Are you ready for the most tender, juicy, amazing pulled pork sandwiches ever? Look no further than this recipe, which takes only 5 minutes of prep and uses only 5 ingredients! INCLUDING the buns!
Seriously. FIVE MINUTES. FIVE INGREDIENTS. And, it’s super inexpensive! This is the reason why I make this almost every time I need to feed a crowd. On the side, I almost always make my mayo-free coleslaw recipe– it’s deliciously tangy, cheap, makes a ton, and is delicious on the side of these sandwiches or right on top of them.
This is exactly what I did on Sunday for a family celebration of Zach’s 31st birthday. Pulled pork + coleslaw + southern style green beans. Yup. Amazing. Oh, plus a homemade “funfetti’ cake (Zach’s favorite- some things don’t change when you hit your 30s!) from my sister-in-law, who is a super talented baker. Look at how gorgeous it is! Ivan, our nephew, unfortunately could not partake in any of this delicious food, but he did try his own green beans for the first time. He loved them. We loved ours more because they had bacon (and don’t worry- I’ll post the recipe soon!).
Here’s the thing about pork shoulder. Also known as carnitas. Also known as pork butt. Why all the different names? Who knows. It is a tough, tough cut of meat, which accounts for it being so inexpensive. If you cook it quickly, it will be practically inedible. But if you cook it low and slow- the perfect job for a slow cooker- it will be tender and melt-in-your-mouth delicious.
This is so, so easy to put together. First, layer some sliced onions in the bottom of the slow cooker. Rub the pork with some pork dry rub (you can either buy it already mixed at the store or make it yourself with paprika, oregano, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper). Place it in the slow cooker on top of the onions and sprinkle with any remaining spice mixture. That’s ALL the prep!
A quick note about shopping for pork shoulder. You can usually purchase boneless pork shoulder, which is what I usually get. It’s already trimmed of a lot of the fat, and it’s a bit smaller and easier to handle. If you can’t find it, you can use a bone-in pork shoulder as well (buy one that’s a couple of pounds heavier in order to account for the weight of the bone and extra fat). It usually comes with a layer of fat/skin on one side- place this face down in the slow cooker. Once it’s cooked, it will be easy to remove this fat and the bone to discard.
Cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4 hours. Then, remove the meat from the slow cooker and shred with two forks. It should be extremely easy to pull apart and take very little effort. If it still feels tough for some reason, cook it for a little longer in the slow cooker. Stir back into the juices and add a cup of your favorite BBQ sauce (I used Salt Lick’s BBQ Sauce).
That’s it! Heap a healthy portion onto a burger bun and top with more BBQ sauce (and/or coleslaw) if you want. And while this is definitely an excellent option for feeding a crowd, it’s also extremely convenient to cook in bulk for your family or even just for yourself, since it freezes so well! Portion any extras into plastic bags or airtight containers (being sure to include the juices so it doesn’t dry out) and freeze for up to six months. Use the leftovers for carnitas tacos, more sandwiches, in tortilla soup, or just plain.
Recipe below. Enjoy :-)
Easy Crockpot Pulled Pork Sandwiches
- Slow Cooker
- 4 lb. boneless pork shoulder also called a butt or carnitas
- 1 onion sliced
- 3-4 tablespoons pork dry rub (see notes)
- 1 cup BBQ sauce any kind, plus more for serving
- 8 hamburger buns for serving
- Place onions in the bottom of your slow cooker.
- Rub dry rub evenly over pork shoulder.
- Place pork shoulder on top of onions, sprinkle with remaining dry rub (if there is any).
- Cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4 hours.
- Remove pork from slow cooker and shred with two forks.
- Stir back into juices and add the BBQ sauce.
- Serve pulled pork on buns with more sauce if desired.
- For a gluten-free version, be sure to buy gluten-free buns or enjoy on a corn tortilla instead.
- Freeze leftovers with juices in airtight containers or plastic bags for up to six months to use in carnitas tacos, more sandwiches, in tortilla soup, or just plain.
- To make your own pork dry rub, mix together: 2 teaspoons each of garlic powder, oregano, paprika (smoked or regular), salt, pepper, and 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper. Store any extra in your pantry in an airtight jar or container for future use.
- The provided nutrition information does not include any added sodium from seasoning to taste, any optional ingredients, and it does not take brands into account. Feel free to calculate it yourself using this calculator or by adding the recipe to Yummly.