Hey guys, it’s me, the Frugal Hausfrau, with an easy crockpot recipe for a “barbecued” brisket or pork shoulder that, wait for it, uses convenience products! Yikes – has the earth ended? Maybe the lunar eclipse of the blood moon we had last week affected my mind! Y’all know I love a good scratch recipe but this Crock-Pot Slow Cooker Pulled Pork or Brisket has me breaking that little rule. Oh, I’m such a rebel…
And while nothing can be compared to a bonafide Pork Butt, also known as Pork Shoulder, smoked in a barbecue, this recipe, done in the slow cooker, yields absolutely moist, tender and delicious results. And it could hardly be simpler.
About Crock Pot Slow Cooker Pulled Pork or Brisket:
I do have a tendency to rant on about convenience products (pricey and often not very good) and yet there is this little gem of a recipe just full of them. I dredged it out of an old recipe file and remembered how much I used to like it when I was in my early 20’s. I was curious if I still would. Answer? Yup, I do! 🙂
It’s funny, but after my Mom passed, I found this recipe in her box, too, which reminded me how good my Mom was at making people feel good. I felt so proud of sharing something with her instead of the other way around. And I remember her making this a few times when there was a crowd at her house. It’s just the perfect thing for people coming and going. You can have it for dinner but there will probably be enough for someone to make up a sandwich and pop it in the microwave and heat it up as needed.
We all need a little help and a few fallbacks now and then, and Crock Pot Slow Cooker Pulled Pork or Brisket fits the bill. And while the ingredients might seem slightly strange, what you get is slightly sweet and just a hint of sassy for an absolute minimum of effort. With just minutes of actual work, you’ll be rewarded with a mound of “barbecue” just waiting to be zipped up with your favorite sauce.
Making Crock Pot Slow Cooker Pulled Pork or Brisket:
I’m going to give you all my secrets to make the best Crock Pot Slow Cooker Pulled Pork or Brisket, and a lot of these hold true for cooking any barbecue style pork roast or pork butt as they are sometimes called, or brisket, no matter what the method.
- Keep on the fat cap, and keep it on the top. If it’s very thick, some may be hacked off, but don’t go under 3/8ths of an inch or so. Score it, just down to the meat in a criss-cross pattern, every inch or so.
- Try not to overcook – it’s hard to do so in a slow cooker but can be done, rendering out all the fat and juices and leaving the meat dry and stringy. There is a difference between stringy and being juicy and shreddable.
- Pulled pork or brisket is done when a fork can easily be inserted and turned and just shreds. Most of the fat will be rendered and if there are bones, the meat will be pulled back from them.
- When finished, let rest in the juices until it has cooled significantly and you’ll have the loveliest, silkiest meat.
- Watch the “safe” zone! The two-hour window for leaving meat at room temp.
- Shred the meat before refrigerating! Once the fats and collagen have firmed back up with refrigeration, it’s difficult to shred and excess fat is hardened throughout the meat.
- Remove big chunks of unattractive fat as you shred.
- Toss in some of those juices before serving or refrigeration for the most unctuous shredded pork. I never add a lot of sauce, just a touch to help moisten the meat and then pass the rest or make some kind of soup chili with it.
- If you want smoky flavor add a touch of Liquid Smoke, one of my Top Secret Super Stealth Ingredients in as you shred.
- Reheat very slowly and carefully! The meat can easily drain off any juices and turn firm, dry, grey and tasteless!
Saving Money on Crock Pot Slow Cooker Pulled Pork or Brisket:
A five-pound pork shoulder or brisket will give you about eight to nine cups of “barbecued” meat. It’s a great amount for a party or a potluck, and a great recipe to serve tonight and stash some away later in the freezer for another time. As far as pricing, in most areas the pork shoulder is a fraction of the cost of brisket.
If you do see brisket in your area at a great, unbelievably low price, chances are it may not be of the best quality – and I’m not discouraging you to pick it up because of that. Quite the opposite. That means it’s the perfect brisket for this type of recipe.
As far as pork, watch the sales closely. In most areas pork shoulder will drop to a low in the fall and usually about once a quarter. A good sales price in my area usually runs from about 89 cents a pound at a great sale to around $1.49 a pound at a good one. Pick up several to freeze so you’ll have a couple on hand to tide you over to the next great sale.
What to do with all the Juices from making Slow Cooker Pulled Pork:
With this roast, you’re going to get a couple of cups, after being defatted of barbecue flavored juices, after a little is used to moisten the meat. You paid for it, go ahead and use it. It doesn’t go to waste at my house and hopefully, now, not at yours.
I think using that broth and a little of the pork or beef in making my Georgia Brunswick Stew or this Barbecue Chicken Chili (just sub in the beef or pork for the chicken) is a great way to utilize the flavor. Save out a few good-sized chunks of the beef or pork before shredding, refrigerating them to firm that natural collagen back up.
Carefully cut and add them back into your soup or stew towards the end of the cooking and you’ll have marvelous, tender chunks and not just shreds in your finished stew or chili. Check out my Soups, Chowders & Chilis menu for even more inspiration.
Crock Pot Slow Cooker Pulled Pork or Brisket
- 1 five pound pork shoulder or beef brisket
- 1 packet of Lipton Onion Soup mix or 1/2 recipe Home-made Onion Soup Mix
- 1 bottle of Heinz Chili Sauce
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons yellow mustard
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
Place shoulder or brisket in crock pot. Sprinkle soup mix. Cover and cook on low overnight. When finished, remove meat from juices and defat juices and reserve. Shred or slice meat as desired.
Place meat in a large bowl, add remaining ingredients and enough of the juices (generally about a cup to cup and a half) to moisten. Toss together.
Serve on buns with potato salad, cole-slaw, and baked beans
- If desired, may be placed in a pan, covered tightly with foil and cooked at 300 degrees for four to five hours.
- Any remaining juices may be frozen and added later to soups, stocks, chili or gravies.
- When making the beef version, consider slicing instead of shredding, then placing the slices in the sauce.
- A more frugal version of the beef variation can be made with chuck roast, especially if shredding.
I’ll be toting this recipe along to Fiesta Friday #88, hosted this week by Julie @ Hostess At Heart and Liz @ spades, spatulas & spoons . Thank you, Angie of the Novice Gardener, as usual, for putting on this party!