Discover the Secret to Perfectly Juicy Pulled Pork

Are you tired of the same old boring pulled pork recipe? Well, it’s time to elevate your game in the kitchen with this delicious and easy-to-make coffee-rubbed pulled pork recipe. I’m a barista with years of experience, and I’m excited to share this recipe with you today.

This recipe is perfect for any occasion – whether you’re entertaining guests or simply looking for a new twist on your go-to dinner. The best part is that it can be made using a crockpot, which means you can set it and forget it.

But why coffee, you may ask? The coffee rub adds a depth of flavor that perfectly complements the tangy sweetness of the bbq sauce. The espresso notes give each bite an extra layer that your taste buds will thank you for. Trust me; this isn’t your average pulled pork recipe.

My goal is to make this recipe accessible and achievable for everyone – even the novice cook. So gather all of your ingredients, grab your slow cooker, and let’s get started creating tender, flavorful pulled pork that’s sure to become a staple in your recipe box. Trust me; once you try this coffee rubbed pulled pork recipe, you’ll never want to make it any other way again!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Pulled Pork With a Coffee Rub -- Crockpot
Pulled Pork With a Coffee Rub — Crockpot

It’s time to break away from the mundane meal routine and introduce a new star dish to your recipe book – the pulled pork with a coffee rub crockpot recipe! You’ll absolutely love it for so many reasons:

Firstly, the pork is imbued with a flavourful coffee rub that gives you just the right balance of sweetness and spice. You can adjust this to your taste buds by either reducing or increasing the quantity of each ingredient in the rub.

Secondly, cooking it in a crockpot or slow cooker saves you time and effort. After applying the dry rub, all you have to do is place the marinated pork shoulder or butt into your crockpot; set it, and forget it for several hours while it cooks to juicy, tender perfection. The result is a hassle-free but lip-smacking meal that can be served as is, in sandwiches or used as a filling for tacos.

Thirdly, this recipe calls for basic ingredients that are readily available in most kitchens or budget-friendly items found at the grocery store. From brown sugar to garlic powder and ground coffee, everything on this ingredient list should be easy-peasy to find.

Lastly, this recipe is versatile and great for serving to large crowds or small intimate gatherings, especially since pulled pork is a potent crowd-pleaser. Whether you want to make sandwiches out of it, smother it with BBQ sauce, or add some extra heat using jalapenos – it’s an easy dish to adapt to different preferences.

In summary, this coffee-rubbed pulled pork crockpot recipe is an ideal way to make feeding guests less stressful while giving them a flavourful meal that feels like you slaved off for hours. Your family members will appreciate its rich flavours and versatility too.

Ingredient List

 Savor the flavor of fall-off-the-bone pulled pork with a coffee twist.
Savor the flavor of fall-off-the-bone pulled pork with a coffee twist.

Ingredients needed for this Pulled Pork with Coffee Rub recipe

  • 1 pork shoulder or pork butt (4lbs.)
  • 3 tbsp. finely ground coffee
  • 2 tbsp. dark brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp. smoked paprika
  • 1 tbsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/2 cup water, broth, or apple cider vinegar
  • Optional: liquid smoke (add it to the liquid of your choosing)
  • For serving (Optional): buns or bread, cole slaw or pickles.

  • Note: You can request your butcher to trim the meat’s excess fat or do it yourself before cooking.*

This slow-cooker Pulled Pork recipe has only a few simple ingredients but packs a flavorful punch thanks to the coffee rub seasoning. The rub combines the warmth of a dry blend of smoked sweet paprika, tangy garlic powder, and sweet dark brown sugar with bold beans’ grounded coffee flavor. These ingredients create the perfect balance between sweet and savory, making it a delicious dish that’s easy to fall in love with.

The recipe also requires 1/2 cup of liquid, which adds moisture to the slow-cooker and helps prevent the meat from drying out during those long hours of cooking. You can use water or broth. If you’re looking to add an extra layer of subtle smokey flavor, then I recommend adding liquid smoke to your broth or water.

For this recipe, I recommend pork shoulder or pork butt iideally in the range of 4 pounds as it yields tender pulled pork that’s juicy and packed with flavor. However, if you have another cut in mind like pork tenderloin or pork loin but using them will render a different result than that of the suggested one.

Lastly, consider purchasing soft buns and pairing them with delicious sides like coleslaw, pickles, or just eat it alone for a protein-packed meal that will leave you feeling satisfied yet light on your toes.

The Recipe How-To

 Let the aroma of slow-cooked pork with coffee rub fill your senses.
Let the aroma of slow-cooked pork with coffee rub fill your senses.

Step 1: Prepare the Pork

Grab your 3-4 pound pork shoulder or pork butt and pat it dry with paper towels. Let’s begin by preparing the meat for the coffee rub.

Step 2: Apply the Dry Rub

In a small mixing bowl, combine 1 tablespoon of finely ground coffee, 1 tablespoon light brown sugar, 1 tablespoon smoked paprika, 2 teaspoons garlic powder, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon black pepper. Mix well to form a paste.

Pat the dry rub onto the meat on all sides. Make sure that every inch of the pork is coated.

Step 3: Place Marinated Meat In Slow Cooker

Place the marinated meat in a slow cooker or crock pot and add 1 cup of water or broth to the pot. Add also any other desired flavors such as onions, bay leaves, cider vinegar, or liquid smoke. These additional ingredients will give your pulled pork extra depth of flavor!

Step 4: Cook Your Pulled Pork in Slow Cooker

Set your crock pot to low for 8-10 hours or on high for 4-6 hours until tender. You will know that it’s done once it easily falls apart with a fork.

Remove from slow cooker and allow it to cool for a few minutes before pulling the pork with two forks.

Step 5: Serve… and Enjoy!

Your delicious coffee rubbed pulled pork is now ready! Serve it as a sandwich with some fresh greens, or as is, topped with some barbecue sauce.

Now you know how to make easy slow cooker espresso pulled pork recipe at home!

Substitutions and Variations

 Every bite of this pulled pork is a celebration of spices and soulful flavors.
Every bite of this pulled pork is a celebration of spices and soulful flavors.

Coffee lovers, don’t be afraid to get creative with this pulled pork recipe! There are plenty of substitutions and variations you can try to make it your own.

For starters, if you don’t have country-style pork ribs on hand, you can substitute them for a pork butt or shoulder. The key is to use a tougher cut of meat that can hold up to the long cooking time in the crockpot. If you’re looking for a leaner option, pork tenderloin or loin could work as well, but keep in mind they may not be as tender and juicy as other cuts.

If you want to switch things up with the coffee rub, feel free to experiment with different spices and sweeteners. Some options include adding a teaspoon of smoked paprika for a smokier flavor or substituting brown sugar with maple syrup or honey for a sweeter taste. Just make sure you keep the balance between the coffee grinds and the rest of the spices so that it doesn’t overpower the dish.

For those who are looking for some extra heat, you could add a pinch of cayenne pepper or chili powder to the rub. This will give your pulled pork an added kick that pairs perfectly with cool and creamy coleslaw or avocado salsa.

If you’re trying to avoid caffeine or simply don’t have any coffee on hand, you could substitute espresso powder for ground coffee in this recipe. Alternatively, you could also use tea leaves such as earl grey or English breakfast to create an aromatic dry rub.

Lastly, for those who follow a keto diet, you can easily make this recipe keto-friendly by using a sugar substitute like erythritol instead of brown sugar. This would not only satisfy your cravings for pulled pork but also keep your dietary restrictions in check.

Whatever substitution or variation you choose, remember that experimentation is key when it comes to cooking. You never know what delicious flavors may result from going off-script a bit!

Serving and Pairing

 This isn't your ordinary pulled pork, elevate your tastebuds with a bold coffee rub.
This isn’t your ordinary pulled pork, elevate your tastebuds with a bold coffee rub.

Once the pulled pork is perfectly cooked, it’s time to think about serving and pairing options. Pulled pork is versatile and pairs well with many different sides and beverages.

One classic option is the pulled pork sandwich. Simply pile some of the tender pulled pork onto a soft brioche bun, add a dollop of your favorite barbecue sauce, and enjoy. The slightly sweet and smoky flavor of the pork pairs perfectly with the tangy sauce and soft bun.

For something a little less traditional, consider serving the pulled pork over a bed of fluffy mashed potatoes or buttery cornbread. The rich flavors of the pork pair well with these hearty sides, making for a comforting and satisfying meal.

If you’re looking to keep things on the lighter side, consider serving the pulled pork over a crisp salad with fresh greens, tomatoes, and avocado. The cool crunch of the salad offers a refreshing contrast to the warm, meaty flavors of the pork.

When it comes to pairing beverages with your pulled pork, there are a few different options to consider. Beer is always a classic choice – try pairing it with an IPA or pale ale for a hoppy contrast to the meaty flavors. If you prefer something non-alcoholic, sweet tea or lemonade can be a refreshing complement to the dish.

No matter how you choose to serve your pulled pork, remember that it’s all about finding complementary flavors that enhance the dish without overwhelming it. With so many delicious pairing options, there’s sure to be something for everyone at your next barbecue or dinner party.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 Easy to make crockpot pulled pork just got more exciting with a coffee rub.
Easy to make crockpot pulled pork just got more exciting with a coffee rub.

One of the best parts of this pulled pork with a coffee rub recipe is that it can easily be made ahead of time, making it perfect for entertaining or meal prep. To make-ahead, follow the recipe instructions and let the pork cool to room temperature before placing it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days.

To reheat the pulled pork, simply place it in a slow cooker or oven-safe dish with a little bit of water or broth and heat until warm. Alternatively, you can heat it up on the stove with your favorite barbecue sauce for a quick and easy meal.

For storing leftovers, separate the pulled pork into individual portions and store them in airtight containers or freezer bags. The pulled pork can be stored in the freezer for up to three months, making it perfect for meal prep or last-minute dinner ideas.

When ready to eat, thaw the pork in the refrigerator overnight before reheating using one of the above methods. You may want to add some additional liquid to make sure it stays moist during reheating.

Overall, this recipe is a great option for make-ahead meals and leftovers. With just a little bit of planning, you can have tender and flavorful pulled pork ready whenever you need it.

Tips for Perfect Results

 Make your mouth happy with this delicious and tender coffee-infused pulled pork.
Make your mouth happy with this delicious and tender coffee-infused pulled pork.

To ensure that this pulled pork with coffee rub crockpot recipe turns out perfectly, here are some tips and tricks I have learned over the years as a barista and home cook.

Firstly, make sure to use country-style pork ribs, pork butt or pork shoulder for the best result. These cuts of meat have enough marbling and fat content to break down during cooking, which will give you tender pulled pork. Additionally, make sure to trim off any excess fat before cooking.

When preparing the coffee rub, be sure to use finely ground coffee. A more coarse grind will not have the same intensity or depth of flavor. Use about 1 tablespoon of coffee for every 2 teaspoons of the other spices in your rub recipe.

Another tip is to let your pork marinate in the rub overnight in the refrigerator. This will allow the spices to penetrate and flavor the meat thoroughly. To avoid drying out the meat while cooking, add a liquid such as water, broth or apple cider vinegar to your slow cooker or pressure cooker. I prefer using both water and cider vinegar.

If you are short on time, use a pressure cooker instead of a slow cooker. It will cut down on cooking time without compromising the tenderness of the meat. However, if you prefer a smoky flavor in your pulled pork, add some liquid smoke to your rub or use smoked paprika.

Lastly, allow the cooked meat to rest for at least 10 minutes before shredding it with two forks. This allows the juices within the meat to redistribute and results in juicy pulled pork.

By following these tips and customizing this recipe with your preferred variations, you can make a delicious pulled pork with coffee rub that everyone will love!


Now, let’s take a closer look at some frequently asked questions (FAQ) related to this recipe. I understand that you may have some doubts or uncertainties about the ingredients or the process, so I’ve compiled a list of the most common queries that people ask when making this dish. Don’t worry; I’ll do my best to provide clear and insightful answers to help you achieve perfect results every single time. Let’s dive in!

What is the best liquid to cook pulled pork in?

For achieving the best flavor when preparing pulled pork in a crock pot, I suggest using chicken broth as the liquid option. While beef broth is also a possibility, using water alone won’t quite achieve the same level of flavor as a broth would. Using broth elevates the overall taste profile of the meat.

What does coffee do in a rub?

When it comes to using coffee in rubs, it can really enhance the flavor and texture of the meat. By incorporating coffee into the rub, it can form a delicious crust on the surface of the meat which will help lock in moisture and flavor. Additionally, coffee’s acidity can work as a meat tenderizer, which can help soften the meat and make it more enjoyable to eat.

Does pulled pork in slow cooker need to be covered in liquid?

When using a slow cooker to make pork, it’s important not to drown it in liquid. Keep the liquid level at one-quarter of the way up the sides of the pork. Remember that as the meat cooks, it will produce more liquid, and you need to have enough space to accommodate it. By leaving ample room for the additional liquid, you’ll be able to achieve the perfect consistency and flavor for your pork.

What is the secret to tender pulled pork?

One of the key secrets to achieving mouthwatering pulled pork is to slow cook the pork at a low temperature for an extended period. This helps to produce the most succulent and tender pork that is sure to satisfy even the most discerning taste buds. After cooking, you can choose to enjoy the pork as it is, or if you prefer, you can mix in your most beloved sauces, such as barbecue sauce, to give it an extra kick of flavor.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, this Pulled Pork with a Coffee Rub crockpot recipe is the perfect dish to make for any occasion. Whether you are planning a family dinner or a summer BBQ, this recipe is sure to impress your guests with its tender and flavorful pork.

With just a few basic ingredients and a slow cooker, you can create the ultimate pulled pork experience that will tantalize your taste buds and leave you wanting more. The combination of the coffee rub and the slow cooking process creates an unforgettable savory flavor that you won’t soon forget.

So why not give this recipe a try today? With its easy steps, versatile ingredients, and delicious results, it’s the perfect choice for anyone looking for an impressive yet simple meal. And who knows, it might just become your new favorite go-to recipe for every occasion.

Pulled Pork With a Coffee Rub -- Crockpot

Pulled Pork With a Coffee Rub -- Crockpot Recipe

Print Recipe
The crockpot makes easy work of pulled pork. This one features a coffee rub. Coffee, you say? The coffee adds a boost to the meaty flavor. After shredding the pork, it can be used in multiple ways. Serve in pork tacos, press a Cuban sandwich, add your favorite BBQ sauce, or even roll taquitoes. Note: Country pork ribs are thick meaty cuts with a bone, but are not spareribs. A pork butt would be a good substitute, but I find the country ribs make a smaller batch. ***I added no salt to the rub as the sauces contain enough for our family, but do add it if your family would miss it.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword < 4 Hours, Easy, Free Of..., Inexpensive, Meat, Pork, Weeknight
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 3 hrs
Calories 354.1


Coffee Rub

  • 1 tablespoon fine ground coffee
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • salt (1/2 teaspoon optional)


  • 1 1/2-2 lbs country-style pork ribs, trimmed of fat
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon cider vinegar
  • 1 bay leaf


  • Make rub and apply liberally to both sides of the country ribs.
  • Place the onion slices in the bottom of the crockpot. Add the teaspoon of vinegar. Place seasoned country ribs on top. Add bay leaf.
  • Cover and cook on high 3 hours. Check for tenderness. Continue cooking if need.
  • Remove meat and onions. Shred the meat with two forks.
  • Serve on buns for sandwiches by stirring in your favorite BBQ sauce, or use as is to make a pressed Cuban sandwich. The meat is also good to roll for taquitoes or makes tacos.

Your Own Notes


Serving: 142g | Calories: 354.1kcal | Carbohydrates: 7.7g | Protein: 33.5g | Fat: 20.3g | Saturated Fat: 4.1g | Cholesterol: 126.1mg | Sodium: 110.6mg | Fiber: 0.9g | Sugar: 5g

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