Slow Cooker Mexican Pulled Pork

Slow cooker pulled pork shoulder, in a chile spice rub, shredded to serve with tortillas in tacos or burritos.

  • Prep time: 5 minutes
  • Cook time: 6 hours
  • Yield: Serves 8.


The Rub:

  • 4 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1 Tbsp kosher salt
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 teaspoon ground oregano
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Scant pinch of ground cloves

The roast:

  • 3 1/2 pound boneless pork shoulder roast
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil


1 Whisk together the rub ingredients in a small bowl.

slow-cooker-mexican-pulled-pork-1 slow-cooker-mexican-pulled-pork-2

2 If the roast is tied up with butcher string, untie it. Pat the roast dry with paper towels. Rub the spice mix into the roast all over, reserving any leftover spice mix for later. Marinate in the rub at least one hour or overnight.

slow-cooker-mexican-pulled-pork-3 slow-cooker-mexican-pulled-pork-4

3 Heat vegetable oil in a frying pan on medium high heat. (If you are using a slow cooker with a removable container that can be used on the stovetop, use that, otherwise use a separate pan.) Place the roast in the pan and brown on all sides.

4 Place the roast in a slow cooker, and add any reserved spice rub. Cook on the low setting for 6 to 10 hours, until the pork is fall apart tender.

slow-cooker-mexican-pulled-pork-5 slow-cooker-mexican-pulled-pork-6 slow-cooker-mexican-pulled-pork-7 slow-cooker-mexican-pulled-pork-8

5 Remove the roast from the slow cooker and place on a cutting board. Cut into large chunks. Then use two forks to pull the meat apart into bite sized shreds. Return the shreds to the slow cooker and toss to coat with the juice from the roast.

Serve with tortillas, avocados, and salsa.

Click on the comments you'd like to print with your recipe. Grayed out comments will not print.


  1. George

    Boneless or Bone-In?

    • Elise

      Boneless. Thanks for asking. I’ve now clarified that in the ingredient list.

      • Chef Ira

        I would like to disagree just a little- actually, bone-in yields a tremendous amount of flavor that’s kinda vital to a good authentic carnitas or “Mexican Pulled Pork”. Since you are shedding in the end, the bone really poses little hindrance to a deliciously easy meal, and it’s well worth what little money you may save w/ boneless!

        Also, I highly recommend not adding the kosher salt to the rub, but rather sprinkle liberally and rub in the roast FIRST, let sit a few minutes, then apply the rub. It will not make the pork too salty, and the difference in the tenderness is remarkable- that’s also why it’s always so much better in a restaurant!

        Finally, let’s just get one thing straight- giving this roast a mere one hour to absorb the rub is like not waiting for the champagne to chill!
        For all the effort you will have put in to making this dish, giving it less the 12 hours in the fridge w/ the rub will impress no one! This dish is too much labor to just cut the most important step! 12 to 24 hours and people will be amazed and you cooking!

        This recipe is otherwise quite authentic! (Don’t forget a squeeze of fresh lime juice over the shredded pork before serving!)

        • Joelle

          So if I wanted to prepare this to freeze and cook later, how would you suggest doing the rub? Would I apply and then freeze or would I apply and wait 12-24 hours to freeze?

        • Charlie

          I would like to disagree with Chef Ira just a little. If you can cook a pork roast in a crock pot all day and fail to achieve either remarkable tenderness or thorough permeation of flavors, you’re using techniques foreign to me!

          • zippy

            He means the bone itself adds extra flavour to the meat. This is why you use pork or beef bones in stock/broths rather than just the meat.

  2. Sally

    If only I could run out and get a pork roast and avocados right now. This is going to be on my short list of things to make.

  3. Sarah

    That looks delicious!

  4. LaWanda

    This looks and sounds delicious. Never mind that the crock-pot is the most used “object” in my kitchen. I just have one question: does a pork shoulder contain a bone? I have never cooked one. As is the case, I love your site!

  5. Anastasia

    This sounds and looks so yummy. Do you add any liquid to the roast while it slow cooks?

    • Elise

      No need to add any liquid to the pot. If cooked on low, the pork will cook slowly enough to release its own liquid.

  6. Eden

    Come now, don’t be coy. Tell us more about your slow cooker that sears. I, for one, am very interested.

  7. ChiShyLib

    I’m making out my grocery list now! I have some fajita spice mix from The Spice House which has all of the rub ingredients you list, plus a few more. I’m going to try that with a little extra chili powder and thrown in.

  8. Glenn Malling

    Marinate in what? Seems to me that the marinade flavor is integral to the recipe.

  9. Sandfan

    For those of you asking about the bone, I don’t know if the recipe has been updated or not, but my copy of it says a boneless pork roast.

  10. GM

    Do you think this would work with chicken thighs? Maybe if we added some liquid? We don’t eat much pork.

    • Elise

      Yes, though I would pull the skin off first, and maybe add half a cup of water to the pot (not too much, the meat will give off its own liquid as it cooks), and leave the bone in while it cooks. It will be easier to pull the meat off the bone after it’s cooked, and you’ll get all the goodness and flavor from the bone if you cook it bone in. That all said, I haven’t made this with chicken, but I do believe it’s worth a try.

    • Marian P

      I think the chicken would work, I would use thighs, I think the breast meat would be overwhelmed. I would also opt for a shorter cooking time, probably 6 hours or less. Boneless, skinless thighs would make it very easy.

  11. Shayna

    I highly recommend an Instant Pot. Its an all in one rice cooker, pressure cooker, slow cooker. You can sear in it. It has a stainless steel pot. My new favorite kitchen tool

  12. Andrew

    A trimmed smaller Boston Butt would work well too, but would definitely want to trim a good bit of the fat cap off to keep the finished pot from being too greasy. A leaner pick of country ribs would be good too, have used them many times for a pulled pork like dish. The price is usually great on them, especially anyone in the southeast with a FL close by as it’s a staple ad item

  13. cheryl

    my mouth is watering, i want to make this right NOW!!

  14. Heather

    Hi Elise, I don’t have a slow cooker; in the oven @ 200-250, ~4 hours ok for this? If not, what is your recommendation? Thanks – love your site!

    • Elise

      Hi Heather, great question. I would put it in an oven proof pot, like a Dutch oven, covered into the oven. Make sure the roast is at room temp before cooking. Sear it first. Cook it at 300°F for the first half hour, then drop the temp to 225°F, for 3 1/2 hours, or whatever it takes to get it to fall apart. It may take longer than 4 hours. The risk is that the heat is too high and whatever moisture gets released, evaporates, leaving you with a rather dry roast. I’m afraid I do not have a definitive answer for this. If I were making it without a slow cooker, I would add half a cup of water to the pot, bring it to a simmer, cover the pot, and then lower the heat to the lowest possible simmer setting on my burner to maintain a very low simmer. And then cook it as long as it takes. Good luck!

      • Heather

        Thanks Elise, I’ll let you know how it turns out!

      • yublocka

        Thanks for this comment! I have only had pulled pork a few times and loved it. May one day try making it, but I don’t have a slow cooker either! Silly question, why would cooking it in the oven be different to a low heat saucepan on the stovetop – it’d be easier to check moisture level that way I’d think.

        • Elise

          It would be easier to maintain a very low simmer on the stovetop. With the oven, you would have to take the pot out of the oven to check.

      • Adam

        I just tried your suggested directions for a Dutch oven in the oven (with the 1/2 cup of water) and it turned out great! With the oven set at 225°F the liquid read a steady 180°F on my infrared thermometer. After 4 hours the shoulder was falling apart all by itself.

        • Elise

          Great! Thanks for letting us know.

          • Sally

            Years ago I read that low in a slow cooker would be 200°F in the oven and high would be 300°F in the oven. I’ve used those when cooking a slow cooker recipe in the oven and it has worked well. It’s just oven braising instead of braising on the cook top.

  15. Martha

    I cook my pork shoulder in the oven in a cooking plastic bag and it come out very soft if you cook at 325, the time depend on the weight of the shoulder

  16. Tracey

    I wonder… if you chunked it instead of shredding, then tossed the chunks into a greased skillet, would it make good carnitas?

  17. Christian

    Can I use my rice-cooker in lieu of a slow-cooker? (I live in Japan.)
    There’s so much different information on the web I can’t seem to find anyone in agreement on this question.

    • Elise

      I don’t know what what temperature your rice cooker cooks, as to whether it would be comparable to a low slow cooker setting or a high setting. So it may take some experimentation to sort out how to use it as a slow cooker.

      • FoodJunkie

        I don;t know how it well it will work but apparently you can use a rice cooker as a slow cooker using the warming setting only. You may have to juice it on the high setting periodically to keep the temperature up. I have no idea if long slow cooking would damage the rice cooker after a while but in a pinch it can certainly do the job.

        • Sylvia

          I don’t know about using the rice cooker as a slow cooker, but I have kept the warm setting on for days and days and it is fine (Korean brand rice cooker called Cuckoo).

  18. Jenn

    Would this recipe work with beef (brisket)? We don’t eat pork, but this recipe looks amazing!

    • Elise

      Yes, I think it would be good with beef brisket. I haven’t tried it though, so if you do, please let us know how it turns out for you!

  19. Vivace

    A great way to do this in the oven is sear first, then wrap tightly in foil and put it in the oven on low, low and let it go. It will retain moisture and juice and come out falling apart.

  20. Robert

    My oven goes down to 175 degrees, would this be too low to cook the roast? Also, could you use a nice boneless chuck roast for “pulled-beef” instead of pork?

    • Elise

      Yes, I think that would be too low. Somewhere between 250 and 300 is probably the right temp. Yes you could make this with chuck, or brisket, much like a pot roast, but I haven’t done it with these seasonings yet. I recommend reading all of the comments to see what others have suggested for cooking the roast in the oven.

  21. Silvia

    It looks very nice. Is it possible to do it with Thermomix?

  22. Monica P

    Looks amazing! There is a Mexican restaurant that my husband and I go to and they make wonderful carnitas (pulled pork) and I’d love to give this a try at home.


  23. JBS

    My recipe is very similar with one small difference- add a can of beer to the crock pot when cooking, then shred the meat and return to the oven to caramelize and reduce the sauce. It’s heavenly!

  24. Bill

    We have the Ninja slow cooker and it is the greatest cooker ever made, we use the searing process in it. We have a pork roast in it now for the superbowl game, but we will try this recipe next. Thanks all have a great day.

  25. Little Kitchie

    I have this cooking right now! Cannot wait to try it!

  26. nancy

    I have this marinating right now. I read aloud the recipe to my husband and he went right out and purchased a pork shoulder roast as I prepared the spice rub. I had all the necessary ingredients on hand. I will be putting in slow-cooker tomorrow. Can’t wait to have tacos. Thanks for such a delicious recipe!

  27. Jen

    I was going to your website Saturday for your pulled pork recipe, when the Mexican pulled pork recipe popped up. Change of plans/ingredients! It did indeed make it’s own juices and was delicious with corn tortillas, beans, avacado and lettuce. We used an extra savory/spicy chile mix we recently received, here in Arizona. Yummy!!

  28. Rocky Mountain Woman

    I know that look! I live for that look! Therefore, I need to try this recipe as soon as possible!

  29. Bev @ Bev Cooks

    Yes yes yes yes yes.

  30. Elizabeth

    I made this for Sunday lunch, it was delicious. Loved the flavors!

  31. Jim Gauntt

    A small bone in picnic or other bone in shoulder should also work and may even impart deeper flavor. The way we do it is to cut 4-5 deep slices in the shoulder before slow cooking or braising and then make sure some of the rub gets in the cuts too – these are all great suggestions — now just a post on homemade good gluten free flour or Masa tortillas where you concentrate on technique would be a fine companion to this post :-)

  32. Candice

    This looks so good, I wish I could eat it right off the screen!

  33. Sophie

    This looks great. I would also tag or file this under “low carb” many of us still use your low carb lists first published 5+ years ago! :)

  34. Cindy

    Hi Elise, I just made this and the flavor was great but it did come out a little dry. I trimmed a lot of the fat off first. Do you think that’s why? I set to slow cooker for 8 hours–perhaps that was too long? Would love your advice–thanks!

    • Elise

      Hi Cindy, Yes, this is why I don’t trim too much of the fat. If too much renders out, you can always skim it at the end. 8 hours in the slow cooker should not have been to long if it was on the low setting. Did you have plenty of liquid at the end of cooking? If so, then the temperature was correct, the lid secure, and the cooking time fine. If the meat was dry, it was either a lean roast to begin with (I always look for a lot of fat marbling when purchasing a shoulder roast) or you may have trimmed off too much of the fat.

  35. Mark

    The photos for the directions do not show that the slow cooker is covered with it’s lid. Do you do this roast uncovered?

    • Elise

      You cook the roast in the slow cooker covered.

      • RC

        I made this in the oven yesterday and it was really good. I had a 5 lb. bone-in pork shoulder roast that I seasoned like you posted and put it in the refrigerator for 5 hours. I would highly recommend letting it sit over night to let the seasonings penetrate more.
        I put it in the oven at 275 F for 5 hours, but the time is just a guide since it need to have an internal temp of at least 270 F…I let it get to 280 F +.
        I let it sit for about 15 minutes and then shred with two forks. Served with pico de gallo, avocado, limes, sour cream …excellent.
        Thanks for the recipe

  36. lisa

    In the crockpot RIGHT NOW! This is perfect for low carb plan as well!

  37. Cindy

    How spicy is this? It looks great and I’d love to try it, but want to know which spices I need to reduce. We are on the low end of the spice scale – Hormel canned chili is about all we can handle :-)

    • Heather

      Cindy – I have this marinating right now to go in the crock pot in the morning and I’ll try to report back on the spice level because I’m a bit afraid myself. :) My husband loves spicy food but I’m a bit more of a wuss. I plan to reserve some of the pulled pork for myself and not put it back in the juice -I think that will help keep the fire level manageable.

    • Heather

      Hi again, Cindy. First, this is absolutely delicious. As for the spiciness level, I think you will be just fine with the shredded pork if you don’t put it back in the juice in the cooker. It has great flavor, but isn’t really hot at all. I would really hope you try it with some of the juice though, even if just a bite, because Holy Wow…what a treat. I had one taco without juice and one with, and neither one was blow-your-head-off spicy. Try it, you’ll like it! :)

      • Cindy

        Heather – thank you so much for the helpful advice. I now plan on making this yummy recipe.

  38. Jenn

    Just made this tonight and it was perfect. I cooked half a roast (since I just cook for one) so I would end up with fewer servings, and it cooked beautifully. I topped mine with some avocado, queso fresco and salsa from a local taco shop. It couldn’t have been tastier!

  39. iris

    Just looking at this is making me hungry. My last pulled pork didn’t come out so great (my fault for tweaking recipe)..but I’ll have to try make this one soon!

  40. PurrlGurrl

    I’m curious why the brown sugar was felt to be needed, although at least it’s a relatively modest amount.

    I’ve noticed more and more of today’s main dish recipes have sugar added. Quite a few meatloaf recipes I’ve seen recently add up to as much as a 1/4 cup of brown sugar to the meat mixture.

    Even restaurant foods have been sweetened up. Asian food that isn’t overwhelmingly sweet can no longer be found where we live. We’ve stopped eating at Asian restaurants because of that.

    Given this trend to throw sugar into every prepared dish, is it a surprise to anyone that America is experiencing an obesity and diabetes epidemic?

    • A different Cindy

      Seriously? Feel free to omit the brown sugar. No soapboxing necessary. [Insert exaggerated eye-rolling here]

  41. Martie

    Pulled Pork looks sooo yummy, but I’m allergic to pork, is there a good tasting alt?

  42. Heather

    Thank you, Elise! We had this for dinner tonight and even though I’ve never made pulled pork of any sort before, it might well be one of the best things I’ve ever made. My husband kept saying, “give it 5 stars!”. This is definitely going on the keeper list. I can’t wait to share it with my family and friends.

  43. Anita

    I made this yesterday and had it with the Spanish rice recipe on your website. It was absolutely delicious and definitely a keeper. I omitted the cayenne altogether as my chili powder had some kick to it.

  44. David Carter

    I make a different version of this; my rub consists of 2TBS Kosher salt, 1TBS chipotle powder, 1TBS dried cilantro, 4-6 cloves minced garlic. Serve with white onions, cilantro on white corn tortillas. Great for a potluck; it’s the only thing I’m allowed to bring to work potlucks. :)

  45. Tara

    I find myself without any garlic powder or onion powder!

    I have garlic salt, garlic pepper, “garlic gold nuggets” granules, fresh garlic and fresh onion.

    Are any of those acceptable substitutes?

  46. Helene

    Got a rice cooker for Xmas with slow cooking options and this is the first recipe we tried. Didn’t have garlic or onion powder on hand so added roasted garlic instead. Set it off before I went off to bed and woke up to this amazing pork roast that just crumbles under the fork.
    I agree that adding water is not necessary (although I did since the machine recommends it… but I won’t next time).
    Thanks for this wonderful recipe.

  47. Anna

    Terrific! I made this yesterday with a 4.4 pound shoulder roast and it took about 7 1/2 hours. The meat was absolutely falling apart – beautiful! Everyone loved it. My jar of cayenne is kind of wimpy, and the meat wasn’t very spicy. Instead, I roasted a jalapeno, and we topped the tacos with it.

  48. Suzy

    Made this tonight to the letter of your recipe, and it is delicious. I love the rub on the pork. Its great, thank you!

  49. Angela

    This recipe is amazing. I cooked it as instructed. I served it on tortillas with radishes, onions, cilantro, and a little jalapeño hot sauce. My husband couldn’t get enough. I can’t wait until my parents come over so I can cook this for them.

  50. Julie

    I am making this in the oven today. The pork has released a lot of grease even though I trimmed it. Should I remove the grease as it is cooking? Anyone? Thanks!

    • Elise

      Hi Julie, you can skim away some of the rendered pork fat if you want, but I recommend that you leave some for flavor. ~Elise

  51. Alec

    The chili powder I make already has quite a bit of cumin, oregano, and garlic powder in it. Would there be a good substitute for those, or just add a smaller amount of each?

  52. Richard Hill

    What great flavor. Our roast was over 4 # and it was very salty for our taste. Will make it again with 3/4 tablespoon of salt. Thanks for all the great recipes. After retiring I have taken a much bigger role in making meals and you make me look good.

  53. Denise

    I made this yesterday with a 5 lb. boneless pork shoulder picnic roast. After it was done (in about 6 hours), I let it rest for about an hour, then shredded it. I decided to put the meat in burrito-size tortiallas with a little shredded monterey jack cheese and salsa verde. I rolled them up and put in a casserole dish, covered them with more salsa verde and shredded jack cheese. I baked them for 20 minutes until the cheese melted and the sauce was bubbly. My family absolutely LOVED it! Best pulled pork I’ve ever made. I plan to tweak the rub ingredients and make BBQ pulled pork next!!!

  54. Tom Bollinger

    I made this for my family today. We all loved it! It will now be part of regular dinner repertoire. Thanks!

  55. Anna

    Quick warning for those attempting to sear the meat in their Crock Pot ceramic bowl – don’t do it! I’m afraid I followed that step and it resulted in cracking and ruining my Crock Pot. Unfortunately, I didn’t realize the damage until after I cooked the meat, which resulted in the juices running all over the table and burning to the bottom of the metal Crock Pot. So…sear in another pan, people! Are those inserts easy to replace?

    But the flavors were nice – I’m using leftovers in a tamale pie!

    • Elise

      Hi Anna, I’m so sorry that happened! Yes, if using the insert of your slow cooker, it must be designed for cooking directly on the stovetop.

  56. Mandi

    looks yummy! What is the liquid shown in the crockpot with the roast for step 4?

    • Elise

      That is the liquid that is released by the pork roast as it cooks. There is no added liquid in this recipe.

  57. nancy

    I needed to say I’m making this again. It is so delicious. I have never been a fan of pulled meat — but this pork is so tasty and versatile. Well done you!!!!

  58. Noelle Tabor

    I used a pork tenderloin as I wanted a leaner cut of meat and added 3/4 cup of water to make up for the lack of fat. I would say this isn’t a good substitute :). Even with the added water it was just too dry. I did find the flavor blend really interested and added salsa to give it some more moisture.

  59. Diana

    I made this recipe last night using a hunk of shoulder roast I had in the freezer. I only let it marinate for 1 hour but it turned out really nicely! The meat is tender and flavorful- I will definitely make this one again!

  60. Frank Marks

    I added one ingredient prior to serving and it was delicious.
    When you put the shreds back in the slow cooker and cubes of Pinapple. Mix so the pinapple gets warm and coated.
    It adds a nice flavor to the overal dish. (I served it on a soft taco shell with a wedge of lime)

  61. Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious

    I love this, especially because I can put it in tacos, quesadillas, and burritos! The possibilities are endless!

  62. Cindy

    I’ve got this in my crock pot now and can’t wait to eat tonight. I just wanted to say how appreciative I am of the fact that you actually respond to your readers’ questions. This is sooooo helpful and not everyone in the world of blogging isn’t always as responsive. Thanks for that.

  63. Kate Lancaster

    I made this at the weekend and all I can say is…WOW! Absolutely delicious. Served with homemade guacamole, sour cream and coriander in tortillas and was incredible. My boyfriend has not stopped raving about it :-)

  64. Ryan Z

    This is a great recipe, it took me 2 times to get it right as I didnt cook it long enough the first time. You need to get the pork up to like 190 for it to be ‘pullable’. My crock pot would get that hot on low, so I had to turn it up to high for the last hour or so. I’ve since been making it with chicken breasts as well. My wife and I love it, a little too spicy for the kids. I found a mayo based sauce to use with it that I love.

  65. Anna

    The first time I made this, I used a pork shoulder roast and it was fantastic! The other night I made this again but used a two pound-ish piece of pork tenderloin that I had in the freezer. I used only a portion of the rub, added about a cup of water to the slow cooker, and cooked it on low for about 5 hours. Not as rich or as easy to shred as the shoulder roast but pretty darn good!

  66. Camilla

    This was amazing! Just bought a slow cooker, and this was one of my first recipes used in it. Pork was moist, tender, and flavorful. All other recipes I’d looked at added liquid so i was worried it might be dry, but it was far from it. I’m so happy I came across your website and can’t wait to try more of your recipes. Thank you, Elise!

  67. Sarah

    It’s in the slow cooker as I type. 7 hours to go!!

  68. Ross

    Is there any harm if it cooks for longer than 10 hours? I need it to be ready 13 hours after I can start cooking it…

  69. Jessica M.

    Amazing!!!! I just posted on your refried black beans recipe (to die for!) and had to post here. These tacos were so amazing! Thank you for your recipe! Again, you ruined the fast food place I would get pulled pork burritos from! Ha!

    I only could find the half picnic pork shoulder bone in. But let me tell you, after 10 hours slow cooking I just basically pulled the bone out, it was so tender and moist and delicious!

    Only thing I did different was after I seared the meat and put it in the slow cooker, I poured a 12 oz bottle of beer (didn’t have Dos Equis, wah) and the juice of one ripe orange in the bottom of the cast iron pot I used and scraped up the bits and reduced it down a bit and then poured it over the meat before putting the remaining rub. AWESOME! I want to make this once a week now!

    Note: I apologize for all the exclamation marks in my review but it was that good. :-)

  70. Catmandu

    Two words: Ridiculously good. Now because of this recipe, I stock my freezer up on pork shoulder when on sale for a beyond-easy-to-prepare, insanely-delicious, can-feed-an-army dinner, that EVERYONE I have served it to loves. I serve it with mini corn tortillas, classic topping of chopped cilantro and onions with lime juice, with lime wedges on the side. Perfect “street taco” dinner. I use bone-in shoulder and it comes out great! Meat is so tender bones pull right out without fuss. Note: The first time I made it, it was a little too juicy for our liking, leaving our tacos dripping down our hands. Therefore, I do pour the juices into a fat separator and let that settle while I shred the pork. Then I discard some of the fat and put only some of the juice in for the first serving, then any leftovers get the rest of the juice for storage. A++ recipe!

  71. Cambridge

    My question is about the fat on the pork shoulder. I could only find pork shoulder with a lot of fat on it (when roasted it would be the crackling)….should I leave all this fat on when I roast it? Also I have seen recipes that call for you to dice the boneless pork, is that necessary? This is my first time making pulled pork using a slow cooker so I’m not sure if leaving all the fat on would make the meat to greasy….? Any suggestions would be great!

    • Elise

      You might want to trim some of the excess fat, but not all of it. It’s needed for the flavor.

  72. Patty

    My family loves this recipe! We’ve made it several times :) Thank you!

  73. Matt

    We made this tonight and it was a hit with all in the family. The pork was so flavorful and moist (I did add about a cup of water to the crock pot at the start since ours tends to dry things out even on low). Thanks for the recipe!

  74. Phil

    Nothing exceeds like excess, so I got 2 roasts, and will do one in the slow cooker, one outside in smoke, tomorrow. Both 5-7 hrs or so, long & slow.

    On your ‘making corn tortillas’ post, you had several people in Western Europe saying they can’t get masa harina. The CoolChile.Co.Uk ships to the UK and Western Europe, but not to Eastern Europe, where I am now. I order and have it sent to UK relatives, and bring it back. If I go to the states, of course, it’s no problem to get in Tucson to bring back!

  75. Kate Outlaw

    I have a two questions really; first I have a slow cooker with a removable pot (no manual) how do know if I can sear the pork in it? Second should I lock the lid on or just place in on? Does it make a difference?

    Hamilton Beach #33254H “Stay or Go”

    • Elise

      Hi Kate,
      I just looked up that model in Google. The product specs say nothing about being able to cook directly on the insert, so no, I would infer that you should not attempt to sear the pork in it. As for locking the lid? That’s an interesting feature. I don’t see a need for it with this recipe.

  76. Kenn

    Made this last night. Thank you, thank you, thank you!! Followed the recipe to the letter and it had wonderful flavor. I love spicy heat so of course after I shredded it I upped the Cayenne and let it sit on warm a little longer before serving. I added some lime zest to sour cream to accompany the tacos. with the avocado oh my, YUMMY!

  77. Pia

    I just got a crockpot and I have never made pulled pork before, but it looked easy to make, so I decided to give this a try. Unfortunately I didn’t know that American chili powder is less spicy than chili powder in my country. 4 tbsp of chili powder is a lot! I did reduce it, but not enough, so it ended up so spicy that noone could eat it.

  78. Stefan Tobolik

    Mixed ingredients today and its roasting now in slow cooker, will let you know results in 7/8 hrs time,

  79. Ben

    Thinking about starting this tonight to cook tomorrow. Has anybody tried cooking this with some veggies in the pot? Perhaps forgoing the onion powder to put in some diced onion? Or would it be better to add in onion after shredding for a quick cook?

  80. Glenn Sullivan

    I can’t wait… this is in the crock pot cooking as we speak. Pork Shoulder Butt Roast was on sale at our local butcher for $1.99/lb, so I bought a little over 8 lb and cut it into three different roasts, and I am going to try three different types of slow-cooked pork with them! I bet the house smells DIVINE right about now!

  81. Glenn Sullivan

    Follow up report: This was so good the first time that we made it again yesterday… why mess with a GREAT thing!

    I scooped the meat out of the pot and into a bowl very gently to shred so that it was still a fully intact roast, and called my son into the room to “help me shred this meat, it’s tough…”

    One pass of the fork through the meat and it was a done deal… he was amazed. So so tender and moist.

    I did use the comment someone posted to pull some of the salt out of the rub and “pre-rub” the roast with it and let it sit for a few minutes before the final rub is applied, and I only used half of the prescribed Cayenne Pepper (wifey is sensitive to spice overload) and it was absolutely fantastic.

    Thanks Elise!

  82. Barbara

    Was wondering if this could be made ahead? Having a taco party and want to prepare as much beforehand as possible.

  83. Barbara

    Could I freeze this after it’s cooked, and then reheat for the party?

    • Elise

      I haven’t tried freezing and reheating, but if you do, please let us know how it works out for you.

      • Gretchen

        I made this about a month or so ago, put the left overs in the freezer after being vacuum packed with our Food Saver, and just reheated in the microwave tonight. No work involved! Opened the package, popped it in a glass bowl, and 4 minutes later, dinner was ready (and as delicious as it was the first day)! Would definitely recommend making it and freezing, especially if you’re able to vacuum pack it.

  84. Barbara

    Ok thanks, I’ll give it a try and will let you know!

  85. Danielle koepfer

    Would this work with fully cooked pulled pork?.. If so what time modifications would u make??

    • Elise

      You mean re-cooking pulled pork? No, I don’t think so. You could sprinkle some of the seasoning over pulled pork to give it a Southwestern flavor if you want though.

  86. Mark

    This is a great recipe. I’ve tried it several times and have found the following changes make it even better!

    Instead of 4 tablespoons of chilli power, I use about 2. I then add about 2 tablespoons of achiote paste, which is a Yucatecan paste made with annatto seed and other spices. I also add about 1 tablespoon of paprika too. The achiote paste sends this dish off the charts!

  87. Kath

    I made this yesterday and it was absolutely amazing! I definitely got the “Wow” reaction around my dining room table. Besides the avocado and cilantro, we passed pickled onions and sliced radishes to add to the tacos. And your Mexican Three Bean Salad made the perfect side dish! Thank you!

  88. Megan

    Hi Elise,

    I’m very excited to try out your recipe, especially because I’m on a tight budget and this only required me to buy the meat! It is marinading right now. I realized when I pulled out my cut of meat that I bought a bone-in instead of a boneless cut (3 lbs). Will this change the cook time at all? I just started marinading my pork and hour ago and am torn between letting it marinade longer or getting it in the crockpot to cook in case it takes closer to 10 hours than 6. Thanks! -Megan

    • Elise

      Bones tend to act like insulators so a bone-in roast will typically take a little longer to cook. How much so? Your guess is as good as mine.

  89. Leah

    I know the recipe says cook on low for 6 to 10 hours… what if I need it to be ready in closer to 6 hours- should I put it on high for less time?

    • Elise

      No, you risk drying it out. The meat needs to be cooked at a low temperature to work. You know, it used to drive me crazy when my mother would say, “it’s done when it’s done”, but that’s really the case here. Sometimes you get a particular piece of meat that is ready in 6 hours, sometimes it’s more tough to begin with and it takes longer. Give it as much time as it takes to get tender. It stores perfectly well, so just make it ahead of time.

      • Ron

        Hi Elise,

        You may not see this for a while but it would be nice to know what finished temperature we should be looking for?

        Thanks for your great site.

        • Elise

          I don’t know. I just put it in the slow cooker and cook it until it’s tender.

          • Ron

            Hi Elise,
            Thanks for fixing my spelling gaffe…d;^)
            I cooked a 9lb bone-in shoulder @ High temp for 8 hours in beer/soda with chipotles, onions, and garlic. It was over 180 degrees at this point. I’ll have to use the skimmed fat to crisp them up a bit, but they are very tender and tasty!
            Sorry for the bold font I used…d;^(

  90. Amy

    Just tried this recipe tonight with some great New Zealand pork roast (with bone in) couldnt find one at the supermarket without.. but it was still amazing when pulled the pork out after about 8 hours it all fell off the bone and tasted amazing! I made a hand cut salsa of red onion, tomato, with cilantro & lime juice to top it in the tortilla. This recipe is defiantly a winner!

  91. Joc

    I used Aussie pork – had the same problem as amy but cut the bone out. Absolutely delicious – thank you!!

  92. Dan K.

    Making this now and can’t wait! I’m searing it on the grill before crock potting it, and I can already tell it’s going to be great! Thanks for the recipe!

  93. Andrea Winchester

    It’s been a while since you have posted this recipe, but I simply must comment –it is OUTSTANDING! This is on my regular rotation of recipes from now on. Thank you so much, Elise!

  94. terri horner

    I have my pork tenderloin marinating over night. I hope it turns out well. I saw a viewer on “The Chew”, make a tenderloin like this, and it was very tender, & everyone raved about it. I could not find that recipe, so i decided to try this one. I wanted to use the tenderloin for calorie savings. Hope it works out. But I did want to interject, that if you are not using slow cooker liners, you are truly missing out. They work wonderful, & I’m using to marinate, and will save me from having to wash slow cooker. Winner winner chicken dinner!

  95. Donna Klym

    I marinated overnight. Absolutely delicious. Love it. Sent it to my sister, and her family raved about it. Making it again this week. Can’t wait.

  96. Bret Horrell

    I made this recipe verbatim about a month back, and I’ve got to say I think it’s the best crock pot pork roast recipe ever! I used a 3.5 pound boneless roast. I have a family of 3. The pulled pork only lasted in our house about 2 days! I’ll be making this one again tomorrow – rubbing the roast with the spice blend tonight of course for maximum deliciousness. This one is a winner!

  97. Melanie M

    Just made this today. It was delicious!!!! I even forgot to sear it first as I got up early to get it in the crockpot in time for Sunday lunch. Will have to sear next time and might cut down on the cayenne & chili powder per my 9 year old’s request. Another keeper recipe! Thank you Elise!!!

  98. Abby

    This was amazing!!!!!! We served it with a yogurt sauce we threw together with adobo, cumin, and garlic. We followed the recipe exactly and it came out perfectly. This will definitely become part of our routine recipes. Thanks for a great post!

  99. Tye

    Best pulled pork “EVER” together with Mark Sergeant’s home-made relish, a bit of salad & wraps….. ABSOLUTE HEAVEN !!!

  100. Rebecca D


    I just made this for the second time, and again it was delicious!

    I want you to know that before I found your website I had a phobia of cooking meat. About the only thing I did was grill chicken tenderloins, it was that bad, but now my husband thinks I am an awesome cook because of you. Thank you so much for sharing your family recipes and cooking adventures in such a clear manner, complete with pictures. You have helped me become not only an adventurous, but a successful cook!

    Thank you!!

  101. Kate

    Hi Elise — do you think I could get away with searing the pork the night before I slow cook it, putting it in the fridge overnight, and then putting it in the slow cooker the next morning?

    I just don’t want to have to wake up and sear my pork in the early AM in my pajamas before leaving for work/having coffee etc. :)

  102. Andrew Hillman

    This sounds delicious!

  103. Karen Martin

    Elise – I have to confess that I’m terrible at going back and commenting on recipies I love (pretty lame since I have my own blog and I’m always so happy when someone comments). I had to tell you, though…I made this yesterday and the resident foodies LOVED it – it is absolutely dead-on perfect in every way. I knew I wanted something “pork” and “slow cooker”, so when I searched on that and your site popped up I knew it would be great. It was better than great, and I can’t wait to go home and have more tonight !! THANK YOU !!

  104. Kristin

    I made this last week and I have to say it was AMAZING. I didn’t have onion or garlic powder so I finely chopped them to make a paste, a squirted 2 limes on top and let it cook for 10 hours. I must admit, I was skeptical that there wasn’t any liquid added in but it came out juicy and delicious. Plus it made so much that we had two meals and then I used the last of the pork and incorporated it into a chili. Thank you!

  105. Susan


    This looks like a fabulous recipe! Could I used this pulled pork for enchiladas?

  106. Sarah

    I made this for a dinner party and it was AMAZING! Followed the recipe and it worked perfectly- thank you!

  107. Karisa

    This is my all time favorite pulled pork recipe. I’ve made it twice in two weeks!

  108. lily

    I’m making this tomorrow with topside beef (already have it marinating in the fridge. Would you recommend adding in half a cup of liquid with the beef or should it be okay without liquid?

    Thanks :)

    • Elise

      Hi Lily, it won’t hurt it to add a half a cup of liquid. I don’t feel it is needed though. That said, every slow cooker model is different and perhaps your roast will work better with the added liquid. Remember that 60% of beef is water. That’s why if cooked low and slow in an environment where steam is not allowed to escape you can cook beef without liquid. At the end of cooking you’ll find you’ll have plenty of liquid even though you didn’t add any.

  109. roxanne lucky

    I just found this site and am so impressed with the recipe, the author’s support and the community involvement. You people rock!
    I’ll be back after I make this pulled pork roast! Just reading all your comments has made me SO hungry.

  110. Mary Brett

    I tried this recipe for the first time. I marinated it overnight, then seared it put in crock pot on low for ten hours. It came out very dry, I put back in the juices but there was no more than a cup and it was still dry. Any suggestions how to make it moist? besides adding a bottle of barbacue sauce. Thanks, Mary

    • Elise

      Hi Mary, it may have overcooked in that long cooking time which would have dried out the meat. When I say 6 to 10 hours, it is a range. What you want is to cook it until it is tender, and that can take from 6 to 10 hours. Another thing that could have affected the results is your slow cooker. It could be that the heat was uneven in it, the low setting on that particular cooker is too high, or the lid allows too much steam to escape. It could also be that the shoulder roast you used didn’t have enough fat marbling. Fat is needed to help keep the meat from drying out. As to how to fix it now that it’s dry? Perhaps add a cup or two of water to it, let it chill overnight, and then reheat in the microwave the next day? Good luck!

  111. Jim Henderson

    I’ve made this several times. It’s our favorite!

  112. Susanne Perez

    wow wow wow I made this Sunday and it’s still so moist and tender 4 days later. I mistakenly used chipotle powder instead of chile powder but it has the great smoky flavor and the house smells so good while it’s in the crockpot. it really doesn’t need anything else with it except a tortilla, but I have sauteed bell peppers and portobello mushrooms and thrown it in. thank you !!!

  113. Sabrina Walker

    Thank you so much for posting this recipe. You were not exaggerating when you said people would say, “OMG! This is delicious!”. That’s exactly what they said. I served mine with my strawberry mango salsa. The flavors blend so well together with the pork. Everybody asked for the recipe, so I reposted it on Face book. Again, thank you.