Slow Cooker Chili Rubbed Pulled Pork

After grabbing the groceries that I needed for this week’s recipes, I had a few dollars to spare in my September Challenge budget, so I headed over to the meat aisle to see if I could nab anything on sale and just stock up for the future. I found a great boneless Boston pork butt for just a few dollars and if there’s one thing I love, it’s pulled pork. So I made this deliciously versatile Chili Rubbed Pulled Pork and will be enjoying it for quite some time!

A bowl of Chili Rubbed Pulled Pork on a striped napkin, title text at the top.

Use a Slow Cooker for Tender, Moist Meat

Pulled pork is super easy to make, especially if you have a slow cooker. Slow cooking holds in all the moisture during cooking and slowly breaks down connective tissue, so the meat is so tender that it just falls apart and shreds with the touch of a fork. Combine those spectacular results with the fact that slow cookers are essentially hands off, and this is, without dispute, my favorite way to make pulled pork.

How To Use Chili Rubbed Pulled Pork

This delicious shredded meat can be used so many different ways. Pile the pork into rice bowls, burritos, quesadillas, tacos, or just enjoy on a bun. I also love using it to top salads for an extra shot of protein.

Freeze the Extras

This makes a BIG batch, so keep some in your fridge for the week and freeze the rest. To freeze the pulled pork, divide the pork into more manageable portions (I usually do 1-2 cup portions), then chill it completely in the refrigerator overnight. Transfer the pork to the freezer once completely cooled and keep frozen for up to 3 months. Any freezer safe container works.

Side view of a bowl of Chili Rubbed Pulled Pork

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5 from 23 votes

Chili Rubbed Pulled Pork

This Chili Rubbed Pulled Pork is a flavorful, multi-purpose meat that practically cooks itself in your slow cooker. Keep extra on hand for tacos and more. 
Total Cost: $4.51 recipe / $0.75 serving
Author: Beth - Budget Bytes
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 4 hrs
Total Time: 4 hrs 10 mins
Servings: 6 (1/2 cup each)


  • 3 lbs. boneless pork butt ($3.84)
  • 2 Tbsp chili powder* ($0.30)
  • 1 Tbsp smoked paprika ($0.15)
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper ($0.02)
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder ($0.05)
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder ($0.05)
  • 1 tsp salt ($0.05)
  • Freshly cracked pepper ($0.05)


  • Cut the pork butt into 2-3 inch cubes. Place the cubes in a large bowl.
  • Mix the chili powder, smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and some freshly cracked pepper in a bowl. Pour the spice mix over the cubed meat and toss to coat.
  • Place the seasoned meat in a slow cooker and cook on high for four hours.
  • Carefully lift the meat out of the juices in the slow cooker to a large bowl or dish. Use two forks to shred the meat and remove any large pieces of fat or gristle. Serve immediately or portion and refrigerate or freeze until ready to use.


*This chili powder is not spicy. It is a mild, earthy blend of chiles and other spices commonly referred to as "chili powder" in the United States.
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Serving: 0.5CupCalories: 434.52kcalCarbohydrates: 2.37gProtein: 40.1gFat: 28.6gSodium: 649.27mgFiber: 1.42g
Nutritional values are estimates only. See our full nutrition disclaimer here.


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Scroll down for the step by step photos!

Super close up of Chili Rubbed Pulled Pork in the bowl

How to Make Slow Cooker Pulled Pork – Step by Step Photos

Boneless Boston Butt in the package

I used a boneless Boston butt, which was 2.75 lbs. You can use a bone-in pork butt, but make sure to get one that weighs slightly more to make up for the bone’s weight. The bone can easily be removed after cooking. Cut the pork butt into large (2-3″) cubes. I don’t bother trimming the fat because a lot of it melts off the meat into the bottom of the slow cooker and the rest can be easily removed as you shred the meat after cooking.

Chili Rub spices in a bowl

In a small bowl, stir together 2 Tbsp chili powder, 1 Tbsp smoked paprika, 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper, 1/2 tsp garlic powder, 1/2 tsp onion powder, 1 tsp salt, and some freshly cracked pepper.

Seasoned Pork Butt pieces in a metal bowl

Pour the spice mix over the cubed meat and toss until the meat is coated.

Slow Cooked Pork Butt in the slow cooker

Place the seasoned meat in a slow cooker and cook on high for four hours. Because no extra liquid was added to the slow cooker, a lot of the meat is above the juices, which helps keep the spices on the meat. The meat that is above the liquid still cooks just fine from the radiant heat given off by the heavy duty ceramic liner of the slow cooker. 

Slow cooked meat in a glass dish with two forks

Carefully (because it will be tender and delicate) remove the chunks of meat from the cooker and place them in a large bowl or dish.

Shredded Chili Rubbed Pulled Pork in a glass dish with two forks

Use two forks to shred the meat and pull off any large pieces of fat or gristle.

Chili Rubbed Pulled Pork in a bowl

My roast yielded three cups of shredded meat. OMG it was so hard to not just sit there and eat it out of the bowl!

pulled pork divided into freezer bags

I divided the pork into three 1 cup bags, each with two 1/2 cup portions. I kept one in the fridge to eat this week and froze the other two.

Overhead view of Chili Rubbed Pulled Pork in a bowl

What can you do with this amazing Chili Rubbed Pulled Pork? Just about anything! Eat it in a “burrito bowl” (that’s what I did this week), stuff it into a real burrito, a quesadilla, or just eat it on a roll like a pulled pork sandwich. Heck, why not even use it to top a southwest inspired pizza? ANYTHING. It’s so good.

Chili Rubbed Pulled Pork -