Slow Cooked BBQ Pork Shoulder | Cooking For A Crowd

Slow Cooked BBQ Pork Shoulder


The prep time on this is very quick (10 minutes), especially if you have a dry rub on hand.    The cooking time is long (8 – 9 1/2  hours), but happens in slow cooker magic land where you don’t have to oversee every little detail while it’s transforming into something wonderful.


I make this in a slow cooker, you’ll need a large (i.e. 6+ quart) size.

Here’s what you’ll need for ingredients:

  • 1 pork shoulder (Boston butt) ideally on the bone typically 3 ½ to 5 lbs. Coated with a dry rub of your choosing (or my quickie faux ‘I’ve run out of my pantry stash of dry rub’ rub: 2 tbsp. cumin, 2 tbsp. turmeric, 1 tsp. salt, 1/2 tsp. pepper, 1 tbsp. brown sugar, 2 tbsp. of paprika – shaken generously to cover the pork ).
  • Optional – sprinkle about 2 tablespoons of coriander seeds onto the pork when you’re applying the dry rub.  They’ll add a subtle, delicious flavor to the roast.

Note:  It’s great if you can do this the day before, but if you can’t, no worries – still delicious.

  • 2 large onions (cut into thick rounds).

Note:  I often do this the night before and just save the onions in a sealed container in the fridge.  Then it’s incredibly fast to pull this together before you dash out of the door.

  • Worcestershire sauce — I like to use an organic version, they sell one at Whole Foods.   (optional, to taste)

Steps to put this on your table:

  • Optional step but, but well worth it, sear the meat on all sides on high heat in a small amount of vegetable oil. You will likely need to do this in a large frying pan unless you have a slow cooker, with a stove-top safe insert, which was a treat I bought myself several years ago).
  • Place the onion rounds in one even layer on the bottom of the slow cooker insert. The onions become the ‘bed’ for your pork to rest on during cooking.
  • Place the pork on top of the onions.
BBQ dry rubbed pork shoulder over a bed of onions
Marinated overnight, pork shoulder rubbed with BBQ dry rub, sprinkled with coriander seeds. Ready to start the slow cooker!
  • Shake a generous amount of Worcestershire sauce, i.e. ¼ cup over the top of the pork
  • Cook on the low setting in the slow cooker for 8 to 9 ½ hours.
Picture of slow cooker BBQ pork shoulder cooked
Just finished BBQ pork shoulder, the onions become soft and flavorful, almost caramelized.
  • If it was on the bone, pull off of the bone with tongs – serve and enjoy!
Slow cooked BBQ pork shoulder ready to carve
Slow cooker BBQ pork shoulder — seasoned with coriander, paprika, cumin, salt, pepper, brown sugar & turmeric.

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