Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Crock Pot Pulled Pork

My first job at the tender age of 16 was at a family-owned hardware store in Virginia Beach. I had a 20 minute commute to get there but I really enjoyed the job. They taught me how to cut keys, cut glass and plexiglass and that is where I learned the difference between different cuts of woods and all the millions of types of nails there are out there. I still can't build anything worth a hoot, but if you ask me the best type of wood to build a birdhouse with, I reckon I can tell ya. 
Every year we were all required to participate in the store inventory. This was back in the day when everything was hand counted and written down. No fancy scanning gadgets. It was people, pen and paper. On that day, the store owners would order some Carolina BBQ pork sandwiches for all of us from a nearby BBQ joint, called Formy's. We all looked forward to our break that day, just so we could get our hands on those sammiches piled high with pulled pork and chopped slaw. I think that is when my love affair began with pulled pork sandwiches. To this day, I still consider those sandwiches some of the best Carolina BBQ I've ever eaten. And I ain't gonna lie to y'all, I've tried nearly every recipe under the sun. When I mention this to folks, they will sometimes give me their favorite recipe and I'll try it, but in my mind, none of them so far have ever compared to the pulled pork from my teenage years.  I don't know, maybe we remember the food from our youth tasting better than it actually did. How many times do we say, "No one makes it like my Momma (Grandma, Dad, Uncle, etc.) did." I say it all the time. But I wonder, is it because the food is associated with such a good time in our lives? I suspect it has something to do with it. 

I'm still on the quest for the perfect Carolina BBQ with that delicious vinegar-based sauce. I will find it! And let me tell ya, I've experimented with pork. A lot. And out of that experimentation has come some really good recipes. This being one them. 
Ingredients:
4-6 pound pork shoulder roast (or boneless loin)
1 can cola, Dr Pepper, or root beer
1 tbsp. hickory liquid smoke
pork rub (about ¼ cup)*
1 bottle of your favorite BBQ sauce

Directions:
Rinse the pork shoulder and pat dry. Rub pork rub all over pork shoulder. 
You can find this pork rub in the spice section of your grocery store. If you can't find it, just use salt & pepper or make your own pork rub, see recipe below.

Sprinkle with salt and pepper and place in your slow cooker.
Pour in can of cola and liquid smoke, all around the sides of the pork. Cook on low setting for 8 to 10 hours, until the pork is very tender. Remove the pork from the slow cooker and discard the remaining liquid. Remove the bone and shred the pork using a couple of forks, removing any excess fat.
I usually give my husband this job.

Now at this point you can place on hamburger buns and let everyone spread BBQ sauce on
their own sandwiches (which my family prefers). Or, you can place the meat back in the slow cooker along with the bottle of barbecue sauce and continue to cook for another 20-30 minutes until the pork is hot again. You can also leave your shredded pork in your Crock Pot and leave it on the keep warm setting until ready to eat.
To me, it ain't finished until I add some cole slaw on top. Here I made my Southern Cole Slaw. But instead of slicing the cabbage mixture, I chopped it up fine in my food processor. Serve it up on a soft hamburger bun.
*Pork Rub Recipe:
teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon paprika
teaspoon black pepper
teaspoon mustard powder
teaspoons salt
teaspoons brown sugar

Enjoy!

Printable Recipe Here

58 comments :

  1. These look GREAT! Looks like I will be adding this to my "to cook" list to make very soon!

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  2. Looks so Yummy:) And I just wanted you to know I tried your oreo ball recipe for Christmas and I gifted it to a few friends... HUGE HUGE HIT :)

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  3. I was thinking of doing pulled pork for my youngest son's bday party in a couple of weeks. If thats the route I go, then I will use this recipe. I love pulled pork. Smoked is best. Saving this in my favorites!

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  4. Oh, I am so making that ..right now! That sounds like the best thing ever for lunch! Thank you bunches!

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  5. Oh how I miss Formys! What a blast from the past! Thanks for sharing with all of us! Carolina style barbecue is my favorite!

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  6. Omg, I was on facebook and saw this was posted. Dontcha know I reposted a very similar recipe earlier today! I guess everybodies thinking about pork for the new year. I like the dr pepper idea, maybe ill give this one a whirl on Sunday!

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  7. My mouth is watering! Now I need to put a pork shoulder and Dr. Pepper on my shopping list!

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  8. wonderful recipe..and really yummy photos! ah those 17 hehe..very cute photo of you!
    Have a Happy New Year!!!

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  9. OHMYGOODNESS! This looks soooo delicious. I adore the pic of you too...I think you are 'right on' about some foods tasting great as we connect them with a good time in our lives. Nevertheless, I'm sure this has to be one honkin' recipe for you to share after trying oh-so many. Thanks!! Have a very wonderful and safe Happy New Year weekend Friend!

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  10. The pulled pork looks fantastic! Hope you have a Happy and Healthy New Year!

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  11. Mmmm, this looks delicious! I really need to get myself a slow cooker :)

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  12. Brandie,
    This pulled pork is wonderful with Dr. Pepper, and I love the cole slaw. bookmarking this one!

    Congrats on the top 9 today!
    Happy New year to you and your family!

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  13. What happens if you use Diet Soda?

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  14. It's bad ju-ju with the diet soda. The artificial sweeteners don't react well with the meat. It gives it an "off" flavor.

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  15. This sandwich is beautiful, and I liked your story too. Pork is the best.

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  16. I just made this for dinner and oh boy it is sooooo good and filling def adding to the list :) thanks so much for sharing

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  17. oh yay!! So happy you liked this recipe!!

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  18. Oh, how I love pulled pork!! I'm not keen on there being a heavy vinegar taste, but it's rare that I find one I can't enjoy, even up here in New Jersey. One of our local pizzerias began to offer pulled pork sandwiches, so I just HAD to try them (with Jack Daniels BBQ sauce). What I didn't realize was that they put coleslaw on the sandwich rather than on the side. I was hesitant because I don't eat coleslaw - I've just never liked it. But, I did eat that sandwich and enjoyed it more than I expected to, although I thought the slaw masked the BBQ flavor too much. I'm sure it's more what you grew up being used to, right? I'm definitely going to try this recipe, though. Love pulled pork.

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  19. Isn't there something that the juice could be used for rather than tossing it out?

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  20. Tried this recipe tonight and it was absolutely yummy! My hubby and sons all had seconds and are looking forward to lunch leftovers tomorrow. Thank you so much for sharing.

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  21. Thank you SO much for taking the time to let me know how it turned out for you!! So happy you liked this one! :)

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  22. Did this tonight for the company we had. I forgot to get Dr Pepper, but had root beer on hand, so I used it. That was the only change, and it rocked! People ate it up! I know I had a little extra, lol. Thank you for the help on a great meal!

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  23. Hi Christina!! Thank you for taking the time to let me know how it turned out for you!! I'm so happy you liked it!

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  24. Elizabeth O'DonnellMarch 17, 2012 at 2:31 PM

    Once you figure out the vinegar based sauce post it! I found a vinegar based sauce sold here in my piggly wiggly, "bishop's 3 N 1 sauce" It says it has vinegar, salt, red pepper and lemon. In it but of course not the amounts of each but that is the order.
    My question.
    How would your pulled pork recipe be with this instead on it? I may just give it a go and see.

    I stumbled upon you in pintrest.. Thanks for sharing. Hope my info on this bishop's sauce is helpful to you!

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  25. You said you were in search for the perfect carolina vinegar BBQ sauce... Have you been to Roland's BBQ in Beaufort, NC? It's a must and they sell the sauce by the gallon. We buy some every time we are down and are determined to figure the recipe out one day! I have two possibilities. One from an old cookbook called "Red Splash Vinegar Sauce" and I will have to find the other.

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  26. Arne't you cute. I love pulled pork and was thinking about it earlier today. I always eat mine with creamy coleslaw on it . YUm! barb

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  27. this looks delicious and I am definitely going to try it!

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  28. Found your recipe on Pinterest for Slow Cooker Pulled Pork, it inspired me to make tonight! Last night I prepared the cole slaw, cause - where I come from, we also put cole slaw on our bbq pork sandwiches. ♥ Pork's in the cooker, and we can't wait to try! Thanks so much for sharing this recipe... and I too loved Orry Main!

    SRQ Foodie

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  29. Thanks for posting all of your recipes! :) I am going to try the Pulled Pork for a get together with neighbours. I am new at cooking but am having fun trying new recipes. Does it taste as good using the tenderloins? Or should i stick with a shoulder?? Approximately how much does one "batch" make? I need to make enough for 9 adults!!

    Thanks for you help..your recipes..and your blog! I can't tell you how happy I am to have found you!!!

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  30. Hi Leanne! Thank you so much!! If you are feeding that many people, I would say go with the pork shoulder roast (or pork butt as it's called). Go with a larger size (maybe 6-8 lbs) and that should be enough for that many adults. I can usually feed 4 adults with this one recipe (2 sandwiches a piece). It depends on how much everyone will eat. If this is gonna be the main meal, you may want to do two, 4-6 pound roasts (if you have two crock pots). But I realize that can get pretty pricey. Just make sure if you go with a bigger roast that you have at least a 6 quart or larger crock pot. Hope that helps!

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  31. Thanks for your help!! Made the pulled pork on Sunday! 8lbs would have been plenty...but i panicked and bought more and now i have lots of leftovers!! :) And we tried it with your country coleslaw on top!!! Who knew!! It's not something we Canucks have ever tried...at least that i know of! It gave the pulled pork a delicious crunch!! Thanks again for your help!!! We will definitely be doing this again soon!!!

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  32. I'm starting to feel the need to pull out my crockpot and leave it on the counter. This looks great!

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  33. I made this today and used diet Dr. Pepper because it was all I had on hand. Turned out great. I also saved the liquid and added back to the meat after shredding to keep it from being too dry. It's delish!

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  34. I made this today and it is wonderful! I usually just cook the pork in the bbq sauce the whole 8 hours, but this is much better. Thank you so much for sharing the recipe. I just found your site and can't wait to try other recipes.

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  35. My family LOVES this recipe. However, we do not discard the liquid after shredding. I keep it to the side and use it to keep the meat moist for storing and to give it an au-jus option. It is great for families with LOTS of after school activities to keep warm for hours. It reheats well and tastes almost better the 2nd day. Thank you, Brandie!

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  36. I am going to try to fix this next weekend for my husband and myself. I was just wondering what I shold do with the leftovers so that the meat won't get dried out. Should I put it back in the juice or is another way better? We kept saying I needed to look for a pulled pork crockpot recipe. We wanted one that didn't make you add the BBQ to the meat while cooking. I just knew if I searched your blog I would find a recipe. Thanks! :-)

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  37. Hi Missy! Yep, I would just store it in some of the juices so it stays nice and moist when you reheat it! :)

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  38. OK thanks so much! Really looking forward to making it!

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  39. I fixed this today using a pork loin. It is the best pulled pork I have ever had, and such a easy recipe! I tried it with bar b que sauce, but the meat is so tender and tasty that I ate most of it without any sauce. To me that is the true test of pulled pork and this recipe passed with flying colors. Thanks so much for sharing the recipe. I love your blog so much. EVERY recipe I have tried has been a big hit! Now when I am looking for something new to try,I just come to your blog because I know I will find an easy and delicious recipe that will fit what ever I am craving. Thanks for all you do!

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    1. That means so much to me Missy! I am just so thrilled you have had success with the recipes on here. I hope you find lots more that you love!

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  40. I made this for dinner a couple days ago and it was a hit in our house! Tastes just as good as City Barbecue. I am DEFINITELY making this for my daughter's graduation party in June. Thank you so much!!!

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    1. Yay!! So happy this was a hit! Thank you for coming back to let me know!

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  41. Not sure if anyone has ever mentioned this, but you can use the paddle attachment on your stand mixer to shred cooked meats. Just put the meat in the bowl and turn it on till its shredded. Way faster than 2 forks! This is a great recipe thanks for sharing!!

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    1. Thank you Susan! Yes, I learned that handy little trick thanks to someone pinning it on Pinterest. It's a handy little trick but I know not everyone is fortunate enough to have a stand mixer so good ole fashioned forks will also do the trick. If you see my post on Chicken Enchiladas, you'll see where I had fun testing that little trick out! So glad you like this recipe - thank you for letting me know!
      http://www.thecountrycook.net/2012/04/creamy-chicken-enchiladas.html

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  42. My family LOVES this recipe. My 14-yr. old asks for it all the time. It is so simple and so easy. I do not add any barbeque sauce, allowing them to add their own sauce. I take the meat out, cut and shred and then strain the cooking juices into a container. I put the meat back in, and pour the strained juices into the pot. It makes the meat so rich and juicy and able to be eaten much later into the day. Along with some buttered & toasted Publix french bread buns this recipe is THE BOMB!

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    1. Sounds delicious! And that buttered bun sounds perfect! I don't have a Publix around here. I wish I had one near. I also wish I had an Aldi's close by. Maybe one day! Thank you so much for taking the time to let me know how much you like this one.

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  43. I did this yesterday...the only thing I did was salt/pepper the pork shoulder and add a little onion powder, then put it in 12 oz. of root beer to cook. Honestly, I wasn't sure what to expect. When it was done, I let it set to cool a while. Put on my disposable gloves and started pulling. It was so tender, came right off the bone. Very little fat left to separate. It was late so I put it in sealed container then into the fridge. Got some out, chopped it, heated in microwave which brought it back to almost out of the pot fresh. Toasted nice buns, added home made slaw and bottled BBQ sauce and it was da bomb! I'd have never guessed this would be SO good! The roast made enough BBQ to feed Cox's Army! I love your site- it isn't just recipes, but a visit with a friend. I'm one of the few males I've noticed hereabouts, so I'll mind my manners and thank you very well!

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  44. I made this over the weekend and everyone loved it! I WILL make it again! Thanks!

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  45. How many servings does this provide?

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  46. This is in the crockpot one! I'm late getting it started so probably won't get to eat it tonight (except for the nighttime eaters here) but it will be my breakfast when I get home in the morning. I am not a root beer fan, though everyone else here is, but I think that will be okay. I'm really looking forward to this!

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  47. Oh my goodness!! This is wonderful!! We just had it for supper tonight and the family loved it! I used your pork rub recipe. This was so easy to make. I shred my meat in the stand mixer while its still warm. This is so quick & easy. This also works great for chicken too, but the meat has to be warm in order for it to shred easily. Thank you for sharing!

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  48. Ah ha, and there you are 17 at the Botanical Gardens in Norfolk. Thank for all of the great recipes! Allen V., Norfolk Resident.

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  49. This recipe is bulletproof. Making it for the second time tonight. Dont even bother with another recipe, this is perfect. Thanks for sharing!

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  50. Tried this yesterday and used your seasoning rub. The house smelled wonderful all day! The hubby loved it and ate two large sandwiches with potato salad that I whipped up. Great recipe! We bought a 9 lb pork butt and cut it into so we will be ready to make this again. Can't wait to try more of your recipes:)

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  51. I made this recipe last week and it was amazing! I have a newborn at home, so cooking time is VERY limited, and it was extremely nice to be able to throw this in the slow cooker and forget about it the rest of the day! My husband loved it too, so I will definitely be adding this to our "keeper" list. Thanks for helping this new mama out!

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