Slow Cooker Pulled Pork
Pork chops are great on the grill, but as the weather starts getting cooler I really enjoy a pulled pork sandwich while wearing a sweater curled up by the fire. Pulled pork is also extremely delicious to eat at the dining room table with the family (and the dog begging close by). It's pretty safe to say that pulled pork is one of my favorite homemade comfort foods, and we even found a way to make it satisfying without adding extra inches to your waistline.
For our slow cooker pulled pork I used pork loin instead of pork butt (the pig's shoulder). By changing just the type of meat that is used, you can decrease your calorie intake by up to 50g and your fat intake by up to 10g per 3 oz serving. That's a huge difference when it comes to a serving that will fill you up such as a pulled pork sandwich that takes full advantage of the nice big freshly baked bun. You may be asking yourself, "Isn't pork loin naturally drier than pork butt because of the lack of fat?" Technically yes, but there are ways to work around this fact and create a moist and flavorful cut of meat that is still healthier.
In order to get the best of both worlds (crispy on the outside and thoroughly cooked but not dry on the inside) I used a combination of cooking styles. First, I took the meat and coated it in our Applewood Chipotle Rub and let it sit so the meat could absorb the delectable flavors that complement the pork so well. When it came time to cook the pork, I seared it on the stove which gave it a nice light, crispy outer layer (which also helped keep the moisture inside, where it belongs). After all of the sides were equally browned I placed the pork in the slow cooker with water and let it do it's job.
The results were a new style of pulled pork that we hadn't tried before but were very pleased with. The meat wasn't mushy or super chewy like you would expect from a slow cooker and we were even thrilled to eat the leftovers for lunch the next day.
- 1 pork loin roast (2 1/2 to 3 lb)
- 2 Tablespoons Applewood Chipotle Rub
- 1 cup water
- Rinse the pork loin and pat dry with a paper towel.
- Liberally rub the meat with the Applewood Chipotle Rub
- Tightly wrap the meat in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least an hour or as long as overnight.
- Heat a dutch oven, large pot or cast iron skillet to medium high heat and sear meat on all sides, just until browned.
- Add the 1 cup of water to the slow cooker and transfer the seared meat to the slow cooker.
- Cover, set slow cooker to high and cook for 5-6 hours.
- Carefully remove meat from slow cooker and transfer to a cutting board. Let meat rest about 5-10 minutes
- Shred meat with 2 forks and transfer back to the slow cooker to combine with the liquid remaining from cooking.
- Serve hot.