Eastern NC Pulled Pork BBQ in a Crock Pot

"It's the best way to make BBQ short of having a pig pickin'! Eastern NC BBQ done the right way. No tomato in sight! The taste reminds me of Smithfield's, which is the best BBQ in my opinion. This BBQ goes great in a sandwich topped with a scoop of sweet coleslaw, side of hushpuppies, and sweet tea. Mmmmmm. Enjoy!"
photo by 9BallGuy photo by 9BallGuy
photo by 9BallGuy
photo by 9BallGuy photo by 9BallGuy
Ready In:
12hrs 20mins




  • Quarter and slice the onion into little arches. Place about half an onion's worth in the crock pot as to line the bottom.
  • Place the whole pork shoulder into the crock-pot. Take just a small amount of sauce to dampen the shoulder.
  • Cover with a generous coating of spice rub, if desired.
  • Top with remaining onion slices. Take 75% of the sauce and pour it around the pork shoulder. Then pour the white and cider vinegars around the pork.
  • Cover and cook on low for 8-12 hours.
  • When cooking is complete, remove cover and then carefully pull the bone out of the pork shoulder (BE CAREFUL! IT WILL BE HOT!).
  • Carefully remove the meat and half of the onions from the crock-pot and put into a large bowl, leaving behind as much of the cooked vinegar solution behind as possible. A slotted spoon may be needed.
  • Then with two forks (or your hands once the meat has cooled a little, if you are so inclined), "pull" (shred) the meat.
  • Pour in most of the remaining, "uncooked" sauce, saving a little to add to BBQ sandwiches as desired. (Personally, I prefer using Texas Pete on my sandwiches.).
  • Serve as sandwich or BBQ plate.
  • Enjoy!

Questions & Replies

default avatar
  1. samsilas19
    I am a little confused. Do i wanna make the sauce and separately make the other? Never had a other category in a recipe. Do I wanna make sauce over heat to desolve the sugar and let cool 1st? And when do I use the (other) vinegars?


  1. Wendy H.
    Now that is real Eastern NC Bbq!!
  2. meganspringle
    My husband and I love Eastern NC barbecue and frequently find ourselves going to Smithfields, since we believe it's some of the best in the area. This is VERY similar to what is served at Smithfields. We made it for tonight's dinner and will definitely be making it again!
  3. Mrs. J
    This is some of the best home made BBQ I have ever tried. We buy a fresh picnic shoulder and cook it in the slow cooker overnight. Next morning it just falls off the bone. Not too much work in one day when you do it that way. We usually have 6 to 8 bags to freeze. This taste like real Carolina BBQ! PS: Sometimes I put just a touch of liquid smoke to give it that pit cooked flavor.
  4. Frankie L.
    I added 4 tbs brown sugar,less hot sauce,and ,1 tbs mustard.tasted great!


I am a pool player and guitar player that loves to cook. I spent the first 31 years of my life in Raleigh, NC, but I currently live in Phoenix. I hope to return to NC really soon! Having grown up in the south, lived in the north, and southwest, I have a bunch of culinary inspirations that I draw from.
View Full Profile

Find More Recipes