The Best Cut Of Pork To Slow Cook, According To An Expert

Pulled pork on tray
Pulled pork on tray - hlphoto/Shutterstock

Making pork in a slow cooker is an easy technique to allow the meat to become flavorful and fall-off-the-bone tender. The first step, however, is to choose the best cut of meat — because not all cuts are equal when it comes to slow cooking. To help with your next slow-cooked pork dish, Tasting Table turned to Rich Parente, chef and owner of Clock Tower Grill in Brewster, New York, to find out the best cut to use in your recipes.

"Pork butt, a bone-in cut from the shoulder of the pig, is excellent for slow cooking," Parente says. "With a great ratio of fat and connective tissue that breaks down during the cooking process, it makes for a tender, juicy meat that's great for dishes like pulled pork." This means that while the pork butt is cooking away on the counter, it will tenderize and fall apart, rather than overcook and dry out like some leaner cuts might. In addition to the chef's reasoning, another benefit is that pork butt, like pork shoulder, is relatively affordable and provides enough meat to feed a crowd.

Read more: 13 Underrated Cuts Of Meat You Should Be Grilling

Keep It Affordable And Flavorful With Bone-In Cuts

Roast pork and vegetables in slow cooker
Roast pork and vegetables in slow cooker - Angelika Heine/Shutterstock

You might wonder if there's really a difference between bone-in and boneless pork for slow cooking, and the answer is yes. "Bone-in cuts are typically less expensive than boneless versions of the same cut," Parente explains. "Plus, bone-in cuts usually contain more collagen and marrow that will add a richer, more savory flavor to the final dish." We trust Parente's expertise here; and you can't lose when you save money at the grocery store and obtain more flavor in your slow-cooked dish to boot. Be patient though, because some slow-cooker bone-in pork butt recipes can take six to eight hours (or longer) depending on the size.

Is your mouth watering now that you know the best type of pork for slow cooking? If so, consider some of Tasting Table's recipes. Our apple cider smoked pulled pork recipe is a good option because it only uses a handful of ingredients. You can also try our miso mustard-braised pork butt recipe that slow cooks in a Dutch oven if you don't have a slow cooker. For a Latin-inspired meal opt for this slow cooker al pastor made with pineapple and served with warm tortillas, lime wedges, and chopped cilantro.

Read the original article on Tasting Table