The Ultimate Guide to Perfect Pulled Pork in a Crock Pot

Slow cooked BBQ pulled pork cooked in a Crock Pot

Are you ready to experience the best pulled pork you’ve ever tasted? Look no further! This recipe has been perfected over months of experimentation, resulting in irresistibly tender and flavorful pulled pork. The best part? We’ve eliminated all the highly processed ingredients, so you can enjoy this dish guilt-free. Get ready to impress your family and friends with the mouthwatering flavors of our slow-cooked pulled pork!

What makes the perfect cut of meat for pulled pork?

The secret to mouthwatering pulled pork lies in choosing the right cut of meat. Pork shoulder, also known as pork butt, Boston butt, or picnic roast, is the most common choice for making pulled pork. This cut includes the front leg and shoulder and is marbled with fat, ensuring moist and succulent meat. When purchasing a full pork shoulder, it’s recommended to have it cut into two portions weighing between 3-5 lbs each. This will make it easier to handle and cook evenly.

Slow and steady wins the race: Cooking times for Crock Pot pulled pork

To achieve that melt-in-your-mouth tenderness, slow and low is the way to go. The Crock Pot is the perfect tool for the job. For a 4 lb pork shoulder, set your Crock Pot to low and cook for around 7 hours. Remember that overcooking can cause the meat to dry out, so keep a close eye on the cooking time.

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Low and slow or high and fast?

While it may be tempting to speed up the cooking process by using the high setting on your Crock Pot, it’s best to resist that temptation. Low and slow is the secret to incredibly tender pulled pork. Trust us, the wait is worth it! However, if you’re short on time, you can try our Instant Pot Pulled Pork recipe for a quicker option.

Perfecting the pulled pork sandwich

Pulled pork sandwiches are a classic crowd-pleaser. With a few simple but delicious ingredients, you can create a sandwich that will have everyone coming back for more. Let’s break down the components:

The bread

Start with a whole wheat slider bun, whole grain brioche, or even homemade sandwich bread. The choice is yours! Just make sure to use a bread that complements the rich flavors of the pulled pork.

Vegetable toppings

While coleslaw is a traditional choice, you can get creative with your vegetable toppings. Lettuce, julienned carrots, onions, or arugula add a refreshing crunch to your sandwich. Customize your toppings and offer them buffet-style for your guests to choose their favorites.

The sauce

Our recipe doesn’t rely on BBQ sauce, but that doesn’t mean you can’t add a little extra flavor. Try drizzling a bit of the leftover juices from the cooking process onto your sandwich. If you prefer a sauce with a kick, hot sauce, tzatziki, or salsa are excellent choices.

Cheese, please!

Cheese can take your pulled pork sandwich to the next level. Cheddar, mozzarella, and Havarti are popular choices, but don’t be afraid to get adventurous with Gruyère, Cotija cheese, or pepper jack. You can even use the pulled pork as a topping for some mouthwatering pulled pork nachos!

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Taking it to the next level: Instant Pot instructions

If you prefer to use your Instant Pot instead of a Crock Pot, fear not! Our pulled pork recipe adapts well to pressure cooking. Here’s how to make it in your Instant Pot:

  1. Make sure you have an additional 1 cup of liquid (water or chicken stock).
  2. Prepare the seasoning mixture.
  3. Heat a small amount of olive oil in the Instant Pot using the sauté setting.
  4. Cut your pork shoulder into quarters.
  5. Coat each pork piece with the seasoning mixture and add them to the Instant Pot. Avoid overcrowding; you may have to work in batches.
  6. Brown the pork on all sides and remove from the Instant Pot.
  7. Turn off the Instant Pot and add half a cup of water or stock. Use a wooden spoon to deglaze the pan.
  8. Place the pork back into the Instant Pot and add the remaining ingredients, including the other ½ cup of water or stock. Note: Instant Pots heat from the bottom, so place the onion on top of the pork.
  9. Cook on high pressure for 60 minutes. Once done, allow for a natural release of at least 15 minutes.

The perfect accompaniments to pulled pork

Complete your pulled pork feast with delicious side dishes that perfectly complement the flavors. Here are some great options:

  • Collard Greens
  • Simple Corn Salad
  • Kale and Bacon Stuffed Potatoes
  • Southern Potato Salad (without mayo!)
  • Whole Grain Cornbread
  • Charred Corn Salad with Tomatoes and Avocados

Are you ready to take your pulled pork game to the next level? With our expert tips and mouthwatering recipes, you’ll be the star of any barbecue or gathering. So fire up your Crock Pot or Instant Pot and get ready to savor the most delicious pulled pork you’ve ever tasted. For more mouthwatering recipes and barbecue inspiration, visit Rowdy Hog Smokin BBQ. Happy cooking!

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