Labor Day can be labor-less by whipping up these crowd pleasing Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Sandwiches! Pork shoulder is cooked low and slow until fall-apart tender. Top toasted pretzel rolls with the warm pulled pork, barbecue sauce and a crisp cool coleslaw for one delicious meal!
This Labor Day why not make it labor-less by whipping up these delicious slow cooker pulled pork sandwiches?
Okay, so these aren’t totally labor-free it’s just that pretty much everything is done in your slow cooker. And truthfully could be made a few days in advance and they reheated the day of which lightens the load a bit, right?
For this recipe, a large pork shoulder is seared and toss it into the slow cooker with sautéed onions and a light smoky sauce. It cooks low and slow until falling apart.
Deliciously tender shredded pork topped with barbecue sauce meets crisp coleslaw and pretzel bun. <—my weakness.
To Make These Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Sandwiches You Will Need:
- tomato paste
- dark brown sugar
- apple cider vinegar
- chipotle powder
- garlic powder
- dry mustard
- smoked paprika
- olive oil
- bone-in pork shoulder roast (6 to 7 pounds)
- kosher salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- yellow onion
- pretzel rolls (homemade or store-bought)
- barbecue sauce – I use this one
- kettle cooked chips
In a medium bowl, measure and add; 3/4 cup ketchup, 3 tablespoons tomato paste, 1/4 cup dark brown sugar, 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar, 1 teaspoon each paprika, chipotle powder, garlic powder, dry mustard and cumin, plus a 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika.
Whisk until thoroughly combined.
Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet. Use paper towel to pat the pork shoulder dry and generously season all sides with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Once the oil and pan are hot, sear the roast for 5 to 6 minutes, or until a deep golden crust forms on all sides.
Reduce the heat under the pan to medium-low and transfer the seared pork shoulder to your slow cooker.
Add the chopped onion to the pan, scraping up any leftover browned bits stuck on the bottom of the pan.
Lastly stir in the sauce.
Pour the saucy onions over top of the pork shoulder before covering and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours or on high heat for 6 to 8 hours.
Transfer the pork to a cutting board, the pork will be fall-apart tender so this may take several attempts.
Discard the bone, and any fatty pieces and then shred the pork with 2 forks. Skim off excess fat from the liquids in the slow cooker before adding the shredded pork back into your slow cooker, to keep it moist. Toss to coat and season with salt to taste.
Toast the pretzel rolls or any good sturdy roll and pile high with the pulled pork, a little or a lot of barbecue sauce and crisp cool coleslaw. For the slaw, I just used pre-shredded coleslaw mix and added my greek yogurt slaw dressing. But my recipe for traditional coleslaw dressing is equally delicious.
These sandwiches have SO much flavor! The pork alone is mouthwatering delicious and with the extra zhuzh from bbq sauce and slaw = fantastic!
Either way, you and your guests are going to love these saucy sandwiches!
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Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Sandwiches
FOR THE PULLED PORK:
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 6 pound pork shoulder, bone-in
- kosher salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- 3/4 cup ketchup
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon chipotle powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon dry mustard
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 cup yellow onion, diced
- Pull the pork shoulder out of the fridge 30 minutes prior.
- Heat oil in a large stainless or cast iron skillet on mied-high heat.
- Season all sides of the pork shoulder with salt and pepper. Once the skillet is hot, seaar the pork for 5 minutes on all sides. Then remove to your slow cooker and reduce the temperature under the pan to medium.
- Meanwhile, in a bowl, combine ketchup, tomato paste, apple cider vinegar, paprika, chipotle powder, garlic powder, dry mustard, cumin and smoked paprika. Whisk well to combine.
- After the pork has seared, add the chopped onion to the skillet and use a wooden spatulat to scrape up any bits stck to the bottom of the pan. Add the onions to the sauce and pour over the pork.
- Cover and cook on low heat (recommended) for 8-10 hours or on high for 5 to 6 hours.
- When the pork is cooked and falling a part, use tongs to transfer it to a large carving board. With 2 fork shred the pork. Skim any excess fat from the sauce before return the pork to the liquids in the slow cooker. Toss to coat and season with salt to taste.**
- Serve on toasted rolls with barbecue sauce and coleslaw.
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