I love making pulled pork in the CrockPot. It's an incredibly economical meal, saving both time and money. I buy a large picnic roast or butt roast, let it go in the crock pot all day, pull the pork and then freeze meal sized portions for later. Cook once, eat 3-4 times! Woo-hoo!
I decided to take it up a notch and add some smoke flavor to my pulled pork, based on this post from Stephanie over at A Year of Slow Cooking. Basically, you put smoking chips into a parchment package in the bottom of your crock and let the flavor infuse the meat as it cooks.
I started last night by preparing a rub (recipe here) and rubbing it all over my pork- a half picnic roast, on sale at Publix this week. My crock pot is pretty small and I wanted to make sure that I would have enough room for the smoking chips and the roast.
This morning, I soaked my wood chips in water. I used Greenwise Market Mesquite Smoking Chips from Publix- the bag was $1.99 and there are enough chips there to make at least 5 pulled pork recipes. According to the Publix website, these chips contain no chemicals and let off no petroleum by-products. After the chips were drained, I wrapped them in a double layer of parchment paper. I put the parchment paper package in the bottom of my crock and used a small paring knife to poke holes in the parchment. I put my rubbed roast on top and turned my crock pot on high.
I kept opening my crock pot and smelling for smoke, but there was no smokey smell and I was completely convinced that there was going to be NO difference in the cooked meat. When I finally took the pork out 5 hours later, I was thrilled to see that there were crusty bits on the bottom where it was closest to the smoking chips and the meat had that wonderful pink color you get with smoking. The pork tasted AMAZING- so good and flavorful that I hated to even put BBQ sauce on it! Those little chips were SO worth it. I will be cooking my pork this way from here on out. Try it- you'll like it too!