No bbq sauce is needed!

You can prepare this Keto Slow Cooker Pulled Pork in less than five minutes without sacrificing any flavour. Just throw it together and forget about it while it cooks in the slow cooker!

BONUS: Cooking instructions are also given to cook this in the slow-cooker and the Instant Pot.

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Slow Cooker Pulled Pork (keto style)

Many pulled pork recipes include a bottle of highly processed, sugar-laden store-bought barbecue sauce to flavour the roast. This is a big no-no when living a keto lifestyle.

So I have endeavoured to make a pulled pork recipe that is pack with all the best flavours of pulled pork, easy to make, and barbeque-sauce free. I do believe we pulled it off to perfection! The secret is out!

Slow Cooker Sauce – The Secret Rub

This pulled pork rub is more like a paste than a rub. All the seasonings are mixed together in tomato paste, then smothered all over the pork roast.

It only takes a minute to make and the delicious flavours infuse throughout the pork as it slowly cooks and the liquid that renders out, creates its own magical keto barbecue sauce!

The tomato paste when slowly cooked will give your pulled pork more of that yummy traditional barbeque flavour you find in pulled pork without having to use any bbq sauce or added sugar.

Want even more of a smokey flavour? Why not add some smoked paprika?

Which Cut Of Pork Do You Need?

I used a picnic shoulder/butt pork roast for the pulled pork. This cut of pork will shred easier, absorb the flavours better, and most importantly it won’t dry out like other cuts.

To cook this roast you will want to place the roast in the slow cooker with the skin side up. Cooking the roast like this will allow the meat to cook in the vinegar and keep your roast moist. No one likes dry pork meat.

The pork roast then cooks for 10-12 hours in the slow cooker on low heat. If you want to speed up the cooking time you can use high heat for 8-9 hours, but pulled pork is best when cooked on low heat.

How To Use Pulled Pork

Depending on the size of your pork roast, you may have a lot of leftover meat.

My favorite way is to make home-made keto pulled pork mac and cheese. It’s the perfect comfort food and a traditional meal the whole family will love. Especially when you serve it with one of the best low-carb keto pork side dishes.

Because this tangy pulled pork recipe isn’t swimming in barbecue sauce, it can be enjoyed in various ways. For a quick and easy meal, you can simply serve it over a chopped salad, cauliflower rice, or with a spicy coleslaw.

You could also wrap some of the meat in a keto tortilla or a large lettuce leaf to make a lettuce wrap. I also like the idea of using some of the meat as a topping on a fat-head dough pizza. Yum!

How To Cook Pulled Pork in the Instant Pot

If you are looking to have dinner done a little more quickly, this pulled pork can also be made in an Instant Pot or electric pressure cooker. When cooking a large roast in the Instant Pot I always cut the roast into quarters. Not only does it fit better this way, but it also cooks more evenly.

To cook the pork roast in the Instant Pot you will want to cook it for 2 hours on the “meat/stew” setting. Let the pressure release naturally for 30 minutes before manually releasing the rest of the pressure. The rule of thumb when cooking roasts in the Instant Pot is to cook the roast for 20 minutes per pound (500g) of meat.

Once the meat is cooked, simply shred the meat and put it back in the juice to rest just like you would in the slow cooker. The meat will absorb all the extra flavours and make your pulled pork even better! Enjoy!

More delicious low carb and keto family recipes:

Best keto side dishes to serve with pork

Almost any side dish will taste delicious with pork. Pork is generally complemented best with a slightly sweet side dish or one with bold flavors.

Here are some of my favorite keto pork side dishes.

Keto Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Recipe

This keto slow cooker pulled pork recipe is an easy prep and forget meal. The best part is no bbq sauce is needed to enjoy the flavours of pulled pork.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dinner, Instant Pot, Slow Cooker
Cuisine: Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Grain free, Keto, LCHF, Low Carb, No Sugars, Paleo, Wheat Free
Keyword: Keto Slow Cooker Pulled Pork
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 8 hours
Total Time: 8 hours 10 minutes
Servings: 8
Calories: 181kcal
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  • slow cooker


  • 800 g shoulder/butt picnic pork roast
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika (smoked paprika will give a true BBQ flavour)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp coconut aminos (or soy sauce)
  • 60 ml apple cider vinegar


  • In a small bowl mix together all the seasonings, coconut aminos, and tomato paste.
  • Place the pork roast in your slow cooker, skin side down, then completely smother the roast with the seasoned paste.
  • Flip the roast so that the skin side is facing up. Add the vinegar to the slow cooker by pouring it to the side, no over the roast.
  • Place the lid on the slow cooker. Cook the roast for 10-12 hours on low or 8-9 hours on high. 
  • When done, shred the roast and place the meat back into the juice to rest for 10-15 minutes. The pulled pork will absorb the flavours from the juice. Serve and enjoy! Leftovers can be frozen and used in another meal or two.



Nutrition is per 100g/pulled pork as made.
The cut of pork roast you choose will vary the fat: protein ratio immensely.


Serving: 100gCalories: 181kcalCarbohydrates: 0.1gProtein: 24.7gFat: 8.3gSodium: 74.6mgPotassium: 382mgFiber: 0.05gSugar: 0.1gVitamin A: 30IUVitamin C: 0.2mgCalcium: 6mgIron: 0.9mg

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Recipe Rating


  1. K Sullivan says:

    Sounds like this would work equally good for a beef roast. My hubby does not eat pork.

    1. Grant Newdick says:

      I did one very similar with garlic and balsamic vinegar and passata using beef eye round and it came out fantastic.

  2. Can this be made a day ahead minus the vinegar? Also after cooking in the crock pot can it be left on a warm setting?

    1. You could try without the vinegar, but that is what gives it the authentic pulled pork flavour but without the sauce. And yes, you could keep this on a keep warm setting. Don’t you just love how versatile a slow cooker is? I wouldn’t be without one.

  3. How many pounds of meat for these spices?

    1. I tripled the ingredients (adds negligent for carbs which is my main concern) for a 5lb boneless pork loin roast.

  4. Very excited to try this with a pork roast I’ve just defrosted! I noticed that the video shows cumin being added, but the recipe does not have it. Since I love cumin, I’ll add 1tsp to the above listed recipe ingredients, as well as a dash of Liquid Smoke. Also taking your advice and adding smoked Spanish paprika, as opposed to plain. Can’t wait to try this in 12 hours! (My fiance loves pulled pork, but only knows the “slathered in sugary sauce” way to cook it, so I’m excited to see if he likes this version!) Thank you so much for keto-fying something I’ve really been missing. =)

  5. Sounds great but not sure how many pounds of pork roast to use ??

    1. All my recipes have a large red conversion button so you can swap between metric grams and US cups/pounds/ounces etc. You can even dial-up how many servings you require and it will all be calculated for you – throw away yoru calculators!

      1. I see the conversion button but you still do not say how much or how big the pork needs to be?

      2. Kimberly Christie says:

        Yes, but what SIZE pork roast are you using??!!!

    2. Lysa Green says:

      The convertor isn’t working for me either! Please help. I have a 9lb pork butt that I’m gonna start tonight.

  6. Grant Newdick says:

    5 stars
    Hi this is a great recipe. I added passata and some ground spices to mine and had ko idea how big the pork shoulder was but I’m pretty ok doing it all by eye.
    Funnily enough I did a pulled beef (first slow cooker meal) from a standard recipe and just removed all the sugar replaced bbq sauce just like you did and the recipe is almost the same. I’ve learned a lot from your other recipes on this site so I’m stoked I’ve found/ am finding my way.
    Great recipe.

  7. Fat side up for cooking in slow cooker or skin side up?? Video and written instructions don’t match!
    I am going with fat side up just like every other pork roast recipe….,

  8. Susan Diddle says:

    Darn i mixed the vinegar in the seasonings. Should i add more to the crockpot?

    1. I did that the first time. Made no difference. Still turned out amazing. Just made it a second time and added vinegar as per recipe. No difference in my opinion. Both turned out so super yum and tasted the same to us.

  9. Do you add more liquid (water or chicken broth) when making in the instant pot?

    1. 5 stars
      Six pound bone-in pork butt in Instant Pot (2 hours manual + 30min natural release).
      Didn’t totally cut into 4 pieces due to bone, but did deep score it like I was making cubes to get more surface area for the seasoning paste to adhere to. Cooked fat side up.
      Only modification was to add about 1/4 cup of chicken broth needed for pressure cooking that the slow cooker wouldn’t need.
      I really like the suggestion of putting the shredded meat back in the juice to absorb flavor.
      Served with mashed cauliflower.
      Really like how easy this was considering the results. Thanks!

  10. Add some cayenne pepper and red pepper flakes for the Carolina BBQ flavor.

  11. Helena Zielinski says:

    4 stars
    Made this tonight and it was amazing texture, but very, very salty. I cut the pork into large cubes and sauteed them on all sides until brown, then tossed the cubes in the tomato paste/spices mixture and cooked in the Instant Pot. It was just over 2 lbs of meat (onlly 3 of us eating), and I cooked it for 70 minutes with a natural release. I used coconut aminos and I think I would eliminate the addition of more salt if I were to do it again because it was much too salty for our palates. We are keto, so it was nice to find a recipe that didn’t have any sugar, but I did think it needed some sweetness, so we ended up putting some sucralose-sweetened bbq sauce on it to tone down the saltiness. I think I would just add a squirt or two of liquid sucralose (Splenda) to the seasonings. I accidentally added the ACV to the tomato paste/spices mix, and it didn’t have an overpowering vinegar flavor, but I also added about 1/4 cup of broth to the Instant Pot to make sure I didn’t get a burn warning. It was not soupy or mushy, so I think that was the right amount. I might reduce the cumin by a bit as well next time (maybe by half or slightly less than half), as I felt it was a little more than my taste prefers. Overall it was a good recipe, and very flexible and forgiving.

  12. The recipe does not state what size roast to use.

    1. Thought I saw it said 800g or 1.8 lb roast

  13. Louise Gardner says:

    5 stars
    Fantastic recipe. So easy but full of flavour. We used a pork shoulder, and cooked it for 12 hours in our slow cooker. Shredded it, then put it back in the slow cooker for another two hours to soak up the juices. Came out perfect, so tender.

  14. I want to do this. But isn’t the point of Keto to have higher grans of Fat than Protein????? Libby from Ditchthecarbs or anyone else — what say you? The ratio is just not there to have this be a genuine Keto meal. THANKS

    1. That is a myth that you must meet a certain target of fat consumption every day. Yes, we are a higher healthy fat, but fat is not a goal. Whether you consume it it it comes from your inner pantry (ie: body fat) is up to you. The goal is to have low enough carbs that you are in nutritional ketosis and become a fat burner not a sugar burner. You may wish to read this article Beginner’s Guide to the keto diet and the Keto Food pyramid. Carbs are a limit, protein is a goal, fat is your hunger lever.

  15. Sarah Steinhauer says:

    5 stars
    I have made this many times and yesterday did the same size pork in both the Instant Pot & slow cooker. Both came out great. My husband has commented that this can definitely be on our regular rotation. Put some leftovers in an omelet this morning with shredded cheese and salsa and it was delicious. Thank you for this easy, tasty recipe that everyone in my family enjoys.

  16. Stephanie Lowe says:

    5 stars
    This was delicious! I immediately passed it on to my sister. It’s simple to make and very flavorful. Just like you’ve written, I love how versatile it is. I feel like I’ll be able to eat this for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and not get tired of it. Yum!

  17. 5 stars
    Just made this last night before bed, woke up this morning to the delicious aroma, and oh. my. word. This recipe is un-flipping-believable! I am so thrilled to have found an utterly delicious non-sugar recipe for pulled pork so early in my keto journey (just 3 weeks in). Thank you so much for posting, what a blessing! It’s BETTER than the sugary laden bbq. And I took the suggestion for using smoked paprika and it took it over the top. Thank you again. Highly recommend to all!

    1. I’m so pleased you loved the pulled pork recipe CJ, it is a form family favourite. And you’re right, the smoked paprika takes it to another level!

    2. Anonymous says:

      Holy cow, this recipe was amazing. Better than ANY pulled pork recipe I have made keto or no. I would honestly say it rivals most of the bbq restaurants I have eaten at (and I’m from North Carolina!). I Will DEFINITELY make this again. Hubs and I are fighting over the leftovers. FYI, I Didn’t have smoked paprika so I subbed regular paprika and some liquid smoke. Highly highly recommend!

      1. As a North Carolina native, this review really sealed the deal for me 😄. Will definitely be trying this now!! Thanks!

  18. 5 stars
    Smells amazing and tastes even better

  19. Rayna Jenkins says:

    5 stars
    This was absolutely amazing! So much flavor without having to add BBQ Sauce! It is a definite meal keeper & will be making again very soon! It is perfect on “Garlic Bread” Chaffles! Thanks for sharing

  20. 5 stars
    Super duper delicious. My whole family loved it. It has now become a weekly cook. We double the recipe. That gives us 2 x dinners plus some to freeze as lunch potions. I added one tablespoon of erythritol/stevia sweetener to the marinade even though I’m not a sweet fan after years of keto but the family loved it and I enjoyed the sweetness too for a change. This is now a go to recipe. Well done!

  21. 5 stars
    This was outstanding. For a crowd, I had two, 2-1/2 lb pork shoulders which I cut into halves. I followed the recipe exactly except I tripled the seasonings (but not the vinegar). Cooked in my Instant Pot for one hour, natural release 15 minutes. The sauce for this is incredibly delicious, you won’t miss the bbq sauce. However, if you have Frank’s Hot Sauce, sprinkle some on. Ambrosia! I just found this site and will be trying more of your recipes. I’m not doing keto but I try to limit the carbs and I love finding recipes like this that don’t scream “low carb,!”. Haha. Thanks for a great dinner!

  22. 5 stars
    I’ve never liked pork. I love the look of a roast pork with crackle, but I just cannot enjoy it. Even the smell of it cooking irks me. I made this for the family last night, and also made the three ingredient tortillas to serve it with. As with everything new I make (and I make this rule for my kids as well), I have to at least TRY a bite of something before I can truthfully say I don’t like it. Well, this dish completely surprised me! It was delicious! The only issue was, since I don’t ordinarily like pork, I only made enough for everyone else. I had to make do with the measly scraps that were leftover. Next time I make it (and it will be a regular addition to our menu!), I’ll be sure to make enough for everyone. Brilliant recipe! Thanks so much for converting me

  23. I LIED! I’m so sorry but in my original review I said that I tripled the seasonings but not the vinegar. In fact, I DID triple the vinegar to 3/4 cup! I think when I wrote it, I was thinking the recipe called for 3/4 cup apple cider vinegar for the smaller roast but of course it didn’t.
    So, if you are using an Instant Pot and have 5-6 lb roast, triple the seasonings AND the apple cider vinegar! It’s delish!!!!

    1. Phew … I’m so glad it worked and it was just a mix-up. Thank you, Elaine, for taking the time to come back and update us. And I’m happy your family now thinks it’s delish! xxx

  24. Jeannie Rodbell says:

    5 stars
    Amazing!!! The whole family loved it and no extra BBQ sauce was needed. So happy I found this recipe.

  25. Susan Richard says:

    1 star
    I followed directions and cooked for 8 hours on low. It was burned and dry… inedible. Not enough liquid and WAY too long to cook IMHO.

    1. 5 stars
      I’m sorry to read this, I wonder what went wrong? Does the lid to your slow cooker fit properly? I wonder how the liquid was able to evaporate? I always end up with plenty of liquid so I can shred the steamed pork.

  26. 5 stars
    I did this in a Dutch oven for 7 hours (1,2 kg on 125 C). Everybody loved it but I think I need to spice it up a bit more, and also see if I can get some more sauce from it. I also used smoked paprika which was s superb idea. I used fresh garlic and onions, strained it and mixed it before I put it on the meat. I have already promised to make this dish again. Thanks for the recipe.

  27. 5 stars
    Hmmmm…. So i didn’t read the instructions properly and added the vinegar to the rub and put it directly onto the meat. Hopefully it will still work

    1. 5 stars
      Let me know how you got on Koby. It’s a pretty forgiving recipe and I’m sure the steam inside the slow cooker will make the pulled pork turn out beautifully.

    2. Lol I just did the same thing! Wondering if I should rub it all off and start over. How did it turn out??

      1. 5 stars
        I also did this the first time but it was fine.

      2. 5 stars
        Just wondering what are you suppose to do with the rind, salt or no salt?

  28. 5 stars
    My favourite recipe from this site and I’ve made many; I always have several cooked containers of pulled pork in the freezer ready to serve to family and friends… easy to make, cheap, tasty and makes for a sociable meal with wraps, smashed avocado, sour cream, shredded lettuce and grated cheese 😋

  29. ECU BBQ lover says:

    5 stars
    This is such a great recipe, the paste as a rub was a bit off-putting, but everything turned out great. I ate the entire thing – not my family, ME personally- in two days. I made a keto reserve sauce, and it paired AMAZINGLY. This recipe is delicious. Good job, Libby!

  30. 5 stars
    I’ve just started my low carb journey and found this recipe online. Wow what great flavors and really easy to make, Didn’t think the BBQ flavor would be that strong so i made your low carb BBQ sauce just in case the flavors wouldn’t be strong and to my surprise it didn’t come out except to give the family a taste test (the BBQ sauce i mean). Full of flavor and family have said ill be making this again and again. Boiled down the liquid in the slow cooker, so nothing went to waste. Thank you for your recipes will definitely be trying them on the family.

  31. Catherine says:

    5 stars
    Wow, WOW is this recipe good!! My partner and I both have type 2 diabetes, and my little sister has type 1. I’m always on the hunt for tasty low-carb recipes. We love pulled pork and this is by far our favorite. I like to add liquid smoke to the rub mix if I don’t have smoked paprika, and mix the pulled pork with keto-friendly BBQ sauce and steamed carrots and green beans. Very filling, so satisfying, and so flavorful. 15/10!

  32. 5 stars
    Hi Libby,
    I don’t have a slow cooker nor an instant pot. Can I make this recipe using my stove top pressure cooker??

    1. 5 stars
      If you don’t have a slow cooker, you could cook this in the oven but at a very low temperature of 300C/150F for 2-4 hours, depending on the size and cut of pork you use.

  33. Do you use bone-in shoulder/butt pork?

  34. 5 stars
    best recipe of pulled pork I have the chance to taste! I shared it with so many people and done it so much more hahaha. it’s easy and so tasty!