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Today I’m going to share one of my favorite/only recipes – slow cooker pulled pork!
Anyone who knows me can tell you that I’m one of the least domestic people around. I’m an incredibly picky eater, so my cooking skill set is limited to basics like pizza, pasta and grilled cheese, because, why take the time to learn how to cook something if you’re not going to LOVE eating what you’re making?
About a year ago, I finally moved out of my parents house after a couple years of post-baccalaureate freeloading.
Freedom felt SO DAMN GOOD, until I remembered how hard it was to feed myself when I lived alone in college.
During those 4 years, the major food groups that I focused on were chicken nuggets, mac and cheese, and nachos… all paired with the cheapest boxed wine New Hampshire had to offer.
After moving, I quickly realized that I needed to learn some new cooking skills, so I started with the foods that I both loved, and were easy to make.
The dish I picked first was slow cooker pulled pork, and after months of perfecting the recipe to get the flavor just right… I’m here to share it with you!
So, Lets Get Started!
My favorite thing about this recipe is that it requires almost no grocery shopping except for the piece of pork. The rest of the ingredients can typically be found in most kitchens. If not, buy them once and you can make this recipe dozens of times without having to restock! This is perfect if you’re shopping on a budget.
4-7 lb Pork Butt or Pork Loin
(I used a pork loin this time. This results in a less fatty end product. Pork butt is the more common choice and comes out better, in my opinion. The meat comes out very moist, but with slightly more fat than the loin.)
1 1/2 tsp Paprika
1 1/2 tsp Cumin
1 1/2 tsp Cayenne Pepper
1 1/2 tsp Chili Powder
1 Tbsp Garlic Powder
1 Tbsp Onion Powder
1 Tbsp Salt
1 Tbsp Pepper
3/4 Cup Brown Sugar
1/4 cup Apple Cider Vinegar
3/4 cup Water
COOK TIME: 7-8 Hours
The Dry Rub
Once you have all of your powdered ingredients together, grab a bowl and some measuring spoons.
Measure out 1 1/2 tsp each of paprika, cumin, cayenne pepper and chili powder.
** If you prefer your pulled pork spicy, add up to 1 Tbsp (3 tsp) of each of these spices.**
Add 1 Tbsp each of garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper, to the bowl of red spices.
Last, add 3/4 Cup of brown sugar to the bowl, and mix together with a fork to break up any large chunks.
Seasoning the Meat
Once you have the dry rub all mixed up, you’re ready to season your pork!
First, remove the meat from it’s packaging, and place it in the empty crock pot. Next, pour the dry rub mix over the pork, making sure to flip the meat over to ensure you cover both sides.
After dumping all of the seasoning into the pot, massage the seasoning into the pork with your hands. Be sure to cover every part of the meat with the seasoning to ensure maximum flavor!
Juice it Up!
After you’ve seasoned the meat, it’s time for some liquids to ensure that your pork comes out nice and juicy!
Add 3/4 cup of water to the bottom of the crock pot, along with 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar. The addition of the vinegar will help your pork pull easier once it’s done cooking!
Set It & Forget it
The best part about this meal is that once you’ve done this tiny amount of prep work, you’re basically done!
After everything has been added to the crock pot, put the lid on and set it to LOW, and cook for 8 HOURS.
**When using a smaller piece of pork, check the tenderness of the meat with a fork around 7 hours. If it easily falls apart, it’s ready. It will begin to get dry if left too long.**
If you’re an anxious cook like me, you’ll want to open the lid and check out the scene inside the crock pot while it’s cooking. Fight the urge! Don’t open it until you’re ready to take it out, this will allow for maximum moisture and flavor!
Pulling the Pork
Once the meat is tender and easily falls apart – your pulled pork is done!
After you turn off the crock pot, remove the meat from the liquid and place it in another dish. Use 2 forks, and slowly pull apart the meat until all of the large chunks are broken up.
I like to mix in some barbecue sauce with the pulled pork to add extra moisture and flavor. After that, grab a bun, and some cheese (If you’re feeling real crazy!!).
Put it all together, maybe add some mac and cheese – and you have yourself a delicious meal! (And tons of leftovers!!)