I’m pretty sure this barbeque pulled pork marks the best thing I have ever made in a crockpot. Or maybe the best thing I have ever made, period?
Thank you Paula Deen, thank you.
Mr. Peaches was SO sad about the Packers’ loss on Sunday (though not quite as sad as this girl). Thankfully, this barbeque pulled pork lifted his spirits!
I have been completely obsessing over it for weeks, scouring the internet for recipes and having in-depth conversations with other foodies analyzing the quality of different barbeque sauces. I know, I’m cool.
So I finally settled on Paula Deen’s recipe, with very slight modifications.
Since I was feeding a crowd, I doubled the recipe and made two roasts.
With space for only one roast in my slow cooker, I used two different cooking methods.
One roast went in the slow cooker for 10 hours overnight on low, while the other went in the oven in the morning at 325° for 4 hours.
The result? Both were equally fall-off-the-bone delicious.
It’s the perfect marriage between flavorful pork, savory spices, the apple juice that it cooks in, the barbeque sauce mixture, and a big fluffy hard roll.
I thought that three parts Sweet Baby Ray’s mixed with one part Open Pit made the perfect sweet and savory sauce.
If you’re shopping at Whole Foods, Bone Suckin’ brand barbeque sauce is another great option.
Although I love making my own sauces when hosting dinner parties, I’m sticking to these yummy and crowd-pleasing store-bought sauces for this particular occasion.
I was honestly worried that I had overdone myself and made too much food, and that I would be caught drowning in leftover barbeque pulled pork all week.
Oh I was so wrong.
Ten pounds of pork — completely vanished.
Sadly I missed some of the guests after having to leave for a work event, but I received emails and text messages after the game with rave reviews, which certainly lifted my spirits.
“Delicious.” “5 stars.” “Melt in your mouth.”
My favorite review was, “It’s the kind of dish that just makes everyone shut up and be quiet while they’re eating it.”
Need I say more?
Put these barbeque pulled pork sandwiches on the menu for your next barbeque or game-day bash, and you’ll never hear the end of it!
And a special nod to my friend Bob W. for his expert tips on pulled pork and other man-food delicacies!
peaches & cake
- 1 ½ tablespoons kosher or sea salt
- About 1 ½ tablespoons freshly-ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons paprika
- ½ tablespoon cayenne pepper
- ½ tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 5-lb. pork shoulder roast
- 1 large onion, chopped into chunks
- 2 cups apple juice (I used Simply Apple)
- ½ cup apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce (I used Lea & Perrins)
- ½ tablespoon liquid smoke (I used Colgin)
- About 1 ½ cups barbeque sauce (I used a ratio of approximately 3 parts Sweet Baby Ray’s Original with one part Open Pit Original), plus more for serving
- 10 hard rolls or good-quality hamburger buns
1. In a small mixing bowl whisk together salt, pepper, brown sugar, paprika, cayenne pepper, and garlic powder. Place roast in a 9 x 13” pan and rub entire roast with dry rub mixture, pressing mixture into the roast with your hands. Cover roast with plastic wrap and allow to rest in the refrigerator at least 2 hours or overnight.
2. In a medium mixing bowl combine apple juice, apple cider vinegar, Worcestershire, and liquid smoke.
3. To Cook: There are two different methods to cook this recipe. Each method produces the same result – it just depends on your equipment, space, and time constraints:
In the oven: Preheat oven to 325ºF. Place onions in a large Dutch oven, rest pork roast on top, then pour the apple juice mixture all over the top. Place pork in the oven and tightly cover with aluminum foil or a lid. Roast for 4 hours, spooning cooking liquid over the roast every hour or so if desired, until fork tender and shreds easily. Remove from oven.
In a slow cooker: Place chopped onions in the bottom of the crock pot, rest pork roast on top, then pour the apple juice mixture all over the top. Cover slow cooker with lid. Cook on low for 9 hours, spooning cooking liquid over the roast every few hours or so if desired, until fork tender and shreds easily. Set slow cooker to the “keep warm” setting after cooking.
4. Ladle out majority of the broth and onions, leaving about ½ cup of broth. Remove bone and any visible fat on the exterior. Shred the pork with a fork or tongs into bite size pieces.
5. Pour in barbeque sauce (about three parts Sweet Baby Ray’s with one part Open Pit) and stir.
6. Serve warm in a slow cooker, a chafing dish, or over the stove with hard rolls and extra Sweet Baby Ray’s/Open Pit mixture on the side.
Excellent served with my homemade coleslaw, baked beans, pineapple, and an ice-cold beer!