My BBQ pulled pork sliders are made with slow-roasted (in a crockpot or slow cooker) pork shoulder (or pork butt), doused with BBQ sauce, and topped with a simple homemade coleslaw and dill pickles. All held together by your favorite slider buns—or even Hawaiian dinner rolls.
Pulled pork sliders are the ultimate crowd-pleasing summer appetizer for any backyard BBQ. In fact, it doesn’t quite seem like summer without them. The recipe is REALLY easy to make as your slow cooker or crockpot will do all the heavy lifting. The hardest part is waiting.
Dry Rub and Seasoning
I rub the pork with a simple blend of cumin, paprika, salt, and pepper, and cook in beer (citrusy IPA), garlic, and chopped onions. It’s a flavorful blend that pairs nicely with BBQ sauce. Since we’re dousing the pork in BBQ sauce, I’m not overly concerned with getting too crazy with spices and seasoning.
My only tip here is to do a good job rubbing the spices into the meat so it really soaks in during the cooking process.
Removing the Fat Cap (Prepping the Pork)
The fat cap is a thick, tough layer of white fat that sits on top of larger cuts of pork, such as butts and shoulders. I opted to remove the majority of the surface fat cap so the dry rub could better penetrate and soak into the meat.
You don’t need to go overboard removing the fat, a little is OK. In general, a pork shoulder or butt will have enough fat throughout the meat to keep it tender and juicy either way.
Just to note, this step is optional and you can leave it on to cook, you just may have to remove it after cooking as it won’t entirely break down.
Slow Cooker Pulled Pork
This recipe involves slowly roasting the pork in a crockpot or slow cooker for 4-12 hours depending on the cooking temp and size of the pork. A 4-5 pound boneless, skinless pork shoulder or pork butt is ideal for this recipe and will take about 8 hours to cook on low cook mode in a slow cooker/crockpot.
|Weight (lb)||Low Cook||High Cook|
|3-5 lb||6-8 hours||4-6 hours|
|6-8 lb||10-12 hours||6-8 hours|
Note: Shoot for an internal temp of around 200 °F. Pork will be very tender and easily shred at 200 °F. Anything less, 145 °F for example, will be very tough pork.
I used Hawaiian dinner rolls as my buns for this recipe, however, any slider bun or small roll will do the trick. Just don’t get anything too large if serving as sliders. Brioche or pretzel buns are some of my absolute favs if you can find them in slider form.
This recipe calls for about 1-2 cups of BBQ sauce, depending on how much BBQ sauce you want or how large your pork shoulder is. Start with 1 cup of BBQ sauce for a 4-5 pound pork shoulder and add more to taste—I really like Sweet Baby Ray’s sauce.
My pulled pork sliders are served topped with a really simple coleslaw recipe made with bagged coleslaw mix for ease. The recipe is light on the mayonnaise as I’m personally not a huge mayo fan, plus, you don’t want to overpower the pulled pork.
Don’t forget to serve with dill pickles, they absolutely make the recipe.
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BBQ pulled pork sliders are made with slow-roasted pork shoulder (or pork butt), doused with BBQ sauce, and topped with a simple homemade coleslaw and dill pickles. All held together by your favorite slider buns.
- 4-pound boneless pork butt or shoulder
- 3/4 cup beer OR pineapple juice
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1/2 white onion sliced
- 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 12 slider buns (or Hawaiian dinner rolls)
- Jar, sliced dill pickles
- 1 cup or to taste BBQ sauce (I like Sweet Baby Ray’s)
Simple light coleslaw
- 2 1/2 cups shredded coleslaw mix
- 3–4 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Remove pork from the packaging and rinse with cool water. Pat dry with a paper towel. If the meat contains the fat cap (firm white fatty layer), see note below on removal.
- Combine paprika, cumin, salt, and pepper (to taste) in a small bowl and mix. Rub pork all over with dry rub. Place in a slow cooker and pour beer (or pineapple juice) over the pork. Add in chopped onion and garlic. Cover and cook on low heat setting for 7-8 hours, or high heat setting for 5-6 hours (until the meat easily pulls apart/shreds with two forks). Shoot for an internal temp of 200 °F.
- Shred the pork using two forks. You can remove the whole roast from the slow cooker and shred on a platter, or discard the juices and shred right in the slow cooker. This is helpful if you need to keep the pulled pork warm for a few hours.
- Transfer pulled pork to a large bowl (or keep in the slow cooker) and add 1 cup of BBQ sauce. Add more to taste if needed.
- Top each slider bun with pulled pork, 1-2 spoonfuls of coleslaw, and 1-2 dill pickles. Serve pierced with a decorative toothpick.
- Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Mix until fully incorporated. It can be made a few hours in advance from serving sliders (keep refrigerated).
This recipe can easily make 24 sliders with 4 pounds of pork. I would double the coleslaw if making more than 12 sliders.
Fat cap: I would recommend using a serrated knife to shave the fat cap off. Pork shoulder contains enough fat to render juicy tender meat. You don’t have to completely remove all fat, but it allows the spices to penetrate the meat.
Large pork: I’ve cooked as large as a 9-pound bone-in pork shoulder for this recipe. This will take around 10-12 hours on low heat to cook.
Internal temp: Shoot for an internal temp of around 200 °F. Pork will be very tender and easily shred at 200 °F. Anything less, 145 °F for example, will be very tough pork.
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