Tender, succulent pulled pork is super-easy to make in a slow cooker, which cooks it at the perfect low and slow temperature with minimal intervention on your part. The moist, enclosed environment of a slow cooker keeps the meat from drying out, and by the end of the cooking cycle, you'll be able to easily pull it into shreds with a couple of forks. This recipe calls for a homemade sauce made of mustard and brown sugar, inspired by South Carolina-style barbecue sauce. But if you prefer, you can use 12 ounces (1 1/2 cups) of your favorite bottled barbecue sauce. After step 2, spoon the sautéed onions over the meat in the slow cooker crock, add the prepared barbecue sauce, and skip to step 4. Prefer chicken? Check out the recipe for Slow Cooker Pulled Chicken.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 6 minutes
Total Time: 26 minutes
Yield: Serves 6 to 10 people
- 3 pounds pork butt, trimmed of excess fat
- Kosher salt and black pepper
- 1 vidalia onion, diced
- 1 cup mustard (one 8-ounce bottle)
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- Bread or rolls, for sandwiches, optional
- Cut the pork into large pieces to fit into a large shallow saucepan. Season with salt and pepper. Heat the saucepan over medium-high heat. Add as many of the pork pieces as possible to fit into pan without overcrowding. Cook, turning to cook evenly, until browned on all sides, about 8 to 10 minutes total. Transfer the browned pork into the crock of a large slow cooker.
- In the saucepan, add the onions. Saute the onions until softened and translucent, about 5 minutes.
- Reduce heat to low and stir in the mustard, brown sugar, vinegar, ginger and cloves. Cook, stirring occasionally, until it comes to a simmer and the brown sugar has dissolved, about 5 minutes. Pour over the pork in the slow cooker.
- Set the slow cooker to high and cook for one hour. Reduce heat to low and cook for 4 to 5 hours more, until the meat falls apart easily when pierced with a fork. Use two forks to shred the meat right in the slow cooker crock, or remove the chunks of meat to a cutting board and chop with a knife, then stir back into the remaining sauce in the slow cooker. If you prefer the sauce to be thicker, after shredding the meat and returning it to the crock, leave the lid off, turn the power to high, and let simmer for 20 to 30 minutes or until sauce has reduced and thickened. Serve on its own or on rolls.