Recipe Review

Allrecipes’ Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Is Easy and Convenient

published Jul 7, 2022
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Credit: Photo: Chris Simpson; Food Styling: Jessie YuChen

As I searched for pulled pork recipes to pit against each other, this one caught my eye. With literally thousands of ratings that average out to 4.5 stars, I figured it had to be good. Plus, it uses everyone’s favorite small appliance for convenient cooking: the slow cooker.

Add to that the ease of everything just going straight into the pot — no browning the meat, no making a sauce or spice rub in a separate bowl. The recipe includes a half-cup of apple cider vinegar, and — as a fan of vinegar-based sauces — I was curious to see how that would translate in the final dish. If you use a slow cooker liner (as I did), cleanup is about as minimal as it gets. Could a recipe this easy still deliver a stellar pulled pork? I was eager to find out.

Credit: Photo: Chris Simpson; Food Styling: Jessie YuChen

How to Make Allrecipes’ Slow Cooker Texas Pulled Pork

I started by arranging a liner in my slow cooker (the recipe doesn’t call for it, but I’m a lazy cleaner), then drizzling in a small amount of oil. I then placed a four-pound boneless pork shoulder roast in the cooker and added the cooking liquid — bottled barbecue sauce, a good bit of apple cider vinegar, and chicken broth. I added some other condiments and seasonings, plus a large chopped onion and some garlic, and was ready to cook. On went the lid, and I set the cooker on High as the recipe instructs, ready to let it go for five to six hours. 

Credit: Photo: Chris Simpson; Food Styling: Jessie YuChen

My Honest Review of Allrecipes’ Slow Cooker Texas Pulled Pork

I checked the pork after five hours of cooking, and it was still too tough to shred. I let it go about 50 more minutes, and it was tender at that point. The recipe instructs you to remove the roast, shred the meat, and stir the meat into the juices in the cooker. But there was a ton of liquid in the slow cooker — way too much for the pork — so I just added some of that liquid to the pork.

The flavor of the pork felt watered-down a bit and was dominated by the apple cider vinegar. One of my kids even asked why it tasted like apple juice. The meat itself ended up with a stringy, exhausted texture and felt a little dry, despite all the liquid. It’s definitely an easy recipe, but I wouldn’t want to spotlight the pork on its own (like, on a sandwich). The meat would be better used in a casserole, enchiladas, or nachos.

Credit: Photo: Chris Simpson; Food Styling: Jessie YuChen

If You’re Making Allrecipes’ Texas Pulled Pork, a Few Tips

  1. Sear the meat. If you have time, brown the meat, getting a good dark crust, before it goes in the slow cooker. That extra step will add extra savory richness, which I feel this recipe needs.
  2. Use a little less vinegar. I found the vinegar to be overwhelming in the finished dish and recommend decreasing from a half-cup to maybe one-third or one-fourth cup.
  3. Add juices as needed. Resist the urge to shred the meat and dump it back into the slow cooker. It will be swimming in liquid. Instead spoon out some liquid and mix it into the meat as needed.

Overall rating: 6.5/10