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Slow Cooker BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich

20 mins Cook
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Copy of NomNom Recipes 1

Indulge in these mouthwatering Slow Cooker BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwiches, featuring succulent pulled pork generously coated in a homemade BBQ sauce, heaped onto buns, and crowned with coleslaw.

Pulled Pork Slow Cooker BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich

I’m all in! Soft buns loaded with flavorful fillings are right up my alley, whether it’s Sloppy Joes, hefty pastrami sandwiches, or oversized juicy burgers!

Pulled Pork Sandwich

We kicked off the week with a delectable steak sandwich, and today we’re diving into the world of pulled pork. It seems like we’ve stumbled upon Sandwich Week – did anyone inform you? Don’t fret, nobody clued me in either!

In all honesty, I could have shuffled my posting schedule around, but I couldn’t wait any longer to share this long-anticipated recipe with you. Behold the ultimate meat lover’s dream: tender pulled pork bathed in homemade BBQ sauce. Brace yourself because this is the kind of meal that weakens the knees – every single time.

This cuisine is quintessentially “me.” It’s the kind of food that beckons you to dig in, getting your hands and mouth delightfully messy. It’s meant for gatherings, designed to be shared, and destined for informal settings.

Moreover, it tastes like a million bucks while remaining remarkably simple to prepare. This recipe boils down to two key elements:

  1. The Pork: Oh, that pork, that glorious pork! We lavish it with a generously seasoned rub, slow-cook it until it’s tender but not mushy. Surprisingly, it only needs an hour of marinating because the slow cooking infuses it with so much flavor. You can use a slow cooker or oven, but if you’re short on time, a pressure cooker works wonders too!
  2. The BBQ Sauce: You can either whip it up from scratch, like I do, or opt for a store-bought version and elevate it by blending it with the pork juices. Regardless of your choice, incorporating those pork juices takes the sauce to the next level. Personally, I prefer making the sauce separately, using some, but not all, of the pork juices. I’ve experimented with a “self-saucing” version by combining all the BBQ sauce ingredients with the pork, but I found that it made the sauce taste too porky.

Complete the meal with a quick, classic coleslaw, some golden buns, and lay it all out on the table for a delightful do-it-yourself experience.

It’s time to party! Whether it’s Australia Day, Super Bowl Sunday, or just any regular day, this dish is always a crowd-pleaser!

Slow Cooker BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich

Slow Cooker BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich

Indulge in these mouthwatering Slow Cooker BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwiches, featuring succulent pulled pork generously coated in a homemade BBQ sauce, heaped onto buns, and crowned with coleslaw.
prep time
10 mins
cooking time
20 mins
total time
30 mins



  • RUB

  • 2 tbsp brown sugar

  • 2 tsp paprika powder

  • 1 tsp onion powder

  • 1 tsp garlic powder

  • 1/2 tsp cumin powder

  • 3/4 tsp mustard powder

  • 1 tsp salt

  • 1/2 tsp black pepper

  • PORK

  • 1.5 - 2.2 kg/ 3 - 4.5 lb pork shoulder or butt , skinless and boneless (Note 1)

  • 3/4 cup apple cider or apple juice (Note 2)

  • 1 quantity Coleslaw

  • 6 - 8 bread rolls


  • 1 cup pork juices from slow cooker, once cooked

  • 2 1/2 cups ketchup

  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

  • 2/3 cup brown sugar

  • 1 1/2 tsp each black pepper, onion (or garlic powder), mustard powder

  • 1 tbsp lemon juice

  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce


Combine the Rub ingredients and generously rub them all over the pork. If desired, marinate for 1 hour.
Place the pork in the slow cooker and pour in the apple cider. Slow cook for 8 hours on the low setting or pressure cook for 1 hour and 30 minutes on high (refer to Note 3).
Remove the pork from the cooking liquid and transfer it to a roasting pan. Set aside the liquid.
Optional: Roast the pork for 20 to 30 minutes at 180°C/350°F until it achieves a nice browned exterior (see Note 4). Meanwhile, prepare the BBQ Sauce.
Using forks, shred the pork until it is tender enough to fall apart (watch the video for reference).
Toss the shredded pork in BBQ sauce – use as much as you prefer. The recipe yields enough sauce to coat the pork generously without making it overly saucy, with some extra sauce on the side.
To assemble Pulled Pork Sandwiches, mound the pork onto warmed rolls and top with Coleslaw. I prefer to set everything out so that everyone can create their own sandwiches.


Combine all the BBQ Sauce ingredients in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Whisk to combine. Bring the mixture to a simmer, then reduce the heat to maintain a gentle simmer. Allow it to cook for 1 hour. Remove it from the stove and use it as per the recipe.


For larger cuts of pork, simply scale up the Rub and Sauce quantities accordingly. A pork roast weighing between 3 to 4 kg (6 to 8 lbs) will require about 10 hours in the slow cooker. Remember to adjust the Coleslaw recipe as well, as the original batch provides enough coleslaw for 6 to 8 sandwiches (i.e., the recipe as it is). Additionally, this recipe works wonderfully with beef. The cider's primary role is to provide moisture to the slow cooker and infuse a subtle apple flavor into the cooking liquid, which is later used for the sauce. I used dry alcoholic apple cider, but sweet cider and non-alcoholic options like apple juice work equally well. If you'd like to prepare this dish in the OVEN, add 1 cup of water to the roasting pan. Roast the pork in a preheated 325°F/160°C oven for 3 hours, covered, then uncover and roast for an additional 30 minutes until it develops a browned exterior. Add more water if the liquid reduces excessively; you should have around 2 cups of liquid left when it finishes cooking. The step involving the caramelization of the pork is vital for achieving those delightful brown bits in the pulled pork, which contribute to its rich flavor. If you choose to use store-bought BBQ sauce, you'll need 650ml (22 oz) of your preferred brand. Add 1 cup of the pork juices per recipe, then simmer over medium-high heat for approximately 30 minutes, or until the sauce thickens, stirring regularly. A 1.5 kg (3 lb) pork shoulder typically yields enough pulled pork for 6 large sandwiches or 8 regular-sized ones. A good rule of thumb is to allocate 250g (0.5 lb) of raw pork weight per serving, which provides a generous portion. Make-Ahead: This dish is perfect for preparing in advance, as it stores exceptionally well. After shredding the pork, cool it and refrigerate it covered, keeping the sauce separate. When ready to serve, add the sauce and reheat the pork in the microwave (or oven), then toss (note that it's difficult to toss when cold). For freezing, cool both the pork and BBQ sauce, then freeze them separately for up to 3 months. To reheat, thaw and follow the instructions provided above. The BBQ Sauce is an amped-up version of the popular one from Food Network by the Neely's, while the Pork recipe is my own creation. Nutritional calculations are challenging due to the substantial amount of pork fat discarded after cooking. The figures provided are an estimate, assuming 8 servings, and are based on the assumption that the pulled pork is served on regular bread rolls.
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