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Too much liquid in slow cooker pulled pork (first time cooking it)


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I am SO glad I didn't add extra liquid last night. :o

I started cooking my pulled pork in the slow cooker yesterday and before bed it was almost dry, but I could see the onions were not mushy, so I didn't add any liquid (recipe said not to), I was afraid it was going to burn dry overnight.

I didn't have all the spices in the recipe (we don't have many powders here that aren't full of crap) so my spices were ground cumin, ground coriander and a two dried chipotle chillies cut into smallish chunks. I put the pork on a bed of small pickling onions (a yellow onion you can fit in your mouth, almost).

This morning it was soft and tender but the crockpot is about half full of liquid. It's short an hour or so of cooking time, but not sure whether to cook it in the liquid or dry it out somehow.

I wasn't sure what to do, so I popped it in the fridge and went to work. Now it's ice cold and has a thick layer of fat floating on the top of the liquid.

What should I do?

Drain off the liquid and crisp up the meat a bit in a pan?

Remove the fat layer?

Warm it up, shred it and to heck with the extra liquid?

Does anyone season the pulled pork after it's cooked?

Does anyone cook it until it's crispy? (not sure if this is fried, or just dried out)

I'm Australian, so my experience of pulled pork is limited to Mexican restaurants. My butcher assured me I have the right meat cut (called the Forequarter Pork Roast here), but he's never had pulled pork. It came in a butchers string net (I cut this off this morning, meat is nice and soft and has that proper "pulled apart" look to it), but I think thie net is more for keeping the shape if you cook it as a roast.

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I would remove the fat and call it done. It probably does not need any more cooking and when you heat it up to eat it, it will cook a little more anyway.

The way I use pulled pork most of the time is with wilted greens. I add chopped onion to a wok and cook it with some coconut oil, add fresh greens and wilt them down in the hot oil with spices. Then I add pulled pork and maybe some dried cranberries to give me a good meal.

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I made pulled pork for the first time a few weekends ago, and it sounds similar to your experience - it was covered in liquid by the time it was done cooking - and it was absolutely amazing.

Quick tip for shredding meat - if you have a stand mixer, you can put the cooked meat right in there, turn on the "stir" setting with the paddle attachment, and in 30 seconds or so you'll have shredded meat.

Hope it tastes as good as it sounds!

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a) This is totally normal.

B) Personally, I pull the meat out of the liquid and shred it.

c) Muggles would normally add BBQ sauce on top of a helping of pulled pork. There are some paleo bbq sauce recipes floating out there on the internet, but I normally just add some hot sauce and serve it with greens like Tom does.

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Here's what I do with recipes like that:

  1. remove the meat and shred it in a large bowl
  2. ladle in liquid from the crockpot a little at a time and mix. Add enough that the shredded meat holds the sauce but not so much that it's floating in liquid.
  3. Season to taste if needed...sometimes it's not perfect after it's done and needs something else.

You'll get some of the fat in with the meat that way which I like. It tastes good but also helps keep the meat moist. For your current situation I'd do as Tom says and throw out most of the fat on top.

I like to reheat shredded meat in a frying pan because some of it does caramelize as you're reheating which tastes good but it's not necessary.

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I just cooked a pork shoulder bone in for 14 hours. After 7 hours, I poured off the liquid into a bowl, stuck it in the fridge over night. I peeled the fat off to use for cooking since it's from a happy pig. This morning, it's fall apart tender. I will shred it and add the liquid back to it and maybe drink the rest. :)

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I was quite lucky, the fat wasn't as bad as it looked in the glass bowl, the fat just stuck to the bowl perimiter lol it was covering a nice gelatinous broth. When I reheated it and shredded it, there was barely any liquid left, so I didn't end up draining it at all.

It was a bit blander than I was hoping for, but I didn't want to overdo the spices so i could vary it afterwards.

Delicious with Louisiana Hot Sauce and wilted baby spinach! This will be a keeper recipe, I can see me making a batch of this a week, so EASY!

I need to learn more spice options for the start. I just used small yellow onions (whole as they were so tiny), rubbed the meat with ground cumin, ground coriander and threw in 2 dried chipolte chillis (these are hard to get in Australia - I get mine from USA Foods, when they have some).

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I live in the land of pulled pork (Eastern North Carolina) and make this in the slow cooker all the time. Drain off the liquid and shred the meat with two forks. We use a vinegar based sauce:

1 cup white vinegar

1 cup apple cider vinegar

1 tbsp brown sugar (but feel free to leave it out during Whole30)

1 tbsp cayenne pepper

1 tbsp hot sauce

1 tsp black pepper

1 tsp salt

Mix ingredients in a jar with a tight fitting lid. Shake to mix. If you have time, let it sit for a day or two in the fridge. Add sauce a little at a time to pulled pork until it tastes good to you.

The sauce has some bite so be careful - you aren't going to need all 2 cups.

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Best, easiest slow cooked pulled pork ever!:


It is just seasoned with spices and she says you can pour off some of the liquid during cooking to make it crispier or not. My son used to refuse to eat pulled pork without a Paleo BBQ sauce on it but he likes this even better!

This is the recipe I use. I do pour off the liquid, take the fat off and pour some of it back on the pork after I shred it. Love it!!

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  • 2 weeks later...

This pulled pork is amazing, as is the sauce recipe included. It's a tomato-based sauce, and the pineapple (I found fresh-cut pineapple at the store, so I just used that instead of a can) sweetens it perfectly. The sweet paprika is definitely necessary, though, but check ethnic food aisles - I found it easily in my big German grocery store.


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