FYI: I’ve updated two of my favorite recipes with new pictures and a few notes. The best blueberry muffins in.the.world and this delicious southwest salad.

BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwiches

BBQ pulled pork sandwiches rank right up there with some of my husband’s favorite meals. I tried three recipes last year that I thought would be sure winners and they were awful. One was so strong on the vinegar, we all gagged while it was cooking; the other two were just average and nothing to write home about.

So when my old high school friend, Sarah, sent me this recipe raving about it’s delicious simplicity, I tried it. And tried it. And tried it. And it has been a hit every time. In fact, just last week, I made it for our family reunion serving 13 kids and 13 adults and it was scarfed down (the leftovers were made into everything from nachos to quesadillas to pork/avocado rollups).

The recipe is so easy it is nearly mindless but it produces pork that is falling apart in it’s tenderness with a hint of hickory smokiness. Combined with my favorite homemade BBQ sauce and these to-die for rolls, this is seriously a meal for all seasons. (Thanks, Sarah!)

What To ServeFrench Bread Rolls (for the bun)
An awesome side like this: Barbecue Macaroni SaladColeslaw, or these Boston Baked Beans
Fresh vegetables and/or green salad

One Year Ago: Easy Chipotle Chicken Tacos
Two Years Ago: Fusilli alla Caprese

Slow Cooker BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwiches

Yield: Serves 8-12

Slow Cooker BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwiches

Ingredients

  • 3 to 4 pounds boneless pork shoulder (I’ve also used boneless pork loin – not tenderloin – but pork loin with good results)
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon hickory flavored liquid smoke
  • 2 cups barbecue sauce

Directions

  1. Rinse the pork shoulder and pat dry. Rub salt and pepper over the pork and place in a slow cooker. Add water and liquid smoke. Cook on low setting for 8 to 10 hours, until the pork is very tender.
  2. Remove the pork from the slow cooker and discard the remaining liquid. Shred the pork using a couple of forks. Place the meat back in the slow cooker along with the barbecue sauce and continue to cook for another 20-30 minutes until the pork is hot again. Serve on buns with extra barbecue sauce.
http://www.melskitchencafe.com/bbq-pulled-pork-sandwiches-slow-cooker/

Recipe Source: adapted slightly from my lovely friend, Sarah M.

165 Responses to BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwiches {Slow Cooker}

  1. Joy says:

    I made a version of this recipe last night and it was killer! I rubbed my roast with a pork rub first and threw it on the grill for a couple minutes to get some nice color to it, then threw it in the crockpot with the liquid smoke and water but also added a few dashes of Worcestershire sauce. Cooked it on low for 8 hrs, shredded it and added the BBQ sauce. I think by grilling it a little you get more of that smokey goodness. It was amazing!

  2. Kathy T. says:

    This was one of the BEST things I have ever eaten……I made it a week ahead of my family coming and froze it. It reheated beautifully in the crock pot. I also made your homemade bbq sauce (to die for) and served the pork on your rolls (which I also made ahead of time and froze…..also to die for!!!) along with some coleslaw. Thank you for helping me to make my family so happy at our Christmas gathering and making it easy for me! Merry Christmas!

  3. Ashley says:

    Love love this recipe! I want to make ahead for a party. How would you suggest I reheat? For the same great taste, as if I just pulled it out of the crock?

    • Mel says:

      Ashley – are you making far enough in advance to freeze or will it just be refrigerated? Either way, I usually reheat in the slow cooker on low until piping hot (I throw the frozen BBQ pork in the slow cooker and it takes 4-5 hours to thaw and reheat).

  4. Amy says:

    Any idea how many this serves? I need to feed about 70 people. Would you double or triple the recipe? Thanks for such great recipes!

  5. Caitlin says:

    I am making this for company in a few days and the pork shoulder I bought has quite a bit of fat on it. I wanted to ask, am I supposed to trim this (so the pulled pork isn’t too greasy)? Or do I just throw it in the slow cooker as is? I know it’s going to be delicious, thanks! :)

  6. Dana says:

    Hi Mel,

    The store only had mesquite flavor liquid smoke. Is that ok? I have never used liquid smoke before, so I am clueless!!

    Dana

  7. Zara says:

    This recipe looks great!
    Would you recommend cutting the recipe in half?( using a 2lb boneless shoulder) I would only be serving 4. If that would work, would I cut the cooking time?
    Thanks for a great recipe!

    • Mel says:

      Zara – Yes, you can definitely cut the recipe in half…I’d still use about the same cooking time (maybe 1/2 hour less is all). Good luck!

  8. Kristin says:

    Do you have a go to dry rub recipe that would be fabulous for BBQ pulled pork sandwiches?

  9. Elysummers says:

    Liquid smoke is out. just a good home made bbq sauce.

    • Margaret says:

      I’m using the pork sirloin roast which are only about 2 lbs each. I;m going to put 3 or 4 in the crock pot…I’m afraid cooking them 8-10 hours is too long as they’re so small. It also says on the package to cook them in the oven without any moisture for only 1 1/2 hrs. They must be more tender than a pork shoulder if you can oven roast them. I’m wondering if I should season the meat then sear it in olive oil and then oven roast on a lower temperature for like 3-4 hours? What do you think?

      • Mel says:

        Margaret – I’m not entirely sure which type of roasts you are referring to, the slow cooker is pretty forgiving but if you are worried, you might follow the package directions instead or lower the time in the slow cooker. Good luck!

  10. Dara says:

    Hi! I was just wondering about how many people this serves? I plan to cook this for an upcoming party of 25-30 people. Should I double the recipe?
    Thanks!

  11. Julie says:

    Hi Mel,
    I’m keen to try this recipe, however have never heard of hickory flavored liquid smoke! Maybe we don’t have it in lil ole New Zealand?! Have you any suggestions on what I could use as a substitute? Was wondering about some smoked paprika but maybe you know of something else that might work better? Thanks

    • Mel says:

      Julie – I don’t think there’s something that is a perfect substitute for liquid smoke especially not being familiar with products in New Zealand but a bit of smoked paprika would add good flavor.

  12. Laura says:

    Hi Mel, maybe a silly question, but why not pork tenderloin? Thanks for your great blog, our family loves it :)

  13. Jen says:

    Making this right now to take to the beach next week. Hoping to freeze and reheat for an easy meal. Would you freeze with or without the BBQ sauce added? Not sure if one way is better than the other! Thanks for your help. We LOVE your yummy meals!

    • Mel says:

      Jen – Whenever I freeze this, I toss it all in the freezer bag (shredded pork and BBQ sauce). Makes for an easy meal to pull out of the freezer!

  14. Evelyn Spanner says:

    I live in Scotland but have barbequed seriously for 20 years. My problem is a lot of products in North American recipes are unrecognisable/unavailable in the UK. In this one, liquid smoke, has me guessing. Can you please explain exactly what the product is, so that it might try to replicate it? Many thanks

  15. Sam says:

    Just want to clarify -I am putting together a bunch of freezer meals- you cook the pork first, shred, and then freeze? Or should I just mix everything together in a bag and then cook in the crockpot when needed? Thanks for so many awesome recipes!

    • Mel says:

      Sam – Yes, when I freeze this, I do all the cooking first and freeze the cooked and cooled pork mixed with BBQ sauce to thaw later. Reheats beautifully in a slow cooker on low for a few hours.

  16. Laura A says:

    I want to make this, but only “bone in center cut pork roast” is on sale this week…will it work the same, (just obviously I’d have to remove the bone)?

    • Mel says:

      Laura A – Yes! Should work just fine, keep in mind the bone contributes to the weight so you’ll end up with a bit less meat unless you use a larger roast.

  17. Amanda Smith says:

    Hi Mell! Love, love, love ALL your recipes I’ve made so far!! Quick question about the BBQ pulled pork though. I put my boneless pork shoulder in for 5 hrs on low and it was almost impossible to shred!! What am I doing wrong??? My roast was 4.86lbs so I added extra water and liquid smoke but the roast wasn’t completely covered by the liquid. Do you think Its just my crock pot cooking too hot?? TIA!!

    • Mel says:

      Amanda Smith – My guess is it wasn’t enough time; the recipe guidelines are 8 to 10 hours on low and that extra couple hours will make a huge difference in how tender the roast gets. Mine isn’t ever completely covered in liquid either so that shouldn’t be a problem.

  18. kim peach says:

    Could you post the home made bbq sauce and rolls for the pulled pork sandwiches. Thankyou

  19. Monica says:

    Hi, I made this recipe this weekend for a family gathering and it turned out really well! Aside from a little issue with a bottle of too-spicy barbecue sauce, I was amazed I had pulled pork with so little effort. Thanks for sharing this recipe! I’m so glad I found the liquid smoke at the supermarket! : )

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