Guest post from Brigette Shevy
A couple of summers ago, I made an important discovery: my neglected slow cooker. Sure, I knew it was great for cooking all those “winter-y” foods (stews, soups, roasts, etc.), but somehow it always got pushed to the back of my cabinet and forgotten during the long, hot months. The very months that I should be using it to keep my kitchen cool.
Here is a most decidedly summer recipe that makes use of this not-just-for-winter appliance. It goes together in a matter of minutes, serves our family for several meals (I know I won’t be able to say that for much longer at the ever-increasing rate my children are eating!), and freezes well. I love main dishes that don’t require a lot of last minute preparation, and this one definitely fits the bill.
You can use pork or beef for this recipe – whatever your family likes best, or whatever happens to be on sale.
Slow-Cooker Barbecue Sandwiches
- 1 3 to 4-pound chuck or bottom round roast OR pork shoulder roast
- 2 carrots, finely shredded, optional (you can’t tell they are in there once it cooks, I promise!)
- 1 small onion, diced or ½ teaspoon onion powder
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed or 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ¾ cup ketchup
- ¼ cup brown sugar (can use raw sugar or sucanat)
- ¼ cup wine vinegar
- 2 Tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon liquid smoke
- ½ teaspoon chili powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
Trim fat from roast, cut into several large pieces, and place in slow cooker (I use a 3-quart cooker for this recipe. For best cooking, your slow cooker shouldn’t be more than 2/3 full).
Combine remaining ingredients and pour over the top of meat. Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours.
Uncover the last hour to help sauce thicken, if needed. Remove meat from cooker and shred with two forks in a separate bowl, discarding any bones and fat.
Skim fat from remaining liquid in the slow cooker. Return shredded meat to cooker and heat until bubbly (it should be about the right amount of liquid to meat ratio, but drain some liquid if necessary).
Serve on hamburger buns or sandwich rolls.
What are your favorite summer slow-cooker recipes?
Brigette is a full-time wife and mother who is blessed with three amazing bundles of energy (ages 5, 3, and 1). She enjoys music, experimenting in the kitchen, homeschooling her children, finding great deals, long-distance running, and anything chocolate.
I love my crockpot too! This is an easy and absolutely delicious recipe (not to mention incredibly economical!) that I discovered last year. It has become one of our favorites.
Place the following in your crockpot:
2 -3 chicken breasts (thawed)
1 jar of spaghetti sauce (we like one that is a little spicer)
1 cup of pepperocini peppers
1 cup of pitted/sliced olives (any kind you like)
Cook on low for 6 hours or on high for 4 hours. Do nothing to it while it cooks. Once done, shred with a fork, mix all ingredients together well and serve with toasted pita. Delicious! You will be amazed at how far this recipe goes….
We live in a rural area and my crockpot has locking clips on the lid, so I plug it in on my carport. Then there is NO extra heat in the house.
I do something similar to Leaha using root beer and pork. Let the pork slow cook all day, then drain the root beer and shred. Add your favorite sauce, and poof…it’s always a winner!
Sara T says
We just crock potted a rack of baby back ribs out in the garage! Put it on high for 5hrs- they were so good and tender.
Sara@Save Money, Live Joyfully says
I love making my crock pot do double duty! When I make BBQ chicken sandwiches in it, I will make extra and use the rest for grilled BBQ chicken pizza the next night. Same with taco meat…tacos one night, enchiladas the next. That way I don’t have to heat up my kitchen and have dinner at the ready for 2 nights 🙂
So in total this yummy meal takes almost 12 HOURS! I would have to start it around 6am to eat at 5! I am asleep at that point!
You could easily cook it on high to cut the time down dramatically. That is the best part about slow cookers…you can use which ever setting works best for your schedule! And depending on how big the pieces were and if they were thawed this would probably be ready much sooner, but the longer you go the more tender it gets.
It cooks for 8 to 10 hours, with about 15 minutes of prep time. So it shouldn’t take 12 hours. 🙂 If you get it in your crockpot by 8am (or even 9), it should be ready to eat at 5pm. You can also prep the meat and make the sauce – do everything except cooking – the night before. Stick the crockpot in the fridge for the night and pull it out at 8 the next morning and plug it in. OR cook it on HIGH for a shorter amount of time. I’m estimating 5-6 hours, but I can’t say for sure as I haven’t done it personally. Hope this helps!
Kimberly in NC says
Just beware of heating a cold crock without letting it get to room temperature first. I am not 100% sure, but I think that is what cracked my last crock. I haven’t done it since and no cracks in my new crock.
Susan in St. Louis says
Yay! I’ve got some roast thawing in the freezer right now that I wanted to do this with. Thanks for the recipe!
I like to just take pork shoulder/butt and put it in the crockpot with 1 (14 ounce) can beef broth, cook for about 10 hrs, shred it, mix in a bottle of my favorite bbq sauce (I like Sweet Baby Ray’s) and after maybe half an hour more in the crockpot, it’s ready to serve.
Oh boy, do I love my slow cooker! I also make a similar recipe to this using chicken…you just shred like pork or beef! I use my slow cooker all the time…and it has esp. been great during this hot summer! I have my spaghetti sauce and meatballs in there now, and I already boiled the noodles, we do corn on the cob in ours, mexican flavored chicken/beef shredded and served in tortillas with toppings, taco chili, potato soup, minestrone soup, and I love making oatmeal in it, too. Check out ‘The Crockin’ Girls” website for lots of good recipes… and Pinterest of course has a ton.
Lydia (Thrifty, Frugal Mom) says
Always looking for more crock-pot recipes and love that this one doesn’t use store-bought BBQ sauce (which is full of HFCS).
I don’t have liquid smoke though. Do you think I could skip it or would it really lack in flavor?
You can leave it out. I don’t always put it in – we like it slightly better with the liquid smoke but it doesn’t make a huge difference. If you leave it out, I would add a little extra Worcestershire sauce, or a smidge of molasses, smoked paprika, or even a chipotle pepper to give it a little bit of that “smoky” flavor.
You can leave it out. I don’t always put it in – we like it slightly better with the liquid smoke, but it doesn’t make a huge difference. If you leave it out, I would add a little more Worcestershire sauce, or a smidge of molasses, or smoked paprika, or even a chopped chipotle pepper to give it a little bit of that “smoky” flavor.
Brandi @ Savvy Student Shopper says
My favorite slow cooker recipe is a chicken/taco recipe.
I add chicken breast, onions, peppers, salsa, corn, beans, water and taco seasoning and let it cook all day. When it’s done, I pull apart the chicken and add some rice. It’s so good! We eat it with tortillas, chips, or a spoon!
Tracy @ usingtimewisely.com says
Love using the crock pot for easy meals like spaghetti, pork chops, and chicken. My favorite reasons for using a crock pot include:
1. Time saver during the busy dinner hour
2. Money saver – no quick runs for fast food 🙂
3. Keeps my house cool during the summer
Looking forward to a change of schedule without much fuss because I can count on my crock pot to save my time. Happy cooking!
Jessica Scott @ proverbslady.com says
We actually just had this last night only we used chicken breasts. It is so easy and my family loves it. It is great for those days you don’t even want to think about cooking dinner.