Crock Pot Pulled Pork Recipe, Southern-Style

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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. Thanks Christy, I’m headed to our local market to pick up the pork roast and put it on to cook this evening. I’ll get a head of cabbage in anticipation of your slaw recipe for tomorrow. Looks like hubs and I will be having our own pulled pork bar-b-que feast tomorrow for lunch–Salute! 😀

  2. When we first moved to SC, we had BBQ at a church Christmas party. I hadn’t realized that I was supposed to put it on a bun, and I just tossed some on my plate with a pile of coleslaw right next to it. I started to eat it and discovered how breathtakingly delicious it was, and I turned to a friend of mine and asked, “What is this meat??” He said, “That’s BBQ, darlin’!” I had no idea! Soon thereafter I found a recipe and adapted it for the crockpot. Your recipe is much easier than what I’ve been doing (sometimes I lack common sense!), and it looks even more delicious. I can’t wait to try it. Thanks for another great recipe, Christy. You are reliably fantastic. 🙂

  3. Oh my! Caroina BBQ in Bama-land. This is the way I make it all the time here in Virginia (my hubby is from Carolina). He calls ‘red’ sauce BBQ “Yankee BBQ”. LOL!

  4. Talk about a look on someone’s face. My ex-husband ordered a bbq pork sandwich in southern west Virginia and the waitress asked him if he wanted cole slaw. He replied yes as he pictured it as a side dish, salad style. He was simply stunned when she piled it on the sandwich. Neither of us had ever seen that and told everyone we knew the tale when we returned home.

  5. Jennifer, the first time we went to Memphis with my mama, they gave us pulled pork sandwiches with slaw on them. And it was the Memphis style slaw, which is different from anywhere else. We are from Dallas, TX, and a bbq sandwich to us was chopped brisket with the red bbq sauce. We thought we’d been beamed in to another planet! There’s a guy here in Dallas who has a rib joint, he’s a native of Memphis and you can get Memphis style bbq there. I will have to try this recipe in my slow cooker, but with the Splenda brown sugar.

  6. I will have to try this someday soon! My husband is a BBQ fanatic and I like it pulled best. There’s a newish BBQ place in town that has the Alabama-style white sauce. That’s the first time I’d seen it other than your blog and I spent all my holidays with extended family in North Alabama growing up! Maybe I had it at some point and didn’t realize it was supposed to be BBQ sauce, but I sure don’t remember it! It’s pretty good. I alternate it with the tomato-based stuff when we eat there.

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