Vinegar-Based Pulled Pork Recipe

A discussion of doing proper barbecue can start fights. But I’m all about love, man, so I’m going out on a limb and passing along the recipe for the North Carolina-style pulled pork I did in a Crock-Pot. If you must, you don’t have to call it BBQ – you can just call it beautiful.

Note: I didn’t measure much of this when I made it, so you’re looking at best guesses. Use them as starting points, but feel free to do as you wish.


  • Pork Shoulder (I used a half picnic)
  • Pork rub (I’ll give you ingredients, you to the ratios)
  • 1 1/2 C apple cider vinegar
  • 2 1/2 T brown sugar
  • 1 Hearty squirt of mustard
  • Hot sauce
  • Hot pepper flakes
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Garlic powder
  • 3 pieces of bacon

Remove the skin from the half picnic and trim the excess fat. Make a rub from some paprika, chili powder, brown sugar, salt, pepper and garlic powder, then rub into the pork.

Heat some oil in a cast iron skillet and sear the pork, trying to get good color on all exposed parts. Cut up two slices of bacon and brown along with the pork, then transfer the pork and bacon to a Crock-Pot.

Add a cooking liquid made with the vinegar, brown sugar, hot sauce, pepper flakes, mustard, salt, and pepper, then chop up another piece of bacon and drop it in. Cover and cook on low for about 12 hours, more if it’s an extra hearty chunk of pork.

You ultimately want the pork up to about 195 degrees for a good pull, so if you’re getting close to eating time and your internal temp isn’t there, put the Crock-Pot on high for a bit.

Remove the pork when the temp hits 195, toss the bones, and pull it using a couple of forks. Skim or pour off the fat from the liquid in the pot, then add additional hot sauce to taste.

Put the pork back in the cooker and add sauce until it’s just how you like it. Keep the cooker on warm until you serve it, or leave it on all day and pick. It’ll be gone before bed.

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