My local grocer spoils me with their house-made, amazing BBQ pulled pork when I’m feeling lazy – which is often. When I actually cook it, the crockpot is my go-to method. Pulled pork is something I OFTEN have in my freezer from summer smoking or if I find great cuts of pork shoulder on sale and buy in bulk. It’s so versatile and if you don’t season it too specifically during the cooking process, you can put it in many dishes and really get a lot of bang for your buck. I use it for Homemade-ish Pizzas, Baked Potato Bar, Desert Island Tacos and more. Slather this stuff with your favorite BBQ sauce and you have one of the easiest dinners of the week.
I usually use the crockpot roast for this but you can also use boneless country ribs (this is just a crockpot roast cut up into smaller pieces) or a larger picnic roast or Boston Butt cut. The last two have a bone in them and take a bit longer to cook but are just as delicious. I like 6 hours on low in the crockpot for a 2ish pound roast. Just add another 2 hours per pound as you go up and check for it easily breaking apart with a fork to test done-ness. It should be super tender.
I am VERY low involvement when it comes to prepping the meat before cooking in a crockpot. The magic comes AFTER you put it in with all its spice friends and leave it alone. Just let the crock do its thing. Meat, slice an orange in half and squeeze the juice all over the meat (this is a science thing with acid and tenderness and stuff – I just know it works) then throw the orange halves in there with the meat, dump your spices on and cover with a cup of water. The most generic way I season the meat is with a standard BBQ rub mix I buy from the store. You can make your own if it makes you feel better. This is one area I can save time, so I do. You can also use cumin and garlic powder here if you know you’re going to use most of the meat for Mexican-style dishes. If you’re going to make a big crock for BBQ, the rub and some brown sugar would be outstanding.
With all shredded meats in the crockpot, the key is what you do for the last hour of cooking. When you can easily pull the meat apart with two forks, do that with the whole piece of meat. It doesn’t have to be totally shredded but you want smaller chunks. Turn your crock down to warm and put the lid back on so the chunks of meat can soak back in that moisture they’ve lost for at least 30 minutes. I like to leave them in there for an hour. This makes all the difference with flavor and tenderness. Now shred it and use that beautiful meat however you feel led. Yum.
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