I rarely order pulled pork when I’m eating out because it’s something I make all the time at home! And it’s SO EASY! It can sound like a daunting task, but with a crock pot, it’s literally something you can set and forget. Anyone else think of the rotisserie infomercial whenever they say that?? Set it and forget it!
I get my inspiration from my favorite guys at the Bitten Word – who had heard of this from The Splendid Table podcast who was featuring the recipe from Cheater BBQ: Barbecue Anytime, Anywhere, in Any Weather. I normally just put a pork butt in a slow cooker with root beer and call it a day, but when I heard “liquid smoke”, I was REALLY intrigued. I’m always open to using ingredients I’m not familiar with, so I dived right in!
- One 5- to 6-pound boneless pork butt
- 1/4 cup paprika
- 2 tablespoons kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons coarsely ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon dry mustard
- 1/2 cup bottled smoke
I used a really large pork butt, so I just used the entire amount of rub that the original recipe suggested we use only a portion of. I had the hardest time finding bottled smoke in my local grocery store. I stared at the spice section for what felt like hours, walked up and down the ketchup/BBQ sauce aisle, and right when I was about to give up and ask someone for help, I saw it staring at me in the face right next to the Worcestershire sauce! There were several to choose from, and I picked up the one that said “hickory smoke” on it. I didn’t want it to taste TOO smokey, but just smokey enough. This totally made sense in my head.
I cut up the pork in big chunks, and slid them into my crock pot. Pro tip: oil the inside of your crock pot to make clean up easier! You won’t have to scrub at cooked on stains – the oil keeps everything magically non sticky on your pot!
Mix together the paprika, Kosher salt, pepper, garlic powder, and dry mustard, then pour over the pork.
Pour in the liquid smoke, then cover and set the cook time to low for 10 hours. You can cook on high for 5-6 hours, but I like the low slow simmer for pulled pork. It makes it fall apart at the bone, which makes the “pulling” part so easy!
This bad boy went for 10 hours. We came home from a night out (we went to a Met’s game to watch Harvey pitch – Go Met’s!), and the liquid smoke was making everything smell so deliciously smokey and meaty in the house. My husband kept asking if I was making andouille sausage!
It was late, so I just moved everything into a big tupperware and refrigerated it to deal with in the morning. Which was a GREAT move, since all the fat solidified and it was so easy to just spoon the fat off!
Look. How. Gorgeous.
There is a way to use the paddle attachment on a KitchenAid mixer to “pull” pork really fast, but I like big hunks to my meat, so like to do this by hand.
I used some of the gloriously gelled meat juices to moisten up the pulled pork, then packed the pulled pork into tupperware to bring over to my friends house for lunch!
When people have babies, I always read about bringing them a casserole or something for them to eat so that the mom can snack without having to cook. Since my niece was born, I’ve come to understand how HARD parenting is, especially when the babies are brand new! I thought some pulled pork sandwiches and sides of coleslaw and roasted butternut squash would be a good meal I can bring over that my friends can eat as they got hungry. I also brought a bottle of BBQ sauce for the pulled pork.
In between making goo-goo eyes at beautiful baby McKenna, we all tucked into big plates of pulled pork sandwiches and sides! I love mine with a generous heap of coleslaw.
I also kept a small tupperware of the pulled pork at home, so that my husband can have something to nosh on when I’m traveling during the week. I woke up one morning to a dirty plate in the sink, and he sheepishly said that he woke up in the middle of the night and had a pulled pork sandwich since he was so hungry!
Annnnnd this is why we’re fat. 😉
What do you like to bring over when visiting new parents?