We're fortunate to have several great barbecue restaurants in the Evansville-area, but feeding a family of four can get a bit pricey. Here's a quick and easy way to have delicious barbecued pulled pork at home. No smoker required!

When I was growing up, anytime I heard that dinner was coming from the crock pot, I would cringe. It usually meant some kind of roast was on the menu for the night, and I wasn't a fan. Fast forward to now and I like to use the crock pot for a variety of meals. Pot roast, chili, and of course this recipe. Here's what you need:

  • 1 small pork roast (butt, shoulder, whatever) or two pork tenderloins, thaw if frozen.
  • Your favorite pork seasoning (optional)
  • 1 - 2 Tablespoons of oil
  • 1 - 20 ounce bottle of your favorite root beer
  • 1 bottle of your favorite barbecue sauce
  • 1 crock pot

That's it! Here's what to do:

  • Trim the fat off the pork. If using tenderloins, be sure to remove the thin layer of silver skin.
  • Rub pork with oil and sprinkle with your favorite seasoning. Don't have one? A little salt and pepper will work just fine.
  • Sear all sides of the meat in a skillet over high heat. Don't cook it, just let each side sit in the skillet long enough to brown. This will help seal in the juices during the next stage of cooking, which is...
  • Place meat in the crock pot and pour the entire bottle of root beer over it. Set the crock pot on high heat for 6-8 hours and walk away.
  • When the timer goes off, transfer the meat to a plate or cutting board and shred with a fork or your (clean) bare hands. It should fall apart easily.
  • Drain remaining root beer from the crock pot and place shredded meet back inside. Add as much or as little of the BBQ sauce as you want and cook on low in crock pot for another 30 minutes stirring occasionally.

I like to throw this together before I leave for work in the morning. By the time I get back home, all I need to do is shred the meat and add the sauce. The extra 30 minutes of cooking time gives me the ability to whip up any quick sides we'll have with it, like baked beans or corn as pictured above.

Give it a shot next time you have a craving for barbecue and let me know how it turns out in the comments below.