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Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Barbecue

Makes 12-14 servings


  • 5 pounds boneless pork butt (shoulder)
  • 3 cups (about 2 large) thinly sliced onions
  • 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon crushed garlic
  • 3 tablespoons smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried chipotle or hot pepper
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • Ground black pepper, to taste


  1. Remove the excess fat from the exterior of the pork. It is fine to leave some on, as we will skim off fat later. If the pork is one large piece, cut it into 2 or 3 pieces.
  2. Place the onions, tomatoes, garlic, paprika, chili powder, chipotle, cumin, vinegar, brown sugar, and salt into the slow cooker and toss to combine. Add the pork and mix it with the other ingredients. Cover.
  3. Set the slow cooker for 8 hours on low. Although the pork will begin to smell really good in about an hour, leave the lid alone.
  4. After 4 hours, turn the meat over once, replace the lid, and continue to cook.
  5. When the cooking is complete, remove the meat and set aside. Skim any fat along the top of the cooking liquid, or allow the liquid to cool and then remove the fat.
  6. Purée the remaining liquid to a sauce-like consistency; it should be thick but smooth.
  7. When the meat is cool enough to handle, use two forks to pull the pork into shreds. Season with black pepper.
  8. Heat the puréed liquid and add it to the meat as desired, depending on how saucy you like your pulled pork.
  9. Store leftover pulled pork in an airtight container for 5 to 6 days or in a freezer for up to 6 weeks.

Copyright © 2019 The Culinary Institute of America

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