It’s time for another slow cooker recipe, and this one I bring to you on the heels of an extended period of sleep deprivation I haven’t experienced since my kids were babies. Thus, one of the easiest, tastiest, most versatile recipes *EVER* created. Apologies for the elementary hyperbole stated in the title and body of this blog post, but believe me that my claims are not understated. This really is the easiest slow cooker pulled pork recipe I’ve ever pulled off.
Back to the sleep deprivation. Why, you may wonder, am have I (we) been experiencing such depths of sleep deprivation? We have our tween, almost teen to thank for it. Yes, moms and dads, believe me when I say that your sleep troubles may not fully disappear forever just because your kids are off the breast and binkie; they may very well rear their ugly heads again when puberty hits.
Taylor has had some major sleep difficulties off and on for the past several months, brought on by surges in hormones and come to find out, the strict enforcing of an early bedtime. After months of difficulties falling and staying asleep, things finally reached a boiling point this past weekend when she was awake until 3 am (this was indeed the worst of it, as most nights she would finally drift off between 11-12 after being in bed since 9 pm). The next morning, I finally made an appointment, after months of trying to handle it on our own with various methods including Calm, essential oils, and a mellow bedtime routine, and took her in to see her pediatrician.
Our new routine ensures she gets at least 1 hour of physical activity everyday, a mellow wind down routine starting around 9:30 pm which includes chamomile tea and 5 mg of melatonin, reading and/or journaling, and a much later bedtime expectation of 10-11 pm. By 10 pm, she is to retire to her room and read or journal until she feels sleep coming on, and then lights out by about 10:30 pm.
It sounds so crazy to be putting her to bed so late, but the doctor assured me that most kids her age only need 8-9.5 hours of sleep each night. Since she doesn’t need to get up until 7:15-7:30 each morning, a 10-11 pm bedtime actually makes sense. More than likely, the enforcing of an earlier bedtime routine when she really wasn’t ready, was making her anxious and causing the severe insomnia. She would lay in bed for an hour and after still not falling asleep, because she was not really tired, she’d get stressed and anxious, thus keeping her awake even later, and a vicious cycle was born. I swear, the learning in this parenting thing is never ending.
For the past few nights since we began this routine, she has fallen asleep without a problem by 10:30 pm, and stayed asleep all night. We are all so very grateful for this reprieve, and pray it continues.
So here we are at this easy slow cooker pulled pork recipe. I have been making this particular dish for years and years, and it has never failed me for parties and pot lucks, and after tired sleepless nights where I can barely bring a brush to my head let alone prepare a full meal. I often leave it to cook overnight, and just reheat it at dinner time, or of course set it to go early in the morning so it’s ready to serve at meal time.
The past few months have been tough, and I’m so relieved to *hopefully* be on the path to a better nights sleep for Taylor, Art & I. Thankful to have an arsenal or recipes ready though, for when life and parenting hits these inevitable rough spots. I hope this easy recipe helps make your life a bit easier too.
What’s Needed to Make Slow Cooker Pulled Pork?
This truly is the best slow cooker pulled pork recipe. Why? Because it requires just four simple ingredients:
- Pork butt or shoulder
- Diced tomatoes
- Chili powder
- Hot sauce
Seriously, that’s it!
How to Make Pulled Pork in a Slow Cooker
When I say this is an easy slow cooker pulled pork recipe, I mean it. You ready for the ultra complicated instructions?
Throw everything into your slow cooker, pop on the lid, and cook low and slow for 8 to 10 hours. So simple, right?
How to Reheat Pulled Pork
You have a few options when it comes to reheating pulled pork. You can reheat it gently in a skillet, making sure to add some of the cooking juices to the pan to prevent the pork from drying out.
You can also reheat pulled pork in the slow cooker. Just pop the pork back into the insert and set the slow cooker to “warm.”
You can also microwave pulled pork, but microwaving can be hit or miss — sometimes the pulled pork reheats beautifully, and sometimes it comes out a little rubbery. Use your best judgement!
What to Do with Leftover Pulled Pork
The mild flavor and super tender meat makes this slow cooker pulled pork a perfect chameleon protein dish; the possibilities are endless. Here are a few ways we like to repurpose this easy slow cooker pulled pork:
- Use it to make pulled pork sandwiches
- Top it on a salad
- Enjoy atop a mound of mashed potatoes
- Fill tortillas with it to make tacos
- Use it to make quesadillas or taquitos
Other Tips for Making the Best Slow Cooker Pulled Pork
This easy slow cooker pulled pork recipe only really requires four ingredients, but it can easily be adapted to highlight more complex flavor. Think: adding in powdered onion and garlic, or add bell peppers and fresh onions for more flair. But when you’re dog dead tired, four ingredients is pretty great, and makes it quite adaptable when all is said and done.
Note that this Crockpot pulled pork freezes incredibly well. Be sure to store the pork in a freezer bag with some of its juices to prevent it from drying out. To thaw, place it in your fridge overnight.
You can dress up this pulled pork with bbq sauce or enjoy as is. It really pairs well with just about anything!
More Slow Cooker Dinners:
- Easy Slow Cooker Posole with Pork
- Slow Cooker Bolognese
- Slow Cooker Budget Stew
- Slow Cooker Fish Stew
- Braised Asian Pork
- All of my slow cooker recipes!
Easiest Pulled Pork, Ever
- 3-4 lb pork butt or shoulder , trimmed of excess fat
- 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes (Mexican or Italian style preferred)
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 tablespoon hot sauce
- diced fresh chili peppers
- sliced onions
- sliced bell pepper
- Place all ingredients in a slow cooker, and cook on low for 8-10 hours.
How to Reheat Pulled PorkYou have a few options when it comes to reheating pulled pork. You can reheat it gently in a skillet, making sure to add some of the cooking juices to the pan to prevent the pork from drying out. You can also reheat pulled pork in the slow cooker. Just pop the pork back into the insert and set the slow cooker to "warm." You can also microwave pulled pork, but microwaving can be hit or miss — sometimes the pulled pork reheats beautifully, and sometimes it comes out a little rubbery. Use your best judgement!