Perfect, Smoky Pulled Pork

18 Aug

Years ago, I went through a slow cooker phase.  What’s not to love about such a good, old-fashioned appliance that delivers?  Especially when the “daily stuff of life” leaves little time for cooking, the crock pot is a dinner saver.  A few times, I’ve turned to said appliance for batches of various styles of pulled pork, which have all turned out tender and juicy.  But this recent rendition of pulled pork is, unquestionably, our family’s most favorite-est.

perfect smoky pulled pork

Perfect Pulled Pork – really hits the spot!

Nope, it doesn’t even require a smoker.  I know a few BBQ Guys who turn out deliciously smoky meats with their smokers.  I could subconsciously be a tad envious because I don’t own a smoker.  I don’t have a smoker and I refused to turn on the oven with the hot and humid weather.  Thankfully, my trusty crock pot was ready to go.  The neighbors might even have been envious of the great big BBQ aroma coming from my little kitchen 🙂

perfect pulled pork

Perfect Pulled Pork – smoky, sweet, and savory – all without a smoker!

Actually, now that I think about it… it’s kind of funny that I’ve been posting about meat.  During my independence-seeking college years, I swore off red meat, among other things.  If I remember correctly, I adamantly refused beef and pork during that health nut phase (which my mama still scolds me for.)  Funny how pork has since had an image revamp and become the “other white meat” – yeah, okay, that probably doesn’t include pork shoulder/butt.  But still.  Pork has come a long way.

perfect pulled pork smoky

Perfect Pulled Pork – tender, juicy, fall-off-the-bone YUM!

I still favor poultry and seafood, but I’ll totally fill my plate with these pulled pork sandwiches when they come calling.  I’m serious – this pulled pork is full of flavor, with an awesome dry rub that sits on it overnight before cooking.  The only challenge is that you’ll need to plan for that night of marinading.

Perfect Pulled Pork 5

Perfect Pulled Pork – serve it up with your favorite coleslaw, pickles, or potato chips.

The best part of this pulled pork is that you will get such big flavor and tender and  fall-off-the-bone-goodness, all with little effort once everything is in your slow cooker.  Just turn on that sweet little cooker early in the morning, and dinner is ready when you get home!

Perfect Pulled Pork

Perfect Pulled Pork – cooks all day on its own!

Oh, and everyone knows that BBQ sauces are not all alike.  My disclaimer is that I only use Sweet Baby Ray’s Honey BBQ Sauce because out of all the sauces I’ve tried, this is it.  I’m not doing some kind of sponsor-ad thing, and I didn’t get my recipe off the back of the sauce bottle.   I just want you to really like this meal.  You can certainly use something else, but it probably won’t end up tasting like the pork I’m bragging about 🙂

Here’s to delicious food that cooks on its own, slow cooker style.  Enjoy!

RECIPE (10-12)


For Dry Rub
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 TB paprika
1 TB kosher salt
1 1/2 TB freshly ground pepper
1/2 tsp cayenne
1 TB garlic powder
1 TB onion powder

4-5 lbs pork shoulder or butt
2 cups cola or root beer
3 T liquid smoke
1/4 cup water
1-2 bottles Sweet Baby Ray Honey BBQ Sauce, depending on how saucy you want it


Make dry rub by mixing first 7 ingredients together.  This can be made days ahead of time and stored in an airtight container.

Using paper towels, dry pork.  Press dry rub generously onto pork, on all sides.  Wrap pork tightly in double foil and let sit overnight in fridge.

Remove foil from pork and set evenly in slow cooker.  Pour in 2 cups cola or root beer and 3 T liquid smoke.  Add 1/4 cup water.  Cover slow cooker and cook on low for about 10 hours.

Remove and shred pork.  Reserve cooked pork juices into separate bowl and skim off fat.  Put shredded pork back into slow cooker.  Mix in 1 bottle BBQ sauce.  Add as much of the reserved pork juices as desired.  I use maybe half or more.  Add more BBQ sauce if desired.  The meat will soak up a lot of the moisture, so this part is pretty much done by taste and by eye.  Once it is to your liking, cook on low another 30 min to 1 hour.

Source:  Chew Out Loud

19 Responses to “Perfect, Smoky Pulled Pork”

  1. mlspell August 18, 2012 at 5:00 am #

    This looks delicious!

  2. eatzybitzy August 18, 2012 at 5:32 am #

    Such a delicious meal to make on a sunday. Bet the onions and pickles bring out the flavour of the meat…..yumssssss~

  3. kyliecooks August 18, 2012 at 9:13 am #

    Your food is beautiful. What kind of camera are you using?

    • chewoutloud August 20, 2012 at 3:31 pm #

      Canon EOS 5D Mark II

    • chewoutloud August 20, 2012 at 3:35 pm #

      Thanks, Kylie! Must share Hubby’s fave saying: “It’s not all about the camera.” A good tool may need a good eye – but the tool helps, too. 😉

  4. highschoolfoodie August 18, 2012 at 4:01 pm #

    This looks incredible. I love pulled pork. Very interesting that you use cola but it sounds great! Also your photos are beautiful. Thanks for the recipe!

  5. myhealthyohana August 18, 2012 at 6:46 pm #

    This looks delicious, we love pulled pork, but have never made it in the slow cooker. Do you think the liquid smoke is absolutely necessary or can I do without it?

    • chewoutloud August 20, 2012 at 3:36 pm #

      You could go without. It just gives off the smoky flavor, so if you don’t care for smokiness, go without. We use liquid smoke for kahlua pork (hawaiian style) when we want the smokiness to shine through. 🙂

  6. Simply Tia August 18, 2012 at 8:29 pm #


  7. Erin's DC Kitchen August 19, 2012 at 8:06 pm #

    Oh my gosh, pulled pork is my weakness…. love love love it!

  8. Victor Ho September 4, 2012 at 8:50 am #

    Thanks for visiting my blog. With my change in venue, I have been living on the good will of sandwich shoppes, restaurants, and fast food for the past three months. It’s been interesting to say that I have not cooked in all that time. Eating has been very up and down. No weight gain or loss. So far so good. The food you make looks so good, I’d almost think about cooking again… but not quite. All the best to you and the boys.

  9. pattyabr September 13, 2012 at 11:31 pm #

    I’m a sucker for pulled pork. I’m hungry for it now!

  10. locaholic September 14, 2012 at 5:17 pm #

    This looks delicious! I have never made pulled pork, but you have inspired me to try! Thanks for stopping by my blog and liking my post on groundcherry-apple pie 🙂

  11. Foodie Joanie September 17, 2012 at 8:38 am #

    This looks delicious! Thanks for visiting my blog. See you around.

  12. Charito De Guzman October 8, 2012 at 8:54 pm #

    Thanks sooooo much for your recipe. I made this tonight as our Thanksgiving Dinner (Canada). Turned out perfect and we loved it! Thanks again.

    • chewoutloud October 8, 2012 at 10:16 pm #

      Oh, yay! I’m so happy you guys enjoyed it. Thanks for saying so 🙂

      • Charito De Guzman October 14, 2012 at 12:59 pm #

        Oh Yay to you too…. You’re site will be my “To go To” whenever I need a recipe to impress my Honey!


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