Saturday, July 4, 2009

The Easiest (Cheater) Pulled Pork Ever, No Kidding

A 3-hour pulled pork that is tender and juicy and tastes like it simmered in the crockpot all day - no kidding.

The Easiest (Cheater) Pulled Pork Ever, No Kidding

This cheater pulled pork recipe kind of came on a flashback. No, not that kind y'all. But... years ago I really got into frugality, and one of the many places I frequented back then included the Dollar Stretcher website. Now I admit, I had kind of forgotten about Gary until I found him on Twitter and rediscovered him again.

Well one day, Gary tweeted an article from his site called The Pork Barbecue Secret, so of course I checked it out. The article is written by Dave Kessler, author of Skinny Cooks Can't Be Trusted, a collection of his recipes and articles from a column by the same name. With a title like that, I already liked the guy, because this is one of my most popular things to say when I watch these super skinny cooks on television. No offense to anybody who happens to be a skinny cook. I actually used to be one of those. Until my metabolism went south about the same time that I started blogging about food! Just sayin'...

Anyway, I was intrigued to say the least, so I marched off to the store, picked up a pork shoulder butt - isn't that such a funny contradiction in terms? First thing we all think, hey, how can a shoulder be a butt.... Well, I gave this method a try and my skepticism was doused with the first bite. Despite no seasonings, that's right, NONE, this was the most flavorful, tender, juicy pork, perfect for dousing with barbecue sauce for pulled pork sandwiches. There is something to be said about the natural fats in meats y'all and this is a winner, believe it or not. The bonus is that you get a wonderful broth leftover that is just perfect for a pot of soup like bean with bacon, or for a mess 'o greens.

Of course, many of us do a great pulled pork in our slow cookers, but the beauty of this is that it is done to perfection for pulling in much less time.

And to think all these years I've been paying high dollar for a pulled pork sandwich because I was intimidated by all those hours of smoking that you had to do in order to get a juicy, tender and flavorful pulled pork. Well, guess what? It's not true! I know the die-hard smokers out there will argue this point, and yes, a good smoked pork butt is awesome indeed, but... this is the easiest way to get pulled pork without all that smoking and waiting and honestly, the taste is so good, nobody but you has to know how easy it was.

On doing this in the crockpot: I do love this method for cheater pull pork, and I have done a Carolina style cheater pulled pork and a Spicy Crockpot version in the slow cooker. Cook overnight, for anywhere between 8 to 12 hours on low (depending on size of the butt), shred, return to the crockpot and add barbecue sauce, or leave plain, and sauce individual sandwiches, which is the way that I prefer to do it.

On doing this is a pressure cooker: Pressure cookers used to scare me to death ... until I got me one of the new-fangled electronic ones here recently. Well, I have to tell you that is a pretty cool method for making a pulled pork that's even faster than this! You can read about it here - just remember that it is written for the new, electronic kind of pressure cooker.

So you see, you have all sorts of methods besides smoking that will give you a nice, tender pork for pulling.

Recipe: The Easiest (Cheater) Pulled Pork Ever, No Kidding

©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 10 min |Cook time: 3 hours | Yield: Depends on roast size


Place the pork butt into a large stockpot and cover it completely with water. Put a lid on the pot and bring the water up to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 3 hours.

Remove from heat and take off the lid. Let the pork rest in the water for about 30 minutes. Remove to a plate and using a fork and some tongs, begin to pull the pork into bite sized shreds. Place into a storage container or on a serving platter, blend liquid smoke into the barbecue sauce, add some of the barbecue sauce to the meat, and gently toss. Can also sauce the meat on individual buns, if preferred.

Spread butter on the buns and toast them in a skillet. Pile the pork onto the buns and spread a generous amount of additional sauce over it. Serve immediately.

Cook's Notes: For Carolina style, prepare a vinegar sauce. I like to douse the pulled pork with half of the vinegar sauce, putting the remainder in a squirt bottle; then add enough barbecue sauce to the pork to coat it. When I make my sandwich, I put the sauced pulled pork on the bun and give it a generous squirt of the vinegar sauce. Nice and tangy!

Crockpot: Place into crockpot and add 2 cups of water. Cover and cook on Low for 7-8 hours or on High for 4-5 hours, or until meat is tender.

Leftovers? Build a BBQ Sundae!


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©Deep South Dish
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Posted by on July 4, 2009
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  1. As a Texan, I can tell you that I LOVE my pulled pork! But since moving to the East Coast, I can truthfully say that I enjoy the NC brand of BBQ, as well. Thanks so much for sharing this. I hope you and yours Have the Happiest of 4ths!

  2. Mary, thanks so much for the instructions about pulled pork. The information is appreciated. Have a wonderful holiday.

  3. I just couldn't get over this - love it!! Happy 4th back at y'all!!

    P.S. Melissa, I got a bit of Texan in me too!!

  4. Who knew!? Pork shoulder butt. Hmmm. I love pulled pork too. The next time I head back to the farm I'll see if anyone has one in the freezer they want to get rid of. I'd love to give this a try. Great tip!

  5. This sounds like a really great recipe!

  6. Looks wonderful and not one bit intimidating!

  7. Yum, pulled pork is one of my favorite things! Happy 4th :D

  8. This looks fantastic and so easy, a must try! Great recipe Mary!!

  9. Made this the other night for dinner, and it was a HIT. I'm in NC and just love the way we do sauce here, so I made my own vinegar sauce. I have always stayed away from making pulled pork and now I don't have to anymore. Thank you!

  10. You're welcome Joy! I love this method and it's perfect to enhance w/NC vinegar sauce. Would love to know how you make your sauce (hint, hint lol) - I just made one and winged it, so I don't know how close it is to authentic. Will be posting that soon!

  11. There are a few ways people make the NC sauce up here. Some with ketchup and some without. I prefer here goes:

    1 cup white vinegar
    1 cup cider vinegar
    1-2 Tablespoon brown sugar
    1 Tablespoon red pepper flakes,
    1 tsp. to 1 T of Tobasco
    1 tsp. salt
    1 tsp. gound black pepper
    3/4 cup ketchup

    Put it all together in a jar, give it a good shake and refrigerate for 1 or 2 days. Shake well before using.

    *You can adjust the sugar and heat to your own taste. We like it hot!!

  12. Oh Joy! You are a JEWEL!! Thanks for sharing your vinegar sauce. It's much different than what we do down here with our tomato based bbq sauce. Even though the one I put together was a bit different, I really liked it and sure enjoyed it as a change of pace. Thanks again for coming back to leave this!!

  13. You are very welcome! I did forget to add Hickory liquid smoke to the ingredients list above. I only used about 1/2 of a teaspoon. You could add more I'm sure if you like it smokey. And again, thanks so much for the BBQ recipe.

  14. This was the easiest, tastiest, homemade pulled pork I have ever had! Thank you!

  15. You're welcome Laurie!! Glad y'all enjoyed it - we sure do. Thanks so much for taking the time to come back and comment!!

  16. To more easily "pull" your pork butt, just cut it into four hunks when it has finished boiling and resting. Two slices with the knife and you've got four pieces. Add one piece to the bowl of your kitchen aid mixer with the paddle and turn it on low. It will shred quickly and easily. Take the meat out and repeat the process. You don't want to add the entire pork butt at one time (even though that would work) because by the time it's done, too much of the pork has been over-shredded and becomes more of a meat paste than shreds. Doing it on fourths is fast and assures long shreds.

  17. I do my pork shoulder with a dry rub, sear it in a hot skillet and then transfer to a cast iron dutch oven and cook at 325 for 3 1/2 hrs. Let rest for 30 minutes and then pull with 2 forks. Add favorite BBQ sauce!

  18. I do mine in water too but I cut it into large chunks first - before cooking. The advantages are A) less cook time (I do 2 hours) and B) the shreds of meat aren't too long and stringy. I also like to use the leftover stock (with fat cooled and removed) for a big pot of beans.

    1. Great tip, thanks so much! I'll add that to the recipe. I use the leftover water too - it's perfect for beans!


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