Molasses Rubbed Pulled Pork

Molasses Rubbed Pulled Pork

Servings:  6 as written, 12 if doubled


  • 1 (5 lb.) fresh picnic ham, pork shoulder or Boston Butt
  • 1/2 sweet onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 tsp. paprika
  • 1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 3/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 3/4 tsp. cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. liquid smoke, such as Colgin
  • 1/2 cup molasses


  • Place pork, onion and spices into a large bowl. Add molasses. Rub the spices and molasses all over the pork.
  • Place the pork into the slow cooker, making sure all of the onion slices make it into the crock.
  • Cover and cook 10 hours on LOW or 5 hours on HIGH.
  • Transfer the pork to a serving platter. Strain the cooking juices into a separate container. Allow it to sit for a few minutes so the fat rises to the top. Skim and discard the pork fat (or you can save it in the fridge for making beans).
  • When the pork is cool enough to touch, pull it away from the bone and shred it into large pieces. Add the shredded pork back to the crock or transfer it to a storage container. FYI - I almost always make my pulled pork a few days ahead of time and just reheat it in the oven or the slow cooker. I refrigerate the cooking juices because it make it super easy to skim the fat (see pics below).
  • If serving immediately, pour the skimmed cooking juices over the pork and enjoy. Serve on its own, with BBQ sauce or in sandwiches.



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Pork waiting to be rubbed with spices and molasses.

Action Shot!

Molasses-rubbed pork ready to be slow cook. This is a 5.5 qt. oval slow cooker and it accommodates a doubled recipe just fine.

A 9×13-inch pan full of pulled pork and the cooking juices waiting to be skimmed.

A big pan o’ yum!

Cooking juices refrigerated overnight makes it much easier to skim the fat. I almost always save the fat to add some to slow cooked bean recipes.

Cooled cooking juices will look a bit like brown Jello but do not be worried, it is supposed to look that way, it will melt and become liquid again as it warms.

Fabulous Gluten-Free Pantry Items for Pulled Pork:

Colgin’s Liquid Smoke
Udi’s Glute-Free Classic Hamburger Rolls

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