Sometimes we’re in the mood for barbecue no matter the season! That mood recently struck us, and nothing short of absolutely divine pulled pork would satisfy that craving! Of course, we’re still stuck indoors from the snow, but that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy all the flavors and textures of a barbecue anyway.
One issue we’ve had with many recipes is the fact that they come out far too moist, almost mushy and water logged. Others were dry, and just begging for more moisture. Perhaps even worse, some barbecue sauces were almost candy-sweet, and that just wouldn’t do. We wanted something nice and smoky that’s tender, but not soggy. To achieve this, we used a boneless butt cut of the pig. During the brining process, we added some liquid smoke to the brine to add in some flavor it would be missing from the barbecue deep into the meat. We also created a dry and a wet rub for the pork to really drive the flavor home. From there, it was a matter of creating the perfect sauce to add to the slow cooker and really allow the meat to cook. Keep reading below for this heavenly recipe…
Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Recipe
(makes 10-15 servings)
- 1 cup plus 2 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
- 3 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons liquid smoke
- 1 boneless pork butt (about 4-5 lbs) cut in half horizontally
- 1/4 cup yellow mustard
- 2 tablespoons ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 1/2 cups ketchup
- 1/4 cup light molasses
- 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 1/2 tablespoons hot sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon table salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- Dissolve 1 cup salt, 1/2 cup sugar, and 2 tablespoons liquid smoke in 4 quarts of cold water in a large container. Submerge the pork in the brine, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 2 hours.
- While the pork brines, combine the mustard and remaining 2 teaspoons liquid smoke in a small bowl. Set aside. Combine the black pepper, paprika, cayenne, the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar, and the remaining 2 teaspoons salt in a second small bowl. Set aside.
- Remove the pork from the brine and dry thoroughly with a paper towel. rub the mustard mixture over the entirety of the pork. Sprinkle the surface of each piece of pork with the spice mixture.
- Place the pork in the slow cooker and cook for 10 hours on low. Once the pork is done cooking, transfer from the slow cooker to a roasting pan and pull apart with forks. Carefully pour off any liquid from the bottom of the roasting pan and the bottom of the slow cooker into a heatproof pitcher or large fat separator. Skim off the fat. Place the pork back into the slow cooker.
- Place 3/4 cup of the defatted liquid into a medium bowl. Whisk in the sauce ingredients. Stir the sauce into the pork and cook for 2 hours.
- Using a slotted spoon, remove the pork from the slow cooker. Serve on a serving platter or on individual buns with any remaining sauce alongside.
Recipe adapted fromPaula Deen