Slow Cooker BBQ Pulled Pork

One of the best Christmas gifts I ever received was my slow cooker, which my cousin Michael gave to me as part of a running joke. Slow cookers aren’t a huge investment, and they save you so much time that they pay for themselves in one meal and I just love how the house smells after a day of slow cooking.

Slow cookers also save huge amounts of money. Low and slow cooking is perfect for those really cheap cuts of meat that are usually tough. My 3 pound pork shoulder was only $2.93 and will actually taste better than a pork roast would cooked the same way. If it’s easier to find, you can also use pork butt in this recipe.

Whatever you do, keep the slow cooker covered the whole time! I know it’s tempting, but removing that lid, even for a few seconds, can increase your cook time by a half hour. Remember, the whole point is that someone else (ok, an appliance) is doing all the work for you. Get your hands out of there!

Slow Cooker BBQ Pulled Pork

For the Pork:
  • 3 pounds pork shoulder, bone in and untrimmed (you’ll get to that later)
  • 1 cup cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 3-4 cups water
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • salt and pepper, to taste
For the BBQ Sauce:
  • 16 oz of your favorite BBQ sauce
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp brown or dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 clove of garlic, grated or minced
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Slice the onion and layer the bottom of the slow cooker. Place the pork on top of the onions and pour in the vinegar and Worcestershire sauce. Add in the water until the slow cooker is about 2/3 full, roughly 3-4 cups depending on the size and shape of the slow cooker. Season with salt and pepper, place the lid on and turn it on:

    • 6-8 hours on low, if you won’t be home
    • 1-2 hours on high followed by 4-5 hours on low, if you will be home
    • 4-6 hours on high, if you’re in a rush

In a bowl, whisk together the ingredients for the sauce. When the pork has cooked, remove it from the slow cooker and shred with two forks or your fingers. Strain out the onions and dispose of the liquid. Return the pork and onion to the slow cooker, pour over the sauce. If it seems a little thick for your taste, add a little water. Cover and cook on low for 30 minutes to one hour.

This dish goes perfectly with my no-mayo coleslaw salad and the pork is good to eat with a fork or on a bun.
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