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Budget Pulled Pork Crock-Pot Recipe

Inside: pulled pork crockpot recipe. Collaborative post.

As a family of 5 we need to budget when it comes to planning out our weekly meals. I also need to plan meals that will fit around our busy life (after-school clubs mean they need to be quick and easy). One of my go-to meals is pulled pork as it is inexpensive, simple to prepare and can be left in the slow cooker until we are ready to eat.

Pulled pork is made by putting a boneless pork shoulder into your Crock-Pot/slow cooker along with an onion, garlic, brown sugar, barbecue sauce, chicken stock, Worcestershire sauce, thyme and the special ingredient: cola. Five to six hours in the pot and voila – juicy meat for your family meal.

I have been making this dinner for my family for years now and it is still a firm favourite. Hopefully it will become a staple in your home too. Budget-friendly meals definitely don’t need to be boring, and the affordable boneless pork shoulder is so versatile you can make a variety of meals. (Visit Love Pork for more budget pulled pork recipes.)

How to make pulled pork in a slow cooker

There are so many slow cooker recipes you can try but pulled pork is most definitely my favourite. Not only does it taste great but it requires simple ingredients and little effort in terms of preparation. As a busy mum of 3, I don’t have time to spend hours in the kitchen – an easy recipe is always my go-to.

It is also a great way to get kids to try a different meat as shredded meat is much easier for them to eat. Mine cannot get enough of this when I serve it!

Of course, you don’t have to make it in the slow cooker. You could also use an air fryer, pressure cooker or simply slow roast in the oven.


  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 1 boneless pork shoulder roast
  • 1 cup barbecue sauce
  • 1 chicken stock cube
  • 1 can cola (not diet)
  • ¼ cup light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 large onion, chopped (or you can use onion powder)
  • 2 large cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 ½ teaspoons dried thyme


This is such a simple recipe, just gather all of your ingredients together along with your slow cooker and you’re good to go.

First, put the oil into the bottom of the Crock-Pot and then place the boneless cut in the pot. At this point you can remove the fat but I tend to leave it on as it is easier to remove once it is cooked.

Add in the barbecue sauce, chicken stock cube and the magic ingredient: cola! It adds a real zing to the pork that you just don’t get with stock alone. You can also try it with cider or with beer – whatever takes your fancy or whatever you have to hand.

Then you need to add the brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, onion, garlic, and thyme.

Give the mixture a stir with a wooden spoon and set the pot to a high heat. (This will have your meal ready in 5-6 hours but you could always cook it on a medium-low heat and cook it for 8 hours so it slow cooks while you are out for the day.)

When the pork is ready, remove the fat and then take the joint out of the pot and place it on a plate. Using two forks, gently pull at the meat. It will be so tender at this point that it will come apart easily. 

Return the meat to the pot and stir it into the juices to make sure it has plenty of flavour.

That is it! Your shredded pork is ready. Now to make it a meal.

Shredded pork in a bun

pulled pork crock pot recipe

We like to eat our pulled pork in buns with homemade chips and corn on the cob. An extra splash of our favourite barbecue sauce, some salad and some cheese and it is the perfect meal! 

My kids aren’t great at eating vegetables but they don’t seem to realise corn on the cob is one of their 5 a day and the onions being hidden within the pork means they don’t even realise they are eating them. My air fryer chips are also healthier than oven chips too so all in all a balanced meal.

It is also great because everyone can help themselves. If you have little ones that need smaller portions then you can dish up what they need – no food is wasted. It is also easy to personalise, with different sauces and toppings. Everyone is happy!

The best part is, for the size of shoulder joint I buy it generally means that we get a second meal out of it for lunch the next day. I simply place any leftovers in an airtight container and it lasts for a couple of days. (Make sure you wait for the meat to be thoroughly cooled before putting it in the fridge.)

Other ways to use pulled pork

There are so many ways to enjoy pulled pork. Serve them for dinner or use up the leftovers in new and exciting ways.

Use it for:

  • nachos
  • jacket potatoes
  • tacos
  • stews
  • quesadillas
  • noodles
  • pizza
  • wraps
  • sandwiches

You name it, shredded pork goes with it!

It is also the perfect autumn / winter dish. We always serve it in a bun for Bonfire Night as we stand by the bonfire keeping warm. It is just perfect!

If you want to add a budget-friendly idea to your weeknight meals then this is the perfect way to save money, save time and create a fun dinner for the family to enjoy together. 

Next time you do the food shop, add a boneless pork shoulder joint to your trolley! Make sure you are signed up to the Love Pork mailing list for more recipe inspiration, competitions and cooking tips right to your inbox! Sign up now –

I’m working in a paid relationship with BritMums and Love Pork highlighting Perfect Pulled Pork recipes.

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Friday 19th of November 2021

Wow! It looks mouthwateringly good!

Jenny Taylor

Wednesday 17th of November 2021

It’s so perfect for those winters nights ahead too. Isn’t it? This looks delicious.

Jennifer Howze

Tuesday 9th of November 2021

This looks so delicious. I love your step-by-step instructions and that it's such a great budget family meal. Yum!