We're never sure what to do with our slow cookers.
Yes, I said slow cookers -- we have two of them, a small 1.5 quart and a larger 5 quart one.
They largely sit in our cupboard, unused, until we pull them out about once a year, to make a chili or perhaps a coq a vin. And the food is always fine -- not terrible, not amazing, very middle of the road.
Thanks to The Splendid Table podcast, we'll never again want for a quality slow cooker recipe.
Meet Ultimate Cheater Pulled Pork -- a phenomenal slow cooker recipe that makes some of the best pulled pork we've ever had.
Back in May, we made Pulled Pork Tacos from Cook's Illustrated. They were great tacos, but it's the only time we've ever made pulled pork. That said, being from Kentucky and Tennessee, we've eaten our fair share of pulled pork over the years. We know from barbecue.
This pulled pork is among the best we've ever had. The secret is in the rub -- a delicious mix of paprika, garlic powder, dry mustard, salt & pepper -- and the addition of bottled smoke.
When added to cut up pork shoulder, these simple ingredients, left to simmer in the slow cooker for a day, produce succulent, flavorful pulled pork sandwiches.
We topped ours with Sweet Baby Ray's barbecue sauce. Next time, though, we'll top it with this barbecue sauce, which we've made many times. We think it's better than any store-bought sauce we've ever had.
Give this pulled pork a try -- you won't regret it.
Have a favorite slow cooker recipe? Please share it!
Ultimate Cheater Pulled Pork
As heard on The Spendid Table Podcast
Reprinted from Cheater BBQ: Barbecue Anytime, Anywhere, In Any Weather
Makes 12 to 14 servings
* One 5- to 6-pound boneless Boston butt pork roast or same weight of boneless country-style pork ribs
* 1/4 cup Cheater Basic Dry Rub (recipe follows)
* 1/2 cup bottled smoke
* Barbecue sauce of your choice
1. Cut the pork butt into medium (2- to 3-inch) chunks (the ribs don't need to be cut up).
2. Put the pieces in a large slow cooker (at least 5 quarts). Sprinkle the meat with the rub, turning the pieces to coat evenly. Add the bottled smoke.
3. Cover and cook on high for 5 to 6 hours or on low for 10 to 12 hours, until the meat is pull-apart tender and reaches an internal temperature of 190 F.
4. Using tongs and a slotted spoon, transfer the meat to a rimmed platter or baking sheet. Let rest until cool enough to handle. Pull the meat into strands. It should shred very easily. Serve the barbecue piled on buns with your favorite barbecue sauce.
5. To serve the barbecue later, cover and refrigerate the meat when it has cooled. Pour the meat juice into a separate container and refrigerate. Before reheating the juice, skim and discard the congealed fat layer on the top.
6. To reheat the barbecue, place it in a saucepan moistened with some of the reserved juice. Gently heat the meat on medium-low, stirring occasionally. Or, place it in a covered casserole with some of the reserved juice and heat in a 350 F oven for 20 to 30 minutes.
7. While the meat warms, combine the barbecue sauce and some of the additional reserved meat juice in a saucepan. Heat through and serve with the barbecue.
Cheater Basic Dry Rub
Makes about 2/3 cup
* 1/4 cup paprika
* 2 tablespoons kosher salt
* 2 tablespoons coarsely ground black pepper
* 1 tablespoon garlic powder
* 1 tablespoon dry mustard
1. Combine all the ingredients in a jar with a tight-fitting lid. Shake to blend.