Traditional pulled pork is barbecued, which gives it a smoky flavor. But the slow cooker happens to be the absolute easiest way to cook pulled pork--and you can get a hint of smoke by adding chipotle chile. Serve the pulled pork with potato salad, collard greens and grits. Or make it into a sandwich and serve it on a bun with coleslaw.

Judith Finlayson
Source: EatingWell Magazine, January/February 2011


Read the full recipe after the video.

Recipe Summary

9 hrs


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until they begin to soften, 3 to 6 minutes. Add sugar and continue to cook, stirring constantly, until the onions are golden brown, 6 to 8 minutes more. Add garlic, oregano, pepper and salt and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add vinegar and bring to a boil. Cook until mostly evaporated, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Remove from the heat and stir in chili sauce and chipotle to taste.

  • Place pork in a 4-quart (or larger) slow cooker and cover with the sauce. Cover and cook until the pork is almost falling apart, about 4 hours on High or 8 hours on Low.

  • Transfer the pork to a cutting board and shred using two forks. Stir back into the sauce.


To make ahead: Prepare through Step 1, cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days. To finish, bring the sauce to a simmer and continue with Steps 2 and 3. The cooked pork can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.

Equipment: 4-quart or larger slow cooker

Notes: Raw cane sugar (such as Sugar in the Raw) is steam-cleaned, coarse-grained and light brown in color, with a slight molasses flavor. Find it in the natural-foods section of large supermarkets or at natural-foods stores.

Chipotle chiles in adobo sauce are smoked jalapeños packed in a flavorful sauce. Look for the small cans with Mexican foods at large supermarkets. Once opened, they'll keep up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator or 6 months in the freezer.

Turn 3 cups leftover pulled pork into Pulled-Pork Torta.

For easy cleanup, try a slow-cooker liner. These heat-resistant, disposable liners fit neatly inside the insert and help prevent food from sticking to the bottom and sides of your slow cooker.

Nutrition Facts

355 calories; protein 24.6g; carbohydrates 20.4g; dietary fiber 3.1g; sugars 14g; fat 18.2g; saturated fat 6.4g; cholesterol 90.3mg; vitamin a iu 244.2IU; vitamin c 9.6mg; folate 14.1mcg; calcium 48.7mg; iron 2.1mg; magnesium 32.4mg; potassium 504.4mg; sodium 664mg; thiamin 0.5mg; added sugar 9g.

Reviews (22)

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23 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 15
  • 4 star values: 7
  • 3 star values: 0
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 1
Rating: 4 stars
Excellent! This was the first time I had every made pulled pork. I am not a huge meat fan but my husband and kids are;-) This was a great and easy recipe and we all loved it! I worked from home during a snowstorm here in NY today took about 15-20 minutes to prepare threw it into the slow cooker for 8 hours and voila! dinner was served. I just served it with egg noodles and some green beans but was perfect even for my 15 year old picky eater! Pros: Easy to Make Great Payoff! Read More
Rating: 5 stars
Hi this recipe sounds awesome & I really want to try I am in Australia so chipotle chile in adobo sauce is not readily available- can anyone offer a good substitute? Read More
Rating: 5 stars
Delicious! I made this according to the recipe but excluded the chipotle chile because I thought it might make it hot an my son is a girl when it comes to spicy food. I started it later than planned so cut up the roast into 8 big chunks instead of one large roast and it was done in 3 hours. It was amazing! And my son even wanted seconds! Next time I think I might add some spiciness though. Pros: Super easy and not time consuming Read More
Rating: 5 stars
This recipe is fantastic! I had extra chipotle in adobo in there and served over nachos with cheddar. The guys used Hawaiian rolls to make sliders with the leftovers. I'd give it more than 5 stars if I could! Read More
Rating: 1 stars
YUK! WAY too sweet! I made this with an amazing cut of local free range pork so I expected it to be amazing. I followed recipe even went out to buy chili sauce (splurged on heinz brand despite that both brands have high fructose corn syrup-YUK!) excluded the chipotles b/c too spicy for my kids. It was too much sauce too wet and WAY TOO SWEET. YUK! We can barely eat it. My daughter asked to have the sauce rinsed off (that helped) and my son didn't want seconds. This is unusual for both. Me if I put enough chipotle Tabasco on it i can tolerate it. I will admit being from Chapel Hill NC I'm not a fan of traditional sweet tomato-based BBQ sauce (though my son loves BBQ chips) we usually like vinegar-based sauces is that Lexington style? But this was WAY over the top. I'll have to try my own twist next time: NO added sugar and see what happens. Pros: Meat cooked nicely to shred Cons: Sickly sweet! Read More
Rating: 5 stars
The smell of it cooking will have you craving it all day I made this with boneless pork chops and used a masher to break up the meat after it had cooked. When I added the sugar it brought out the water from the onions and getting them to carmelize took a lot longer than the recipe stated. Was very tasty. The pork had a nice heat to it. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
Big hit for a potluck! I made this for a work potluck and it was a huge crowd pleaser! Everyone asked for the recipe! I made the sauce the night before started the crock pot in the morning for a lunchtime party and served it with Martin's potato rolls for make-your-own sliders. Like another reviewer said it took a bit longer to caramelize the onions than stated in the recipe so I ended up cooking most of the moisture out trying to give them good color (adding sugar during caramelization also pulls the moisture out); I had to add a little water back in to the sauce at the end of Step 1 to loosen it up. I used Demerara sugar rather than turbinado to give it a little more depth of flavor and the max suggested amount of chipotle. The sauce is not too sweet not too spicy and not too vinegary which is why everyone enjoyed it so much. Personally I like mine with a bit more smoke kick and vinegar so I'll probably increase the chipotle black pepper and vinegar when I make it for myself. Pros: Easy delicious Read More
Rating: 5 stars
So good! This recipe was awesome! I followed exactly how the recipe reads except I made my chili sauce because I didn't have any on hand. Great recipe! Pros: Super easy Cons: You have to smell it cook all day Read More
Rating: 5 stars
best pulled pork recipe I've tried Soo good I've made this recipe twice now even with all the chipotle's added both of my little boys (2 5) eat it without complaining that it's hot. I've tried several crock pot pulled pork recipes and this one is by far the best came out tender juicy saucy and delicious. Easy to shred too. Pros: absolutely delicious Cons: carmelizing the onions in the morning is a little time consuming. Read More