"This recipe for Easy Pulled Pork Sliders starts with a simple spice rub, add a bottle of beer, a crock-pot, and let it go for about 8 hours. Easy, simple, delicious"
The making of Easy Pulled Pork Sliders
Pulled pork. I love me a good pulled pork sandwich. Put me in a BBQ joint, and that's one of my favorite things to order.
As a matter of fact, you might just call me a pulled pork expert.
I have found, just like in most things edible, there are many ways to accomplish the end. I mean, really, it's the fatty shoulder or butt of the pig, cooked slowly in juices, until completely shreddable and edible. So in my mind's eye, it's what you put into that cooking of the edible shreddable pork that is going to make all the difference.
Easy Pulled Pork Sliders are the perfect game day food!.
Most of the pulled pork sandwiches that I've eaten that were not my favorites were due to overly flavored sauces, too much vinegar, too much bbq sauce, too much...much. Not enough of the lovely pork flavor shined through.
My favorite pulled pork sandwiches are those that have well-flavored meat, with a touch of smoky sauce with a mound of coleslaw on a soft squishy bun.
Hamburgers I want on a toasted bun, always. Pulled pork sandwiches? I like softer buns so I can squish them together to get each flavor of the sandwich in each bite.
I start my recipe for Easy Pulled Pork Sliders with a pork butt that's weighing about 4 pounds before I trim off as much fat as I can from the top of the roast. Cooking in a crockpot helps keep the meat extremely moist so you don't need but a very fine layer of fat. So trim any visible fat to about ¼ inch. Then, take a sharp knife and make some shallow slits in the meat, not deep, again, only about ¼ inch to allow the rub to stick better. Rub the rub all over the meat and then place it into the slow cooker; add one bottle of beer, pouring it around, but not over the meat; cover and cook on low for 8 hours or so, or high for 6 hours or so.
You know crockpots, an hour here or there hardly makes a difference.
"Don't have a slow-cooker? No worries, you can cook this in the oven".
By the time time is up, your roast should be fork-tender.
So remove the roast to a cutting board and take a couple of forks and shred the meat; return the shredded meat to the crockpot and the juices still contained within. You shouldn't have a lot of juice left, only about ½ inch in the bottom of the pot - if it's more then that, remove some of the excess, or better, cook it down, then return the meat. The juice should be plenty flavorful.
I like to just add a bit of BBQ sauce to my meat and toss it together, then add a dab more over the top. Not too much, just enough.
I mention slaw as a key component in this recipe for Easy Pulled Pork Sliders. That's because I think slaw is a key component to a proper slider - as you can tell from the above photo - which is a really nice photo of the slaw - but not so much of the pulled pork slider. But I love the crunch of the cabbage and the sweet vinegar addition of the dressing that the slaw adds. If you don't want the slaw on your slider, well, that's your choice to make. Serve it on the side, or not at all.
As far as what kind of slaw to use, I use just regular old cole-slaw dressing. You can use a jarred dressing, or make up a batch of your own. I like to mix equal parts low-fat mayo, sour cream, and buttermilk, along with a touch of mustard, a pinch of sugar, some cider vinegar, and oftentimes, a shake or two of celery seeds. I guess I should really write that up, and I will. Someday. Toss that with some shredded cabbage, green and purple makes it pretty, shredded carrot, and call it a day. Or you could if you wanted to spice it up, use my recipe for Coleslaw with Sriracha dressing.
While I use Lindy's Favorite BBQ Sauce on my sliders, any bbq sauce will work. So choose your favorite. When not using my own, I like Bullseye Original. While I don't use it often, as making my own is pretty easy, I do have to think in advance. And sometimes I don't, so Bullseye to the rescue. The flavor is close to my own, but it does contain a lot more sugar, including the dreaded high-fructose corn syrup, so if you can, make your own.
Some people like to mix their shredded pork with a lot of bbq sauce and then put it on the bun. I like to mix my shredded pork with a little bit of bbq sauce, then add some on just the top. Right below my mound of slaw.
Use your sauce sparingly as the flavor of the pork is so good you don't want to taste just bbq sauce.
I mean, if you want to just taste bbq sauce - have a glass ... J/K... but try not to drown the pulled pork in it.
Throughout this recipe, I have called these Easy Pulled Pork Sliders. But they could also be called Easy Pulled Pork Sandwiches.
What's the difference?
Sliders are smaller.
As more and more restaurants feature sliders on their menus, I find the buns are getting easier to find in the stores. But not always. So I find that King's Hawaiian Sweet Rolls which are available practically everywhere, including online, is the perfect foil for holding all this deliciousness.
Whether you end up serving these on small slider-sized buns, or a larger hamburger bun, the method is the same. I warm my bun, add my shredded meat, my sauce, my slaw, close, and consume.
So sit back and enjoy your day, and let these Easy Pulled Pork Sliders practically make themselves.
Fight on! (I mean go, team -whichever you choose!)
What to drink? Well, to be perfectly honest, a beer is great with this dish, if you are into beer. I'm not, so I had it with a Zinfandel (red please not pink) or you could drink a nice soft Merlot.
Easy Pulled Pork Sliders
- For the Rub
- ¼ cup packed brown sugar
- ¼ cup sweet paprika
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon dried mustard
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper or to taste
- Salt and pepper
- For the Pot
- 1 3 ½ - 4 pound boneless pork butt or pork shoulder roast, trimmed of excess fat
- 1 12-ounce bottle of beer (pilsner preferred)
- To Serve
- Slider buns I like to use Hawaiian Sweet Rolls
- Your favorite BBQ sauce
- Mix all of the rub ingredients together in a small bowl. Trim and make small slashes in the pork roast, rub the rub over all sides; place in the slow-cooker*, and pour the beer around. Cover and cook, low for 8 - 9 hours or high for 6 - 7 hours, or according to your manufacturer's instructions.
- Remove the cooked pork from the cooker and using two forks shred it. Return the pork shreds to the crock-pot and toss with the juices left from cooking the meat. (There should be between 1 ½ to 2 cups of liquid, if there is more, either cook it down or remove excess liquid.)
- Wrap and warm the rolls in the oven if desired. Split the rolls, and top with the meat, some BBQ sauce, and slaw. Close and enjoy.