This slow cooker Texas pulled pork recipe is the perfect dinner on a chilly fall night.
Picture this: a tender pork shoulder smothered in brown sugar, BBQ sauce, and heavenly spices. All thanks to your handy slow cooker.
It’s one of those recipes that you dump into the slow cooker and let it do all the work.
The hardest part has to be the wait!
After five to six long hours, you’ll have the most amazing Texas pulled pork recipe ready for dinner.
Slow Cooker Texas Pulled Pork
Pulled pork is one of those recipes that’s hard to resist.
Using a slow cooker is such an easy way to cook a pork shoulder. Low and slow is the name of the game here.
Now, let’s talk seasoning. This recipe doesn’t just use a jar of BBQ sauce and call it a day. It’s so much more than that.
The seasoning includes BBQ sauce, brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, chicken stock, yellow mustard, and Worcestershire sauce. It’s rich and tangy with a kiss of sweetness.
The beauty here is that everything gets thrown into the pot together to cook.
After six hours, you have a pot of pork that’s ready for burgers!
The ingredient list is a little long, but I promise they all play a crucial part in how amazing your pulled pork will taste. Here’s everything you’ll need.
- Pork shoulder roast. Pork shoulder is an inexpensive and beautifully marbled cut. When cooked low and slow, everything melts together for a truly tender bite.
- BBQ sauce. Here’s the fun part, you can amp up your flavors with a great sauce. I suggest getting a few different options so you can experiment. Something spicy would be a nice change!
- Apple cider vinegar. This will not only add to that tangy flavor, but the vinegar also helps to tenderize the meat.
- Chicken broth. Beef broth would be a little overwhelming in this recipe. Using chicken stock will impart flavor without taking away from the pork.
- Brown sugar. Adding in brown sugar will add to that great BBQ sweetness. It will also help the meat to caramelize slightly, which adds even more flavor.
- Yellow mustard. You can use any mustard here. The idea is to add a touch of spice.
- Worcestershire sauce. Here’s your secret weapon to amazing BBQ sauce. It will add a salty, savory note to the pork, balancing out that sweetness.
- Seasonings. This recipe uses a combination of chili powder, thyme, and garlic. But if you want to get adventurous, try out some fun rubs for exciting new flavors.
- Onion. Onions add an undeniable amount of flavor to any dish. They’re the base on which we create almost everything and are essential.
- Garlic. You can use garlic powder if you prefer. I like the smell of fresh garlic and a little goes a long way.
- Burger buns. If you’re anything like me, you take your bread seriously. Not all burger buns are created equal. I’m partial to a brioche bun, but anything soft will work well.
Tips for Making Crockpot Pulled Pork
For the absolute best pulled pork, try out some of these tips and tricks.
- Use a meat thermometer. Six hours is more than enough time to ensure your pork cooks. To be 100 percent sure, you can bust out the meat thermometer. You’ll ensure it’s at least 195 degrees Fahrenheit for it to be fork-tender.
- Try different cuts of pork. Pork shoulder is the ideal cut for pulled pork. However, pork neck or pork loin works in a pinch. The only thing about using pork loin is the lack of marbling, so it won’t be as tender.
- Always sear the meat. Never skip this step! A good sear helps lock in moisture and caramelizes the surface for even more flavor.
- Trim the fat. If using a larger cut, trim off excess fat. The inner marbling will melt into the meat, but larger chunks of fat will become mushy and unpleasant. No one wants that.
- Let it marinate. For maximum flavor, rub your pork with the seasonings the night before. It’s a small step that makes a huge difference.
- Don’t shred right away. Leave your pork to rest for at least 15 minutes after cooking to allow the juices to seep in. After 15 minutes, bust out those meat claws (or a pair of forks) and get shredding!
- Serve with a good slaw. Between the soft bun and tender pork, I sometimes find it’s missing a little crunch. You can make a quick slaw with a slaw mix and dressing. Or, this KFC coleslaw recipe would be delicious.
How to Use Leftover Pulled Pork
Making a big batch of pulled pork is not only easy, but it will also feed you for days to come. After enjoying a dinner with soft buns and spicy slaw, why not try out something different?
- Mac and Cheese Pulled Pork. Creamy and cheesy mac and cheese topped with pulled pork. Grill for a few minutes to add some crunch.
- Pueblan-style Mexican pulled pork sandwich. This spicy sandwich is loaded with tomatoes, avocado, and chipotle peppers.
- Pulled Pork Ragu. Adding your pork to a tomato sauce is such an easy way to jazz up a weeknight pasta bake.
- Pulled Pork Tacos. Pan-fry your pork in a skillet with a touch of orange juice. Then, add guac, salsa, and cheese-stuffed shells. Perfection.
- Loaded Nachos. Make up your favorite nachos, adding on as much cheese, sides, and peppers as you like. Before you put it to grill, with a generous helping of pulled pork.
How to Store
As with many recipes like this, letting the dish sit overnight will only add to the flavor. The longer the pork sits in the juices and sauce, the more flavor you get.
Here are some tips to expertly store your pulled pork.
- To Store. Allow the pulled pork to cool completely, then place it in an airtight container. You can store it in the fridge for 3-4 days.
- To Freeze. Be sure to store it in an airtight container or freezer bag once it comes to room temperature. It will stay fresh for up to 3 months.
- To Reheat. Thaw frozen pulled pork in the fridge overnight. Then, gently reheat in a saucepan over medium heat. You may want to add in some extra BBQ sauce to prevent it from drying out.
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