Slow Cooker Pulled Pork
When it comes to using the crock pot, my motto is “Simple brings Success.” For pulled pork, my method is similar to everyone else’s methods, only I use the “semi homemade” approach instead of trying to re-invent a new rub, or BBQ sauce, or make my own chicken broth. This recipe is as foolproof as it gets.
3lb-5lb Boston Butt (Bone in)…a Pork Picnic would probably work too
McCormick’s Grill Mate Applewood rub
2 Onions sliced into thin rings
1 Cup Apple Juice
1 cup fat free low sodium Chicken broth (College inn or equivalent)
Sweet Baby Rays BBQ sauce (original flavor)
The Magic Part:
• Place Onions on bottom of slow cooker
• Rub-a-dub the rub all over the meat. Be generous.
• Place meat on top of onions.
• Pour in apple juice and chicken broth. Do not pour on top of meat; we don’t want to wash the rub away.
• Drizzle some BBQ sauce across the top of the meat (maybe ¼ cup). This will eventually melt into the liquid after 10 hours.
• Set slow cooker on low. Cover and come back in 10 hours.
• After 10 hours, you will transfer the meat to a cutting board. Good luck with the transfer, because the meat will be self shredding in your hands. I usually transfer pieces at a time.
• Take 2 forks and/ or your fingers, and shred the pork, and place aside on a large dish.
• Strain all of the liquid remaining in the slow cooker into a large bowl...you’ll probably have about 4 cups of liquid.
• Combine 1 Cup of BBQ sauce and 1 Cup of leftover liquid in a bowl. Mix thoroughly. The mixture should not be thick.
• Return meat back to slow cooker, and set it to warm.
• Pour the 2 cups of BBQ/Liquid over the meat, and give it a good stir. Keep the remaining liquid around in case you think the pork is drying out in the cooker. Use as needed prior to serving.
• The above method does not drown the meat in BBQ sauce like some people like to do. I prefer to taste the meat, and have a hint of BBQ to accent it. Tweak the recipe to your own taste. Serve on rolls with coleslaw, or on its own.
Last weekend I made my first pulled "pork" (turkey) and I went with the simple approach although I feared the meat wouldn't have much flavor but it was delicious! I rubbed the turkey thighs with a BBQ seasoning, tossed it in the crock with a small bit of apple cider vinegar, dash of worcestershire and hot sauce (no BBQ sauce) and let it go a few hours and then used the juices from the cooker to make a light mustard vinegar BBQ Sauce. Simple is better I think might be the key. It took me forever to find a few examples online of recipes without BBQ sauce poured in the crock, but eventually winged it.
Slow Cooker Pulled Pork
3 1/2 - 4 lb. Package pork carnitas (chunks of Boston butt roast) You can use a whole bone in boston butt if you like.
16 ounce jar of barbecue sauce
12 ounce bottle of beer
8 ounce can of pineapple juice
pork rub consisting of onion powder, garlic powder, chili powder, smoked paprika, and black ground black pepper
1 large or 2 medium onions rough chopped
Put onions in bottom of slow cooker. Rub pork rub onto chunks of pork and put in crockpot.
Add barbecue sauce, dear, and pineapple juice to crockpot. Put the lid on and set too low for eight hours.
Remove pork to separate plate to cool. While pork is cooling. Strain and defat 4 cups of braising liquid. Put this liquid in a saucepan on medium heat and reduced to 2 – 3 cups. Be sure to bring liquid to boil to kill any lingering bacteria. Adjust sauce to taste. It may be necessary to add vinegar if the sauce is too sweet. It may need liquid smoke. You may want to add more barbecue sauce to thicken it. If you don't wish to use more barbecue sauce you could thicken the sauce with a teaspoon of cornstarch in a slurry.
Use two forks to shred pork. Discard excess fat. Add some of the braising liquid to the pork and mix. Serve on hamburger buns with a ring of sweet onion and some relish.