Slow Cooker BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich - Perfectly seasoned, tender pulled pork tossed in a homemade BBQ sauce, piled onto bread with coleslaw. Slow cooker, pressure cooker or oven. www.recipetineats.com
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5 from 20 votes

Slow Cooker BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich

See recipe video above. Tender perfectly seasoned slow cooker pulled pork smothered in a homemade BBQ Sauce (see notes for using store bought). Add a classic coleslaw then pile it high onto buns! Great food for gatherings - easy and good value to feed a crowd. Make this in the slow cooker, oven or pressure cooker. 
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time8 hrs
Total Time8 hrs 15 mins
Course: Dinner, Party Food
Cuisine: Southern
Servings: 6 -8
Calories: 670kcal
Author: Nagi | RecipeTin Eats

Ingredients

Rub

  • 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

Pork

  • 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

BBQ Sauce (Note 5)

  • 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

Instructions

  • 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.

BBQ Sauce

  • 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.

Notes

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.
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.
Pulled Pork Sandwich Nutrition

Nutrition

Serving: 295g | Calories: 670kcal