Jack Daniels Pulled Pork
Today's slow cooker recipe for Jack Daniels Pulled Pork is my go-to; it's a reliable, easy recipe for the best pulled pork ever. Budget-friendly succulent pork shoulder slow cooks in Jack Daniels forming an irresistible whiskey bbq sauce.
Serve it on rolls, toast, in tacos, on pizza, or simply on a fork! I mean honestly. How could this be anything less than sublime?
And sublime it is. This juicy, fall-apart tender slow cooker pulled pork in sauce is enough to make me weep happy tears. If you're looking for a special touch for an upcoming game day party, look no further!
Now I know you can buy pre-made versions of this in stores and this is not going to turn into a commercial Jack Daniels Pulled Pork review. Let's just remember that homemade is almost always better. This time the truism is truly true.
In fact, I think Mr. Jack Daniel himself would approve of this insanely delectable pulled pork. You get the effect of a bbq spice rubbed, smoked pulled pork with a fraction of the effort.
Jack Daniels Pulled Pork Recipe
It's equally true that this recipe yields quite a lot of pulled pork. This is good news because it freezes and reheats like a dream! I've included heating instructions included in the printable recipe card, too.
Bone-in Pork shoulder is one of the most budget-friendly cuts of meat in existence. Where I live, it's about $1.69 per pound and that's music to this mom-of-five's ears.
Boneless pork shoulder is also economical, if slightly less so than the bone-in variety. I prefer the bone-in both for the lower cost and the more profound flavour. Use whichever you like best!
You can either start this delicious pulled pork in your crockpot in the morning and have it for dinner that night, or you can divide the tasks up between a couple of days. If you're inclined, you can cook it overnight and transfer it into a container in the refrigerator to cool during the day, making it easy to handle.
I find it easiest to shred the pork shoulder while it's still hot, so I prefer to work with it while it's still eager to fall apart. I will say that if you're looking to remove more fat from the meat, it's easier to do this when it's cold, so proceed according to your preference.
I'm not usually a Jack Daniels drinker, so I had a bit of a shock when I went to the liquor store to grab a bottle. There are SO many options!
What you're looking for is a bottle of Jack Daniels “ Own Tennessee Whiskey ”. To expound, you want the bottle with the black label that says “Jack Daniels Old No. 7 Tennesee Sour Mash Whiskey”.
Pulled Pork Jack Daniels
I will say that I think Jack Daniels is the perfect choice for this particular recipe because the smoky, distinctive flavour pairs perfectly with bbq flavours. The unique mellow taste of Jack Daniel's whiskey makes the perfect barbecue sauce.
I know that there is a commercially available Signature Jack Daniel's BBQ sauce, but I can also say that the version that is yielded by slow cooking the pork shoulder in the homemade sauce ingredients is worlds better. The notes of dark brown sugar and rich ripe tomato are unbeatable.
If you're more of a bourbon lover, you could certainly make it a bourbon pulled pork by swapping in your favourite tipple. I would not, however, use the cheapest whiskey at the store simply because the finest ingredients yield the best quality product at the end!
Just about every liquor store in America carries Jack Daniels, so you should be in good shape! Keep in mind that you'll be using a full cup of it, so it's more economical to buy a larger bottle than a fistful of the little airplane-sized bottles.
If you have concerns about whether this is safe to serve to children, I can tell you it is! Despite there being a cup of whiskey in the dish, most of it evaporates during the initial cook, and no measurable alcohol remains after the serious reduction in the sauce.
According to the US Department of Agriculture, alcohol is burned off at a lower temperature than water boiling. By their instruction, you need to cook food for about 3 hours to fully erase all traces of alcohol. Since this dish cooks longer than that initially followed by an aggressive reduction in pan juices, there should be no alcohol left in the final dish!
If you have someone in your home in recovery, though, please tell them about the ingredients. They may be more comfortable eating something else.
Jack Daniels Pulled Pork Instructions
Before we dive into the instructions, let's go over our ingredients and equipment lists. Don't let the length of the ingredient list daunt you; you might have everything in your pantry already!
- 2 onions
- 10 cloves garlic or 2 teaspoons granulated garlic
- 6 to 8 pound bone-in pork shoulder you can substitute a boneless pork shoulder if desired
- 1 cup Jack Daniels Tennessee Whiskey
- 1 cup ketchup
- ¾ cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup Dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce or soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper or crushed red pepper flakes
- 2 Bay leaves
Not so bad, right? They're all pretty common ingredients and there's no insane prep needed. The majority of the work is quite literally cutting the onion and measuring things.
The equipment list is quite short and also pretty ubiquitous. If you don't have a slow cooker or aren't inclined to use it, you can certainly make this in a Dutch Oven, but I love the end result of this recipe.
And even more than that, I love coming home to the smell of crockpot pulled pork. It's suitable to make on even the busiest days because you quite literally dump everything into the crockpot and let ‘er rip.
- 6 Quarts or Larger Capacity Slow Cooker
- Cutting Board
- Chef's Knife
- Mixing Bowl or 4-Cup Capacity Liquid Measuring Cup
- 2 Quart Saucepan
- 9 x 13-inch pan or Other Oven-Safe Pan
- Aluminum Foil
- Freezer Bags or Freezer Safe Containers (if you plan on freezing for later use.)
Jack Daniels Pulled Pork
Peel the onions and slice them into three thick slabs each. Lay the onion slabs in a single layer over the bottom of your slow cooker crock.
If using raw garlic cloves, peel them and scatter them among the onions. Trim the outer sleeve from the pork shoulder and place it on top of the onions. Sprinkle the salt and pepper over the pork shoulder.
In a mixing bowl or liquid measuring cup, use a fork or whisk to combine the Jack Daniels, ketchup, brown sugar, Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce, tomato paste, and apple cider vinegar.
Pour this mixture over the pork shoulder then toss in the bay leaves. Cover the crockpot and cook on LOW for 8 to 9 hours or HIGH for 5 to 6 hours, or until the pork is so tender that it falls apart when you nudge it with a fork.
Our next step is to carefully transfer the pork to a cutting board and shred it using your hands or two forks. Remove the excess fat, then use a chef's knife to help cut any longer strands of pulled pork into bite-size pieces.
Transfer the pork to a 9-inch by 13-inch pan or oven-safe serving dish and cover pan with aluminum foil. You can put this in a 145ºF oven to keep it warm.
Strain the cooking juices into a 2-quart saucepan and place pan over medium high heat. Bring it to a boil and reduce it to about ¼ of its starting volume.
Open the foil covered pan and drizzle the reduced bbq whiskey glaze over the pork. Use forks or tongs to toss the pulled pork so that it is all covered evenly in the sauce.
Serve immediately, if desired.
Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or transfer small batches or meal-sized portions into freezer bags, label, and freeze for up to 6 months for best quality.
Your Jack Daniel's Pulled Pork can be thawed and reheated in a microwave. Microwave wattage can vary, so if using this method, reheat it in 30-second increments.
You can also reheat your pulled pork in a foil covered baking dish in a 350ºF oven for 20 minutes or until piping hot. Alternatively, you can heat it in a covered saucepan with 1/4 cup of water over low heat until steaming hot.
Calories: 346kcalCarbohydrates: 23gProtein: 28gFat: 10gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0.001gCholesterol: 93mgSodium: 794mgPotassium: 646mgFiber: 1gSugar: 19gVitamin A: 177IUVitamin C: 5mgCalcium: 51mgIron: 2mg
Nutritional information is an estimate and provided to you as a courtesy. You should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe using your preferred nutrition calculator.
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