Cooked all day, this Slow Cooker BBQ Pulled Pork For Two is fork-tender and is an easy to make game-day favorite! Keep the pork warm in the slow cooker until ready to serve, then set it out buffet-style with a basket of pretzel slider buns and a bowl of sriracha slaw for building the sliders, plus make a side of smoky and bold BBQ Baked Beans with Maple and Cranberries and deli purchased potato salad – your all set for game time.
IN THIS POST, YOU WILL LEARN:
- COOKING SMALLER PORTIONS IN A LARGE SLOW COOKER?
- HOW TO MAKE SLOW COOKER BBQ PULLED PORK FOR TWO
- HOW TO MAKE SLOW COOKER BBQ PULLED PORK AHEAD OF TIME?
COOKING SMALLER PORTIONS IN A LARGE SLOW COOKER
The 6 hours of cooking takes place in a slow cooker. Do you have only a large slow-cooker, but really only want to make enough for two? You can cook small meals in a large slow cooker by using an oven safe bowl.
- A slow-cooker works best when the bowl is about two-thirds to three-quarters full. When it has less, the food will cook faster, cook off the liquid and possibly burn
- Use an oven safe bowl inside the big bowl of the slow cooker. I like to use an oven safe Pyrex dish or two large ramekins to make individual servings.
- Please remember to cook with the lid on your crockpot and try to avoid opening the lid while cooking.
HOW TO MAKE SLOW COOKER BBQ PULLED PORK FOR TWO
To make truly delicious and fork-tender pulled pork, here are a few things to keep in mind:
USE PORK BUTT OR PORK SHOULDER
Use a cut of pork with a good amount of intramuscular fat and marbling, like pork butt or pork shoulder. That fat will eventually melt in the slow cooker, leaving you with juicy, tender pulled pork that will shred easily.
Less fatty cuts will get tough and dry out when slow cooked.
I typically use a 3 to 3.5-pound boneless pork butt roast or pork shoulder. Pulled pork meat freezes well for a quick weeknight dinner later in the week.
Alternatively, cut your 3 to 3.5 pound boneless pork butt or pork shoulder into 2 equal pieces and freeze one piece for a future use.
Like any good recipe, excellent BBQ pulled pork requires generous seasoning with salt and pepper. Then we sear the meat to achieve a flavorful crust.
ADD FLAVORFUL COOKING LIQUID
Make a flavorful cooking liquid to add to the slow cooker by using the same pan we seared the pork in to sauté onion and garlic. Pour in the chicken stock to dislodge the yummy browned bits from the pan bottom.
This flavorful stock serves two purposes. The first is no different than what you’d expect from cooking on the stove – a bit of liquid prevents ingredients that are on the bottom of the pot from getting too hot and sticking or burning. The second is that the cooking stock combines with the liquids released by the pork as it cooks to create flavorful juices that help in tenderizing the meat as it cooks. Rub the meat for extra flavor.
COOK IT SLOW AND LOW
I know, I know. You don’t have that much time so you want to crank up the slow cooker to high and have it work overtime. You can do that, but I’ll warn you in advance: it won’t be as good. It’ll be harder to shred, and a bit dryer. If you can manage about 6 hours in the slow cooker (give or take, depending on your specific slow cooker), low is the way to go.
If you absolutely must get it done faster, try starting off on high heat for a few hours and then finishing on low until it shreds easily.
Use a barbecue sauce that you love. I personally use Famous Dave’s Rich and Sassy.
CAN I MAKE SLOW COOKER BBQ PULLED PORK AHEAD OF TIME?
Yes! Game time at noon? You have a couple of make ahead options. One is to refrigerate for up to 4-5 days. Another is to freeze for 3 months before reheating.
Reheat in the slow cooker or in the microwave. I typically add back a little BBQ sauce, as it tends to get absorbed as it sits.
Begin cooking this pulled pork for 6 hours up to 10 hours on low heat before serving. It’s difficult (but not impossible) to overcook, so don’t be afraid to keep it going for a bit longer than the recipe suggests, if necessary.
After you have shredded the pork and added the BBQ sauce you can keep the bbq pulled pork on the “warm” setting in your slow cooker for up to 4 hours.
Every month, I will share pictures of what you all in the OT42 community are eating and drinking.
Slow Cooker BBQ Pulled Pork Sliders For Two
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- 1 - 1.5 pounds boneless pork butt or pork shoulder, Note: 1 – ⅕ lbs will serve 2-3 people, Use a 3-3.5 lbs if you have more diners (6-8) or want extras to freeze for a weeknight meal.
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 2 Tablespoons canola oil
- ½ yellow onion finely chopped
- 1 garlic clove minced
- ¼ cup chicken stock
- 1 cup good-quality store-bought barbecue sauce
- 1 ½ Tablespoons yellow mustard
For the sriracha slaw:
- ¼ small head green cabbage cored and thinly sliced crosswise
- ¼ small red onion very thinly sliced
- 1 small carrot peeled and shredded
- 1 Tablespoon cider vinegar
- ⅓ cup mayonnaise
- 1 to 2 teaspoons sriracha sauce
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- ½ teaspoon sugar or honey optional
- 4 slider buns split and warmed
- Barbecue sauce for serving I prefer Famous Dave’s Rich and Sassy
Season and Sear the Pork.
- Select a cut of pork with a good amount of intramuscular fat and marbling, like pork butt or pork shoulder. Trim the pork of excess fat and cut the meat into equal pieces, about ½ - ¾ lb each. Season generously with salt and pepper.
- In a large, heavy fry pan heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the pork, try not to crowd the pan. You may need to work in batches. Sear the pork turning as needed, until browned on two sides, about 10 minutes. Transfer the pork to a slow cooker.Cooking for two? SEE THE SECTION: COOKING SMALLER PORTIONS IN A LARGE SLOW COOKER
Make a Flavorful Cooking Liquid.
- Pour off all but 2 Tbs. of the fat in the pan and return the pan to medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 6 minutes. Then add the garlic and cook, stirring until you can smell the garlic, about 30 seconds. Pour in the stock and stir to dislodge the yummy, browned bits from the pan bottom. Season the cooking liquid with salt and pepper, pour over the pork in the slow cooker. If using a smaller oven proof bowl inside the large outer slow-cooker bowl, add the cooking liquid to the small oven proof bowl with the pork. Cover and cook on low for 6 hours.
Make the Sriracha Slaw
- At least 2 hours before serving, make the slaw. Combine the cabbage, onion, and carrot in a large bowl. Sprinkle with the vinegar and toss to coat evenly. Add the mayonnaise and sriracha to taste and mix well. Season with salt and pepper. Taste. If you like more of a vinegar slaw, add ½ teaspoon of vinegar at a time. Too spicy? Like Add ½ teaspoon of sugar or honey. Taste again and adjust seasonings.
- Transfer to a serving bowl, cover and refrigerate until chilled, at least 2 hours or for up to 1 day.
Shred the Pork.
- After cooking on low for 6 hours, the pork should be fork-tender. Use a fork to test doneness. If the pork pulls apart easily it is ready to shred. Transfer the pork to a platter and discard any remaining cooking liquid from the slow cooker. Let the pork cool slightly, then using 2 forks, pull the pork into shreds, removing and discarding any large bits of fat.
- Return the shredded pork to the slow cooker. Add the barbecue sauce and mustard, season with salt and pepper, and stir to mix well. Taste and adjust seasoning. Cook uncovered on the high setting, stirring a few times, until the flavors are well blended, and the sauce has thickened, about 30 minutes. Alternatively, you can cook uncovered on the low setting for 1 hour. Add more BBQ sauce if the pork looks too dry.
- Spoon the pork and its sauce into a serving bowl or use the “warm” setting and serve directly from the cooker. The BBQ pulled pork will keep for up to 4 hours on “warm” in the slow cooker. Offer slider buns to fill with the pork and slaw. Pass additional barbecue sauce.
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Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.
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