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Smoky pulled pork in a slow cooker on a wooden board

Slow Cooker Smoky Pulled Pork

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5 from 1 review

Slow cooker smoky pulled pork is delicious because the low and slow cooking method delivers tender, succulent meat with a deep smoky flavour. Pork shoulder is one of the best cuts of meat for slow cooking because it’s got plenty of fat and connective tissue, which break down during long cook times to create moist, tender meat. Additionally, the spices and sauce used in this recipe add lots of flavour to the pork. Enjoy!

  • Total Time: 6 hours, 10 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x


Units Scale
  • 1.5kg boneless pork shoulder join, skin removed

For the rub

  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp chipotle chilli powder
  • 1 tsp mustard powder
  • 2 tsp salt

For the sauce

  • 1 onion, peeled and quartered
  • 2 chillies
  • 1 cup bone broth (pork, chicken or beef)
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 sprigs thyme
  • 50g pitted prunes


  1. Pat down the pork with kitchen towel. Mix all of the rub ingredients together and cover the pork evenly with the mix.  Leave the meat in the bowl and come back to it a few times to re-roll; as the pork soaks up that rub it will take on more until it’s all on there.

  2. Bring a pan to a high heat, add the oil, then the onion and chilli and char. Transfer to the slow cooker.

  3. Add the pork joint and brown on all sides.

  4. Once done remove the pork and transfer to the slow cooker with the onion and chilli.

  5. To the frying pan add your stock, Worcestershire source, apple cider vinegar, balsamic vinegar, bay leaves, thyme and prunes.

  6. Cook for a few minutes and then pour over the top of your pork.

  7. For a slow cooker, put on high for 4-6 hours, or low for 8-10 hours. For the oven put on for 140C for 3 to 4 hours.
  8. When cooking is complete, remove the bay leaves and thyme and discard.
  9. Transfer the pork to a chopping board and pull apart with 2 forks.

  10. Blend the remaining juices and transfer to a pan to reduce to a sauce.

  11. Combine the sauce and the pulled pork and serve.


The best cut of pork for pulled pork is a Boston butt (pork shoulder on the bone if you’re in the UK). This is a cut that comes from the shoulder of the pig and is typically marbled with fat, which makes it perfect for slow cooking. I tend to use rolled pork shoulder which has the bone removed.

If you don’t have a slow cooker, you can cook this recipe in a pot with a lid in the oven. I’d suggest 140 °C / 280 °F for 4 hours.

  • Author: Russell James
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 6 hours
  • Category: Slow cooker


  • Serving Size: 1/4 of the recipe
  • Calories: 557
  • Sugar: 4.3 g
  • Sodium: 2072.9 mg
  • Fat: 21.1 g
  • Carbohydrates: 23.3 g
  • Protein: 71.3 g
  • Cholesterol: 222.4 mg