Chances are your family enjoys cooking out regularly during the summer grilling season. After a while, however, the same old burgers and hot dogs on the grill can become boring. When you want to serve a new dish with a tasty tang at your next outdoor gathering, why not try making barbecued pork in your slow cooker? Amazingly easy, barbecued pork prepared the right way is a succulent dish that keeps family and friends coming back for more.
Cooking the Pork
Part of what makes this barbecued pork so incredibly easy is the fact that it cooks overnight while you sleep. Before you hit the hay, place a 4 to 5 lb. pork roast in your slow cooker. Pour in two 12-oz. cans of your favorite cola and put the lid on the slow cooker. Set the cooking temperature to low and the timer for eight hours. After eight hours, the pork should be so moist that it simply falls apart into tender shreds when you stick a fork in it. If your pork isn’t as tender as you’d like it, reset your timer for another two hours and allow it too cook a little bit longer.
When the pork is done cooking, gently lift it out of the juice and place it in a large mixing bowl. Scrape the fat off of it and discard it. Leaving the fat on during cooking adds to the flavor and moistness of the pork and it’s easily removed afterward. Allow the pork to cool for 15 to 20 minutes and then pull it apart into thin shreds using one fork in each hand or simply use your bare hands.
Once you’ve shredded the pork, strain the juice that remains in the slow cooker and then slowly begin pouring it back into the pork. While you don’t want to use all of it, adding a cup or so back into the pork adds to the flavor and ensures that it’s moist and juicy. Store the remainder of the liquid in an airtight container and place it in your refrigerator in case you decide you want to add more in later.
Adding the Sauce
If you’re catering to people with a wide variety of tastes, you may want to leave the pork plain and provide your family and friends with a variety of barbecue sauces to choose from. Allow them to add their own sauce to their portion of pork once it’s on their plate or bun. That way everyone can tailor their pork to their taste. If everyone agrees on a favorite sauce, you can always add one or two bottles of barbecue sauce to the pork before serving, once again, tailoring it to your specific taste.
While barbecued pork can be eaten on it’s own, many people prefer to place it on a bun. Choose from Hawaiian rolls, honey buns, hamburger buns or homemade rolls. Serve up a dish of cold coleslaw for those individuals who like to slap a spoonful on top of their sandwich. Other condiments your family and friends may enjoy include mustard, sliced onions and sliced sweet or dill pickles.
While some people could probably make a meal out of barbecued pork alone, you’ll want to offer your guests a variety of side dishes to round out their meal. Some choices include potato salad, baked beans, a seven-layer salad, macaroni salad, French fries and/or macaroni and cheese.
While some people like to pretend that making barbecued pork is a big production, you now know that it isn’t. Cooking your pork overnight in a slow cooker is a failsafe method that frees you up from spending hours in the kitchen and allows you to serve an amazing dish to family and friends at your next backyard barbecue.