I’m about to break all the rules, I acknowledge this and yet I shall press on. I have made pulled pork on many occasions and in the beginning I followed the rules. I dutifully used the pork shoulder roast…sometimes referred to as either the Boston Butt or Picnic Roast depending on which end you get. That’s it sitting down there in all its marbled, fatty glory…
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I seasoned it up, left it to marinate and popped it into the oven on a low temperature and proceeded to baste it every few hours. To be fair, most of the time it worked, but then sometimes it didn’t. There is nothing worse than slaving over a pulled pork for hours (days even) then take your prized possession out of the oven, pick up some shredding forks (these are normal forms but used in a shredding motion) and have it NOT shred!
The pork shoulder I am supposed to use
Needless to say one can only be disappointed so many times before alternative means must be employed. Now some of you may be faulting me and my cooking for the above mentioned catastrophe, who knows, maybe you are right. But that didn’t stop me from pressing on, which I did with gusto! I love a good pork tenderloin, but even considering that for pulled pork is beyond even my bravado….so I settled on pork loin.
Yup….I said it….some of you may be crying out in disgust, or just plain crying at this point…but stay with me as this is where this story (and recipe) begins…with a lovely pork loin…let’s just take a minute and let that idea settle in….
The pork loin I actually use…
Are you ok? Can I continue? Good…so here we go! I like to make my own rub and basting sauce, that way I know what’s going in it and there are no words I can’t pronounce or spell or have to google. As with any respectable pulled pork there is going to be some amount of brown sugar involved (there is, so don’t worry), add to that cumin, paprika, salt, freshly ground pepper, cumin and some cayenne. Once its all mixed together you have to rub that sh*t all over. the pork, full coverage is essential!
Once that’s done, wrap it up in plastic wrap (I do three layers and alternate the direction on each layer). Then put it in the fridge and wait at LEAST 4 hours but in all honestly this should sit overnight to really let the flavours get into the meat.
***taps foot and waits…checks watch…keeps waiting***
When the designated time has passed retrieve it from the fridge and put it on the counter, still in the plastic wrap, and leave it to come to about room temperature.
Now is the time to get out (and dust off) your slow cooker and set it to low. Ever so carefully (you don’t want to lose any of the juices) unwrap the pork, pour a little of the basting sauce into the bottom of the slow cooker.
OMG….now that is a thing of beauty! Then carefully place the pork into the slow cooker, I made sure to scrap off any rub that was stuck onto the plastic wrap and added it to the slow cooker as well. Add in some more of the basting sauce, put the lid on and calmly go about your business for the next 8 hours. Once the time is up (yay!), use the baster to remove all the basting sauce from the slow cooker and set it aside. DO NOT pour this down the drain, grab two forks and use them to shred the meat. This should seriously take no effort….like a newborn baby could do it. Then add a little of the basting sauce back in and mix in your BBQ sauce.
Now that ladies and gentlemen is a masterpiece! Serve it on soft hamburger buns or kaisers with a side of coleslaw and maybe a homemade dill pickle. This won’t last long…see…
For the Rub
- 3 tbsp brown sugar
- 1/2 tbsp salt (I like ground sea salt or Himalayan salt)
- 1 tbsp cumin
- 1/2 tbsp freshly ground pepper
- 1 tbsp paprika
- 1 tbsp Italian seasoning
- 1/4-1/2 tsp cayenne (or more if you are feeling zesty)
For the Basting Sauce
- 1/2 cup white vinegar
- 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
- Pinch red pepper flakes
Other things you’re going to need
- 2.5 lb. pork loin
- Bottle of your favourite BBQ sauce (I like Rufus Teague)
Make the basting sauce:
- Combine all the ingredients in a mason jar, shake and leave in the fridge overnight to let all those amazing flavours blend together.
Make the rub:
- In a bowl combine the brown sugar, salt, pepper, cumin, paprika, Italian seasoning and cayenne pepper. Mix them together and then give it a quick taste to make sure it it to your liking.
- Rub the seasoning all over pork, making sure to completely cover the entire piece.
- Cover in plastic wrap and place it in the fridge. Leave it for at LEAST 4 hours, but even better (if you can) leave it in the fridge overnight.
Put it all together:
- Take the pork of of the fridge (leave it in the plastic wrap) and let it come to room temperature.
- Turn the slow cooker/crock pot on to low.
- Pour a little of the basting sauce into the bottom of the slow cooker.
- Carefully, unwrap the pork loin and place it into the slow cooker.
- Pour about 1/3-1/2 a cup of basting sauce around the pork.
- Leave it to cook on low for 7-8 hours (I leave mine for 8).
- OPTIONAL: Approximately every two hours using a baster suck up some of the basting sauce from inside the slow cooker and drizzle it over the pork.
- When the 8 hours is up, using the baster, remove all the liquid from the slow cooker and put it into a bowl (Don’t throw it away!)
- Using two forks shred the meat (it should literally fall apart with very little effort).
- Add in 1/4-1/2 cup of the basting sauce you took out in step 7.
- Mix in your BBQ sauce
Aaaaand…you’re done! Serve the pulled pork on lovely soft hamburger buns or a kaiser with a side of coleslaw for a delicious meal!