Slow Down With Your Slow Cooker: Crowd Pleasin’ Pulled Pork with Cole Slaw

Pulled Pork is definitely one of my favorite dishes to serve a crowd. My Grandma used to make it when our extended family got together because it was easy, and everyone loved it. Thanks to a trusty slow cooker, it takes almost no time to put together, and your guests will be thrilled. This dish is great to have with friends after an afternoon outdoors, or while watching football or hockey. No guests? No problem! The finished pork freezes beautifully!

Here’s what you will need:

3 lbs. boneless pork tenderloin roast

Pinch of salt and pepper

2 C. of your favorite BBQ sauce (or more or less, to taste)

Hamburger buns

Coleslaw, optional

Cheese slices, optional

Spray the inside of the crock with a little olive oil. Yes, I am wearing blue nail polish. My 5 year old picked it out–he’s my stylist.

My experience with pork tenderloin roasts is that they are very lean. If yours has a layer of fat on one side, trim most of it away. Leave a little for moisture & flavor. Place the pork roast into the prepared crock. Sprinkle on a pinch of salt and pepper.

Lay a large sheet of aluminum foil on top of the crock.

Put the lid on the crock, and fold the foil loosely up over the lid. Grandma always did it that way, but I’m guessing the foil helps radiate the heat back down to roast the pork, which helps seal in moisture in the roasting process.

Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours. When you are done, there will be a lot of yummy juice at the bottom of the pot.

Grab two forks and start pulling the pork. Pierce the meat with the forks right next to each other, then pull them apart in opposite directions. You’ll know the pork is done when it easily falls apart when you shred it with the forks.

When you are done, you will have a pile of tender pork. Stir the pork shreds around the crock so that it absorbs all the juicy goodness in the bottom of the pot.

Start pouring on the barbecue sauce, and give it all a good stir. I usually add about 2 cups of barbecue sauce, but you can add more or less, depending on your preferred sauce factor. I’m a medium-sauce kind of gal.

Put the lid back on the crock, and let it simmer in the barbecue sauce for at least 30-60 minutes before serving. Now would be an excellent time to make the cole slaw.

Grandma always served pulled pork sandwiches with coleslaw on top.  I’ll admit that for years, I just asked whomever was passing a KFC on the way over pick up some of their cole slaw. KFC cole slaw is sweet and delicious. But this summer, I wanted to try a lighter, tangier slaw, so I decided to make it myself. It was darn tasty, and has all but replaced the KFC variety on our pulled pork sammies.

Quick Cole Slaw

1 pound shredded cole slaw mix (or cabbage)

For Dressing:

3 Tbs. fresh lemon juice

1 clove garlic, peeled & minced

½ tsp. kosher salt (or more to taste)

1/8 tsp. freshly cracked pepper (or more to taste)

½ tsp. cumin

¼ C. olive oil

Juice the lemon(s) into a small bowl, to measure 3 tablespoons of juice. I’m kind of lazy, so I juice lemons over a small strainer so I don’t have to fish out the seeds later.

Add the salt, pepper, cumin, and minced garlic to the lemon juice. Give it a quick whisk to combine.

Slowly drizzle in the olive oil, and whisk briskly at the same time to emulsify the oil into the dressing. Taste, and adjust seasonings, if necessary.

Place the cole slaw mix into a large bowl. Cole slaw mix can be found with the prepackaged “bag” salads at the grocery store. It’s usually a mix of shredded white cabbage, with a little shredded purple cabbage and carrots thrown in for color. Toss the cole slaw in the dressing until well coated. It may seem like there is not enough dressing, but hold tight. The cole slaw will compact a bit in the dressing as it sits. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hours so that the flavors can get happy and have a chance to permeate the slaw.

Pulled pork makes an awesome sandwich, but you could roll it in tortillas for a change of pace. Grandma liked to layer half of a hamburger bun with the pork, and add a bit of cole slaw on top. It was her opinion that pulled pork sandwiches “are much nicer open-face,” and eaten with a knife and fork. That was her Danish heritage shining through.

In my house, we toast the buns, pile on the pulled pork, a slice of cheese, add a little cole slaw, and plop the other half of the bun on top. We eat them with our hands. We don’t care how shamelessly messy these sandwiches are–They’re worth every bit of mess that they create.

Please don’t tell Grandma. :)

Just be sure to make pulled pork for your next gathering, and watch the excitement on your guest’s faces when you tell them what you are serving.

Pulled Pork with BBQ Sauce

(Crock Pot)

Serves 8-10



3 lbs. boneless pork tenderloin roast

2 C. of your favorite BBQ sauce (or more or less, to taste)

Hamburger buns

Coleslaw, optional

Cheese slices, optional


  1. Spray the inside of crock pot with cooking spray.
  2. Trim most of the fat from pork tenderloin roast.
  3. Place pork roast in the crock, and cover top with aluminum foil.
  4. Put lid on crock, and wrap any foil hanging out from under the lid around the top of the lid.
  5. Cook on low for 6-8 hours.
  6. Remove lid and foil.
  7. Shred pork roast by piercing roast two forks near each other, then pulling forks away from each other in opposite directions. (Thus, “pulled pork.”)
  8. Once pork is shredded, stir into any juices in the crock.
  9. Pour on BBQ sauce, and stir to combine. Add more or less sauce, to taste.

10.  Serve on toasted buns, with coleslaw and cheese on top, if desired.


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  1. says

    oh yum! I love slow cooked meals…and bbq! Always with coleslaw…you mind reader, you. I will definitely make this soon…well, as soon as we return from Haiti…can’t believe we are actually leavin TOMORROW.
    cathy b.

  2. says

    Love: Topping a sandwich with coleslaw.

    I was not familiar with this phenomenon until maybe…two years ago? The flavor combination it produces is just unreal. Way to tell it on the mountain, lady!

  3. says

    This is going to sound totally dumb, but I have been struggling trying to figure out for to get meat to have that lovely pulled look, and now I get it, two forks. [please don’t judge me, my mother doesn’t cook, and I was born without a cooking instinct]

    ps, I love the blue nail polish, I think it’s hot!

    • says

      No judgement here! :) I used to thing that I had to shred the meat by slicing it to bits with a knife. Then my Grandma showed me how she did it, and all of a sudden the name “pulled pork” made sense!

      Thanks on the polish! I wasn’t sure if I could pull it off, but it makes an excellent pedi color.

  4. says

    This is the most random thing but I just have to say how impressed I am with your blue nailpolish! I wish I could carry off a color like that but nope…on me it just looks kind of sad.

    The pulled pork looks really good and I don’t even eat meat!

  5. says

    Pulled pork is one of our favorite “slow cooker” meals, too. And your house smells wonderful all day while it’s cooking. Two “thumbs up” on the blue polish from me, too. Looks great, and I love that it looks a little metallic. Very rocker chick.

  6. says

    Yes, I love making crock pot meals. I made bbq beef with london broil for a holiday party and everyone ate it up quickly!
    A bbq sandwhich with coleslaw on the top sound scrumptious!

  7. Amy says

    Thank you, your food-goddessness — we all LOVE pulled pork sandwiches, and I had no idea how easy it was to make them at home. Guess what’s in my crockpot right now?? Smells delish, and I am already starting to salivate… :)

      • Amy says

        YUM-a-LICIOUS! This is our new Sunday meal – and I do mean EVERY Sunday. No, wait – I think I may just make it every day. Thanks, my friend – you are da bomb! Apparently, the Steelers did NOT eat a good pre-game meal, like we did….


  1. […] Pulled Pork is also a crowd favorite, and a snap to throw together. Oh! You could *really* impress your friends with “dueling crock pots” and serve pulled pork and shredded chicken. Think of the possibilities! It could be a shredded meat extravaganza! The men will smile. Trust me, I live with 5 of ‘em. […]

  2. […] Crowed-Pleasin’ Pulled Pork with NanaBread’s Knock-Off Chicken Bucket Cole Slaw. The pulled pork is probably the most requested thing that I make for company.  Everybody loves it! I’m kind of embarrassed by that fact because it’s just so darn easy to make that it hardly feels like I’ve done anything. I’ll make up for it by whipping up Jeanne’s cole slaw to go with, which really doesn’t take much effort either, but at least it makes me feel better. If you’re like me and you’re are an unashamed fan of a certain Colonel’s cole slaw, then you’ll want to try Jeanne’s knock-off version ASAP. It’s a dead ringer! […]

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