You have decided to have a large number of your friends and family over, just to celebrate the joys of a sunny summer day.
Even though you love to barbecue, your thoughts go towards all the side dishes there are to prepare. Your house might need a good cleaning before 40 friends and family crowd in and make it dirty again.
And the shopping has to be done, and you want to plan for the entertainment, and all of the other things that have to be done and so on and so on. Somehow, you have got to find a way to have a BBQ without firing up the BBQ grill and standing watch over the flames and food for several hours.
What better solution than to make pulled pork in your crockpot?
No matter which method you choose to prepare the pork, it needs to cook slowly and at a low temperature. There are those who want to go whole-hog. Literally.
In parts of eastern North Carolina, they love to smoke their hogs. Some of them will invest their time and money in buying a whole hog and slowly roast it for a “big event” kind of barbecue. It will be a gathering of a really large number of family, friends, neighbors and whoever else might want to join in the festivities. I think you’ll agree with me when I say, that would probably be too much pork for your afternoon gathering!
Chances are, however, that you are not ready to dig a big pit in your backyard nor construct a spit for the hog. That might be a very interesting adventure – but maybe you’ve decided to save that for some other time. For your upcoming big gathering, instead of taking the slow and complicated way, you have opted for slow and easy.
The meat for pulled pork sandwiches has to be cooked slowly. It could be prepared on the grill outside, with someone checking on the smoke every 30 minutes, adjusting the charcoal, adding more liquids and basting the pork for anywhere between 6 and 10 hours.
Sure, you could do that. What if you don’t want to spend 10 hours of your day standing around the grill?
Here’s how you can avoid that.
You can plop the whole piece of pork in your slow cooker and let your equipment do the cooking for you. In the meantime, you can do all of those things on your “getting ready for a party” list. You could even set it to cook overnight while you get your beauty sleep in preparation for a long day of food, friends, and fun.
When you are planning this crock pot barbecue, one very important thing you must consider before you buy your meat is the size of your crock pot. Know the dimensions of the crock so your butcher can cut it to size if that is necessary. If you plan on having a very large number of people at your party, you may even need to take two days to cook, unless you have two slow cookers, or can borrow one for a couple of days.
There are always a few variations you can try to create your own uniquely flavored pulled pork. If you will be cooking a large piece of meat, remember to add ¼ cup of liquid for every pound of pork. Using the word liquid can be a somewhat loose term because that includes BBQ sauce, ketchup, and mustard.
Different liquids will create some different tastes flavors. However, you decide to blend them, remember that for the best results, your mixture should be a blend of both sweet and tart.
CHEF TIP: For something with a bit of a Mexican flare, mix some beer with orange juice. Add to that a few garlic bulbs and cinnamon for your aromatics. Some chopped chipotles with adobo will make this a real winner.
The All-American pulled pork will include ketchup and a grainy mustard, along with apple cider vinegar and that most American of soft drinks – Coca-Cola.
The liquids should not cover the pork. They only need to reach about one-fourth of the way up the side of the crock pot.
OTHER RECIPES YOU’LL LOVE
Best Crockpot Pulled Pork Recipe
Try this simple and delicious BBQ pulled pork recipe cooked in a crockpot.
- 2.5 lbs Boneless Pork Loin
- 1/2 piece Onion (Sliced)
- 1 tbsp Paprika
- 1 tsp Black Pepper
- 2 tsp Salt
- 8 ounces BBQ Sauce
- 2 cloves Garlic (Minced or Pressed)
- 1/2 cup Water
Add all ingredient into the slow cooker.
Set the slow cooker to medium and let the pork cook for 6 hours, or set it on low to cook for 8-10 hours.
Separate the meat from the liquid by setting the pork on a baking sheet.
Using two forks, shred the piece of pork. If you get tired of using the forks, it is quite acceptable to finish the shredding process with your hands.
How many calories are in a pulled pork sandwich?
A 6 ounce pulled pork sandwich will run between 527 to 580 calories. Some people will add more meat to their sandwich, others will want less. It will also depend on any extra liquids or other ingredients you may choose to add to the cooking pork.
What are the best buns to use for pulled pork?
This really depends on your personal preference and what other foods you will be serving. Here’s a good way to measure according to how much meat you will have:
Small bun: 4 ounces
Medium bun: 5 ounces
Large bun: 6 ounces
How many pounds of pulled pork is needed per person?
The standard thought is that 6 ounces of cooked meat or finished product is what you need for each person. To reach 5-6 ounces of cooked meat, you will need to calculate as follows:
1/3 – ½ pound of boneless raw pork per person
¾ pound of bone-in raw pork person
This will allow for 2 servings per person.
Other uses for leftover pulled pork?
There are so many ways to use pulled pork meat if you do happen to have any leftover. If there is a large amount, it can be frozen for up to four months or even placed in 1-quart bags and given to your guests as a parting gift. It can also be used in tacos, salads and in more sandwiches over the next couple of days.
What is the best cut of meat for pulled pork?
The very best cut to use for pulled pork is a whole pork shoulder, but they aren’t often available in the average grocery store. Other cuts of the shoulder that are recommended are labeled Boston butt or pork butt. (Who knows why the shoulder is called the butt!) Picnic ham is also a good choice of a shoulder cut for pulled pork.