Southern Style Pulled Pork with Sweet Bourbon Sauce

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NOTE- This recipe requires a minimum 12 hours brining time. If you don’t have the time for this- try this recipe instead.

This is an authentic Southern USA style Pulled Pork recipe- but made using a slow cooker. The difference between this and many other slow cooker recipes is that this one does not cook immersed in liquid- nor is a sauce added to the pulled pork at the end. It simply does not need it. It is incredibly succulent on it’s own due to the brining process.

If you’ve tried other pulled pork recipes in a slow cooker before, you will understand when I describe them as being like cat food- sloppy, mushy and bland. This recipe is all you need.

Based on this recipe from KevinandAmanda, the difference is that I used a pork Scotch Fillet- without a thick layer of fat. If my cut of Pork Shoulder had a layer of fat, I would probably do the oven version of this recipe (100% the same preparation steps), you almost need the dry heat from the oven to melt the fat to distibute it through the pork. However, I don’t really like the idea of leaving my oven on for such a long time. Electricity in Australia is really expensive, and as Amanda points out, a lot of ovens cut off after 12 hours- and in the oven it can take a few hours longer than that to cook on a low temp.

So here you go- Authentic Southern Style Pulled Pork in a Slow Cooker!!!

I’ve included a recipe for a Sweet Bourbon BBQ sauce, made using the left over onions from the slow cooker.

Southern Style Pulled Pork


  • Approx 1.8-2 Kilo whole Pork Scotch Fillet
  • Approx 4 large Onions, peeled and halved
  • Dry Spice Rub
  • 1 Tablespoon Cumin powder
  • 1 Tablespoon Garlic powder
  • 1 Tablespoon Onion powder (I substituted flakes)
  • 1 Tablespoon Chilli powder (I substituted Chilli Flakes)
  • 1 Tablespoon Cayenne Pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon Salt
  • 1 Tablespoon Ground Black Pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon Paprika
  • 1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
  • Brine Solution
  • 1/2 Cup Salt
  • 1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
  • 1.8 Litres Cold Water
  • 3 Tablespoons dry spice rub mix (above)
  • Bourbon Sauce (optional)
  • 1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup Bourbon
  • 2 Tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons Tomato Sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
  • (about 2 whole onions left over after the pulled pork has been made (they will be fall apart slow cooked soft).


    Dry Spice Rub:
  1. Mix all dry rub ingredients together, store in airtight container and set aside.
  2. Brine Solution:
  3. In a large jug, place cold water, salt, brown sugar and 3 Tablespoons of the dry spice rub mix, stir to dissolve.
  4. In a large resealable plastic ziplock bag, place the whole Pork Scotch Fillet. I recommend double bagging just in case...
  5. Pour the brining solution into the bag until pork is fully immersed by liquid. Store in the refrigerator so that it is fully immersed by the brining solution, preferably upright so the bag seal is at the top. Do this for at least 12 hours preferably 24 hours.
  6. Once the pork has brined for the appropriate amount of time, pour off the liquid, pat the pork dry with paper towels.
  7. Place the peeled and halved onions, cut side down, into the base of the slow cooker.
  8. Using about 3/4 of the dry spice rub mix, rub the mix into the entire outside of the pork, getting into any creases. Place the pork on the bed of onions and place the lid on the slow cooker.
  9. Cook until meat shreds easily with a fork (literally it will fall apart when it is cooked enough).
  10. I cooked mine for 4 hours on level 2 and then another 7 hours on level 1 (overnight)- 11 hours total. So on level one you might need a good 13 hours, but this is variable with the size and power of your slow cooker. The pork will lose a lot of liquid over this time, you do not need to add any liquid to the cooker, the onions are there as a layer to stop meat going dry.
  11. Once cooked, remove pork from slow cooker, shred apart with two forks, place in an oven proof dish, sprinkle over left over dry spice rub mix for extra flavouring and stick under the grill to create some slightly charred blackened crunchy bits- as you would have if it was done in a bbq. Turn shredded meat and grill a little more. You can do this as little of as much as you like, the pork is so succulent it can definitely handle a bit of charring.
  12. Keep in the refrigerator or portion into freezer bags for when needed. Great on burgers or for making pita bread pizzas.
  13. Spicy Sweet Bourbon Sauce
  14. In a small saucepan, whisk all ingredients together, bring to a simmer, simmer for 10 minutes or so until steaming and sauce is starting to thicken, Stir as needed to prevent burning.
  15. Add the onions (about 2 whole left over from slow cooker) and cook a couple of minutes longer.
  16. Take off heat, leave to sit about 5 minutes and then either food process until smooth of use your stab mixer to puree until a smooth consistency. Store in airtight jar in the fridge for up to a week.

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