Slow-Cooker Goodness: Pulled Pork Barbecue

One of the best things about the South is the different ways people cook barbecue — and how they season, flavor, and package it.  We’re big slow-cooker fans here at the site, so we wanted to figure out the best recipe for making lots of barbecue, while keeping it as rich and moist as possible.  Scroll down for the details…

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Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Recipe

(makes 10-15 servings)

Ingredients

PORK

  • 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

BARBECUE SAUCE

  • 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

Directions

  1. Pour your 1 cup salt, 1/2 cup sugar, and 2 tablespoons of liquid smoke in 4 quarts of cold water in a large container.  Dunk your pork in here and cover the container with plastic and refrigerate for 2-3 hours.
  2. Now take your mustard and remaining 2 teaspoons liquid smoke and mix it together in a small bowl. Set aside for now.
  3. Next, take the black pepper, paprika, cayenne, the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar, and the remaining 2 teaspoons salt and mix that together in a second small bowl.
  4. Remove the pork from the brine and dry with a paper towel.  Rub the mustard mixture over the entirety of the pork and sprinkle the spice mixture over each piece.
  5. Now it’s time to get-to-cooking!  Place the pork in the slow cooker for 10-11 hours on low. Once the pork is done cooking, transfer from the slow cooker to a roasting pan and pull apart the pork with forks or tongs.  Pour off any liquid from the cooker in a bowl and let sit, then skim off the fat. Place the pork back into the slow cooker.
  6. Place 3/4 cup of the de-fatted liquid into a medium bowl. Whisk in the ingredients for the sauce and pour over the pork.
  7. Cook for another two hours on low.
  8. Remove pork from cooker and place on papertowels for a few minutes, then serve on a platter or in a large bowl.  If you’re at a potluck, feel free to just leave it in the cooker itself!

Recipe adapted from Paula Deen

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