Pulled Pork is probably on the Top 3 of my all-time favorite food.
Scratch that, let's say Top 2.
But from what I hear, there is quite an art in smoking a Pork Butt and it can be very complicated.
Things can get pretty darn argumentative when you get a roomful of BBQ enthusiasts talking about the best way to smoke their butts.
These people are SERIOUS about their method of smoking meat.
Hours and hours and hours go into smoking this divine substance.
10 or more hours standing by the smoker, adjusting the temperature, keeping the fire just right - it's something to be perfected by trial and error, and years of experience.
Not to mention the Rub that goes on the Butt before-hand.
The different recipes and arguments regarding just the RUB itself is mind boggling.
Oh and the "Smoker" itself. People can talk for hours and hours about what smoker machine is the best.
The wood chips are another argument. Did you know there is apple, cherry, mesquite, peach; the list goes on and on.
So the argument goes something like this:
What smoker to use (I have no idea)
What type of rub to use (not a clue)
What type of wood chips (I'm dumbfounded)
Do you marinate before smoking (I guess)
Do you inject with a liquid (huh?)
I've never attempted to smoke a Pork Butt. Nor would I even consider trying.
It's complicated, confusing, time-consuming and frankly, all the possible variations gives me a headache.
So I've made a very serious decision. I've decided I'll leave smoking meat to the professionals.
This Crock-pot version takes just as long as it would to smoke it, but instead of standing by a smoker for hours on end, you can sleep, shop, watch TV, or sit back and watch your neighbor rubbing his eyes, cause the smoke from HIS smoker just blew in his face.
To all the BBQ smoking professionals out there; I do not, or will not admit that this version is as good as smoking a Pork Butt. So please don't get all Pork Butty on me and start saying how smoking meat is the best way. I already know that. It's just that this old gal doesn't know how to smoke her butt.
Click Here for a Printable Recipe
4 to 5 Lbs Pork Shoulder (there's a big long story about why it's called Pork Butt - BUT it's really pork shoulder)
3 c. Apple Juice
White Hamburger Buns
That's it. 5 ingredients. I don't see what all the fuss is about guys.
The marinating time should be 12 hours minimum and the cooking time in the crockpot is about 7 hours.
So if you want to serve this for dinner around 5ish, start marinating the night before, wake up, put pork in crockpot, turn it on and come back 7 hours later.
I mean honestly BBQ professionals, what's the big deal.
Ok let's get started.
We're gonna sprinkle some sort of BBQ rub all over the pork shoulder.
There are literally thousands to choose from. Just find one that has salt and sugar as the first two ingredients.
I used Jim Baldridge's Secret Seasonigs just because that's what hubby's cousin uses and that's all I had in the cabinet. But to Mr. Baldridge's defense, it's pretty incredible.
Don't be afraid, take the seasoning and sprinkle all over the pork. Rub it in really good with your hands. Don't be sparse, you're gonna want to cover the entire pork butt with the seasoning.
Place the pork in a large Ziploc bag, or if the pork is too large, then wrap it really well in saran wrap.
Once wrapped, massage the pork so the spices get all pushed in the meat. Your thumb nail should look like mine below, coated with the Rub. This is the dirtiest part, at least we aren't having to stand outside with all that smoke in our eyes.
Plop your pork in the fridge to marinate for a minimum of 12 hours.
Fast forward AT LEAST 12 hours.
Hopefully you have a 5 quart oval Crockpot. That is really the best size and shape.
Pour your apple juice in the bottom of the Crockpot, place pork inside, cover, set on low and let the Butt do it's thing.
After about 7 hours, take off the lid. Jab your fork into the pork and it should literally fall apart. If not, then it needs to cook for longer.
When finished cooking, carefully pull pork out of the juice and lay on a cutting board.
Try to be sure you don't pull alot of the liquid out with the pork. We don't want the pork to be all juicy and wet. Discard liquid after the pork has been taken from the Crockpot.
Let cool for a few minutes and pull off any fatty pieces. Once that's finished, get to "pulling" that pork.
Pile a mound of this wonderment ontop of a white hamburger bun, and top with your favorite BBQ sauce.
Boy oh boy oh boy oh boy.
If you are in the mood for some delicious pulled pork but don't want to make all those "how to smoke meat" decisions, you might wanna cook your Butt like this.
And leave the Smoking to the Professionals.