Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Recipe – Low Carb and Gluten Free

low carb recipe for pulled pork from I Breathe I'm HungryI’m a huge fan of pulled pork (who isn’t really?)  Succulent and tender, loaded with sweet and tangy flavor, it’s mmm… mmm…good!

Here in South Carolina you can pretty much find a BBQ joint that serves pulled pork on every corner.  The problem with getting it at a restaurant is the sugar-laden BBQ sauce, which will knock you out of ketosis faster than you can say “Porky Pig.”

So what’s a low carbin’ BBQ lovin’ Yankee to do?  Well you might think you need a smoker or other fancy equipment to make a decent pulled pork at home, but you’d be wrong.  All you need is a crock pot, aka. slow cooker and you could be enjoying some keto-friendly pulled pork in just a few short hours.

It may not win you any fancy BBQ trophies over on the Food Network (or maybe it would), but trust me when I say that no one you serve it to is going to care whether it’s been slow smoked for 24 hours over reclaimed Noah’s Ark lumber that’s been cured with the tears of 1,000 Unicorns or not.

It’s luscious, and flavorful, and best of all, super easy!

Low Carb and Keto Pulled Pork Recipe from I Breathe I'm Hungry

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Slow Cooker Pulled Pork – Low Carb and Gluten Free

Yield: 12 servings

Serving Size: Approximately 3/4 cup shredded meat and sauce

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork – Low Carb and Gluten Free

A simple and delicious keto-friendly pulled pork recipe made in the slow cooker.


    For the pulled pork:
  • 3lb boneless pork shoulder (aka. Boston Butt)
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp ground allspice
  • 1/2 tsp celery salt
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp mustard powder
  • 1/2 cup water
  • For the BBQ sauce:
  • 1/2 tsp ground allspice
  • 1/4 cup prepared yellow mustard
  • 2 tsp hot sauce (I used Frank's Red Hot)
  • 3 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 3 Tbsp low sugar ketchup
  • 4 Tbsp granulated sugar substitute
  • 1/2 tsp xanthan gum


    For the pulled pork:
  • In a small bowl, combine the onion powder, garlic powder, salt, pepper, paprika, allspice, celery salt, cloves, and mustard powder. Mix well. Rub the spice mixture all over your pork. Add the water to a large crock pot. Place the spice rubbed pork in the pot and cover. Cook on high for four hours, or until tender and falling apart. Remove the meat from the crock pot, leaving the juices behind. Shred the meat with clean hands, or use two forks to "pull" it apart.
  • For the sauce:
  • Skim the solids and visible fat from the top of the liquid and discard. Add all of the sauce ingredients to the remaining liquid in the crockpot, whisking until smooth. Cover and cook on high for about 10 minutes or until slightly thickened. Add the meat back to the sauce and stir until fully coated. Serve hot.


Approximate nutrition info per serving: 265 calories, 16g fat, 1g net carbs, 20g protein

Serve with Keto Broccoli Slaw and Jalapeno Cheddar Muffins for the perfect BBQ dinner!

I Breathe I'm Hungry recipe for pulled pork low carb

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  1. McDonna says

    This looks tantalizing! I’m assuming it would work equally well with its *beef* counterpart – Boston Butt? I try to steer clear of pork. Except bacon. Bacon is not pork. It’s bacon. LOL

  2. says

    It looks wonderful, Mellissa. My husband actually bought me a smoker for Xmas and the added flavour is awesome. But I would highly consider popping it into my slow cooker once it’s smoked!

    • says

      Thanks Carolyn! It’s true that you can’t beat a smoker for flavor – especially in ribs which I much prefer smoked to any other method!!! For pulled pork though, the crock pot is a great alternative! I want to get a smoker this year too – then I’ll be experimenting with smoking my own fish and jerky! Yum! Can’t wait to see what you’ll be cooking up with it over at your place this summer! :)

    • says

      Hi Lisa! The xanthan gum acts as a thickener and gives the sauce that traditional thick texture of BBQ sauce that adheres to the meat. Usually you’d get that stickiness from all of the sugar in a sauce, but since this one has no sugar, the xanthan works perfectly as a substitute. You can omit it for sure, but instead of sauce it will be more like an au jus – still delicious though!

    • says

      I know right? I don’t know why I don’t use mine more often! Now that the warmer weather is coming (it IS coming right? RIGHT???) it will go back into storage for another 5 months. Oh well – now I can GRILL ALL OF THE THINGS!!!!

  3. Eric says

    This looks great! Can’t wait to try it. My slow cooker is a 1990 vintage model, but it does have a high and low setting (just haven’t a clue what the temperature it gets to at each setting is). Seems to work fine, though, so haven’t felt the need for a new one.

    One request, though. Could you reduce the size of the photo so that the recipes would print out on only one page instead of two? Or make printing the photo optional? Many thanks.

    • says

      Thanks for letting me know Eric, I changed the photo to a much smaller one which should fix the problem! And yes, any slow cooker that still works should do the trick for this – especially because this cut of meat is so forgiving! Hope you like it! Hope you like it!

      • Eric says

        I made this yesterday, and WOW! Is it good! The crockpot worked fine, and the meat was falling off the bone as I tried to remove it from the pot. I’m a bit of a hot sauce junkie, so I think I will use something with a bit more kick than Frank’s next time, and I did add several drops of Liquid Smoke to to the sauce, but that is just my taste. This is a fantastic recipe – easy and tasty. Put it on a low carb roll, or over mashed cauliflower, and have a bit of cole slaw on the side, and you’ll have a real treat! Now if Melissa would only come up with a low carb pecan pie to end the meal… ;)

  4. says

    Hi There! I made this yesterday, except used about 3 lbs of pork ribs because that is what I had on hand. I also added a teaspoon of liquid smoke to the bbq sauce. My bbq sauce took much longer to thicken, but the end result was fantastic. I was so impressed with the depth of flavor. The pork was so good! And my bestie/roomie loved it! That’s how I knew it was good lol.

    Thanks for these really tasty recipes! Who knew you could eat so well on a low-carb diet! :-)

  5. Erik says

    Being in Kansas City, BBQ is king. I have mastered a low carb bbq rub for the smoker. I start with a 8-10 lb pork butt

    1 tblspoon
    Garlic Powder
    Onion Powder

    3 Table spoons of Chili powder
    3 table spoons of the splenda equavilant of brown sugar

    Rub the mixture on liberally and let rest over night, then cook (preferably smoke) at about 225 for 1.5 hours/lb.. Cover with foil about half way thru… NOM NOM NOM

  6. Jana says

    I made this pork over the weekend for Father’s Day and it was a HUGE hit! Everyone said it was delicious and we have some left over to put on top of salads for the week. I made this and the chocolate covered strawberry cheesecake from Carolyn and it was just the PERFECT weekend. I’m not one for caps… this is serious business. :) Thank you for this delicious recipes! It will become a regular staple around here.

    • Jana says

      Just coming back to say thanks again. Just made this to give out to a friend who had surgery, another with a baby soon coming, and had enough left for me and the husband. This is the most amazing meal… it comes out perfectly every time. Thank you so much.

  7. Alicia says

    What sugar substitute do you use? I have an Erythritol/Stevia blend that I use, but I want to make sure of my measurement conversion before I make the sauce. Do you use Erythritol, Xylitol, Splenda, Truvia? All of them measure differently against what I use. Thanks!

  8. Peggy Hughes says

    Wow! This is delicious barbecue! I didn’t have the ketchup, so I used tomato paste. Otherwise I followed the recipe exactly. Put it on for dinner some morning. Your whole family will love it!

  9. JQ says

    Melissa, what do you think about using a pork loin roast instead of pork shoulder? I happen to have one on hand. Will it dry out too much?


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