This Smokey Crock-Pot Pulled Pork recipe is perfect for my family because we love pulled pork sandwiches, but not everyone is a fan of BBQ sauce. I thought I would try a pork shoulder, with a peppery rub, cooked in the slow cooker with some liquid smoke. Easy to do, and tastes great!
These Smokey Pulled Pork Sandwiches are full of flavor whether you use BBQ sauce or not! Plus, everyone can use their own favorite brand of sauce!
Table of contents
For this recipe, I have used both pork shoulder and pork butt. Both cuts of meat come from the shoulder, just different locations on the foreleg, and both work very well when prepared in a slow cooker.
If you like our pulled pork, you might also like our Smoked Pork Tenderloin.
The spice rub for Smokey Crock-Pot Pulled Pork uses,
- Black pepper
- Chipotle chili powder or Adobo seasoning
- Smokey paprika
- Garlic powder
- Onion powder
- Brown sugar
To make the pulled pork you will need,
- Spice rub
- Pork butt or shoulder
- Liquid smoke
For pulled pork sandwiches you might want to add,
- Hamburger buns
- BBQ sauce
- Shredded cabbage or coleslaw
Marinate the meat
This recipe for Smokey Crock-Pot Pulled Pork is best when the pork has a chance to marinate in the spice rub. Mix all the ingredients for the rub, and generously rub it all over the pork.
Rub the seasoning onto the pork on all sides. We use the entire mixture of spice rub in this recipe.
Put the pork in a Zip-loc bag or a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let the pork marinate in the spices overnight.
I can already tell these are going to be some yummy pulled pork sandwiches!
Cooking the pork in the slow cooker
I really like to use a slow cooker for this recipe. The meat always comes out so tender and juicy.
Mix the liquid smoke with a small amount of water. Pour the mixture into the cooker that has been sprayed with non-stick spray. (The spray really helps with clean-up) The liquid smoke is an awesome way to add just a touch of a smokey flavor to the pork.
Place the pork shoulder, or pork butt, into the slow cooker and cover.
Usually, I start my pork on the high setting and cook for an hour or two, then I turn it to low and let it finish cooking. That will take about another 4 - 6 hours depending on the size of the roast.
When the pork is done it starts to fall apart easily. And, of course, the house will smell amazing!
Before shredding the pork, if you like, you can remove some of the juices. Or, just start shredding the meat and mix it with the liquids.
As a rule, using a couple of forks works best for shredding the pork. When you finished pulling the pork apart, stir it all up. Finally, we can make some pulled pork sandwiches!
Place the shredded pork on your favorite hamburger buns, and top with your favorite BBQ sauce. For a bit of crunch, pile on some shredded cabbage or coleslaw! Delicious! I hope you enjoy this recipe for Smokey Crock-Pot Pulled Pork as much as my family does.
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Smokey Crock-Pot Pulled Pork
For the spice rub
- 1 ½ teaspoons Black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon Cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon Chipotle chili powder or Adobo seasoning powder
- ½ teaspoon Cumin
- 2 teaspoons Smoky paprika
- ½ teaspoon Garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon Onion powder
- 2 teaspoons Salt
- 2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
For the pork
- 4 pounds Pork shoulder or pork butt
- 1 teaspoon Liquid smoke
- ¼ cup Water
To make the pork rub
- Mix all spices together. Rub the mixture all over the pork shoulder. Put the pork shoulder in a Zip-lock bag or a bowl and cover with plastic wrap, and marinate overnight.
For the pork…
- Spray the slow cooker with non-stick spray.
- Mix the water with the liquid smoke and add it to the slow cooker.
- Place the pork should in the liquid and cover with the lid.
- Turn the slow cooker on high and let cook 1 to 2 hours.
- Reduce the temperature to low and continue to cook for another 4 to 6 hours. The meat is done when it falls apart easily.
- Remove any excess liquid if you prefer, then using a couple of forks shred the pork.
- Put some shredded pork on a hamburger bun and top with your favorite BBQ sauce.
- Add shredded cabbage or coleslaw if you desire.