Crock Pot Pulled Pork Recipe, Southern-Style

This easy crock pot pulled pork recipe is made with surprising ingredients that combine to deliver juicy flavorful meat for pulled pork sandwiches. This recipe is guaranteed to help you connect to Southern cookin’ with every bite.

Close-up of crock pot pulled pork on burger.

This crock pot pulled pork recipe made Southern-style is pretty much heaven on a bun as far as I’m concerned and it seems every region has its own way of doing it. Where I am from, the bbq pulled pork is smoked and juicy and we serve it as above. I also wouldn’t turn it down if a little bit of clear mild vinegar sauce was added or perhaps some of our sensational Alabama white barbecue sauce. In my husband’s home, they serve it slathered in a thick layer of sweet red barbecue sauce, like the bottled sauce you buy in the stores.

Last year I showed you how to make a different crockpot bbq pulled pork recipe with taco seasoning and barbecue sauce, so if that is the kind you prefer, click here to visit that post (and you can make it with pork or beef). Today I’m going to show you how to make the juicy kind we get in barbecue places around my home, but instead of smoking it (because I can think of a few things I’d rather do than stand over a fire in this heat) we’re gonna cook it overnight in our slow cooker.

This is the best pulled pork sandwich recipe and the perfect dish to make in advance for a busy weekend, potluck, or game day. Let it cook overnight, make the sauce, and then keep the pork in the slow cooker on warm until you’re ready to serve the main dish.

Now get out those crockpots and let’s make the best slow cooker pulled pork, Southern-style!

Labeled ingredients for crock pot pulled pork recipe.

Recipe Ingredients

  • A pork roast (about five pounds)
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Brown sugar
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Crushed red pepper flakes
  • Hot sauce

Don’t worry, this barbecue is not spicy, but you can make it spicy if you like.

Place pork roast and salt and pepper in slow cooker.

Place pork roast in the slow cooker. Season with salt and pepper.

Add cider vinegar to crock pot.

Pour in your cider vinegar and put the lid on the crockpot. Cook on low for 12 hours.

Will this pulled pork taste like vinegar?

Now I know some of y’all are wondering if this crock pot pulled pork recipe is going to have a vinegar taste to it and it really doesn’t. The vinegar helps to bring out the natural flavors of the meat beautifully though. Also, you’re not going to wake up to a vinegar-smelling house. I only say this because I remember the first time I made it I was worried about that!

Cooked pork roast in slow cooker.

This is how it will look after 12 hours.

I like to cook mine overnight and then you can shred it and put it back in with the little sauce we’re going to make and just let it be on warm until lunchtime. You can also store it in the fridge when you finish the last step and heat it in the microwave whenever you’re ready for it.

Shred the pulled pork using forks.

Take it out of the juices after 12 hours and shred pork with a fork or go to this shredding meat tutorial here. You’re going to be surprised at how it just falls apart.

Add hot sauce to slow cooker juices in mixing bowl.

Making the pulled pork sauce

Reserve two cups of the juices from the slow cooker and discard the rest.

To those two cups of liquid, add the hot sauce…

Add crushed red pepper flakes.

The crushed pepper flakes…

Stir sauce ingredients together.

And the brown sugar and stir well.

Pour sauce over pulled pork in slow cooker.

Return shredded pork to the slow cooker.

Pour the sauce mixture over it and give it a good stir.

Pulled pork in the crock pot.

Place the lid back on the slow cooker and leave on warm until ready to serve.

Serve pulled pork on burgers with slaw.

Serve cooked pulled pork on a fresh bread roll topped with vinegar slaw!

I eat mine just like this but if you like, you can serve it with white bbq sauce, your favorite bottled red bbq sauce (such as Kraft BBQ Sauce), or even ketchup. Whatever cranks yer tractor! There is no wrong way to eat good barbecue in my books!


Leftover pulled pork will last in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. Simply reheat in the microwave before serving. You can also freeze leftovers for up to 3 months. Make a double-batch and your future self will be very thankful.

Recipe Notes

  • If you’re wondering what pork to use for this pork roast, you’re going to want a juicy boneless pork shoulder or pork butt. You can use pork loin, it’s just going to be leaner. You want to avoid pork tenderloin though. If you have pork tenderloin, make this delicious dish instead 😉.
  • I promise the red pepper flakes aren’t going to make the pulled pork sauce spicy. They just add flavor. If you want a spicier barbecue sauce, I suggest doubling the red pepper flakes and tripling the hot sauce.
  • If you’re coveting those brown and crispy ends, put the shredded pork on a foil-lined baking sheet and broil for a couple of minutes in the oven.
  • For smoky flavor without the effort, add a teaspoon of liquid smoke when you add the salt and pepper.

Close-up of crock pot pulled pork burger.

Recipe FAQs

Want to learn a trick to shredding meat?

This recipe just calls for a fork to shred this meat but that can take a while. So if you want an alternative, we’ve got a tutorial for you. Follow these step-by-step instructions to easily shred pork, chicken, or beef.

Can I make this crockpot pulled pork in advance?

Absolutely! Pulled pork is a great dish to make ahead of time. If making hours ahead of time, simply leave the pulled pork in the slow cooker on the warm setting until ready to serve. Otherwise, cook, refrigerate for up to 5 days and then reheat the pulled pork in the microwave before serving.

What do you serve with pulled pork?

While I love pulled pork sandwiches, you can also forgo the bun and simply serve this slow cooker bbq pulled pork with some of my favorite Southern sides. This includes oven-baked mac and cheesebaked beans, cheesy garlic mashed potatoes, cornbread muffins, pasta salad, or summer corn salad. You can also make pulled pork tacos with our homemade soft flour tortillas or a pulled pork salad. 

You may also enjoy these recipes:

North Alabama Style Pulled Chicken BBQ

Jackfruit BBQ Recipe

Slow-Roasted Beef Brisket in the Oven

Steak Sandwiches (World’s Easiest Supper)

Loose Meat Sandwiches

Crock pot pulled pork and slaw burger.

Crock Pot Pulled Pork

This easy crock pot pulled pork recipe is made with surprising ingredients that combine to deliver juicy flavorful meat for pulled pork sandwiches.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 12 hours
Total Time: 12 hours 15 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: barbecue, pork
Servings: 8 sandwiches
Calories: 528kcal


  • 1 pork roast approximately 5 pounds
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon hot sauce
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes


  • Put the pork roast in the slow cooker and add salt and pepper. Pour in the cider vinegar. Cover with lid and cook on low for 12 hours (I cook it overnight).
    1 pork roast, 1 tablespoon salt, 1 teaspoon black pepper, 1 1/2 cups cider vinegar
  • Remove the pork roast from the crockpot and shred it with forks (this will be very easy).
  • Drain juices from the slow cooker, reserving two cups of liquid. Return pulled pork to the slow cooker. To the reserved liquid add the brown sugar, hot sauce, and crushed pepper flakes. Stir well. Pour over shredded pork and place the lid back on the crockpot.
    2 tablespoons brown sugar, 1 tablespoon hot sauce, 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • Place on low or warm setting until ready to serve. Can be made ahead of time, refrigerated, and reheated in the microwave.


Calories: 528kcal
Tried this recipe?Mention @southernplate or tag #southernplate!


The Power Of Kindness

It’s easy to act with kindness and understanding toward those who have been kind to you. Yet the real power of kindness comes when you give it even to those who don’t deserve it.

Acting with cruelty in response to cruelty only drags down everyone involved. With kindness, you have the opportunity to lift up yourself and others. Being kind does not mean allowing others to take advantage of you. On the contrary, your kindness can give you the positive, undeniable power to make sure that everyone’s best interests are served.

Yes, there are those who will not respond well to your kindness. Act toward them with kindness and understanding anyway, and even though they won’t benefit from your kindness, you yourself still will.

Think of your kindness toward others as a valuable gift you give mainly to yourself. If anyone else is enlightened enough to accept and appreciate it too, that makes it even better.

— Ralph Marston

Submitted by Kolene. Submit yours here.

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  1. Christy,

    I made two pork shoulders worth of this for my luau birthday party this past weekend. Vinegar based BBQ is my husband’s favorite We are originally from SC, and I wanted to try it. It turned out amazingly and was a huge hit at the party. Thanks so much for sharing great recipes and for being you.

    Stacey Kirby

  2. Well, this Virginia Girl made this BBQ today, actually last night and finished it this morning, it turned out awesome! The dog and husband were hanging around close to the kitchen all day. This was my first time cooking a butt. Very easy to make! I pulled it and then chopped it by hand. Have lots leftover to freeze for the future. The seasoning mixture was exactly what I was looking for. I did add some liquid smoke the give it a smoked flavor. For the sauce, I used bottled sauce; 2 kinds, we like to mix it up. Used Carolina and Kansas City flavored sauces. All 3 of us, husband, dog, and myself were patting our full bellies tonight!! Thanks for sharing this jewel!

  3. Love your recipes. However, as many times as I have made this pulled pork, I have never ended up with two cups of broth. I’m lucky to get one cup. What can I do to make finished product more moist?

    1. Hey Jean!
      Isn’t that odd? The two of us cooking the exact same thing the exact same way with two different results. There has to be a variable that is off and I’m thinking that the pork roasts I’m getting have more fat and yours are likely more lean. That fat melts down, tenderizes everything, and keeps it moist. I would look for one with just a wee bit more next time and in the meantime, I believe adding about a cup of chicken broth would compliment everything nicely as well as keep it moist. This is just my train of thought brainstorming. Let me know if you try it and it works!

  4. Hi, Christy — I love southern cooking though I live in Montana. My son works on Kwajalein, Marshall Islands. For my grandson’s HS graduation, we did “Kahlua Pork”, an island favorite. Much like your great recipe, but the pork is put in a cooking bag with holes poked in it with an entire bottle of Liquid Smoke, placed in a 275-degree oven for 10-12 hours. Delicious!

  5. You are right anyway you like it is right, to each their own. I love your recipe, I make mines pretty much the same. I was using white sugar but I like your idea of brown sugar better and will try that on my next batch. I got my recipe from my mom and only made BBQ because I wasn’t eating pork at the time, so I make pulled turkey BBQ for thanksgiving (whole turkey) and coleslaw. Now that I’m back to eating pork after 13 years, I’m ready to make my own BBQ and maybe one day with beef. I just wanted to make sure the recipe I had would work with pork, I’m in NC so this is the style of BBQ I’m used too.

  6. OH MY GOODNESS!! I made this and the cole slaw. This is so close to the BBQ I used to buy when I lived in Nashville, TN it is ridiculous!! Thank you so much!!

  7. I made the Southern Style Pulled Pork for our 4th of July get together and it was great. Sooo tender. The vinegar, hot sauce & crushed red peppers gave it just the right amount of zing. I also made That Strawberry Cake (the one like from Sam’s Club) and everyone loved it, too. We used to buy those when we lived closer to a Sam’s Club with a bakery. I love your recipes and stories. Keep up the good work.

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