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Rubbed & Pulled Pork in the Crock Pot

A fast and easy recipe for pulled pork in the crock pot, rubbed with spices and cooked on low all day. Perfect for the work week!

One of the greatest inventions – ever – for a working mom like me was the Crock Pot, now referred to as the slow cooker.

For years, I’ve depended on the slow cooker to do the work while I was busy helping other families feed their children, navigate picky eating, or learn a specialized eating pattern.

The slow cooker has played an important role in feeding my family. From roasting meats to simmering beans all day, the Crock Pot has kept dinnertime in sync for my brood.

slow cooker rubbed and pulled pork with onions
Rubbed and Pulled Pork, Crock Pot Style

Slow Cooked Pulled Pork in the Crock Pot

One of my most popular recipes here on the blog is my Low & Slow Roasted Pork Shoulder. It’s another assemble-and-forget it type of recipe, but the cooking happens in the oven.

I like to make it on the weekends when I know we’ll be home and hunkered down for the day.

Pulled Pork Crock Pot ingredients
Rubbed and Pulled Pork ingredients

I use a bone-in shoulder and let it cook on the bone. Yes, it’s melt-in-your-mouth, fall-off-the-bone goodness.

But, during the work week, I’m too frazzled to take time to baste the pork, so I wanted to develop a pork recipe I could make in the slow cooker.

Pulled Pork Crock Pot applying the Rub
Trimmed, quartered and rubbed pork, on both sides.

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Roast

Recently, my husband did the grocery shopping and came home with a pork shoulder blade roast. It was pretty inexpensive and a decent size.

I thought, this is the opportunity to figure out a way to make this in the Crock Pot.

Pulled Pork Crock Pot Style, Rubbed and Ready to Roast
The pork shoulder is ready to roast in the Crock Pot.

I have a Slow Cooker Beef recipe that my family loves, so I decided to use that as my base recipe. However, I wanted to give this pork a kick of spice.

After all, isn’t pulled pork supposed to be spicy?

Pulled Pork on top of onions in the Crock Pot
Pork is placed atop a bed of quartered onions.

Pulled Pork in the Crock Pot

A blade roast tends to have a significant amount of fat, so I knew I wanted to trim as much of it off as possible. In the slow cooker, if you don’t trim the fat, the meat will just sit in it as it roasts throughout the day. (Yuck.)

There’s nowhere for it to drip out. To minimize this from happening, I cut the roast into four large pieces, so I could easily trim the fat away.

Spice-Rubbed Pork in the Slow Cooker
I roast this on low setting for 8 hours in the slow cooker.

I rubbed the pork pieces with a spice and brown sugar rub. Then, I laid the pork pieces on a bed of onions to help intensify the flavor.

Pulled Pork in the Crock Pot
Rubbed Pork Roast

I let the pork cook all day on low heat. When it was finished, we pulled it out and shredded it for a delicious rubbed pulled pork entree.

Rubbed and Pulled Pork in the Crock Pot
Pulling the Pork

I served this with a garden salad and a Rutabaga and Cauliflower Mash.

Rutabaga and Cauliflower Mash
Rutabaga and Cauliflower Mash


slow cooker rubbed and pulled pork with onions

Rubbed & Pulled Pork, Crock Pot Style

Yield: 8
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 8 hours
Additional Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 8 hours 35 minutes

A boneless, spice-rubbed, pulled pork roast, cooked in the Crock Pot.


  • 4# pork shoulder roast, boneless
  • 2, medium yellow onions
  • 3/4 cup water
  • For the Spice Mix:
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon rosemary
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground chili pepper (I used Ancho chili pepper)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin


Cut pork roast into quarters; remove any strings or netting.

Trim visible fat as much as possible.

Peel and quarter onions. Lay in the bottom of the Crock Pot.

Rub pork pieces on all sides with spice rub.

Layer pork atop the onions.

Add water.

Cook on low setting for 8 hours.

Remove pork from the slow cooker and place on a cutting board. Remove most of the liquids.

Shred the meat with two forks or a set of "claws."

Place meat back into the slow cooker juices to keep warm.


Pork roast can be fatty, so I trim as much fat off as possible. There is still plenty of fat throughout the meat, so it will be very tender when done.

If you don't want to make your own spice rub, you can purchase a pork rub and use that instead. My favorites are from Chef Paul Prudhomme or Tim Love.

If you don't like a spicy pork (and this is a mild version), you can eliminate the spice rub and make this with salt and pepper only.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 67Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 15mgSodium: 543mgCarbohydrates: 4gFiber: 0gSugar: 2gProtein: 4g

This is an estimation of nutritional content.

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