Skip to Content

Carolina Pulled Pork Sandwiches

Carolina Pulled Pork Sandwiches are the perfect, easy and family-friendly recipe to make for dinner tonight!

pulled pork sandwich with cole slaw

Carolina pulled pork sandwiches are characterized by having a thin, spicy, vinegar-based sauce for the pork. This recipe is made in the slow cooker, so it’s very easy to make. And the sauce combined with the pulled pork and a simple coleslaw makes for a great sandwich!

seared pork set in a slow cooker insert

How to make Carolina Pulled Pork:

You’ll begin with a boneless pork shoulder roast. It’s rubbed with seasoned salt and paprika and then seared on all sides in oil until nicely browned. I like to use a cast-iron skillet for this (rather than a nonstick skillet). You can use any kind of seasoned salt like Lawry’s or any other brand. Then you’ll place the seared pork roast in the insert of your slow cooker.

seared pork in a slow cooker with sauce ready to be cooked

The sauce is cooked on the stove. First, onion is sautéed and then combined with vinegar, ketchup, brown sugar and spicy brown mustard. The sauce is poured over the pork roast, and the slow cooker is set for 8 hours on low.

pork in a slow cooker cooked with sauce

pulled pork on a cutting board

The pork has many hours to cook with that good sauce. After the cooking time is over, the pork roast is removed to a cutting board and shredded using two forks.

pulled pork in a slow cooker insert

Then the shredded pork is transferred back to the sauce in the slow cooker so all of the shreds can soak up the sauce. Now the pork is ready for assembling your Carolina Pulled Pork Sandwiches.

cole slaw in a glass bowl

For the coleslaw, you’ll just buy a bag of shredded coleslaw mix and combine it with mayo, cider vinegar, sugar, celery salt and pepper. The coleslaw is going to be added the sandwich too (unless you’d prefer to eat it on the side).

pulled pork sandwich on a white plate

Carolina Pulled Pork Sandwiches:

Pile the pork on a sandwich bun. Most kids will want to eat it this way.

pulled pork sandwich with with cole slaw

Or add coleslaw (a simple variety that is included in the recipe below) to make it a complete sandwich. That’s how you eat a good Carolina Pulled Pork Sandwich. Try to introduce that to your kids, if they’re willing. If not, then only the adults get to have it this way. Enjoy!

Here are a few more sandwich recipes you might like to try:

pulled pork sandwich with cole slaw

Carolina Pulled Pork Sandwiches (adapted from an old Family Circle magazine)
Awesome slow cooker recipe for pulled pork!
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 6 hours 30 minutes
Total Time 7 hours
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 8 servings
Calories 546 kcal



  • pounds boneless pork shoulder roast (skin removed and trimmed)
  • 1 teaspoon seasoned salt
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil


  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 cup cider vinegar
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons spicy brown mustard
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 8 sandwich buns


  • ¾ cup light mayonnaise
  • 3 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon granulated white sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon celery salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 16 ounces bagged shredded cole slaw mix



  • Rub the pork all over with seasoned salt and paprika.  Heat the oil in a large, nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.  Brown the pork on all sides, about 12 minutes.


  • Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-heat.  Add the onion and cook 5 minutes.  Stir in the vinegar, ketchup, brown sugar and mustard.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes.


  • Transfer the pork to your slow cooker and pour the sauce on top.  Cover and cook on HIGH for 6 hours or LOW for 8 hours.


  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, vinegar, sugar, celery salt and pepper.  Stir in the coleslaw mix.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.


  • Remove the pork from the slow cooker, place it on a cutting board. Meanwhile, stir in 1 tablespoon of cornstarch to the sauce in the slow cooker, put the lid on and turn the heat to high. Let it heat for about 15 minutes. With 2 forks (or with clean hands), shred the meat, discarding any fat or bones.  Add the shredded meat back to the sauce in the slow cooker.  Divide the meat evenly among the sandwich buns, topping with cole slaw, if desired.


  • *Tip on browning- use a cast iron skillet or a metal pan if you can (vs. a nonstick skillet).  You'll get a nice sear all the way around your roast, sealing in the juices.  Using a nonstick skillet, you won't get that nice brown sear.
  • *If you serve this pulled pork on slider buns instead of sandwich buns, you should get about 16 sliders out of the recipe.


Serving: 1servingCalories: 546kcalCarbohydrates: 56gProtein: 31gFat: 21gSaturated Fat: 4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 6gMonounsaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0.03gCholesterol: 84mgSodium: 1268mgPotassium: 725mgFiber: 3gSugar: 21gVitamin A: 358IUVitamin C: 24mgCalcium: 115mgIron: 4mg
Keyword carolina, pulled pork, sandwiches
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
Recipe Rating

Nancy T

Tuesday 24th of August 2021

At what point is the cornstarch added? It's in the ingredient list but not mentioned in the directions. Thanks.


Tuesday 24th of August 2021

Hi Nancy, in the recipe that you can print out, the cornstarch is added in the SERVING instructions.