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BBQ in a Crock Pot

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I just bought my first crock pot since the one I had to heat soup in college. (No, we weren't allowed to have microwaves way back then. We didn't have computers either.) The booklet that came with it has a recipe for Carolina BBQ. Now, I know how to make good BBQ sauce, but what I don't know are the nuances of cooking in a crock pot.

1) The recipe calls for boneless pork shoulder roast, and I could only find bone-in.

2) The butcher told me to cook the meat all the way through in the oven BEFORE putting it in the crock pot and then simmer overnight. The recipe said to stick it in raw with the seasonings, etc. on high for 4-6 hours.

3) I have a charcoal grill and some mesquite chips, if that would be a better way to start out.

What's the best approach to end up with fall-from-the-bone, tender BBQ? I really don't want dry meat.

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  1. Step away from the crock pot. Put the pork roast in a dutch oven and cover with brown sugar and worchetishire sauce. Or just salt and pepper. Or a dry rub of your choice. Turn your oven to 200 and cook for about 5-7 hours. Fall off the bone tender, delicious meat. Serve with your sauce of choice.

    2 Replies
    1. re: bryan

      Don't own a dutch oven. Do very little in-oven cooking. Almost always grill or top-of-stove cooking.

      1. re: mojoeater

        The crock pot will do the exact same thing the dutch oven will do. Put the meat in raw and let it cook long and very slow. If on low/med you will need about 8 hours- if cooked on high you could do it in 4. Make sure not to add too much liquid you don't want soup-remember the crock pot with its lid on tight will create condensation and the liquid level will increase. Some of my best BBQ came from my crock pot.

    2. I use country style porkbutt spare ribs. Put em in the crock RAW. put i one bottle of yer favorite BBQ sauce and crank it up to LOW. Come back in 6 hours or so and enjoy.

      4 Replies
      1. re: Carpenter Dave

        Why would the butcher tell me to cook fully in the oven first? Seems that would dry it out terribly.

        1. re: mojoeater

          Butcher sound old-school anti crockpot or afraid of liability. Pork need to come up to temp. If you are worried, stick yer themomiter in at the end of the day. My crock runs at a low simmer on low. I can see just a few bubbles around the edge when its going. I have been coocking this for my family for years and we have not lost anyone yet.

          1. re: Carpenter Dave

            Sounds good to me. I've never gotten into slow-cooking, and am now ready to try. I know I make good sauce. Now for the meat!

            1. re: mojoeater

              That butcher had absolutely no idea what he was talking about. Feel free to ignore him.

              Bone-in shoulder is fine. By the time you're done cooking that pork, you'll be able to reach in and pull the bone out like you're taking the bay leaf out of a pot of spaghetti sauce.

      2. I boil my country style ribs in pineapple juice. and the meat is so tender. I don`t
        know if you could do yours that way or not. you might try it.

        1. you don't need to cook it first. just pop it in on low for 5,6,7 hours(the beauty of crock pot-doesn't really matter.
          have one inch liquid in bottom(i pu sauce) shred meat and cook 1 hour more

          1. Absolutely do not cook it first! That was crazy advice...You put it in raw, or you can brown it first if you like....Have done BBQ with beef and ribs, and it always comes out very well...I usually cook it for at about 8-10 hrs on low

            1. You can also put in a whole chicken ( I remove the skin first) or a pork roast, a bottle of sauce and 7 hrs later, shredded goodness.

              1. Your butcher needs to stick with butchering. BBQ is one of the great things to do with a crock pot. Raw meat + your sauce + several hours = delicious! Better yet, the cheaper, tougher, more flavorful cuts are the best.

                1. Keep in mind you can bone it out yourself. You should've asked the butcher to do it for you.
                  As said above, feel free to go ahead and disregard he advice to cook it first. If you're worried about it not cooking, set the crock pot to high. It's still a pretty low setting.

                  Enjoy.
                  DT

                  1. I skip the sauce and just coat the pork with a delicious and spicy dry-rub.
                    I rub the pork Sunday, pop it in the crock pot Monday morning, whip up some cornbread when I get home from work while the SO shreds the pork. Pour on the sauce of your choice: Mid-week BBQ for cheap!

                    1. Came out great! Meat is very tender and succulent. Rubbed it with brown sugar, pepper, salt, garlic, and some other stuff. Cooked it on high for 4 hours, deboned and defatted, then on low for two more hours. Pulled meat and served it on a roll with an apple coleslaw and a spicy sauce I made from more brown sugar, cayenne, worcester, garlic, pepper, mustard, lemon juice, and a few things I can't remember. Hubby raved!

                      1. You must have misunderstood him. That would be like frying a steak before putting on the grill.

                        I suggest browning your roast first -- it adds flavour -- maybe browning some onions and garlic along with, and and then putting it in your CP with some pineapple or apple juice. It will be falling off the bone tender