Pulled pork (slow cooker recipe)

From Cookipedia

This recipe requires preparation in advance!

Pulled pork (carnitas) is a classic American barbecue-style dish.

This recipe is basically my standard pulled pork recipe, slightly adapted for a slow cooker. I've added 150 ml of cider and the flesh of 1 orange, otherwise it's the same.

Lots of recipes suggest adding a tablespoon of liquid smoke over the meat at the final stage. I prefer to leave chemicals like that in the garage! However, if you have your own smoker, I would smoke it for an hour or so before you start the cooking process.

If you like this, you will also love Cochinita pibil and Beer pickled belly of pork!

Note: This recipe needs to be prepared 24 hours in advance.

Pulled pork (slow cooker recipe)
Served with a salad and homemade pittas.
Servings:Serves 6
Calories per serving:674
Ready in:18 hours 15 minutes
Prep. time:12 hours 15 minutes
Cook time:6 hours
Difficulty:Average difficulty
Recipe author:Chef
First published:10th May 2014

Best recipe review

You can't beat pulled pork


..and you can't beat this version either!



Printable 🖨 shopping 🛒 list & 👩‍🍳 method for this recipe

Mise en place

  • If you are lucky enough to have a smoker, smoke the joint for an hour or so.
  • Mix all of the spices together in a large baking tray.
  • Remove and discard the rind.
  • Make random slashes in the meat.
  • Add all of the remaining ingredients to a large Lock and Lock box together with the pork joint. Replace the lid and shake like mad for a minute to mix the ingredients.
  • refrigerate for 24 hours or so, shaking the box now and then.


  1. Add the contents of the Lock and Lock box to your slow cooker.
  2. Cover and slow cook on medium for 8 hours - it will be good to go after 4, but really disintegrates nicely the longer you cook it. If you are able, you could reduce to low after 4 hours too.
  3. Remove the cooked pork from the slow cooker and drain and reserve the juices and return the meat to the slow cooker to keep warm.
  4. Using a frying pan over a medium heat, boil the juices and reduce by about 50%, stirring now and then. This should take about 5 minutes.
  5. Pour the reduction over the cooked pork, remove from the slow cooker and use two forks to shred the pork into tiny pieces.
  6. Serve immediately.

Serving suggestions

Serve with chopped salad vegetables in pitta breads.

Chef's notes

The spices in this are not an exact science. If you don't have a certain spice, use something else. Look at the individual spice links on this page or our main spice category to find similar spices that you may have instead. If you favour a certain flavour, add more of it. Mess around, be bold!!

In this recipe we are marinating the pork in the cider, rather than as a dry rub so you could just as easily add 3 or 4 peeled and crushed cloves of garlic instead of the garlic powder and a thumb-sized piece of ginger root, peeled and grated, instead of the ginger powder.

Peeling ginger

There is no need to peel ginger. As a result of attending a Thai cookery demo, we have learnt that peeling ginger is unnecessary unless for aesthetic purposes as the skin is high in fibre and full of flavour. However, do remove any bits that have become tough or woody.

See also

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