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Pulled pork

2 votes, average: 4.00 out of 52 votes, average: 4.00 out of 52 votes, average: 4.00 out of 52 votes, average: 4.00 out of 52 votes, average: 4.00 out of 5

(2 RATINGS)

17 COMMENTS
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (2 votes, average: 4.00 out of 5)
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SKILL LEVEL :
Easy but takes some time

Something different for Something New For Dinner

You will probably never see another recipe like this on Something New For Dinner. Here is the back story. My son Mikey and his college buddy Zio are home for the summer. Needless to say, keeping the fridge full has been a challenge. Mikey is a pulled pork aficionado, so I wanted to find a good pulled pork recipe I could make in my slow cooker. I scoured my cookbooks and the internet and found a recipe with 4.5 stars on a 5-star rating with 2,580 reviews. No joke. I had never seen a recipe on any site with so many reviews, much less so many great reviews. Then I read the recipe. You simply put your pork in a slow cooker with a bottle of root beer for several hours, shred it and put it back in the slow cooker for a couple hours with a bottle of barbecue sauce. This was wrong in so many ways, I vowed to find a less toxic, more hand-crafted way of making pulled pork. But them I kept coming back to the 2,580 reviews and figured I had to give it a try.

The boys and my dogs give this pulled pork top reviews

My son gave it his all time highest recipe rating. And my dog Chubby, literally planted herself by the slow cooker and whined for a bite. Chubby, despite her name, has never done this before with anything else I have cooked. This recipe is way outside my healthy view on good eating habits, but every once in a while it is OK to go outside the box. How can you argue with 2,581 reviews?

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Barbecue sauce is key

The slow cooking in the root beer tenderizes the pork and renders the fat from the pork. The barbecue sauce provides the flavor, so make sure you pick a barbecue sauce you like. I asked the guy at the meat counter at Whole Food's which barbecue sauce they use in their pulled pork, and went with their choice of Dean's Natural Grill Mesquite Barbecue. Many of the 2,580 recipe reviewers recommend Sweet Baby Ray's barbecue sauce.

Recipe modifications

After doing some research, I modified the recipe a bit. Turns out there are lots of pulled pork recipes made with root beer or ginger ale. I added a layer of onions on the bottom of the slow cooker, used a 7-pound pork shoulder instead of pork tenderloin, used two bottles of root beer, and slow cooked it over night for 12 hours. If you are looking for a slow-cooker big enough to hold a 7-pound roast, I like my Cuisinart 6-quart slow cooker.

Top with coleslaw

My plan was to top the pulled pork sandwiches with coleslaw, but I had a little mishap with a Cuisinart blade, so after a trip to Urgent care, we settled with chopped cabbage. Which goes to show, even experienced cooks screw up.

Brioche or King's Hawaiian hamburger buns

A nice fluffy bun is very important for a good pulled pork sandwich. I am particularly partial to the King's Hawaiian bread I grew up with in Hawaii. 

Gluten free, low-carb and Paleo options

Wrap your pulled pork in lettuce or cabbage cups.

Almost zero preparation time

This recipe takes very little active time. You can throw everything in the slow cooker in 10 minutes. It slow cooks for 12 hours. It takes another 10 minutes to shred and add sauce. Then you throw it back in the slow cooker for another couple hours. You can skip this last step if you are short on time.

Pulled pork

Prep

Cook

Total

Yield 10 servings

HIghly rated by my son Mikey, a pulled pork aficionado, this slow-cooked pulled pork recipe received his highest ratings.

Ingredients

  • 1 onion, peeled and sliced
  • 1 7-pound pork shoulder, also known as Boston butt
  • 2 bottles root beer
  • 2 12-ounce bottles barbecue sauce
  • 10 brioche or King's Hawaiian hamburger buns
  • Shredded cabbage or coleslaw

Instructions

  1. Put the onions in the bottom of the slow cooker. Place the pork shoulder on top of the onions. Pour in two bottles of root beer and cover. Set to low and cook for 12 hours.
  2. Use tongs to remove the shoulder from the cooker and dump the residual liquid down the drain. Let the roast cool down until it is cool enough to shred. Shred the pork into bite-sized pieces taking care to discard any fatty parts.
  3. Put the shredded pork back in the slow cooker and add 1.5 bottles of barbecue sauce. Stir to coat the pork. Turn the slow cooker back on low and cook for another two hours.
  4. Serve on buns with coleslaw or shredded cabbage.

 

 

THIS SERVES WELL WITH

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17 COMMENTS

Comments

  1. vicki norman says:

    Sounds fantastic. can u suggest a good slow cooker?

    1. Kim says:

      Hi Vicki,

      Yes, I like my Cuisinart 6-quart slow cooker. If you go to the pulled pork recipe, and look at the paragraph titled “Recipe Modifications,” there is a link to this slow cooker. It can handle a 7 pound pork shoulder easily and has a lot of nice features. I am new to the slow-cooker world, but hope to have some more slow-cooker recipes soon.

      Good luck!

      Kim

  2. Jan says:

    One of our favorite dishes. Easy to make, easy to serve and freezes well.

    1. Kim says:

      Good to know about it freezes well! Thank you.

  3. Wendy says:

    I’ve made this with diet root beer (somehow that would be healthier, right???) It turns out exactly the same with regular or diet. Also works the same with Dr. Pepper…..so strange, but very delicious! My son’s favorite as well.

    1. Kim says:

      Hi Wendy,
      This is one of those recipes that you just make occasionally and when you do, try not to think too hard about it’s health factor. Everyone needs a treat now and then. I’d love to know the science behind what goes on with the soda and the meat. I’d like to think the soda helps render the fat from the pork and leaves you with leaner meat. You do discard a lot of rendered fat. There are similar recipes that call for a can of beer. Whatever way you go, I say pile on the healthy coleslaw and enjoy!

  4. Lockie says:

    Wish I was having a Super Bowl party, made this yesterday with Cosco’s huge Pork Butt and my family devored it!!! And so easy!!!!

    1. Kim says:

      Glad you liked it Lockie. I always think I am making a ton and will have extras, but no matter how much I make, it gets quickly consumed.

  5. David says:

    What size of bottle for the rootbeer? Is it 16oz 20oz or 2 liter?

    1. Kim Pawell says:

      Good point! A standard 12 ounce bottle of rootbeer. My apologies for the confusion. Enjoy your pulled pork!

  6. Muffer says:

    Kim!!!! Making this easy dinner for John’s aloha dinner ( back to school) it is so delicious for the past hour he and his buddies have been snacking each time they walk by. ………. There will be no formal aloha with the Portuguese sweet bread rolls. Mahalo Nui

    1. Kim Pawell says:

      Thank you Muffer! I agree this pulled disappears very fast. I always buy the biggest pork shoulder I can find. If I had two slow cookers I’d make two at a time. : ) If you are lucky enough to have leftovers, this pulled pork freezes beautifully for a future meal. Sadly, that rarely happens in our house.

  7. lisa says:

    Made this last night and it is simple and delicious. Thanks for such a great and easy recipe. Love your recipes and food.

    1. Kim Pawell says:

      Thank you Lisa. So glad you enjoyed it!

  8. Lisa Giger says:

    I made this at a girls trip to Lake Arrowhead and it was a hit! Coincidentally someone else (Kit) made a meal with your Zoodle recipe another night-which was also delicious! Thanks for feeding us this week!

    1. Kim Pawell says:

      Hi Lisa — What a fun weekend. I’m glad I could contribute in a small way.

  9. Anne says:

    This was fantastic! Best pulled pork recipe I’ve ever made. We had so much leftover and it freezes very well. I used Trader Joe’s small “slider” buns – they were so cute and “held up” under all the warm deliciousness. Five Star rating from me!

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