart when you shred it with two forks.

How to Serve Slow Cooker 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 pulled pork tacos or carnitas.

Here are some side dishes that go well with crockpot pulled pork:

Side shot of bbq pulled pork sandwich on brioche bun with cornbread and coleslaw sides

Storage

Leftover pulled pork will stay fresh in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. To extend the life of your leftovers, you can freeze the cooked meat in an airtight container for up to 3 months.

How to Reheat Pulled Pork in Crock Pot

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! You can also reheat cooked meat in a saucepan or Dutch oven on the stovetop over low heat, or smaller portions in the microwave.

Square side shot of slow cooker pulled pork sandwich on a table with white bbq sauce

Recipe Variations

  • Use a boneless pork shoulder or pork roast in lieu of the bone-in pork butt. The boneless roasts tend to cook slightly faster, so adjust your cooking time accordingly.
  • Try a different braising liquid instead of the chicken broth. Good options include beer, apple cider, root beer, Dr. Pepper, or Coca Cola.
  • Instead of a regular white bbq sauce, try topping your pulled pork with a regular red bbq sauce.
  • Spicy pulled pork: add some cayenne to the dry rub, and serve the pork with crushed red pepper flakes, sliced jalapeños, or hot sauce. You can also add a little bit of mustard powder to the dry rub for a more subtle zesty kick.
  • Add 1-2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar with the chicken broth for a bright, acidic component.
  • 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 325°F for about 5-6 hours.
Drizzling white bbq sauce over a bowl of pulled pork

Tips for the Best Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Recipe

  • You may need to adjust the cooking time, depending on how hot your slow cooker runs (and how big your pork is). The pork will be fall-apart tender when it reaches an internal temperature of 205°F on an instant-read meat thermometer.
  • If your 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 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, tacos, stuffed in baked potatoes, nachos, in quesadillas, or on pizza! Get creative and enjoy the leftovers in a variety of ways.
  • Shred the cooked meat on a rimmed sheet pan to catch any juices.
Close up side shot of a slow cooker pulled pork sandwich with white bbq sauce

More Pulled Pork Recipes To Try

Close up side shot of a plate of crock pot pulled pork sandwich with sides

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork with Alabama White BBQ Sauce

5 from 6 votes
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 12 hours
Total: 12 hours 10 minutes
Servings 8 – 10 servings
Calories 332 kcal
This Slow Cooker Pulled Pork with Alabama White BBQ Sauce is a simple Crock Pot meal that's perfect for busy weeknights or potluck parties with friends!

Ingredients
  

FOR THE PORK:

  • 1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 teaspoons minced fresh garlic
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt, plus more as needed
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 (6-7 lb.) bone-in Boston Butt or pork shoulder (or sub with boneless)

FOR THE WHITE BBQ SAUCE:

  • 2 cups mayonnaise
  • ½ cup apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup light or dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt, or more to taste
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Juice from ½ of a lemon

Instructions

Prepare the White BBQ 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 fall-apart tender, about 5-6 hours on HIGH or 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. Return the meat to the juices in the pot. Taste and season with salt and pepper, if desired.
  • Serve the pulled pork on sandwich rolls, on salad, or stuffed into baked potatoes. Spoon bbq sauce over top!

Notes

  • You may need to adjust the cooking time, depending on how hot your slow cooker runs (and how big your pork is). The pork will be fall-apart tender when it reaches an internal temperature of 205°F on an instant-read meat thermometer.
  • If your 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 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, tacos, stuffed in baked potatoes, nachos, in quesadillas, or on pizza! Get creative and enjoy the leftovers in a variety of ways.
  • Shred the cooked meat on a rimmed sheet pan to catch any juices.
  • Use a boneless pork shoulder or pork roast in lieu of the bone-in pork butt. The boneless roasts tend to cook slightly faster, so adjust your cooking time accordingly.
  • Try a different braising liquid instead of the chicken broth. Good options include beer, apple cider, root beer, Dr. Pepper, or Coca Cola.
  • Instead of a regular white bbq sauce, try topping your pulled pork with a regular red bbq sauce.
  • Spicy pulled pork: add some cayenne to the dry rub, and serve the pork with crushed red pepper flakes, sliced jalapeños, or hot sauce.
  • Add 1-2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar with the chicken broth for a bright, acidic component.
  • 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 325°F for about 5-6 hours.

Nutrition

Serving: 1/10 of the pork meatCalories: 332kcalCarbohydrates: 5gProtein: 1gFat: 34gSaturated Fat: 5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 20gMonounsaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 19mgSodium: 437mgPotassium: 103mgFiber: 1gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 649IUVitamin C: 3mgCalcium: 21mgIron: 1mg
Keyword: crock pot pulled pork, Pulled Pork, Slow Cooker Pulled Pork, White Barbecue Sauce, White BBQ Sauce
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American, Southern
Author: Blair Lonergan

This recipe was originally published in May, 2017. The photos were updated in March, 2022.

blair

Hey, I’m Blair!

Welcome to my farmhouse kitchen in the foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Inspired by local traditions and seasonal fare, you’ll find plenty of easy, comforting recipes that bring your family together around the table. It’s down-home, country-style cooking!

Read More

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I made this on my birthday and everyone likes it. They came back for seconds and thirds until it vanished. Still get asked about it. Delicious food!

  2. I an totally intrigued by this white sauce! I’m going to have to try it out!

  3. Hi! If you don’t care for a vinegar-based barbecue sauce, you can definitely counter that “tang” by just adding more mayonnaise to taste. Hope that helps!

  4. This looks good! I’m going through a phase again where im trying new types of recipes. I am wondering if i could use the light brown sugar instead of dark? would it dramatically alter the taste? I love apple cider vinegar it has so many uses so i was glad o see it used in this recipe. I use it to make dressing and as a mini acid peel for my face works well in cleaning too!

  5. Hi, Anna Beth! That recipe is correct, since the sauce is supposed to be a thinner, vinegar-based sauce that’s similar to a creamy version of the vinegar-based North Carolina barbecue sauce. That said, you can certainly adjust the amounts to your liking. If you want a thicker sauce, just cut back the vinegar to taste and you’ll get more of that mayonnaise consistency. Glad you liked the pork! 🙂

  6. 5 stars
    I thank you for this recipe. Me & my husband loves it & it’s just us 2, but I ßtill used a whole pork shoulder and the sauce. I had to use white sugar instead of the brown sugar. I first made this for our wedding reception & everyone loved it.

  7. 5 stars
    This is my favorite pulled pork recipe. That white sauce is simply the best!! Such a welcomed change from the typical bbq sauce we usually use. Easy to make too. Love this!