It has taken me many years but I think I have finally crafted my perfect recipe for pulled pork. A few years back I made it for our Biochef Competition at the biotechnology company I was working for at the time. It was so popular that entire crockpot filled with pork was gone by the end of lunch. And the best part was that I won first place! I kept the trophy front and center on my desk at work because I was so proud of my award winning pulled pork. :) That was the first time I had made pulled pork and over the years my recipe hasn’t really changed much but I have tweaked it a bit to reach the ultimate deliciousness.
There are a zillion different ways to make pulled pork. My brother Brian and my Dad make it and they each have their own style. I am a fan of BBQ pulled pork and my secret ingredient is Sweet Baby Ray’s Hickory & Brown Sugar sauce. It is the perfect BBQ sauce for executing the most deliciously tangy and sweet pulled pork.
And now for the recipe:
Start with a boneless pork shoulder. Because some of the shoulder will be fatty, you want the shoulder to be at least 4 pounds to be able to yield enough pulled pork once you trim the fat.
Wash the pork and pat it dry with paper towels. Next take out the ingredients for the dry rub. You need brown sugar, cinnamon, cayenne pepper and nutmeg. Since you want to use about a tablespoon of each spice, I usually separate the spices into these adorable ramekins from my Gram.
In addition to the spices you will need about 1/4 cup of the brown sugar. Rub all of the ingredients onto the pork covering every surface. I don’t usually combine all the rub ingredients into one bowl so I can monitor how much of each spice is going onto the rub. I usually end up with a little nutmeg left over.
Next grab a big crockpot and fill the bottom with about an inch of liquid. For this particular recipe I used apple cider and maple syrup but if you don’t have cider you can use water and maple syrup.
Lay the pork into the crockpot and cook on low for about 12 hours. Or cook on high for 7-8 hours. The cooking time really depends on your crockpot and the size of the piece of pork. To test whether it is done stick a fork into the middle and twist it. If the pork falls apart – it is finished!
Once the pork has slightly cooked pull it out of the crockpot and lay it onto a cutting board. Pull it apart and discard the fatty pieces. Place all the pork into a bowl and dump about 1/2 to 3/4 of a bottle of the Sweet Baby Ray’s Hickory & Brown Sugar. Mix it together and taste test it. The amount of BBQ sauce really depends on how moist you want the pork.
Another great thing about this recipe is that you can easily double of triple it depending on how much you need to make. Just make sure you have enough BBQ on hand!
Hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do in our house!
PS if you haven’t checked out the @PoochontheMove on Instagram lately be sure to visit his page. My little famous sidekick in the kitchen has taken over the Insta scene!