Slow-cooked dinners are a popular way for a busy cook to make a dinner that requires a minimum of preparation time. A Crock-pot® is a particular kind of slow cooker, though the brand is so well-known that many people use the two terms are interchangeably. In order to make a Crock-pot® pork shoulder, the ingredients, most often a pork shoulder and vegetables, are typically placed in the cooker in the morning, then allowed to cook all day until it is served for dinner.
Since it is so easy to prepare, a Crock-pot® pork shoulder meal can be a good choice for cooks who are planning on being gone all day but need to have a filling meal ready quickly in the evening. Using a slow cooker allows the meat and vegetables to be placed in the pot and then simmered over a low heat all day. By evening the different flavors have all blended, and both meat and vegetables have had time to become very tender. Vegetables such as potatoes, onions and carrots can be cooked with the meat and are ready to eat when the meat is done.
In addition to the ease of preparing and cooking a meal in a slow cooker, the method allows cooks to get better results from inexpensive cuts of meat. Meats such as chuck roast and pork shoulder would be very tough if prepared by quicker methods. These cuts typically come out tender and juicy when made in a slow cooker.
Crock-pot® pork shoulder can be prepared in many different ways, making it a versatile choice for meals. The most traditional way is to layer meat and vegetables in the cooker, simmer all day and serve, but there are other options. Fans of barbecue may wish to cook the meat without the vegetables, using only water and salt until the pork is tender.
Once the Crock-pot® pork shoulder is thoroughly cooked and can be pulled apart with a fork, which typically takes all day or all night in the slow cooker, any bones are usually removed. The Crock-pot® pork shoulder is then pulled into small pieces, or it may be cut, then it is returned to the slow cooker from which the liquid has been drained. Instead, barbecue sauce or any other type of flavoring the cook prefers is added to the pork. It is cooked in this until the meat has absorbed much of the sauce, then served on bread or over mashed potatoes.