Cheater BBQ Pork

There’s probably a special place in you-know-where for people who throw some pork butt in a slow cooker and call it BBQ. If I’m going, then at least I’ll go licking the remains of this cheater’s pulled pork off my fingers.

I first heard about this recipe from @eleanorpie – she and I both subscribe to Lynn Rossetto Kasper’s newsletter/radio show. Ellie said it was a great fake-out, combining the smokiness and tender bite you expect from good barbecue. I have to agree. All you do is throw some pork butt into your Crock Pot with some spice rub and add a bunch of liquid smoke. Done. And to answer a question my mom had: No, the liquid smoke is not too strong – but I also diluted mine with a little beef stock.

The resulting pork is tender and juicy and just waiting to be piled on a soft bun. But not without some killer BBQ sauce. If you’re going to make pulled pork in a slow-cooker, you better (wo)man up and make your own sauce. Grant had some that a friend made and it was the perfect mustard-based sauce for my taste: Peppery and great with red-cabbage slaw. (And more Texas Pete).

If you try this recipe and still decide to be a BBQ elitist with your highfalutin’ smoker thingy, then fine. But I’ll be over here filing my nails while the Crock Pot does its magic.

Adapted from The Splendid Table.

Ultimate Cheater’s BBQ Pork


  • One 5- to 6-pound boneless Boston butt pork roast or same weight of boneless country-style pork ribs
  • 1/4 cup Cheater Basic Dry Rub (recipe follows – I just used some that I had leftover in the cupboard)
  • 1 bottle liquid smoke, plus 1/4 c.-1/2 c. beef stock (or chicken stock, or water)
  • Barbecue sauce of your choice
  • Slaw
  • Buns

Cut the pork butt into medium (2- to 3-inch) chunks (the ribs don’t need to be cut up).

Put the pieces in a large slow cooker (at least 5 quarts). Sprinkle the meat with the rub, turning the pieces to coat evenly. Add the bottled smoke and stock.

Cover and cook on high for 5 to 6 hours or on low for 10 to 12 hours, until the meat is pull-apart tender and reaches an internal temperature of 190 F.

Using tongs and a slotted spoon, transfer the meat to a rimmed platter or baking sheet. Let rest until cool enough to handle. Pull the meat into strands. It should shred very easily. (Note: keep the meat submerged in the cooking juices if reserving – this will keep it from drying out – skim off the fat).

Serve the barbecue piled on buns with your favorite barbecue sauce and slaw.

Spice Rub:

Makes about 2/3 cup


  • 1/4 cup paprika
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon dry mustard

Enjoy, friends! xoxo


One response to “Cheater BBQ Pork

  1. What a great cheat!! Thanks for the post!

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