Super juicy and tender BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwiches served with creamy slaw and grilled pineapple. Easy to make and totally delicious, perfect for any summer gathering!
Let’s talk BBQ sauce. The sauce is almost as important if not more important than the pork. A good sauce can really make or break the sandwich. Feel free to make your own BBQ sauce from scratch. There are so many of you out there with amazing family recipes so if you’re up for it make your own. If you’re like us and your looking to save some time or making this recipe for a crowd and you just want to hang out with your friends while the pork cooks, go with your favorite store bought BBQ sauce.
Our secret to using store bought sauce is mixing two different flavour profiles together. We usually go with one that is smoky and sweet and one that is spicy and tangy like a Carolina-style sauce. This way you’re guaranteed to get a well-balanced sauce that meets all your taste buds.
When cooking the pork in the slow cooker we added one can of Coca Cola to help tenderize the meat. There’s nothing worse than taking that first bite and finding out the pork is chewy and tough rather than melt in your mouth. So to avoid this, cook the meat in some cola, you can always use root beer as a substitute which works well to help break down the pork.
What’s the best cut for pulled pork?
Pork shoulder is what most people tend to use and is usually our go-to. If you can’t find pork shoulder feel free to use pork butt. Both are great options for low and slow cooks.
How to make pulled pork in the slow cooker?
First season the pork shoulder all over with your dry rub. Next heat a cast iron pan and when the pan is hot sear all sides of the pork shoulder for about 2-3 minutes per side. Caramelizing each sides not only helps cook the pork faster but it helps to release the juices of the meat and adds delicious caramelized notes. Cut the pork shoulder into smaller chunks. Next combine sliced onions, cola and pork in the slow-cooker. Cook on high for 6 hours. That’s it! The hard part is done. When the pork is done I like to strain the juices out and set it aside. Next I transfer my pork shoulder to a tray or large bowl and like to shred it with my hands. The reason I prefer to do this with my hands is that I can easily feel any large pieces of fat that haven’t cooked down and I prefer to discard these pieces. If there is a bone, you can easily feel it and remove it. For us, biting into a sandwich and getting a large piece of fat just ruins the entire experience and most of the time my appetite. You can always shred the pork using 2 forks and directly in the crock pot.
To finish the pork, heat a cast iron pan. Next take a handful of shredded pork and press it onto the cast iron pan. This is an optional step but we like to get crispy caramelized pieces of pulled pork in our sandwich, it just elevates the sandwich. You want to sear the pork for about 2 minutes per side and toss it in some of your BBQ sauce.
Before serving feel free to slather the pork with extra BBQ sauce and top the sandwich with creamy slaw.
This is an easy recipe you can easily make in the oven or Instant Pot. Its full of flavor and easy to customize.
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1. Combine all the dry rub ingredients together
2. Rub pork all over with your dry rub.
3. Heat a cast iron skillet on high heat
4. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the pan and sear the pork shoulder on all sides for 2-3 minutes until each side is browned or caramelized. Let it rest for 5 minutes before cutting.
5. To the slow cooker, add the sliced onions and cola. Cut the pork shoulder into 3-4 large chunks and add to the slow-cooker. Set the slow cooker to high and cook for 6 hours.
6. When there is about 1 hour left of cooking time, make the slaw. Combined all ingredients together and chill the slaw in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
7. When the pork is cooked, strain the liquid from the crock pot and set aside. Next place the pork into a large bowl or on a tray. Using your hands, shred the pork. We always use our hands so that we can remove any bones or large pieces of fat that haven’t cooked down. If you don’t like fat this is the best way to discard it out. You can always shred the
pork using 2 forks.
8. Once the pork is shredded, heat your cast iron skillet on high heat. Take a handful of pork and press it down on the cast iron pan. Sear on one side for 2 minutes. Flip the pork and sear the other side. Add 2-3 tablespoons of BBQ sauce, mix everything in the pan and remove from heat.
9. To assemble, first add a slice of grilled pineapple on the bottom bun. Next piled the pulled pork high and squeeze some extra BBQ sauce on top. Finish with your creamy slaw and you’re ready to serve.
Repeat steps 8 and 9 for each sandwich.