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The slow cooker lends itself perfectly to the desired “low and slow” cooking technique that is the mantra of every barbeque enthusiast. Southern style pulled pork is a form of barbecue characterized by slow cooking which results in tender, succulent meat. While the cuts of meat used vary by region and individual preference, the pork picnic shoulder is the most popular and yields consistently excellent results.
Barbeque cooking methods vary from region to region, each with its own traditions and variations. As such, it’s difficult to provide an exact definition of BBQ pulled pork. Some BBQ pork will have tomato-based sauces while others are vinegar-based. Recipes for two unique homemade specialty offerings, Birch Beer BBQ Sauce and Kicked Up Alabama White Sauce can be found below.
The following recipe for Southern Style Slow Cooker Pulled Pork yields a meat that’s so tender, it can be easily pulled apart by hand. Pulled pork can be served in a variety of ways including as an entree or as a sandwich on a Kaiser roll, hamburger or Ciabatta bun. Southern style barbeque pulled pork is often served with coleslaw, either on the side or directly on top of the meat inside the bun.
- 1 large yellow onion, sliced thick (Here are some great onion choppers for you!)
- 1/2 cup ketchup
- 1/3 cup cider vinegar
- 1/3 cup light brown sugar
- 1/3 cup tomato paste
- 1/3 cup Worcestershire Sauce
- 3 tablespoons apple cider
- 2 tablespoon smoked paprika
- 1 tablespoon Crystal Hot Sauce
- 1 tablespoon yellow mustard
- 1 tablespoon ground mustard
- 2 teaspoons sea salt
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder (Here are some great garlic presses for you!)
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 5 pound pork picnic shoulder
- Seal salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste (Check out our recommended salt and pepper grinder sets!)
- Homemade Ciabatta buns (See link for recipe below)
- In a 6-quart slow-cooker, combine the ketchup, vinegar, brown sugar, tomato paste, Worcestershire, apple cider, smoked paprika, hot sauce, mustards, sea salt, garlic powder, onion powder, liquid smoke and crushed red pepper. Ladle out and reserve 1/2 cup of the liquid.
- Line the bottom of the slow cooker with the thick onion slices.
- Add the pork picnic shoulder to the sauce mixture, allowing the meat to rest on the spaced onion in the sauce.
- Top the pork picnic shoulder with the reserved sauce, coating the surface evenly.
- Secure the slow cooker lid and set to high setting for 30 minutes then reduce heat to the low setting and continue to cook for 10 hours.
- When tender, transfer pork to a large serving dish or bowl. Remover and discard any bones from the meat. Set the slow cooker to the high heat setting.
- Using two forks, pull at pork, shedding it into small, bite-sized pieces.
- Return the shredded pork to the slow cooker and toss with the sauce. Cover and heat through for 5 to 10 minutes. Add sea salt and black pepper to taste
Generously spoon the slow cooker pulled pork mixture onto the split buns and top with coleslaw if desired.
Recommended reading: Best Slow Cooker Cookbooks
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