Carnitas (Mexican Slow Cooker Pulled Pork) (2023)

Every tortilla dreams of being stuffed with Carnitas. Picture seasoned pork slow-cooked into tender submission, gently shredded and pan-fried to golden, crispy perfection. Carnitas has that elusive combination of juicy and crispy that’s so irresistible. The best part of this Carnitas? 5 minutes prep!

This is a reader-favourite recipe included by popular demand in my debut cookbook “Dinner”!

Carnitas (Mexican Slow Cooker Pulled Pork) (1)


Is there anything better in this world than pork slowly cooked until it’s crazy juicy and fall apart tender, then crisped to golden perfection?


When it’s inside a taco. 😂

Carnitas is one of my specialities. I make this recipe often –for everyday purposes, a freezer standby and for taco-bar gatherings with friends!

Carnitas (Mexican Slow Cooker Pulled Pork) (2)

The one and only Pork Carnitas

I went through A LOT of Pork Carnitas recipes before settling on this as The One. I’ve been loyal to it for over a decade because it ticks all my boxes:

✅ Extremely quick 5 minute preparation
✅ Made with easy to find natural ingredients
✅ Enough flavour to eat plain (and youwill pick it out of the pan!)
✅ Subtle enoughflavour so it can be used in any Mexican dish (over salting and over spicing is a common problem);
✅ Perfect caramelized brown bits while retaining the incredible juiciness from slow cooking;
✅ Perfect freezer food – reheats 100% perfectly; and
✅ Excellent food for gatherings – big batch recipe,stays fresh even hours after cooking it

Carnitas (Mexican Slow Cooker Pulled Pork) (3)

What are Carnitas?

If you’re new to Carnitas, let me be the first to welcome you to your new addiction.

Carnitas are Mexico’s version of pulled pork. It’s the first thing you seek upon landing in Mexico. It’s why we trawled the back streets of Mexico City in torrential rains, hunting down a hole-in-the-wall carnitas joint that was popular with locals.

Made by slow cooking pork fully submerged in lard, this confit method of cooking yields pork that’s unbelievably rich and tender with loads of crispy golden bits.

Unfortunately for most home cooks, a huge cauldron of lard isn’t viable or practical.

But fortunately, it is possible tomake carnitas that tastes very similartoauthentic Pork Carnitas without gallons of lard.And it’s unbelievably simple.

Carnitas (Mexican Slow Cooker Pulled Pork) (4)

How to make Pork Carnitas

  • Best Pork Cut for Pork Carnitas –for ultimate juicy pulled pork full of flavour, you can’t beat pork shoulder, aka pork butt. Bone in or out, it needs to be skinless so it can be rubbed with the Carnitas seasoning

  • Carnitas seasoning – rub pork witha simple spice mix of oregano, cumin, salt and pepper.

  • Flavour for cooking – top pork in slow cooker withonion, garlic and jalapeño, then pour over orange juice (the secret ingredient!).It sounds so simple, but with hours of slow cooking, mingling with the pork juices, it transforms into the most incredible braising broth that more than makes up for the absence of gallons of lard.

  • Slow cook until the pork is pull-apart tender and infused with incredible flavour

  • Pan fry until golden, doused with the juices from the slow cooker.Pan frying is so much better than broiling/grill or oven!

Can Carnitas be made in an Instant Pot or pressure cooker?

Yes! The outcome is exactly the same – no one can the difference once browned in the skillet. I make this in a pressure cooker when time is of the essence!

Carnitas (Mexican Slow Cooker Pulled Pork) (5)

The BEST Pork Carnitas are browned in a skillet!

Don’t skip the step to brown the Pork Carnitas! This is the key that makes this the bestPork Carnitas you will have outside of Mexico.

Hand on heart, it is as good as the carnitas I had at a really authentic Mexican joint called Old Town Mexican Cafe in San Diego which isfamous for its Pork Carnitas.

Soif you think you’ve had great carnitas before, but you haven’t tried browning in a skillet, this is going to be a game changer!

(Video) Crispy Pork Carnitas (Mexican Slow Cooked Pulled Pork)

Carnitas (Mexican Slow Cooker Pulled Pork) (6)

What to serve with Pork Carnitas

While I have a great fondness and tendency to favourTacos de Carnitas(Pork Carnitas Tacos), pork this juicy and full of flavour is highly versatile – plus it freezes 10000% perfectly.

I use Pork Carnitas to make Enchiladas, Burritos, Quesadillas,Sliders, Mexican pizzas.I toss them into my Mexican Fried Rice (don’t laugh, this is a firm favourite with many readers!), and I make Carnitas Plates– pile Carnitas over Mexican Red Ricewith a side of Pico de Galloor Guacamole, and steamed corn.

And of course, I eat it straight out of the skillet. 😂

And the best part?

•You’re just 5 minutes away from getting this Pork Carnitas in your slow cooker, pressure cooker or oven.
•It can be frozen without any loss of quality.
•There are easy ways to pan fry to golden perfection and still be juicy and fresh hours later – even after refrigerating.

There’s a reason I am rarely without a stash of Carnitas in my freezer!!! – Nagi xx

Carnitas (Mexican Slow Cooker Pulled Pork) (7)
Carnitas (Mexican Slow Cooker Pulled Pork) (8)

Mexican recipe favourites

  • Chicken Fajitas and Beef Fajitas

  • Beef Enchiladasand Burritos

  • Queso Cheese Dip

  • Beef Barbacoa

  • Mexican Fiesta Menu and recipes

  • See all Mexican recipes


This recipe features in my debut cookbook Dinner. The book is mostly new recipes, but this is a reader favourite included by popular demand!

Is that a pressure cooker in the video??

Yes and no! My slow cooker(Breville Fast-Slow Cooker) is like an Instant Pot. It’s multi-functional, a pressure cooker and slow cooker in one. Hence why itlooks like a pressure cooker with the twisting top. The slow cooking function is no different to any standard slow cooker.

Hungry for more? Subscribe to my newsletter and follow along on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram for all of the latest updates.

Carnitas (Mexican Slow Cooker Pulled Pork) (9)

Carnitas (Mexican Slow Cooker Pulled Pork)

Author: Nagi | RecipeTin Eats

Prep: 15 mins

Cook: 6 hrs

Total: 6 hrs 15 mins

Slow cooking


(Video) Crispy Carnitas Recipe (Mexican Slow Cooked Pulled pork)

4.96 from 867 votes

Servings10 – 12

Tap or hover to scale

Recipe VIDEO above. Spiciness: Not at all. Scale recipe using Servings slider.

These carnitas capture that elusive combination of flavourful, juicy AND crispiness. Pan frying to get the golden bits is not optional! Broiling/grilling will not produce the same results. Stuff them in tacos for an authentic Carnitas Tacos experience, see notes for other uses! FAQ below recipe.


  • 2 kg / 4 lb pork shoulder (pork butt) , skinless, boneless (5lb/2.5kg bone in) (Note 1)
  • 2 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 onion , chopped
  • 1 jalapeno , deseeded, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3/4 cup juice from orange (2 oranges)


  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp olive oil


  • Rinse and dry the pork shoulder, rub all over with salt and pepper.

  • Combine the Rub ingredients then rub all over the pork.

  • Place the pork in a slow cooker (fat cap up), top with the onion, jalapeño, minced garlic (don’t worry about spreading it) and squeeze over the juice of the oranges.

  • Slow Cook on low for 10 hours or on high for 7 hours. (Note 2 for other cook methods)

  • Pork should be tender enough to shred. Remove from slow cooker and let cool slightly. Then shred using two forks.

  • Optional: Skim off the fat from the juices remaining in the slow cooker and discard.

  • If you have a lot more than 2 cups of juice, then reduce it down to about 2 cups. The liquid will be salty, it is the seasoning for the pork. Set liquid aside – don’t bother straining onion etc, it’s super soft.

(Video) Pork Carnitas (Mexican Pulled Pork)

To Crisp:

  • Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a large non stick pan or well seasoned skillet over high heat. Spread pork in the pan, drizzle over some juices. Wait until the juices evaporate and the bottom side is golden brown and crusty. Turn and just briefly sear the other side – you don’t want to make it brown all over because then it’s too crispy, need tender juicy bits.

  • Remove pork from skillet. Repeat in batches (takes me 4 batches) – don’t crowd the pan.

  • Just before serving, drizzle over more juices and serve hot, stuffed in tacos (see notes for sides, other serving suggestion and storage/make ahead).

Recipe Notes:

1. The Pork:Use pork with the skin removed but leaving some of the fat cap on. The fat adds juiciness to the carnitas – and excess fat can be skimmed off later.

Different sizes: Recipe fine as is for 1.7 – 2.5kg / 3.5 – 5 lb pork. If larger / smaller, scale recipe using recipe scaler (hover/click on servings and slide) and the other ingredients will change. These are boneless pork weights (add 0.5kg/1lb for bone):

1 – 1.5 kg / 2 – 3 lb: 8 hours on low.
1.5 – 3 kg / 3 – 6 lb: Cook time per recipe.
3 – 4 kg / 6 – 8 lb: Use large oval slow cooker, 12 hours on low.

2. Other cooking methods:

Electric pressure cooker or Instant Pot: 1 h 30 minutes on high. Let pressure release naturally. Proceed with Step 5 of recipe.

Stove pressure cooker:use a rack or balls of scrunched up foil to elevate it from the base OR add 3/4 cup of water.Cook 1 h 30 minutes. Proceed with Step 5 of recipe.

Oven: Follow recipe but put pork in roasting pan. Add 2 cups water around pork. Cover tightly with foil, roast in 325F/160C oven for 2 hours, then roast for a further 1 to 1.5 hours uncovered. Add more water if the liquid dries out too much. You should end up with 1 1/2 to 2 cups of liquid when it finishes cooking, and you can skip the pan frying step because you will get a nice brown crust on your pork. Shred pork then drizzled with juices.

3.Taco Fixings: Diced avocado or make a real proper Guacamole, Pico de Gallo or Restaurant Style Salsa or even just sliced tomato, grated cheese, sour cream. Sliced lettuce or pickled cabbage / red onions would also be great, but unlike other tacos, you don’t need it for the texture because the carnitas have the crispy bits! Also see this Carnitas Tacos dinner spread.

4.Other Ways to use Carnitas: Burritos (switch for the beef), Quesadillas (baked version here), Enchiladas, Sliders, with Mexican Red Rice, in Taco Soup or Enchilada Soup.

(Video) Carnitas (Mexican Slow Cooker Pulled Pork)

5. Storing / Make Ahead: Crispiness is retained very well, main thing is loss of moisture as meat cools (happens with all meat, shredded meat cools faster).

a) Best way to store: Shred pork but don’t pan fry. Keep pork and juice separate,refrigerate up to 3 days or freeze up to 3 months (for freezer, I put pork in containers/ bags and put juice in ziplock bags in the same container).

Gently reheat juice to make it pourable (congeals when cold). Pan fry per recipe, drizzling with juice.

b) Storing leftovers after pan frying: Keeps extremely well, but tends to lose juiciness when it cools down. Just drizzle with juice, cover with cling wrap and reheat – the crispy bits hold up very well. It’s not quite as crispy as when cooked fresh, but still seriously tasty.

c) Brown pork a few hours ahead / keep warm: Works extremely well. Brown pork per recipe, then transfer to slow cooker on warm setting or food warmer and drizzle generously with juices to keep it moist. Cover loosely. As long as the pork is warm when served, it’s really juicy. The crispiness holds up extremely well.

6. Source: This is a recipe I’ve been making for over a decade now, with minor tweaks over time so I can’t remember the exact source. I want to say Rick Bayless but I can’t find the recipe, however, I did find this one from Food Network which is very similar. However, I’m not sure when it was published.

7. Nutrition per serving, pork only, assuming 12 servings. Calories is higher than it actually is because it does not take into account discarded fat.

Nutrition Information:

Serving: 205gCalories: 578cal (29%)Carbohydrates: 1.7g (1%)Protein: 45g (90%)Fat: 42g (65%)Saturated Fat: 15g (94%)Polyunsaturated Fat: 4.1gMonounsaturated Fat: 19gCholesterol: 173mg (58%)Sodium: 616mg (27%)Potassium: 664mg (19%)Sugar: 0.5g (1%)Vitamin A: 40IU (1%)Vitamin C: 4.3mg (5%)Calcium: 60mg (6%)Iron: 2.9mg (16%)

Keywords: Carnitas, Pork Carnitas recipe

Did you make this recipe?I love hearing how you went with my recipes! Tag me on Instagram at @RecipeTinEats.

Carnitas recipe originally published 2014. Updated with new photos and video in 2018, and some housekeeping in March 2019. No change to recipe, I wouldn’t dare! This has been one of the all time most popular recipes since I first published it!

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use pork tenderloin? Sorry to say it’s not suitable for this recipe. Tenderloin is too lean so the long cook time will dry it out. Also, it does not shred into strands well.

Just to confirm – no liquid other than the juice from the oranges?? Really?YES, really. 🙂 The small amount of liquid from the oranges is all you need to keep it from drying out while it comes to temperature, then while it cooks the pork will drop juices. When this finishes cooking you will have more liquid than you started with.

Will it taste of oranges???? Nope, not at all! It magically turns into the most incredible broth that is then poured over the shredded pork.

Can I cook a frozen pork? Please don’t! This will mess with the cook time a lot because it will take sooooo long for the middle of the pork to cook, by which time the outside will be overcooked and when you shred it, it will almost look like mush! The pork must be defrosted!

After I skim off the fat, do I include the onions garlic and jalapeños when topping the meat, or do I discard these and only use the juices? It is up to you! Because it’s been slow cooked, the onion etc is really soft and it just melds into the pulled pork. I don’t bother straining it, but you can if you want to.

Will this work with pork stew chunks? It will definitely work and still be tasty but won’t be quite the same because smaller pieces of pork will cook faster so you won’t get quite the same amount of flavour. 🙂

Just to confirm – no pan frying tobrown the pork before putting it in the slowcooker? That’s right! You brown the pork AFTER it is cooked and shredded.

What size slow cooker do you use? Mine is 6 quarts / 6 litres. I use this Breville Fast / Slow Cooker(I’m in Australia) which Ilove because it’s a pressure cooker and slow cooker in one, plus it has a saute setting! It’s basically an Instant Pot – but without one touch cook functions (like rice etc).

(Video) CARNITAS | Easy Carnitas Recipe | Slow Cooker Carnitas Recipe

Life of Dozer

I first published this recipe back in 2014, when I was new to blogging. I took sooooo long with the photos – prolonged torture for Dozer!

Carnitas (Mexican Slow Cooker Pulled Pork) (10)


Are carnitas and pulled pork the same? ›

Carnitas are the Mexican version of pulled pork. It's traditionally made with pork shoulder (also known as pork butt) because of the higher fat content, which helps the meat stay super tender and juicy while it's cooked.

Can you overcook pork carnitas? ›

Yes, you can overcook carnitas in a crockpot. If you planned on cooking meat for a really long time, like 18+ hours, you would likely end up with overcooked meat that separated into really fine strands. I prefer cooking these on LOW so that the timeframe where they're cooked is more forgiving.

What is the best cut for carnitas? ›

Pork shoulder roast: The best cut of meat for carnitas is pork shoulder AKA pork butt AKA Boston butt because it is well-marbled with fat and cooks up incredibly tender with a long braise. Large onion: A yellow, white, or red onion all work here.

What is the difference between asada and carnitas? ›

Carnitas means “little pieces of meat,” and it's usually pulled pork shoulder cooked in lard. Originating from the state of Michoacán, it's a classic for tacos. A favorite at cookouts, carne asada is sliced beef made of skirt, sirloin, tenderloin or rib steak.

What is pulled pork called in Mexico? ›

Carnitas are Mexico's version of pulled pork. It's the first thing you seek upon landing in Mexico.

What does Chipotle call their pulled pork? ›

Carnitas are Mexican pulled pork tacos, and it means "little meat" because the slow cooked meat is pulled apart and crisped by searing it in hot oil. This cooking technique makes this meat totally irresistible!

Why did my carnitas come out tough? ›

If you don't cook the connective tissue properly, it will be tough and rubbery. The connective tissue has to break down and literally melt away in the meat. This takes time. but when it's done, the meat should fall apart by itself.

Can you cook pulled pork too long in slow cooker? ›

Can you overcook the pork? It's hard to overcook the well-marbled and fatty shoulder cut. However, it can become mushy due to the acids in the sauce if the cooking continues too long beyond the recommended cook times. Make sure to keep an eye on the pork and take a bite for the best gauge of doneness.

How long should I cook pulled pork? ›

Cover and cook on LOW (recommended) 8 hours or high for 4-5 hours, until pork is tender and shreds easily with a fork.

What are Mexican carnitas made of? ›

Traditionally, an authentic carnitas recipe is made by braising or simmering pork in lard or oil until tender. Where do carnitas come from? This is a dish of Mexican cuisine that originated in the state of Michoacán. Carnitas are made from pork shoulder (pork butt).

Do you cut the fat off for carnitas? ›

Traditional Carnitas

Trim away some of the excess fat from the pork butt, then cut it into 3-inch chunks. Set aside. Add lard and water to a cold stockpot or Dutch oven. Turn heat to medium-high.

What is traditionally served with carnitas? ›

Traditionally, carnitas are served in tortillas and topped with cilantro, diced onion, salsa, and even guacamole. You can serve your pork carnitas with other toppings you may love such as: shredded cheese or crumbled cotija. jalapeño.

What do Mexicans call carnitas? ›

little meats

Is barbacoa the same as carnitas? ›

The word “carnitas” means “little meats” in Spanish. These three dishes are very similar, but have some differences. Barbacoa can be either shredded or chopped, birria is usually shredded and served with a sauce or broth, and carnitas is usually chopped.

Is barbacoa or carnitas better? ›

The answer is that it depends on your personal preferences. Some people prefer the taste of Barbacoa because of its smoky flavor. Others prefer the taste of Carnitas because they find it to be more flavorful. Also, Carnitas are typically fried, giving them a crispy texture that's hard to resist.

What is the difference between shredded pork and pulled pork? ›

Also known as hand-pulled or simply pulled pork, this type of meat is typically made with the Boston butt, which is a cut of meat taken from the pork shoulder. The cut is slow roasted and may be smoked with hickory or other woods. After cooking, the meat is pulled into small strips while it is still hot.

What is shredded beef called at Mexican restaurants? ›

Mexican Shredded Beef, also known as Barbacoa, is an authentic Mexican dish made with chile seasoned beef. It is slow cooked until it is fall apart tender and so incredibly flavorful. It is perfect for loading into tacos, burritos, quesadillas and more!

What is Mexican dried meat called? ›

Traditional Machaca is a Northern Mexican type of dried meat, often made from beef or pork. Slices or strips of meat are traditionally rubbed with simple spices and left outside to dry under the desert sun. After a few days of air-drying, the meat maintains a jerky-like taste and texture.

Why did Chipotle stop selling carnitas? ›

Chipotle says it stopped serving pork at hundreds of its restaurants after suspending a supplier that violated its standards. Chris Arnold, a spokesman for the Mexican-food chain, told The Associated Press it was the first time the company stopped serving a topping for its burritos and bowls.

Why did Chipotle remove carnitas? ›

Chipotle has had to take their deliciously calorific carnitas off the menu for an unspecified amount of time after a pork supplier was found to have violated their company standards.

What is the fake meat at Chipotle? ›

A new, craveable protein from Chipotle, Plant-Based Chorizo is certified vegan, packed with 16 grams of protein per 4oz serving, and is made without artificial flavors, colors, preservatives, grains, gluten, or soy. Chipotle's new Plant-Based Chorizo has the deep, rich flavor and a slight kick that chorizo fans crave.

What liquid can you add to pulled pork? ›

Transfer everything to a large slow cooker and add a splash of liquid — water is great, but so is broth, apple juice, or beer if you have them handy. Cover and cook on low until the meat is tender and pulls apart easily.

Why won't my pulled pork pull apart? ›

When pulled pork isn't shredding, it could be because the meat didn't cook long enough. Cooking it too long, or attempting to rush the process by cranking up the heat, are two other common culprits. It's also important to use a reliable method for shredding the meat.

What can I add to pulled pork to make it moist? ›

Additionally, spray chicken broth or apple juice on the meat to prevent it from losing more moisture in the crockpot. To add a strong flavor during the process, white wine can also be sprayed. You can shred the pork during smoking or in the crockpot.

Should you flip pulled pork in slow cooker? ›

Since you're planning on an 8-10 hour cook, you can flip the meat halfway through to get that effect all around. Flavor your added liquid generously, and be prepared to de-fat it when the pork is done, it will make for a great sauce.

Should pulled pork be submerged in slow cooker? ›

Place the pork shoulder in your slow cooker and pour the marinade over the top. The roast doesn't need to be completely submerged in the marinade, just make sure the top is coated and that there's at least an inch of liquid in the bottom of the slow cooker. Close the lid and you're ready to go!

Do you drain liquid from slow cooker for pulled pork? ›

Cover and cook on LOW for 8-10 hours or on HIGH for 4-6 hours or until the pork shreds easily. Shred pork, and drain the liquid in the slow cooker insert. Return pork to slow cooker, and stir in barbecue sauce.

Is pulled pork better in oven or slow cooker? ›

Results: The oven roasting method using the pork shoulder definitely yielded the best results. The flavour of the pulled pork was amazing and the texture wasn't grainy or spongy like the pork that was cooked in the slow cooker (probably because the tenderloin is a much leaner cut).

What is the best recipe for pulled pork? ›

What is the best cut of meat for pulled pork? Pork shoulder is ideal for pulling purposes. It has an optimum fat content that yields to create tender, melty meat, but it's essential you cook it slowly to allow the protein to break down properly.

Can you cook a pulled pork in 7 hours? ›

Step Two – Cook for 10 hours on low or 7-8 hours on high for larger roasts. If your roast is smaller, you can get away with 8-9 hours low or 6-7 hours high. The longer, the better for pulled pork; it will only get more tender.

Is chorizo and carnitas the same thing? ›

Carnitas – Juicy braised pork shoulder flavored with lots of herbs and seasoning, carnitas meat is re-cooked in an oven until crispy. Chorizo – This sausage is made from coarsely chopped pork and pork fat seasoned with salt and paprika seasoning. Chorizo can either be sweet or spicy.

Why do you add milk to carnitas? ›

The milk acts as a tenderizer, a secret I learned while growing up watching dad make his carnitas which, by the way, were always exceptionally tender. The beer gives the pork another layer of flavor, while the cinnamon, which pairs so well with pork, adds warm, earthy tones.

How do you know when carnitas are done cooking? ›

Meat Key Doneness Temps

The USDA's recommended minimum temperature for pork is 145°F (63°C), but the connective tissue needs to be heated to at least 160-170°F (71-77°C) to dissolve properly, and most smoked pork shoulders are pulled in the temperature range of 195-205°F (91-96°C).

How do you know when carnitas are ready? ›

When it is completely tender - meaning you can pretty easily pull it away from the bone - remove it to a large paper towel-lined pan. The carnitas are ready to eat - though they may not be as brown as you're expecting. (They will, however, take on more of a golden color as they begin to cool.)

How do you eat Mexican carnitas? ›

Carnitas are so versatile, you can fill any burrito, taco, quesadilla OR use them as a topping for Nachos! Include them in a salad like this Chipotle Carnitas Salad! Serve them with the typical onion/cilantro topping typically seen served on Mexican food trucks OR a good Guacamole or Pico De Gallo!

What veggies go well with carnitas? ›

The best side dishes to serve with carnitas are Mexican sopes, apple jicama slaw, calabacitas (creamy vegetables), pineapple pico de gallo, and Mexican pinto beans. For unusual but tasty accompaniments, try elote fritters, watermelon feta salad, poblano mac and cheese, or grilled avocado. What is this?

Should carnitas be served with corn or flour tortillas? ›

You can use corn or flour (we love corn, but that's up to you). Gently heat the tortillas before serving. TRICK: Turn on your grill or gas burner, and quickly heat them over the heat. You'll get a little char and warm them just enough, but don't over do it, or they will dry out!

What is a good substitute for pulled pork? ›

If you are just after an alternative to pork, then chicken or smoked beef brisket can be a great option. A chuck or shoulder slow-cooked and smoked then shredded will give the same effect. The thigh can also be a similar texture to pork, but steer clear of breast or legs as they tend to be a bit stringy and dry.

What is the meat called for pulled pork? ›

What is the best cut of meat for pulled pork? Pork shoulder is ideal for pulling purposes. It has an optimum fat content that yields to create tender, melty meat, but it's essential you cook it slowly to allow the protein to break down properly.

What is pulled pork called? ›

Pork butt, also known as Boston butt or pork shoulder, is a cut of meat from the upper portion of a pig's front shoulder. It's a relatively inexpensive and forgiving hunk of meat that you'll most often see served as pulled pork in barbecue restaurants.

Is pulled pork better in slow cooker or pressure cooker? ›

Slow cooking the meat means it never has the chance to toughen up and will be extra silky and tender. Pressure cooking is faster, though you may lose a little bit of the tenderness.

Is pulled pork better on high or low? ›

For the best pulled pork, you want to cook the meat low and slow. Cooking at higher temperatures will give you a tough result that's difficult to shred. Slow cooking at low temperatures gives you a tender, succulent cut of meat that is perfect for shredding!

What is the best liquid to use for pulled pork? ›

Best Liquid for Pulled Pork

In my opinion the best liquid to use in the crock pot with the pork butt is chicken broth. Beef broth can work too. You could use water which would be ok but when you use broth it just gives the meat so much more extra flavor.

What Tenderizes pulled pork? ›

Typically, when you make pulled pork, you'll cook it in barbeque sauce or another acidic ingredient like vinegar, citrus, or Worcestershire sauce, which work to tenderize the pork.

What is best cut of meat for pulled pork in slow cooker? ›

When it comes to making pulled pork, look for a boneless pork shoulder. Sometimes it's also called a pork butt or Boston butt. You can find bone-in pork shoulders, though I prefer a boneless pork shoulder for more meat in my slow cooker.

How long do you cook pulled pork for? ›

Cover and cook on LOW (recommended) 8 hours or high for 4-5 hours, until pork is tender and shreds easily with a fork.

Why is my pulled pork dry? ›

If your pulled pork is dry, it's probably because it's overcooked. You can help the meat retain moisture by keeping it warm in a slow cooker, ideally with a bit of water or chicken stock added. To keep the pulled pork from drying out during storage, consume any leftovers within 3 days.

What ethnicity is pulled pork? ›

Pulled pork is an American barbecue dish, more specifically a dish of the Southern U.S., based on shredded barbecued pork shoulder. It is typically slow-smoked over wood (usually outdoors); indoor variations use a slow cooker.

Does pulled pork always have BBQ sauce? ›

Traditional barbecue pork or pulled pork is served with a sauce on the side. This tableside classic combination uses cider vinegar for sourness; brown sugar for sweetness, tomato for color; and cayenne for heat. There's also a bit of mustard, too. This sauce for pulled pork is so simple and easy to whip up.

Why is pulled pork so good? ›

The pork in the dish is cooked in such a way that it can be pulled apart in strands. These strands of meat are soft and succulent and can be mixed with a sauce or spices which it soaks up. It makes a very flavourful topping for a sandwich, wrap, but can also serve as a whole dinner.


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