Thursday, March 15, 2012

Slow-cooker pulled pork

Alright, I'm going to apologize because this post is going to be entirely pictureless (in terms of my own pics). But it's really that don't need me to show you pictures. You need 3 things to make pulled pork.

1. 1 package pork shoulder (1-2 lbs): I buy this "bone-in" but you can go boneless. I prefer bone in because it seems to have more flavor and is often cheaper. Pork shoulder is probably one of the most inexpensive pork you can get. Not bad at all!

2. your favorite bbq sauce: I use sweet baby rays

3. a can of rootbeer: I use a can (12 oz) of A&W

...that's it!

You need special equipment that can be used for so many awesome dishes: a slow cooker! The popular brand everyone has heard of (and also the one I use) is Crock Pot! You can get a cheap slow cooker (ours was only $17 at Meijer) at your local supermarket or department store!

1. Place pork shoulder in crock pot.
2. Pour rootbeer over pork.
3. Place lid on crock pot.
4. Let cook on low for approx 7 hours.
5. Turn off the heat to the slow cooker and get out a large plate.
6. With tongs or a utensil that will let the liquid run through, pick up the meat and place on the plate. Be careful, the meat and the liquid will be boiling hot!
7. Spread the meat out on the plate so it can cool a bit. The meat should be VERY tender...falling off of the bone and "pulling" apart easily when touched.
8. Let the meat sit for about 10-15 minutes to cool off so when you are pulling it apart you're not burning yourself.
9. Make sure you wash your hands, then begin to "pull" the meat. I'm not sure if there is a culinary technique or special name, but what I do is just use my clean, bare hands to pick up the pieces and remove any fat, placing it in a separate pile from the meat, which I toss into a small pot. The fat is usually whitish in color and feels very different from the meat--it's sort of gooey. You'll know exactly what it is when you touch it. Just feel your way around every piece of the meat removing the fat. You can also rip up the meat at this point, but you don't have to since as you stir in the bbq sauce it'll pretty much fall apart on its own.
It'll probably look something like this
(pic from )
10. Once you have all your meat in the pot, stir in your bbq sauce to taste on medium heat. How much you add really depends on how much meat you are working with. With 1.5 pounds, I probably add around 1/3 cup. I like to just coat the meat and then if those consuming it want to add more, they can do so once they serve their portion onto their plate. I stir on medium heat because from the resting and pulling it loses some of its warmth.
11. At this point, your meat should be coated in sauce and separated into pieces just from the stirring. And you are done!

You can eat your pork as-is or you can serve it over some bread or a hamburger bun. I also like to make the sides french fries (or some sort of potato) and cole slaw. Enjoy!

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