How to Cook Carolina Pulled Pork With Liquid Smoke in a Slow Cooker

by Sarah Bourque

Cook Carolina pulled pork in a slow cooker to avaoid wrestling with an outdoor grill.

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Traditional Carolina pulled pork is slow-cooked over a low fire for around 10 hours. South and North Carolina pulled pork are prepared the same way, but the sauce varies by region. In South Carolina, cooks use a mustard-based sauce. In Southern South Carolina and North Carolina, folks prefer a vinegar-based sauce. If you do not have the time, patience or warm weather to prepare pulled pork outdoors, you can cook the dish in a slow cooker. Add liquid smoke to mimic the smoky flavor of an outdoor fire.

Rub the pork generously with a commercial or homemade spice rub. Common spice rub ingredients include paprika, brown sugar, garlic powder, chili powder, salt, celery salt and black pepper. Wrap the pork tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least two hours or overnight.

Heat the canola oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Brown the pork shoulder on all sides then remove from the skillet.

Turn the slow cooker on low. Mix the vinegar, hot sauce, and liquid smoke together in the slow cooker.

Put the pork shoulder in the slow cooker. Cook for eight to 10 hours, or until the meat falls apart easily when tested with a fork.

Remove the pork from the slow cooker, discarding the liquid. Shred the pork with two forks and serve hot.


  • Serve your preferred barbecue sauce on the side, if desired, or mix the sauce with the shredded meat. Serve Carolina pulled pork on a bun or as a main course with coleslaw, corn, and baked beans for sides.


Photo Credits

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About the Author

Sarah Bourque has been a freelance writer since 2006 and is based in the Pacific Northwest. She writes and edits for the local publisher, Pacific Crest Imprint and has written for several online content sites. Her work recently appeared in "The Goldendale Tourism and Economic Development Magazine" and "Sail the Gorge!" magazine. She attended Portland Community College where she studied psychology.