Carolina Style Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

Easy Carolina Style Slow Cooker Pulled Pork. Rich spices and tangy broth make this pulled pork recipe fork-tender in a slow cooker. Tender flaky pulled pork.

Within this post you’ll learn how to make easy Carolina Style Slow Cooker Pulled Pork. Just a simple mixture of spices and liquid broth is all that’s needed to enjoy this Southern inspired recipe. You can even cook overnight or while you’re at work.

Carolina Style Slow Cooker Pulled Pork -

Today is a big day for me, it’s my first slow cooker recipe on the blog! I have a good reason for this, as I only recently bought a slow cooker. It’s been on my wishlist forever and finally made it’s way into my kitchen. Now I’m a bit obsessed.

Carolina Style Slow Cooker Pulled Pork -

I’ve been posting plenty of barbecue recipes, like these Bacon and Cheddar Stuffed Burger or these Easy Oven Baked Honey BBQ Chicken Drumsticks. Even though we’re in the middle of a (mostly) beautiful Summer here in California, I’m still excited about my slow cooker. It’s so easy to cook with and meat comes out so tender!

It literally shreds apart with a simple pull of a fork. Carolina Style Pulled Pork is a quintessential summer recipe, and you can make it any time in a slow cooker, even while you’re at work or out of the house.

Carolina Style Slow Cooker Pulled Pork -

This slow cooker pulled pork recipe is especially simple, but don’t let that food you into thinking the taste is simple. Carolina Style Pulled Pork is a mixture of bold spices rubbed onto the roast. It’s then slow cooked, partially submerged in liquid to keep it moist and tender.

The key ingredient is apple cider vinegar. This adds that familiar tang to the pulled pork. I was amazed at how simple and flavorful Carolina Style Slow Cooker Pulled Pork is, and I’m sure you will be too.

Carolina Style Slow Cooker Pulled Pork -

Cooking Tips: Cook meats on low with a slow cooker to keep them tender

  • Cooking on low with a slow cooker is one of the easiest ways for tender, pull-apart pork (and other meats). This pulled pork recipe is best if cooked for at least 6 hours, preferably 8.
  • I was a bit anxious and checked it at the 4 hour mark. It was completely cooked, but still a bit tough and not flaky at all. Cooking longer breaks down the protein in the meat, which give you that fork-tender texture. Cooking with liquid in a sealed slow cooker keeps the meat from drying out.
  • What’s the difference between a slow cooker and a Crock-Pot? Not much, and they’re basically interchangeable according the the Kitchn.
Carolina Style Slow Cooker Pulled Pork -

Carolina Style Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

Products used in this recipe:

Stainless Steel Measuring Cups and Spoons Set
3-Piece Mixing Bowl Set, Blue/Green/Yellow
Victorinox Fibrox 8-Inch Chef’s Knife
Set ‘n Forget Programmable Slow Cooker, 6-Quart

Carolina Style Slow Cooker Pulled Pork recipe at-a-glance:

Difficulty: Medium
Flavor profiles: Meaty, savory, slightly sweet and delightfully tangy.
Texture: Tender, moist, and pull-apart flaky.
Dietary Options/Substitutions: Make sure your Worcestershire sauce and mustard is gluten-free.

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Carolina Style Slow Cooker Pulled Pork -
5 from 6 votes

Carolina Style Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

Easy Carolina Style Slow Cooker Pulled Pork. Tender flaky pulled pork.
Course Slow Cooker
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 8 hours
Total Time 8 hours 10 minutes
Servings 6 people
Calories 360 kcal
Author Plating Pixels


  • 2-3 pounds pounds pork shoulder butt roast
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar separated
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 large yellow onion sliced
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoons crushed red pepper
  • 1 tablespoon brown mustard
  • 1 teaspoon ground mustard


  1. If pork roast is frozen, defrost in fridge. Trim off any large sections of fat.
  2. In a small bowl, combine 2 tablespoons brown sugar, and smoked paprika, salt, pepper and garlic powder. Rub spice mixture all over the roast until it's soaked in. Place onions in a layer on the bottom of slow cooker, place roast on top.
  3. In small bowl, mix together remaining ingredients from apple cider vinegar to ground mustard, plus leftover tablespoon of brown sugar. Gently pour liquid over roast. You should have about 2 inches of liquid on bottom; if not add a bit of water.
  4. Cook covered on low for 7–8 hours, until pulled pork is tender. Shred pork in slow cooker with a fork until flaked. Stir into liquid to incorporate flavor. Let sit for about 30 minutes, drain liquid and serve.

This slow cooker pulled pork recipe is also used in my Slow Cooker Carolina Style Pulled Pork Sliders.

 If you make this recipe, take a photo and post it on Instagram and tag @platingpixels or hashtag #platingpixels

Share or Pin this recipe if you like it. Thanks! Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.
Have you cooked in a slow cooker? What type’s of dished do you like to make?

Carolina Style Slow Cooker Pulled Pork -

41 Responses

  1. If this recipe produces that pork than I am in . !

  2. Your Carolina style slow cooker pulled pork looks so tender with delicious spices. It has it all going on! I used to have a slow cooker when I lived in the States, but have not yet purchased one in Hong Kong. This recipe might have been the one that sends me to Fortress this weekend to get one. Sharing, pinning and sending smoke signals.

  3. Brian Jones says:

    Sit down for this one… I have never cooked or even eaten pulled pork! Yes there is at least one of us out there and I have been meaning to try it for ages but it feels like summer dish to me with a bit of BBQ sauce on buns and forked through some salad with a nice dressing but the thought of slowly braising it in the oven is a massive turn off. Love the idea of chucking it in the slow cooker and not turning my kitchen into a sauna!

    • Matthew says:

      I’ve eaten pulled pork but never made it till now Brian. It’s super easy this way and wonderful as a slider on a Hawaiian bun. I happen to be posting that recipe soon. Thanks!

  4. Sarah says:

    Nothing like a good pulled pork recipe. This one looks a m a z i n g – seriously. The color on the pork butt before it’s shredded is gorgeous and then aftermath….can I have some?!

    • Matthew says:

      It is amazing! To be honest the photo before it’s shredded was taken before it’s cooked. Whatever it takes to get good looking photos right?! You totally can, thanks Sarah!

  5. Wow…for your first slow cooker recipe, it looks amazing! Have fun with it! 🙂

  6. This looks awesome! I LOVE my slow cooker too! Nothing like coming home from work to a dinner already cooked!

  7. OMG, pack & send here, pleeease!!!!

  8. The pulled pork sounds wonderful and full of flavor. Congratulations on getting a slow cooker, they are so nice to have. I loved your pictures.

  9. As a North Carolina native, I just say YES to this! Love some pulled pork and using a slow cooker is definitely the way to go! Perfectly tender and delicious!

  10. Oh wow! I am drooling now! This looks and sounds so good! I will have to try this one for sure! Guaranteed to be a win with the hubby!

  11. We do love our pulled pork here in the Carolinas. It is one of our best regional foods! This looks yummy too!

  12. My husband is a nut for pulled pork and I know he is going to be raving over this recipe! Great pictures!! And I love that it’s in the slow cooker!!

  13. Sara says:

    I love doing pulled pork in the slow cooker, it’s so easy and always comes out perfect. Your version looks delicious!

  14. Hey guys! Thanks for stopping by my blog, I am happy we connected! I LOVE this recipe. Bill was shown how to make authentic Cuban Pulled Pork by an old cuban woman here in Tampa before she passed. In honor of her we made it once a week when we ran the restaurant at our local Little League. Bill is at the grocery store at the moment, I can’t wait to show him this recipe. She had us making two HUGE roasts in the oven all through the night, I am going to try that with this recipe and let you know how it works out. Can’t wait!! Thank You – With a BIG smile, from OffTheSidewalk in Tampa – Carlyn 🙂

    • Matthew says:

      I was happy to stop by and thanks for checking us out and commenting Carlyn! I’d love to try some authentic Cuban pork! Not even sure what spices make it but sure it’s wonderful. I’ve tried pork roast in the oven and it didn’t come out nearly as tender as a slow cooker. Maybe I needed to do less heat for a longer time. Hope you guys like the recipe, thanks!

  15. Natalie Uy says:

    Mmm, you always make excellent slow cooker recipes. Nice work!

    • Matthew says:

      Thanks Natalie! Honestly this is the first slow cooker recipe I’ve posted but it sure won’t be the last. I usually grill or roast meats but looking forward to experimenting with this new method!

  16. Heather says:

    Oh my goodness!!! .. my favorite!! I love the spice line-up, I dont normally use apple cider vinegar but I will definitely give that a try. Great recipe!

  17. kaleigh says:

    hello! i have been searching for a pulled pork recipe that isn’t a gooey bbq sauce base, and this one sounds so perfect. are there any substitutions that could be made for the brown mustard and ground mustard? neither are items i would have in the kitchen, nor would i be using them often for other recipes. would dijon work as a replacement? thanks!

    • Matthew says:

      Hi Kaleigh! I’m so glad you found my recipe and it’s what you were looking for. You could totally substitute Dijon for brown mustard. If you omit the ground mustard it’ll still be tasty too. Thanks!

  18. Liz says:

    This is my go-to pulled pork recipe. It is absolutely delicious and such a refreshing change from the barbeque sauce laden options.

  19. Jessica says:

    If I were doing a 5lb roast instead of 2-3lb would I add more time?? I totally wasn’t thinking and got a really big roast by accident!!!

  20. Evelyn says:

    Hi, what should I use to substitute the vinegar? I’m not fond of vinegar.

    • Matthew says:

      Hi Evelyn. Vinegar is one of the main flavors for this type of pulled pork. Not sure how it would come out with a substitute, but maybe try fresh squeezed orange juice? That way you still get some tanginess.

  21. Ashley says:

    Could I use a pork loin for this?

    • Matthew says:

      Hi Ashley. You probably could as far as flavor. If you slow cook it then it would come out tender, but most likely not shred like pulled pork. I highly recommended the suggested cut of meat. Thanks!

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