Mexican Pulled Pork Shoulder in the Slow Cooker

Mexican Pulled Pork Shoulder from Weelicious

I feel like I've cracked a very important code_ how to get meals made weeks -- yes weeks -- ahead of when you need them. It's easier than you think. Stick with me here and I'll explain.

Mexican Pulled Pork Shoulder from Weelicious

It all starts with your favorite slow cooker recipes. Just put all of your ingredients in a gallon size zipper bag, label it and toss it in the freezer for up to 3 months. Do this with several recipes on a weekend when you have some time and you'll have a freezer full of healthful, easy clean-up meals ready whenever you need them. Whenever you're ready to cook one just open the bag and pour the frozen contents into the slow cooker. Press a button and one hour later you'll have a mouthwatering, heavenly smelling meal that requires basically zero work from you.

Mexican Pulled Pork Shoulder from Weelicious

I like this method of cooking because it ensures you can serve your family a fresh home-cooked meal even on the busiest of days. I prefer to double, triple, even quadruple a recipe so I can keep multiples in the freezer (especially when the ingredients are seasonal) or so I can share them with friends. If you have a sick friend or know a mom who just delivered a new baby, deliver a few of these frozen bags with cooking instructions over to them and you'll be the lifesaver they've been needing. Simply multiply your ingredient list by however many meals you want to make, create an assembly line and put your bags together in no time.

Mexican Pulled Pork Shoulder from Weelicious

This Mexican Pulled Pork is a perfect example of my new system. It takes just minutes to measure out all the ingredients and toss them into the bag. And all you will need after it cooks are two forks to shred the tender, juicy meat and some tortilla or taco shells to serve it up in (although the last time I made this dish I just served it in a bowl topped with tomatoes and lettuce).

Mexican Pulled Pork Shoulder from Weelicious

If you are in need of other ideas for this make-ahead freezer method, here are a bunch of other recipes the work great_

Slow Cooker Chicken Chili

Crock Pot Lentil Veggie Stew

Crock Pot Black Bean Soup

Crock Pot BBQ Chicken

Crock Pot Pork Tenderloin with Apples and Sauerkraut

Baked Beans in the Crock Pot

Crock Pot Mexican Corn and Bean Soup

Beef Stew in the Crock Pot

Crock Pot Pulled Pork Tacos

Crock Pot Ribs

Mexican Pulled Pork Shoulder from Weelicious

Mexican Pulled Pork Shoulder from Weelicious

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Mexican Pulled Pork Shoulder in the Slow Cooker

Prep Time: 10 mins Cook Time: 8 mins

egg free

nut free

dairy free

gluten free

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon Onion Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 small onion thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 4 ounce can diced green chilies
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 4 pounds boneless pork shoulder, excess fat trimmed

Preparation

1. Place all the ingredients except the pork shoulder in a gallon freezer bag and mix together by pressing on the outside of the bag.

2. Add the pork shoulder, and turn to coat in the mixture.

3. Seal bag, labe1 tablespoon and freeze until ready to use. Be sure to get as much air as possible out the bag so that it doesn\\'t form ice crystals inside when freezing.

4. When ready, remove the frozen mixture from the bag and place it all into the crock pot. Set the heat to low and cook for 8-10 hours, until hot and cooked through.

5. Shred the meat with two forks and serve with desired accompaniments.

Accompaniments

Accompaniments: corn tortillas, taco shells, diced tomatoes, lettuce, sour cream, guacamole.

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Hi, I’m Catherine. Mama of three. A Kentucky girl living in California. Here’s what I know: all kids can be great eaters and mealtime must be easy. My passion is creating simple, healthy recipes that can be enjoyed by the whole family.

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39 comments

  • Lisa

    Did you make those corn tortillias?

    leave a comment

    • Catherine McCord

      Nope! I like to get the corn/whole wheat ones from Trader Joe's!

      leave a comment

  • Kate ¡Hola! Jalapeño

    What a genius idea! I really need to get a crock pot, but I suppose it would work in a Dutch oven too. What do you think?

    leave a comment

    • Catherine McCord

      Yes, I think a dutch oven over low heat would work great!

      leave a comment

  • April

    Clever and looks yummy. Thanks.

    leave a comment

  • Cait

    Could this be made as well in a dutch oven? (don't have a slow cooker)

    leave a comment

    • Catherine McCord

      Yes, that should work just fine! Will probably cook quicker, too!

      leave a comment

  • Kelly

    Can you use frozen pork shoulder to make this initially or should it be fresh before freezing? Then so you put the frozen contents in the slow cooker or do you defrost first? Thanks!

    leave a comment

    • Catherine McCord

      I use fresh pork shoulder, put it all in the bag together, freeze it, and then when I'm ready I put the whole frozen block into the slow cooker!

      leave a comment

  • Lisa L

    If this wasn't frozen (the meat was fresh), would the cook time be the same?
    That is, when you put it in the crock pot, it's frozen, correct?

    leave a comment

    • Catherine McCord

      It is frozen when you put it in the crock pot. If you chose to not freeze it first, then I would cook it for 4-6 hours!

      leave a comment

  • Christine

    Do you need to thaw out the before the slow cooker? I have heard it is best to thaw first as the slow cooker doesn't get the meat hot fast enough and can be a problem with bacteria. Thoughts? I would love to throwing in frozen meat to cook.

    leave a comment

    • Catherine McCord

      I throw it all in frozen! It cooks long enough to cook all the way through!

      leave a comment

  • Erica

    Love this post Catherine! One if my faves that you have written. Such a great idea to prepare meals to freeze when you have time for busy nights with the kiddies and hubby, or to help out another family for whatever the reason. Thank you

    leave a comment

  • Amanda

    I think I will make this for a Super Bowl party. The 12th men and women here will be hungry.

    leave a comment

  • Janice

    I'm kinda embarrassed to admit this, but I have never done a pork shoulder in my slow cooker! I always make soups or stews. Yet, I love shredded pork deliciousness. I guess part of my problem is that I am one person at home (well, plus my cat), and so pork shoulder is a big commitment. But this sounds so delicious, so maybe I should just make one and send leftovers to neighbours ;)

    leave a comment

  • Candace

    What a fantastic idea! If I want to try this with some of the other recipes you mentioned that would work well, how much time should I add to cook them from a frozen state?

    leave a comment

  • HeatherChristo

    This looks so great Catherine- perfect for Game day or any easy weeknight dinner!

    leave a comment

  • Mikal

    I'm making this right now and it smells amazing! Very excited for dinner tonight!

    leave a comment

  • Jess

    Do you have a substitute for apple cider vinegar? I think I have everything else I need to make it tonight!

    leave a comment

  • Kim Beaulieu

    I love recipes like this one. Pulled pork is a huge hit at our house. Can't wait to try this one. xx

    leave a comment

  • Lisa D

    Do the green chillies add a lot of spice? I have a 2-yr old who will be eating this. Can you recommend a substitite or is it okay to just leave out?

    leave a comment

    • Catherine McCord

      The green chilies are mild! :)

      leave a comment

    • Donna

      no, green (or \"ortega\" ) chilies are completely mild...zero heat. More like bell peppers, different flavor though.

      leave a comment

  • Christina

    Do you buy the pork shoulder in the meat case of your regular grocery store? Or do you need to specifically ask the butcher for it? The reason I ask is that I rarely - if ever - find pork shoulder that is less than 8-10 pounds (and usually it's bone-in). Maybe my grocery store just has very limited selection?

    leave a comment

    • Catherine McCord

      I find it in the meat case. You can certainly ask the butcher at the counter for a small piece!

      leave a comment

    • Donna

      You can try a mexican carniceria (meat market) ...they tend to sell more pork than other stores I think. I get mine, $1.39/lb. in 15 lb packages (which is 2 shoulders, about 7-8 lbs each) ...only thing is, it comes with that thick skin (hide?) on it...I guess some people leave it on, I don't know...but I'm always trying to cut down on the fat, so I cut it off...and it takes me a bit. (or I'm just getting old, idk ) today I started around 12:15 and when I checked the start time, it was 1:45 ...so I guess I'm a very slow 'assembler' ...but I attribute much of that to trimming the fat, which I probably obsess over.

      leave a comment

  • Im4miracles

    This is THE BEST pork I have ever had! We have not ever eaten pork tacos! This is definitely a keeper! Thank you for the awesome recipe.

    leave a comment

  • Rachel

    This was SO good! FYI: I did 5 lb w/ bone in, not frozen, low for 8 hours. The bone came right out and I barely had to shred the pork it was so tender. The fat in this type of cut keeps the pork from drying out. Thanks for the great recipe!

    leave a comment

  • Diana MUÑOZ Gomes

    Can this recipe be made with 4 lbs pork stew meat

    leave a comment

    • Diana MUÑOZ Gomes

      Frozen pork stew meat

      leave a comment

  • Liz

    Nice pork recipe. Thank you.

    leave a comment

  • Lani

    I'd love to make this'

    leave a comment

  • Jennifer

    Just had to say I've made a lot of pulled pork (a fav) but this by far my favorite!

    leave a comment

  • Lynn

    Can you make this with a piece of meat that is half the size? Will it still work in the slow cooker? That's a lot of meat!

    leave a comment

    • Catherine McCord

      Yes, you can cut all the ingredients in half to make a smaller portion!

      leave a comment

  • Kristen

    I made this yesterday and it was soooo delicious! My kids who are both picky eaters loved! Please include some more healthy crockpot recipes in the future. Thanks Catherine!

    leave a comment

  • Leilei

    super easy and super delicious. Even better than going out to Mexican food. Made it with your Mexican rice and had all kinds of side fixings. The whole family loved it and my 5 year old ate 2 1/2 tacos!!

    leave a comment

  • Marlyne Clarke

    Turned out terrific! But since it is pulled pork, I'd serve it North Carolina style which is either served on a chopped platter with coleslaw and hush puppies. Or as a sandwich on a bun with coleslaw

    leave a comment