After I posted my Fluffy Brioche Burger Buns recipe — You can find that recipe here — I was asked what I stuffed my buns with. [Insert giggles here] I told my friend, “Ridiculously good pulled pork, of course!”
I’ve been using this recipe for years, every time I make pulled pork. It can be altered to suit your tastes, and you can even use the drippings to make your own BBQ sauce. How great is that?
Nice and smoky
As-is, the recipe is perfectly smoky, with just the right kick of spicy. We’re not smoking our meat here, so we’re relying on the spices to do the job. Paprika is going to be the main focal point of the spices, and you can use whichever kind you like — from regular to sweet, to smoked or spicy. I use hot smoked which gives it a little extra spiciness. To help the smoky flavor come through a little bit more, I add a hint of hickory liquid smoke. This is optional, but I don’t have a smoker. So I prefer to use it in pulled pork, and also when I make kalua pig.
Low and Slow (Cooker)
This pulled pork is made in the slow cooker, which means less fuss for you. Alternatively, you could make it in your pressure cooker; I don’t have one of those (yet) so refer to the instructions for yours for the timing and method. I like to cook my pork roast for about 9 hours on low, and pork shoulder — or Boston Butt — is my favorite. If you’ve got a leaner roast, I’d opt for about 8 hours.
I don’t like to buy BBQ sauce. I like to eat foods that are lower in sugar, and just about every BBQ sauce out there is loaded with sugar and preservatives. So instead I make my own version using erythritol and blackstrap molasses, which works great! Alternatively, you can make a simpler BBQ sauce with just the reduced liquid/pan drippings when the pork is done.
Not low carb? No problem. Just sub out the sweetener with regular sugar, or better yet, brown sugar.
Try it out, and don’t forget to make the buns to go along with it (because they’re so much better than store-bought).
Ridiculously Good Pulled Pork
- 4-5 pounds Pork Roast butt, shoulder, or sirloin
- 1 medium onion cut into big chunks
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 Tbsp. salt
- 4 Tbsp. smoked paprika
- 1/2 tsp. cayenne optional
- 1 tsp. dried thyme
- 1 Tbsp. ground pepper
- 1/3 cup vinegar apple cider or red wine
- ¼ cup water
- 1 Tbsp. blackstrap molasses optional
- 1 tsp. liquid smoke
- All of the slow cooker liquid strained
- 8 oz tomato sauce
- 1 ½ Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
- 2 tsp worcestershire
- 2 ½ Tbsp. erythritol, xylitol, or sugar
- ¼ tsp onion powder
- ¼ tsp garlic powder
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp pepper
- 1 tsp paprika
- 2 tsp liquid smoke optional
- ½ Tbsp. blackstrap molasses optional
- Put onion chunks in the bottom of a slow cooker.
- In a small bowl, mix together garlic, salt, paprika, cayenne, thyme, pepper, vinegar, liquid smoke, and molasses. Whisk until well incorporated and rub all over the pork roast. Place the roast into the slow cooker.
- Pour the water into the bottom of the slow cooker.
- Cover and cook in the slow cooker on HIGH for 4-5 hours or LOW for 8-9 hours.
- When the pork is tender and easy to fall apart, take pieces on a cutting board and shred them with two forks.Transfer to a big bowl and set aside.
HERE’S A TRICK FOR PULLING PORK QUICKLY:
- Put your roast in a big bowl and, using a hand mixer (yes, a hand mixer), turn it on and shred the pork. It works like a charm. Just don’t over-shred it. If there are any larger bits left you can pull them apart with your hands or a fork.
- Strain the liquid from the bottom of the slow cooker and throw all the solid bits of onion and spices into the shredded pork, along with about 1/2 cup to 1 cup of the liquid. Stir to incorporate. This will keep it moist and flavorful.
YOU COULD STOP HERE AND USE A STORE-BOUGHT BBQ SAUCE, OR JUST USE THE LIQUID IN THE PAN FOR YOUR SAMMIES. ORRR……
HOW TO MAKE A BEAUTIFUL BBQ SAUCE FROM THE PAN DRIPPINGS:
- This is where you get to play a little. You can even eyeball the ingredients and add to your liking. If you want a more tangy sauce, add in more vinegar. Sweeter? Add in more sweetener or molasses. This part is really up to you…
- Set a large saucepan over medium heat and add in all the listed ingredients for the BBQ sauce. Bring to a boil and reduce by about half, or until it’s to the thickness that you’d like. This may take a little while, but it’s worth it.
- Taste your sauce and it reduces. The flavors are going to concentrate and you can adjust the flavors to your liking at this point.
- (Optional if not low carb/keto) When you have your BBQ sauce flavor just how you like it, mix 1 Tbsp. cornstarch with 1 Tbsp. cold water. Slowly whisk into boiling sauce. Stir as it thickens.
- Note: It will thicken a little bit more in the refrigerator.
- Once the sauce is to your liking, stir in as much as you’d like into the bowl of shredded pork. You can also stir just a little bit in, set the BBQ sauce aside and let your guests add more to their sammies.