Miss the tarheel tradition of a pig pickin'? Then find yourself a crock pot, a big pork shoulder, some cider vinegar and get cooking! While ground and crushed red pepper will provide the basic heat - go the extra mile and find some Texas Pete (or Trappey's) pepper sauce to bring the taste of Carolina to your kitchen.

Recipe Summary

prep:
15 mins
cook:
12 hrs
total:
12 hrs 15 mins
Servings:
10
Yield:
10 servings
Advertisement

Ingredients

10
Original recipe yields 10 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Place the pork shoulder into a slow cooker and season with salt and pepper. Pour the vinegar around the pork. Cover, and cook on Low for 12 hours. Pork should easily pull apart into strands.

    Advertisement
  • Remove the pork from the slow cooker and discard any bones. Strain out the liquid, and save 2 cups. Discard any extra. Shred the pork using tongs or two forks, and return to the slow cooker. Stir the brown sugar, hot pepper sauce, cayenne pepper, and red pepper flakes into the reserved sauce. Mix into the pork in the slow cooker. Cover and keep on Low setting until serving.

Sandwich option

Scoop pork onto a white bun and garnish liberally with your favorite coleslaw.

Nutrition Facts

293 calories; protein 27.6g 55% DV; carbohydrates 3.6g 1% DV; fat 17.3g 27% DV; cholesterol 90.5mg 30% DV; sodium 775.5mg 31% DV. Full Nutrition
Advertisement

Reviews (451)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
01/21/2009
This was some incredible BBQ with some incredibly nasty vinegar smell for the first 10 hours of cooking! Thank God we were taking the final product to someone else's house. After the pork was drained, shredded and all the other ingredients got added the smell got a lot better. All we added after that was 2-3 Tbsp. of liquid smoke which I highly recommend. The end product tastes like something from a BBQ Smokehouse Restaurant. I served this with Creamy Spiced Coleslaw and Sweet Cornbread from this site and it was gone in no time. I can't wait to make this again. We'll just be putting the slow cooker in the garage! Read More
(310)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 1 stars
12/14/2011
way too hot; only used 1/2 of the cayeanne and red peppers & hot sauce & it was still way too spicy. Read More
(25)
608 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 454
  • 4 star values: 107
  • 3 star values: 32
  • 2 star values: 10
  • 1 star values: 5
Rating: 5 stars
01/21/2009
This was some incredible BBQ with some incredibly nasty vinegar smell for the first 10 hours of cooking! Thank God we were taking the final product to someone else's house. After the pork was drained, shredded and all the other ingredients got added the smell got a lot better. All we added after that was 2-3 Tbsp. of liquid smoke which I highly recommend. The end product tastes like something from a BBQ Smokehouse Restaurant. I served this with Creamy Spiced Coleslaw and Sweet Cornbread from this site and it was gone in no time. I can't wait to make this again. We'll just be putting the slow cooker in the garage! Read More
(310)
Rating: 5 stars
01/03/2009
I am from North Carolina and have grown up on REAL bbq..and i have to say this is real close..its a great recipe ! my only added suggestion is to add some liquid smoke to this..a good amount..it does wonders for that good ol smoke taste ! thanks again for a back home memory ! Read More
(243)
Rating: 5 stars
01/19/2008
I have been making a version of this for over 20 years--to rave reviews. I highly recommend adding a small amount (1/2 pound of so) of smoked picnic ham to the crock pot to convincingly fake that "pit cooked" flavor. I also recommend using white vinegar, not cider vinegar. Read More
(230)
Advertisement
Rating: 5 stars
01/04/2009
Absolutely amazing! I am a displaced Tar Heel living in Alaska, and I would have NEVER thought that I could have North Carolina barbecue all the way up here without flying it in! I have tried lots of barbecue that has been touted as "NC barbecue," and have been disappointed every time. This is it! I made the recipe exactly as written for New Year's Day and was bowled over when I tasted it. It was 10 degrees below zero that day, but it felt like NC at the dinner table! Anyone who complains that cooking the pork in vinegar makes the house smell bad has never walked in from below zero temperatures to the aroma of Stamey's, Hursey's or Smithfield's! The only thing missing was the flavor that comes with slow smoking the pork, but I'll work on it. What a holiday gift this was!! Read More
(155)
Rating: 5 stars
08/11/2008
Absolutely delicious! Yes, it does emit a strong smell of vinegar while cooking, but it's certainly worth it. I followed the recipe exactly as stated, however I cooked on high for 5 1/2 hours and it was just perfect. You can do this if you don't have the whole 12 hours to cook this in. Read More
(113)
Rating: 5 stars
04/01/2008
i set the crockpot and left for class. i came home 3 hours later and was immediately transported back to NC (where I grew up). I said "mmmm smells like bbq." my husband said "ugh it smells like vinegar" (he's from Georgia)...but in the end he said that it was the best I'd ever made. Thanks for posting this recipe!! Read More
(64)
Advertisement
Rating: 5 stars
02/21/2008
Oh my goodness! You hit the nail right on the head. I am from eastern North Carolina and grew up with pig pickin's. What a shot of nostalgia with a fraction of the work. I've made this several times, always with rave reviews. The only complaint my husband and I have is the vinegary smell for 12 hrs. But well worth the trade. Excellent with "Dave's Coleslaw" from here! Read More
(53)
Rating: 5 stars
03/28/2011
Wish I could rate this one higher than only 5 stars... yes it's THAT good. I read several reviews and found an awful lot of whining about the vinegar smell but honestly I thought it smelled WONDERFUL! Be sure to add some Liquid Smoke... it is the ONLY thing missing from the recipe. For a 4 or 5 LB. pork roast you'll want to add a couple of tablespoons of liquid smoke. Man oh man I could eat this stuff all week. Make your favorite cole slaw recipe to top off the pork with and trust me you will be smiling at the result. Read More
(48)
Rating: 5 stars
01/21/2008
The apple vinegar is the key to this recipe. I use a Boston Pork Butt a cup of apple vinegar and a 1/2 bottle of Stubbs Marinade. After 6 hours on high in the crock pot I pull the meat and shred and put back in the pot. I then add a bottle of Doc Pierces BBQ sauce and cook on low for another two hours. It's like a party in your mouth. Very tasty. 5 STARS!!!! Read More
(47)
Rating: 1 stars
12/14/2011
way too hot; only used 1/2 of the cayeanne and red peppers & hot sauce & it was still way too spicy. Read More
(25)
Advertisement