This Low-FODMAP slow cooker pulled pork is super simple and is great to freeze for leftovers for quick meals. I make a big batch that lasts for a couple of months. It makes a great BBQ pork sandwich but also try adding it to a salad or just eat it as is. And, without the addition of sugar, it’s totally low-carb and keto friendly!
I’ve always been fond of pulled pork and have tried it at many restaurants around town. However, nothing compared to the pulled pork at Podnah’s Pit Barbeque, here in Portland. Their bbq pulled pork and pork ribs are hands-down, the BEST I’ve ever had. Honestly, their pulled pork was so good, I never even added a sauce to my sandwich – just meat and bread (back when I ate bread). And then I realized that I finished the whole thing (insert groan here..). So, I decided that I needed to figure out how to make something just as mouthwatering at home, so I didn’t have to drive across town to get it. And, I really needed it to be low-FODMAP. That’s where this recipe comes in…
Using pork shoulder (aka pork picnic or pork roast) gives a perfect fat to protein ratio. I always get boneless and simply trim off any excess fat. It’s good to have some fat and marbling throughout the roast, but too much fat can make it a bit greasy.
How to make pulled pork in the Crock Pot
I’ve tried cooking pulled pork on the Traeger and in the Instant Pot, but honestly, nothing compares to the good ol’, tried and true method of ‘low and slow’ in a good ol’ slow cooker. It’s a personal preference, but I think the meat stays more juicy and succulent with this method. And the house smells SO DARN AMAZING all day long. It makes me impatient to dig in!
Seasoning with the rub is first. This rub is so delicious on pork shoulder, however you decide to make it. This pork rub is low FODMAP and keto and you’ll never miss the onion or garlic. However, you certainly don’t need to use my rub recipe and could just use salt and pepper if you’d like. But the combination of the rub and just a little bit of this sauce really makes my day.
I put the rub on the entire shoulder and make sure I get it in the nooks and crannies.
After applying the spice rub, I like to brown the shoulder in a cast iron skillet before putting it into the slow cooker pot. I brown as much of the surface area as I can on medium heat. It helps to create a nice ‘bark’ as it cooks slowly in the pot. You can see from the pic that it almost looks like it’s charred – but it isn’t. It’s perfect!
The sauce that I add is really more of a slight ‘glaze’. It just adds another level of depth to the recipe and can be skipped, but trust me – it adds a lot! And, it doesn’t make the pork ‘saucy’ at all. It essentially just turns into ‘bark’ (Mmmm… bark…).
And, if you have a little extra rub left over, feel free to sprinkle it on top of the sauce, like in the pic, below.
Low and slow…
I suggest slow cooking on low for just about 8 hours. I initially turn my pot on high for about a half hour just to get it up to temp, and then turn it down to low and let ‘er rip for another 7-8 hours. If you’re starting this before going to work in the morning, just set it to low and it will be beautiful when you get home and your house will smell soooo good. Even though pulled pork can be overcooked, the high fat content will help to keep it from getting too tough. If you’re putting this on and won’t be back home for 10 hours, it should be fine, unless you have a slow cooker that cooks hotter than most others.
When it finishes cooking, there will be plenty of ‘juices’ surrounding the pork. If you’re keto, you might consider just ‘pulling’ the pork in the crock pot and mix all of the fat and juices right in (yaaaaassss!). If you don’t want all of the fat, simply remove the pork and place on a cutting board or in a large bowl to ‘pull’ it. Then pour the juices into a cup or bowl and refrigerate. The fat will rise to the top and can then simply be scooped off and discarded. Pour the remaining juices over the pulled pork and mix.
Try the pulled pork with Keto Coleslaw with Cilantro and Lime, on a green salad topped with some creamy Cilantro Lime Salad Dressing (maybe with some of that coleslaw on it…) and it makes a truly stupendous pulled pork sandwich using my Low-Carb Sandwich Thins.
Other recipes you might like
- 90 Second Parmesan Oregano Bread
- Homemade Cauliflower Rice
- Pineapple Habanero Sauce
- Smoked Traeger Beef Ribs
- Indian Spiced Salmon
- Keto ‘Corned Beef’ Meatballs with Horseradish Mustard Sauce
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Crock Pot Pulled Pork (Keto and Low-FODMAP)
- 5 pounds boneless pork shoulder (with extra fat trimmed)
- Olive oil for the skillet
for the rub (use powdered herbs, or whole and grind in a mortar and pestle)
- 1 tablespoon dried ground coriander (or whole coriander if using mortar and pestle)
- 1 tablespoon dried ground cumin (or whole cumin if using mortar and pestle)
- 1 tablespoon dried ground fennel seed (or whole fennel seed if using mortar and pestle)
- 1 tablespoon dried ground sage (or whole sage leaves if using mortar and pestle)
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper (or whole black peppercorns if using mortar and pestle)
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (not recommended to use whole for mortar and pestle)
- 1 teaspoon ground clove (not recommended to use whole for mortar and pestle)
- 1 teaspoon pimenton or smoked paprika
For the sauce
- ¼ cup ketchup (you can try a Classic Keto Ketchup, or, for Low-FODMAP, try Fody Foods Low-FODMAP Ketchup)
- ⅛ cup tomato paste
- ⅛ cup mustard (I use dijon mustard, but any will work)
- 2 tablespoons port wine (optional)
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon molasses
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 tablespoon stevia (optional)
Prepare the rub
Prepare the sauce (if using)
- Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and mix thoroughly.
Prepare the pork
- Pat the entire surface of the pork shoulder with the rub. Make sure to get all of the nooks and crannies.
- Add olive oil to a large skillet and brown the pork shoulder on all sides. This step is optional, but I think it adds extra 'bark' – yum!
- Add a few tablespoons of the sauce (if using) to the bottom of the crock pot and smear around just to cover the bottom.
- Add the pork shoulder and cover the surface with remaining sauce.
- If there is any rub left, sprinkle it on top of the pork.
- Cover and let cook on low for about 7 hours or until it pulls apart easily.
Pull the pork – 2 options for this
- If you don't mind the extra fat (like if you follow a keto diet), the pork can be 'pulled' in the crock pot with all of the juices. If you have a small pot, consider removing the pork from the pot for this step. Using two forks, shred the meat and mix into the juices. If you removed the pork from the pot, return it to the slow cooker and mix it into the juices.
- If you don't like all of the fat, remove the pork from the slow cooker and shred with two forks. Empty the juices into a large cup or bowl and cool. The fat will rise to the top where it can be discarded. Combine the shredded (pulled) pork with the juices and mix.
*Net carbs = carbohydrates – fiber
Nutritional information is an estimate, calculated using online tools and does not include optional ingredients unless otherwise indicated.