I know you’re thinking, another slow cooker recipe?! I confess, I’m addicted to my new crock-pot. I promise I won’t post a crock-pot recipe each week … unless you want me to, + then I totally will!
With both NFL + college football back in swing, it’s a wonderful time to share a sports-watchin’ meal with you. This absolutely delicious pulled pork is perfect for that. First, it requires very little hands-on time – most of the time is spent happily slow-cooking. Second, you can pop it in the slow cooker the night before + the next morning, it’s ready to be grazed on all day, or transported to a tailgate or friend’s house. Third? It feeds a crowd – at least 10 people depending on your appetites.
If you’re not feeding a crowd, it makes for fantastic leftovers. My husband + I ate it for a couple dinners, a lunch, a breakfast (with fried eggs = YUM) + still had leftovers to freeze. I love my pulled pork drizzled BBQ sauce, served with homemade mac + cheese + collard greens. It would also be great with baked beans, cole slaw, or even just chips if you’re feeling casual. Throw in on a bun, eat it on a plate, or even put it in a taco or quesadilla – this pulled pork is amazing AND versatile + you’ll be thrilled you made it!
Slow-Cooker Pulled Pork
for the spice rub:
3 tablespoons paprika
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
3 tablespoons coarse sea salt
1 (5 to 7 pound) bone-in pork roast, preferably shoulder or Boston butt
1 can (12 ounces) of coca cola, dr. pepper, or root beer (i used dr. pepper)
1 tablespoon hickory liquid smoke
optional: 1 bottle (about 16 ounces) of your favorite bbq sauce (read last paragraph of recipe for instructions)
First, create the spice rub by combining the first 7 ingredients. Rub the spice blend all over the pork. Cover + refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or preferably overnight.
Place the spice-rubeed pork in your slow cooker. Pour in the 12 ounces of soda + liquid smoke. Cover + cook on LOW for 8-10 hours, until the pork is very tender. (Note: I’ve made this recipe times, and have found that it’s very forgiving. If it cooks longer than that because you’re cooking it overnight, it’ll still be fantastic).
Remove the pork from the slow cooker + reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid. While the pork is still warm, you want to “pull” the meat: Grab 2 forks. Using 1 to steady the meat, use the other to “pull” shreds of meat off the roast. Put the shredded pork in a bowl (or back in the crock-pot) + pour the 1/4 cup reserved cooking liquid over it. If it looks like it could use some more, pour in the remaining 1/4 cup liquid. Stir it all up well.
NOTE: I prefer my pulled pork served with just a small side of BBQ sauce, not smothered in it, so I just topped with a drizzle of BBQ at this point. If you like yours saucy + smothered in BBQ sauce, you can RETURN the shredded pork to the crock-pot at this point, add in one bottle of your favorite BBQ sauce + continue to cook covered on LOW for 20-30 minutes, until pork is fully hot again.