These Slow Cooker BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwiches are loaded with juicy flavour packed pulled pork smothered in a homemade BBQ Sauce, piled high onto buns and topped with coleslaw. Oh joy! Give it to me!
Ummm….what’s with the back to back sandwich recipes??? I feel like I spend so much time thinking about the recipes I want to share, making sure to choose a variety of recipe types and cuisines….and DUH. Here I am posting a Slow Cooker BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich 2 days after I shared a Steak Sandwich.
What the…?? I mean, it’s not like I post burgers and sandwiches very often. In fact, I think there’s a grand total of 3: Beef Burgers, Portuguese Chicken Burgers, Cubanos (oh you must, you must! It’s epic!).
And now this week I’m doing two in a row?? ?
Actually, I could have shuffled the posting schedule around. But I don’t want to. I’ve been busting to share this recipe for ages, and finally it’s here and I’m not holding it back any longer!!!
Get an eyeful of this….every meat lovers’ dream come true…juicy pulled pork smothered in homemade BBQ sauce.
Knees. Weak. Every. Single. Time.
This kind of food is all me. The “get stuck into it, get it all over your hands/mouth” type of food. The kind that’s all about gatherings, food that’s meant to be shared, food that’s meant to be eaten in informal settings.
And also food that tastes a million bucks and yet is so simple to make. This recipe is all about two things:
- That pork. That pork, that pork. Generously seasoned with a flavour packed rub, cooked until super tender but not mushy. It only needs an hour of marinating time because there’s so much flavour infusion during the slow cooking. Either in the slow cooker or oven. But if you’re pressed for time, you can absolutely use a pressure cooker – works a treat!
- The BBQ Sauce! Make it from scratch as I do, or use store bought and dress it up by mixing it with the pork juices. Either way, the addition of the pork juices really takes the sauce to the next level. My preference is to make the sauce separately using some, but not all, the pork juices. I’ve made a “self saucing” version before by putting all the BBQ Sauce ingredients in with the pork but found that the sauce tastes too porky.
A quick classic Coleslaw, some golden buns, then lay it all out on the table and let everyone help themselves.
Party time! Australia Day, Super Bowl Sunday…or just any day!! – Nagi x
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 2 tsp paprika powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp cumin powder
- 3/4 tsp mustard powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1.5 - 2.2 kg / 3 - 4.5 lb pork shoulder or butt , skinless and boneless (Note 1)
- 3/4 cup apple cider or apple juice (Note 2)
- 1 quantity Coleslaw
- 6 - 8 bread rolls
- 1 cup pork juices from slow cooker, once cooked
- 2 1/2 cups ketchup
- 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
- 2/3 cup brown sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp each black pepper, onion OR garlic powder, mustard powder
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
Mix together Rub then rub all over the pork. Optional: Marinate for 1 hour.
Place in the slow cooker and pour over apple cider. Slow cook for 8 hours on low or pressure cook for 1 hr 30 minutes on high. (Note 3)
Remove pork from liquid into a roasting pan. Reserve liquid.
OPTIONAL: Roast pork for 20 - 30 minutes at 180C/350F until browned (Note 4). Meanwhile, make BBQ Sauce.
Shred pork with forks - it should be fall apart tender (see video).
Toss in BBQ sauce - use as much as you like, the recipe makes enough to coat the pork well but not dripping in sauce, plus a bit extra on the side.
To make Pulled Pork Sandwiches, pile pork on warmed rolls and top with Coleslaw. I like to lay everything out for people to make their own.
Place all ingredients in a medium saucepan over medium heat and whisk. Bring to simmer, then turn down the heat so it simmers gently. Cook for 1 hour. Remove from stove and use per recipe.
1. For larger pork sizes, scale up the Rub and Sauce. A 3 - 4 kg / 6 - 8lb pork will take 10 hours in the slow cooker. Also don't forget to scale up the Coleslaw recipe as one batch makes enough Coleslaw for 6 - 8 sandwiches (i.e. this recipe as is).
This recipe is also fantastic made with beef.
2. You can't really taste the cider, it's more for adding liquid into the slow cooker as well as a bit of flavour into the liquid in which the pork is cooked and also then used for the sauce. I used dry alcoholic apple cider. Sweet is also fine, and non alcoholic cider and apple juice work great too.
3. To make in the OVEN: Add 1 cup of water into the roasting pan. Place in 325F/160C oven for 3 hours, covered, then roast for a further 30 minutes uncovered until browned. Add more water if the liquid dries out too much. You should end up with about 2 cups of liquid when it finishes cooking.
4. I really like having some nice brown bits in the pulled pork which is why I do this step. Plus the caramelisation adds flavour.
5. To make this with store bought BBQ sauce, you will need 650ml / 22 oz barbecue sauce of choice. Add 1 cup of pork juices per recipe, then simmer on medium high for 30 minutes or until thickened, stirring regularly.
6. 1.5 kg / 3 lb pork shoulder makes enough for 6 large or 8 normal sized sandwiches. I typically allow for 250g / 0.5 lb pork per serving (raw pork weight) which is generous / safe.
7. Make Ahead: Fantastic for making ahead because it keeps so well. Cool shredded pork then refrigerate covered, keeping the sauce separate. To serve, add sauce and reheat pork in microwave (or oven), then toss (hard to toss when cold). To freeze, cool pork and BBQ Sauce then freeze for up to 3 months (keep separate). To reheat, defrost then reheat per above instructions.
For the Coleslaw, place carrot and cabbage in a ziplock bag, squeeze out excess air then refrigerate for up to 5 days. Make the dressing and store in the fridge separately. Coleslaw tends to get watery after a few hours so it's best made fresh.
8. The BBQ Sauce is a jacked up version ofthis wildly popular one from Food Network by the Neely's. The Pork recipe is my own.
9. The nutrition is very difficult to calculate because so much pork fat is discarded after the pork is cooked so this is a guide only assuming 8 servings, and that it is served on a normal bread roll.
WATCH HOW TO MAKE IT
Slow Cooker BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich recipe video!
Slow Cooker BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich nutrition per serving.
LIFE OF DOZER
You can just imagine what’s going through his head as he gazes at a mammoth pile of pulled pork….