That’s right, THE Best Slow Cooker Pulled Pork, you only need 3 ingredients to make this mouthwatering meat for sandwiches, tacos and more!
I cook pork shoulder at least once a month. It’s super versatile and a main dish that our family loves. I own a smoker, which I love, but I don’t always have time to babysit the meat while it cooks. But I have finally found a pulled pork recipe that is made in the slow cooker that tastes like it was made in the oven or maybe even the smoker. My husband is partial to the smoked meat – who wouldn’t be?! So the first time I made this, I didn’t tell him it I made it in the crock pot because I didn’t want him to judge the taste based on that. He really liked it and gave it a thumbs up. I think I’ve made it twice since then.
There’s a tiny bit of science behind the prep to this recipe. When I smoke meat in the smoker, I brine it in a salt water brine to add flavor and make the meat more tender. Since we’re cooking this in the crock pot, we don’t have to worry about losing moisture, but we want to enhance the flavor. To do that, we’re going to salt the entire piece of meat and wrap it up for several hours before we cook it. I know, I know – it takes a little bit of planning ahead, but nothing is difficult about the actual process. After it’s been salted and sits awhile, throw it in the slow cooker with a little more salt and liquid smoke and your work is done. 8 to 10 hours later, you’re ready to pull the pork and serve it with BBQ sauce on buns, in a taco or however you like.
We’re using a pork shoulder (also called pork butt), a cut of meat that has more fat than say a pork tenderloin, is super flavorful and melt in your mouth delicious. Drizzle the cooked and shredded meat with a bit of the liquid from the slow cooker to keep it moist and also to help when reheating it later. You can freeze any leftover meat and its juices and pull dinner together in just a few minutes on a busy night. I’m all about quick, ready to go dinner options 😉
- 3-4 lb. PORK SHOULDER (also know as PORK BUTT), bone in if you can find it
- HAWAIIAN SEA SALT* or other COARSE SALT
- 1 Tablespoon LIQUID SMOKE*
- Place pork on a double layer of plastic wrap. Sprinkle with salt on all sides (about ½ teaspoon per pound). Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and place in refrigerator for several hours or overnight.
- Put pork in slow cooker, sprinkle with a bit of additional salt and drizzle with about a tablespoon of liquid smoke. Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours.
- Remove and pull into bite sized pieces removing any large fatty pieces. Drizzle with some of the liquid from the slow cooker and serve as desired.
*Liquid smoke is near the BBQ sauce in the grocery store.
Slightly adapted from Our Best Bites