Simple Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Tacos

Simple Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Tacos

Winter weather has been in full force in New York this week. We’ve been blanketed with that awful combination of rain and snow (snowain, if you will) that doesn’t quite merit an umbrella but still requires busting out the waterproof boots. The storm was the only nudge I needed to dust off my trusty slow cooker for an 8-hour braise involving all the good things in life: pork, beer and chocolate.

Yes, indeed. Chocolate. It’s my go-to ingredient for kicking up the flavor of savory spice rubs, and it provided just the flavor punch needed for these Simple Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Tacos. Pork shoulder is slathered in fresh garlic and spices before going for a long, slow simmer in a hot tub of beer and orange juice. The result is a tender-tastic mountain of pulled pork that’s piled high in corn tortillas and topped off with pickled onions and crumbled Cotija cheese. Who needs carolers when your holiday guests will be singing your praises?

  Slow Cooker Pork Shoulder

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

Simple Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Tacos

Simple Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Tacos

Craving more? Sign up for the Just a Taste newsletter for a fresh serving of content delivered every week to your inbox! And stay in touch on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest for all of the latest updates.


Simple Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Tacos

Yield: 10 - 12 servings

Prep Time: 10 min

Cook Time: 8 hours


1 (4- to 5-pound) pork shoulder
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoons cocoa powder
4 Tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/2 cup orange juice
12 ounces beer (See Kelly's Notes)
1/2 cup store-bought or homemade salsa
Corn Tortillas
Taco toppings: diced avocado, sour cream, cheese or pickled red onions


Rub the pork shoulder on all sides with the minced garlic, massaging it into the meat.

Combine the salt, cumin, chili powder, black pepper, oregano, cayenne pepper and cocoa powder in a small bowl then sprinkle the spice mixture evenly over the meat. Transfer the pork shoulder to the slow cooker then add the lime juice, orange juice, salsa and beer.

Cover the slow cooker and cook on "low" for 8 hours, or on "medium" for 6 hours.

Remove the pork from the slow cooker (leaving behind any liquid), shred and serve in corn tortillas with assorted toppings.

Kelly's Notes:

You can opt for a Spanish-style beer, such as Negra Modelo or Corona, or just use whatever beer you have on hand.

Recipe inspired by Pinch of Yum.


  1. says

    Its a real shame your rss feed does not pull though your beautiful photos, i often miss your posts because everyone else i subscribe to has their photos in the rss. Anyway you could fix that if not intentional??
    This looks really yummy!!!

    • Kelly Senyei replied: — November 28th, 2012 @ 7:34 am

      Thank you, Nicola! I’m working on getting the photos added to the feed :)

  2. says

    I remember exactly which day you were referring to…and yeah it was pretty gross here! UGH. hoping we don’t get many of those this winter! I love how you went all-out on the comfort food front though. This sounds awesome!

  3. Rachel says

    my boyfriend made this last night- absolutely hands down the best pulled pork he’s ever made. he brews his own beer and used it in the recipe– DELICIOUS!

  4. Tammy says

    I have all my ingredients ready to get the pork shoulder in the slow cooker tomorrow morning. Can’t wait to eat these! I will repost to let you know how great they were!

  5. Jessica says

    I know this is crazy to want to complicate things, but is it possible to make this WITHOUT a crock pot? I don’t own one!

  6. says

    My husband and I made this recipe today for tonight’s dinner. He just proclaimed this was so good he could eat it everyday. Thanks!

    • Kelly Senyei replied: — January 29th, 2013 @ 7:20 pm

      Love it! Thanks for the note, Arlie!

  7. says

    Thanks so much for this! I’ve been looking for a good pulled pork recipe and this is the one that finally hit the spot! My husband had to tell me how good it was after each bite :D

  8. Kristy Johnson says

    I got a pork tenderloin on sale, would that work?
    looks yummy!

    • Kelly Senyei replied: — January 8th, 2014 @ 7:10 pm

      It should work, Kristy! Just make sure to adjust the cooking time so that the tenderloin is fully cooked. Enjoy!

  9. Dave says

    Just a suggestion on the pork after you pull it from the cooker. Wrap it with foil and then wrap that with some towels. Let it sit for about an hr and your pork will be very juicy and very tender. It will just about fall apart without any work.

    I use this technique with pulled pork from my smoker. Never fails me!

    • Kelly Senyei replied: — January 12th, 2014 @ 12:51 am

      Great idea, Dave!

  10. Tenby says

    Made this tonight and it was easily the best pulled pork I have had. Absolutely delicious recipe! Thank you for sharing!

    • Kelly Senyei replied: — January 26th, 2014 @ 11:38 am

      Awesome! So glad to hear you enjoyed it, Tenby!

  11. Chelsea says

    This recipe works great with chicken too! I omit the cayenne pepper for my kids. We have one that be a bit of a diva when it comes to new foods. Once she tried one bite, she devoured it. This recipe it a hit!!! TY!

    • Kelly Senyei replied: — February 15th, 2014 @ 7:02 pm

      Awesome! So glad you enjoyed it, Chelsea!

  12. says

    This recipe looks amazing. Question…
    Is there anything else I can use instead of beer. I don’t drink or cook with it and was wondering if the recipe would be greatly effected if I didn’t use it or replaced it.

    • Kelly Senyei replied: — January 10th, 2015 @ 11:40 am

      Feel free to replace the beer with beef or chicken broth. Enjoy!

  13. Brandie says

    I was going to use beef?
    We aren’t big pork eaters. Will it work alright ?

    • Kelly Senyei replied: — September 3rd, 2015 @ 11:01 am

      Hi Brandie – It should work but you may have to adjust the cooking time.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *