I had a nice Cuisinart slow cooker for a long time, but the removable crock got a hairline crack, and eventually it leaked badly into the cooker. I don’t use a slow cooker very often, especially now that I’m retired and can cook as much as I want, so replacing it hasn’t been a priority. Then there’s the grill, which can act like a slow cooker itself. More about that later. I looked at reviews and also considered my wallet when deciding on the Hamilton Beach® Stay or Go.™ At under $60, and even less with a coupon, it has a number of features for the price that make it desirable: (1) the lid clamps down, so there’s no bubbling steam around the edges to gather and drip; (2) it’s programmable, so I can pick a time and know that it will shut off if I’m out longer than expected; (3) it has a probe that you can insert into a large piece of meat to register the temperature and prevent overcooked meat, a common complaint about slow cookers.
I’m christening the new gadget today with our favorite pulled pork recipe, made specifically for a slow cooker, although I have made it in the oven and on the grill: Chowhound‘s “Easy Slow Cooker Pulled Pork.” The best part of the recipe is the dry rub, which I only slightly modify and have used on country style spare ribs, and even liquefied into a wet barbecue sauce. I’ve referred to Chowhound‘s recipe at least four times on this blog:
- Link: Slow Cooker Pulled Pork, where I only linked to the recipe and showed a photo of my old cooker.
- Grill as Slow Cooker, where I made the recipe in a cast iron Dutch oven on the grill.
- From Dry Rub to BBQ Sauce, where I turned the rub into a sauce.
- Venison Skewers, where I used the Chowhound rub for this grilled dish.
I find it to be a versatile rub that I have varied only slightly, until settling on my favorite variation that adds smoked paprika and increases the cumin and cinnamon.
Slow Cooker Pulled Pork
Adapted from Chowhound‘s “Easy Slow Cooker Pulled Pork.”
Place in the bottom of a slow cooker, a bed of 3 large thick sliced onions and 4 large slivered garlic cloves.
Pour in 1 cup of chicken broth.
Remove the plastic netting from a boneless pork shoulder (3-5 lbs) and rub all over with the following dry rub (use a large bowl, so you don’t lose any rub):
- 1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
Place the pork roast on top of the onion bed, close the slow cooker and set to low. Cook for about 8 hours, without peeking.
Pull the meat apart with forks and stir into the onions and juices. Serve on buns with coleslaw. You just won’t believe how moist and flavorful this pulled pork is until you try it.