Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Tasty Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

This pulled pork recipe satisfied die-hard barbecue fans from Arkansas and North Carolina, so you know it's good! The pork was moist and perfectly tender, with excellent flavor. The BBQ sauce was savory and spicy, with a really complex flavor. Best of all, this is one of the easiest recipes ever since it cooks up in the slow cooker while you're at work. The sauce is also a breeze: everything just gets thrown into the blender and then simmered for about 15 minutes until thick and delicious. I served the pulled pork with collard greens and homemade bread for a perfect summer dinner.

I'm sending this post off to BSI: Cumin!

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork (adapted from My Husband Cooks)
(Serves 6-7)

6 pounds bone-in pork butt
1 cup dark brown sugar
3/4 cup salt
2 T chili powder
2 T cumin
1 T red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp cayenne
1 cup chicken stock

Combine the sugar, salt, chili powder, cumin, red pepper flakes, and cayenne in a bowl. Stir well to combine. Rub the pork all over with the spice rub, and then place in a large container and chill overnight. The pork will release some liquid, so be sure your container is large enough to prevent overflow.

In the morning, place the pork in the slow cooker with the chicken stock. Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours, until tender. Transfer the pork to a large pot and cook in a 275 degree oven for about half an hour to help it crisp up. Serve with barbecue sauce.

Spicy Apricot BBQ Sauce (adapted from Coconut and Lime)

1/4 red onion, diced
12 ounces tomato paste
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup Coca-Cola
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 T mustard powder
1 T ground black pepper
1 T ground chipotle (less if you're sensitive)
1 T unsalted butter
1 tsp mesquite liquid smoke
2 apricots, finely diced
1 T muscovado sugar (or brown sugar)

Put everything in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Pour into a saucepan and heat over medium-low heat for about 15 minutes, stirring often. Remove from heat and let sit at least a few hours to allow the flavors to develop. Reheat before using.

Come join the fun at the My Baking Addiction and GoodLife Eats Holiday Recipe Swap sponsored by West Bend.


  1. I'm gonna have to try this...


  2. oh. my. goodness. This looks so good! I think this little recipe is going on my menu for this weekend. The family will love it. Apricot and Coke in the same bbq sauce? Divine. Thanks for sharing!

  3. I never made pulled pork before, I always think that this is unmanageable, I change my mind after reading your recipe. Sounds pretty easy, and the only thing that require is patient. And, I have plenty of that!

  4. Hi Sara, please email me I have exciting info about your recipe and would like to talk privately. Thanks!

  5. An apricot BBQ sauce sounds really tasty!

  6. I am looking for a good BBQ sauce, yours seems to be delicious and tasty...

  7. The pulled meat looks so tender & yummy! Anythg cooked in slow cooker is always a welcoming cooking method.

  8. Both recipes look amazing. I have been dying to make it since I bought some at Whole foods. My only concern is the salt. Is 3/4 CUP correct? That seems like so much. Thanks, Jennifer

  9. @ Jennifer: Yep, it's 3/4 cup of salt. Keep in mind that it's a rub on the outside, not something that's going into a sauce. The salt here is more of a dry brine rather than solely for flavor. The end result isn't overly salty at all.

  10. Sara - do you rinse the dry brine off before cooking? I just did the recipe, but not much liquid came off the roast. Just wondering, should I discard the liquid or scrape off any remaining paste. Don't want it to be too salty.

  11. @ Anon: I didn't rinse off the dry brine, but I did sort of brush off any big clumps.

  12. Hi Sara,

    Yesterday we made your pulled pork recipe for the third time and we all loved it. The first time we made it, we assumed the amount of salt was a typo and so we used 1 Tablespoon salt instead of 3/4 cup. It was fabulous that way and we were very happy with it. It isn't exactly a brine because you cook it in the liquid, it doesn't call for draining it off so the meat would absorb it. The rub is delicious! The BBQ sauce was really hot for our taste so we toned it down.
    Thanks! Castro Valley, California