Yesterday I made pulled pork in our crock pot. Since it was pouring outside, I wasn’t willing to walk to the big grocery store. As such, any ingredients I needed had to be available at our local corner store (minus the pork itself, which had been hanging out in our freezer for months).
It was delicious, and while I don’t have an exact recipe, I’ll describe the process so you can throw whatever’s in your house in and have something equally delicious. I didn’t take photos because it just looked like shredded meat.
You will need:
- 4 – 6 pound pork butt. Which actually comes from the shoulder. It’s cheap. You should be able to get it for around $1.25 per pound. Less if it’s approaching the sell-by date.
- Crock pot. It needs to be big enough to fit the pork butt.
- An onion
- A clove of garlic or two
- A bottle of BBQ sauce
- Various spices. Whatever you have around is probably fine.
Thaw the pork butt in the microwave, or overnight in the fridge if you’re better at planning than I am.
While the pork is thawing, coarsely chop up the onion and garlic. Throw them in the crock pot haphazardly.
In a medium sized bowl, mix together equal parts of the following various spices, making substitutions for anything you have / don’t have / like / don’t like.
- Ground black pepper
- Brown sugar
- Chili Powder
- Garlic Powder
I used 2 tablespoons of each for an 8.5 lb chunk of meat, though I added some extra paprika because it smelled so nice. I also used curry powder instead of chilli powder/tumeric because I didn’t have either of those.
Alternately, you can used a pre-made BBQ rub, but they didn’t sell that at my corner store.
Take your thawed pork butt and rub the spice mix all over it. Place the pork butt in the crock pot on top of the onions/garlic, and go ahead and dump the rest of the rub in there.
Fill the crock pot about 2/3 with water, or stock if that’s how you roll.
Cook 6+ hours on high or 10+ hours on low. If you have a temperature probe, make sure the interior of the meat gets up to at least 145 degrees F. The longer it cooks, the easier the next step will be.
Once you’re tired of waiting, turn off the crock pot. If you’re lucky, the meat will be so tender it will slide off the bone and you can pull the bone out easily, and then use tongs to move the chunks of meat into a bowl. If you’re like me, the meat will hang onto the bone for dear life and you’ll have to figure out how the hell to lift an 8.5 pound roast out of a vat of boiling water and fat.
I ended up using a measuring cup to scoop off some of the liquid, cut some of the bigger chunks off the bone, and then move the whole thing into another bowl where I could hack at it for a little while.
Step 6: After liberating the bone and meat, get rid of all the inedible bits like the skin, bone, and fat. Discard them along with the onions and garlic, who valiantly gave up their lives for your pork. Pour off most of the water/fat broth, leaving about half an inch in the bottom of the crock pot.
Step 7: Return the meat to the crock pot and shred it using two forks. By the time you’re done, it should suck up the remaining broth and be deliciously juicy.
Step 8: Dump the bottle of BBQ sauce in there. Mix it up.
Tada! You now have pulled pork! Eat on a sandwich, or just straight up.