Slow Cooker Carolina BBQ Recipe -
Slow Cooker Carolina BBQ Recipe
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Slow Cooker Carolina BBQ
Make authentic-tasting North Carolina pulled pork at home! See more
  • READY IN 12+ hrs

Slow Cooker Carolina BBQ

Recipe by  

"Miss the tarheel tradition of a pig pickin'? Then find yourself a crock pot, a big pork shoulder, some cider vinegar and get cooking! While ground and crushed red pepper will provide the basic heat - go the extra mile and find some Texas Pete (or Trappey's) pepper sauce to bring the taste of Carolina to your kitchen."

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Ingredients Edit and Save

Original recipe makes 10 servings Change Servings
  • PREP

    15 mins
  • COOK

    12 hrs

    12 hrs 15 mins


  1. Place the pork shoulder into a slow cooker and season with salt and pepper. Pour the vinegar around the pork. Cover, and cook on Low for 12 hours. Pork should easily pull apart into strands.
  2. Remove the pork from the slow cooker and discard any bones. Strain out the liquid, and save 2 cups. Discard any extra. Shred the pork using tongs or two forks, and return to the slow cooker. Stir the brown sugar, hot pepper sauce, cayenne pepper, and red pepper flakes into the reserved sauce. Mix into the pork in the slow cooker. Cover and keep on Low setting until serving.
Kitchen-Friendly View


  • Sandwich option
  • Scoop pork onto a white bun and garnish liberally with your favorite coleslaw.
  • Easy Cleanup
  • Try using a liner in your slow cooker for easier cleanup.

Reviews More Reviews

Most Helpful Positive Review
Jan 21, 2009

This was some incredible BBQ with some incredibly nasty vinegar smell for the first 10 hours of cooking! Thank God we were taking the final product to someone else's house. After the pork was drained, shredded and all the other ingredients got added the smell got a lot better. All we added after that was 2-3 Tbsp. of liquid smoke which I highly recommend. The end product tastes like something from a BBQ Smokehouse Restaurant. I served this with Creamy Spiced Coleslaw and Sweet Cornbread from this site and it was gone in no time. I can't wait to make this again. We'll just be putting the slow cooker in the garage!

Most Helpful Critical Review
Dec 14, 2011

way too hot; only used 1/2 of the cayeanne and red peppers & hot sauce & it was still way too spicy.

Jan 19, 2008

I have been making a version of this for over 20 years--to rave reviews. I highly recommend adding a small amount (1/2 pound of so) of smoked picnic ham to the crock pot to convincingly fake that "pit cooked" flavor. I also recommend using white vinegar, not cider vinegar.

Jan 03, 2009

I am from North Carolina and have grown up on REAL bbq..and i have to say this is real close..its a great recipe ! my only added suggestion is to add some liquid smoke to this..a good does wonders for that good ol smoke taste ! thanks again for a back home memory !

Jan 04, 2009

Absolutely amazing! I am a displaced Tar Heel living in Alaska, and I would have NEVER thought that I could have North Carolina barbecue all the way up here without flying it in! I have tried lots of barbecue that has been touted as "NC barbecue," and have been disappointed every time. This is it! I made the recipe exactly as written for New Year's Day and was bowled over when I tasted it. It was 10 degrees below zero that day, but it felt like NC at the dinner table! Anyone who complains that cooking the pork in vinegar makes the house smell bad has never walked in from below zero temperatures to the aroma of Stamey's, Hursey's or Smithfield's! The only thing missing was the flavor that comes with slow smoking the pork, but I'll work on it. What a holiday gift this was!!

Aug 11, 2008

Absolutely delicious! Yes, it does emit a strong smell of vinegar while cooking, but it's certainly worth it. I followed the recipe exactly as stated, however I cooked on high for 5 1/2 hours and it was just perfect. You can do this if you don't have the whole 12 hours to cook this in.

Apr 01, 2008

i set the crockpot and left for class. i came home 3 hours later and was immediately transported back to NC (where I grew up). I said, "mmmm, smells like bbq." my husband said, "ugh, it smells like vinegar" (he's from Georgia)...but in the end, he said that it was the best I'd ever made. Thanks for posting this recipe!!

Feb 21, 2008

Oh my goodness! You hit the nail right on the head. I am from eastern North Carolina and grew up with pig pickin's. What a shot of nostalgia with a fraction of the work. I've made this several times, always with rave reviews. The only complaint my husband and I have is the vinegary smell for 12 hrs. But well worth the trade. Excellent with "Dave's Coleslaw" from here!


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  • Calories
  • 293 kcal
  • 15%
  • Carbohydrates
  • 3.6 g
  • 1%
  • Cholesterol
  • 90 mg
  • 30%
  • Fat
  • 17.3 g
  • 27%
  • Fiber
  • 0.3 g
  • 1%
  • Protein
  • 27.6 g
  • 55%
  • Sodium
  • 776 mg
  • 31%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

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