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Slow-cooker Pulled Pork

Slow-cooker Pulled Pork
Wednesday, 21 September 2011


While there is no doubt that pork shoulder slow-smoked over hickory and apple wood for up to 14 hours creates delicious barbecue, not everyone has the time to tend a smoker for that long. This recipe – which barbecue purists would call heresy and an affront to the Gods of BBQ – makes it possible to have flavorful pulled pork during a busy work week by using a slow cooker.


At a glance
Cooking Method
Slow Cook
Heat Level
Main Course

1 (3-pound) boneless pork shoulder

Pork Dry Rub (recipe follows)
1 medium yellow onion, peeled and sliced
2 jalapeño chiles (or 1/2 habanero chile), seeded and minced
1 (12-ounce) bottle chili sauce
1/4 cup Worcestershire Sauce
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
3 cloves garlic, minced (about 1 tablespoon)
1 tablespoon Colman’s Dry Mustard
1/2 teaspoon Hungarian smoked hot paprika
1/2 teaspoon Wright’s Hickory Seasoning (liquid smoke)
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
Coarse kosher salt
Freshly cracked black pepper

For the dry rub:
2 tablespoons sweet paprika
2 tablespoons hot Hungarian paprika
2 tablespoons celery seed
2 tablespoons cracked black pepper
2 tablespoons ground cumin
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon ground cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon Colman’s Dry Mustard
2 teaspoons sage
2 California Bay leaves, crumbled


Assemble the dry rub:
Mix the ingredients in small bowl to blend. Use a spice grinder to pulse the mixture in batches until smooth. (Makes one cup of rub that will keep in an air tight container for up to six months.)

Rub the pork with the dry rub and bring to room temperature.

Add the remaining ingredients to a large slow cooker, cover, and cook on high for 30 minutes. (I use a Rival 6-quart programmable crockpot but any 4- or 6-quart crockpot is suitable.) Add the pork and continue cooking on high for six to eight hours or until the pork reaches an internal temperature of 190 degrees F. (The pork could also be cooked on low for eight to ten hours.)

Remove the pork from the crockpot and allow it to cool until it can be handled. Using your fingers shred the pork discarding any fat. Return the pork to the crockpot, stir well, cover and cook another hour. (Or transfer the mixture to a saucepan and reheat on the stovetop for about 30 minutes.)


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