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Slow Cooker Texas Pulled Pork – Recipe from a Born and Raised Texan

Slow Cooker Texas Pulled Pork – Recipe from a Born and Raised Texan

This Slow Cooker Texas Pulled Pork recipe is perfect for anyone wanting to get the same delicious smokey barbecue taste without all the hard labor.

I might be born and raised in Texas, but unfortunately, I do not know the first thing about smoking or grilling barbecue. However, I do know a lot about cooking for a family and how easy it is to put food on the table by using a slow cooker. So if you are in the same shoes, this recipe is for you!

My Slow Cooker Texas Pulled Pork recipe is inspired by one of the best Texas barbecue pitmasters, Aaron Franklin. I start with a Texas-style dry rub then incorporate ingredients inspired by Franklin’s original barbecue sauce for my cooking liquid in the slow cooker.

The end result is a flavorful, smokey, tender, and juicy Slow Cooker Texas Pulled Pork that is easy and stress-free. There is no need to get up early and tend to the grill for all hours of the day. Just make the rub, smother it on the pork shoulder, add your cooking liquid, and press start on the slow cooker. Dinner will be ready before you know it!

What is Texas Barbecue?

Texas is well known for its mouthwatering, finger-licking, tender barbecue. Like most barbecue joints, pork and sausage are crowd favorites. However, the brisket is the real king of Texas barbecue.

The Lone Star State has four different types of barbecue – Central, South, East, and West. Every region has amazing Texas-style barbecue, but the term “Texas barbecue” typically refers to the Central Texas-style. Central Texas-style barbecue consists of cooking brisket low and slow over indirect heat.

A hamburger bun with coleslaw and juicy, Texas pulled pork.

Additionally, Texas barbecue meats – brisket, ribs, and pulled pork all start with a basic dry rub. A Texas-Style dry rub starts with equal parts of salt and pepper. Traditionally, you leave it at that, but nowadays you will find more barbecue pit masters incorporating more flavor to the dry rubs. With that said, as long as you start with equal parts of salt and pepper, your Texas-style barbecue is on the right track.

Lastly, Texas barbecue does not need sauce! But…. it is still commonly served on the side as an option. Also served with Texas barbecue are pickles, onions, and a slice of white bread.

What Makes it Texas Style Pulled Pork?

To make my pulled pork recipe authentic to Texas barbecue (without a grill or oven), I slow cook my meat and stay true to the Texas dry rub and no barbecue sauce. I smother the pork shoulder with a Texas-style dry rub. Add my liquid ingredients (NO BBQ SAUCE), then cook it low and slow in the crockpot until it is tender, juicy, and delicious.

Additionally, I still want to achieve a beautiful smokey flavor without cooking the pork shoulder over a pit with wood. To achieve that, I add a few dashes of liquid smoke.

There you have it, Slow Cooker Texas Pulled Pork.

Enjoying Texas Pulled Pork in Dallas

A plate of Texas pulled pork sandwich with a side of coleslaw and sweet potato fries.

If you are visiting Dallas, Texas you MUST try barbecue at one of the many amazing BBQ joints. Of course, you need to order brisket, but as previously stated, another local-favorite is pulled pork. Whether you order 1/2 pound of pulled pork or a pulled pork sandwich, you will not be disappointed with the Texas-style.

As a born and raised Dallas, Texan I enjoy pulled pork at the award-winning restaurants, Pecan Lodge in Deep Ellum, and Hutchins BBQ in McKinney and Frisco. Truthfully, there are plenty more great barbecue restaurants in Dallas, but these are two of my favorites.

List of Ingredients for Slow Cooker Texas Pulled Pork

Here is a list of ingredients needed to make Slow Cooker Texas Pulled Pork.

A juicy and tender slow cooker Texas pulled pork sandwich with coleslaw.

For the Meat

  • Pork shoulder (or butt)

For the Texas-Style Dry Rub

  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • Garlic powder
  • Onion powder
  • Paprika
  • Cayenne pepper

For the Cooking Liquid

  • Garlic cloves, minced
  • Brown sugar
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Ketchup
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Paprika
  • Ground mustard
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • Liquid smoke

How to Make Slow Cooker Texas Pulled Pork

Making Slow Cooker Texas Pulled Pork is SUPER EASY! The prep time takes only 10 minutes, then you program your slow cooker, walk away, and come back 8 hours later to serve your delicious meal.

Two Texas pulled pork sandwiches on hamburger buns with coleslaw.

The first step is to make the Texas dry rub. In a small bowl, mix together the salt, black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, and cayenne pepper.

Before you apply the dry rub, cut any excess fat from the pork shoulder. Then smother the dry rub on all sides of the pork shoulder. Place the pork into the slow cooker.

In another bowl, mix together the minced garlic cloves, brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, salt, black pepper, paprika, ground mustard, and liquid smoke. Pour the cooking liquid into the slow cooker.

Program the slow cooker to low heat and cook for 8 hours or until tender. Remove the pork from the slow cooker and shred it using a fork. That’s it!

Serve the Slow Cooker Texas Pulled Pork with hamburger buns, over nachos, on a baked potato, anything you want!

Slow Cooker Texas Pulled Pork

Slow Cooker Texas Pulled Pork

Yield: 8 servings (sandwiches)
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 8 hours
Total Time: 8 hours 10 minutes

Texas-style pulled pork slow-cooked until it is juicy, tender, and packed with flavor!


For the Meat

  • 3 pounds pork shoulder (or butt)

For the Dry Rub

  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons black pepper
  • 1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

For the Cooking Liquid

  • 1 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce 
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
  • 1 tablespoon liquid smoke


  1. In a small bowl, mix the Texas dry rub ingredients together.
  2. Cut any excess fat from the pork shoulder. Apply the Texas dry rub on all sides of the pork shoulder. You do not need to use all of the dry rub - only use enough to cover the pork. Place the pork shoulder in the slow cooker.
  3. In another bowl, mix all of the cooking liquid ingredients together. Pour the cooking liquid into the slow cooker.
  4. Cook on low heat for at least 8 hours or until tender.
  5. Once the pork is finished cooking, remove it from the slow cooker and shred it using forks. Should be easy when it is nice and tender!
  6. Serve with hamburger buns, over nachos, on a baked potato, and more.

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Tuesday 30th of April 2024

I bought a 13 pound pork shoulder and will need to cook it in the over (my slow cooker isn't big enough. Can you recommend how long and at what temp to cook it please? I'm serving 15 people.


Wednesday 1st of May 2024

Hi, you can cook the pork in the oven in a pan with a high side at 300 degrees. Start with 3 hours and keep checking the pork until the internal temperature is between 190 F to 195 F. At those temperatures the meat is tender and ready to be pulled apart. I would make sure you mixing the cooking liquid well. If the pan starts to look dry, I would make and add more cooking liquid. I hope this helps and works out for you. You could try to do half the pork in the slow cooker and the other half in the oven too.


Saturday 23rd of September 2023

First time ever making pulled pork . The only thing I did differently was a little more garlic just because I love garlic. My hubby loved it and he is a an honest critic ! So yummy!


Saturday 23rd of September 2023

I love garlic too! Glad y’all both enjoyed it. Thank you for sharing!

Jacquie Gee

Sunday 17th of September 2023

This recipe was a huge hit! Super easy to put together and the taste was amazing! The pork was so tender and the sauce was delicious. We didn’t even need barbecue sauce, just coke slaw and a pickle and we were set. Definitely keeping this on rotation!❤️


Saturday 23rd of September 2023

Aww I’m so happy to hear that! Thank you for sharing. I’m glad you enjoyed it.


Sunday 30th of July 2023

We made this last night but we rubbed the pork down with mayonnaise before adding the dry rub and we added Coca Cola to the wet and it turned out to be the best we have ever made!


Monday 31st of July 2023

That is awesome! I’m so happy to hear that. Thank you for sharing ☺️


Sunday 16th of July 2023

This is the first time I have made Pull Pork👍🏽. It was easy and delicious. This is a keeper recipe. Thank you for sharing.


Tuesday 18th of July 2023

Hi Sheila, thanks so much for sharing. I’m so glad you enjoyed my recipe!

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