In my house, winter time means crock pot time.
We probably use the crock pot at least once per week from mid-October until the beginning of March. Crock pot cooking is super cost effective because you can use cheaper, tougher cuts of meat. The long, slow cooking time does the work of breaking down all the connective tissues.
Crock pot cooking also is time efficient because once you load the crock pot with whatever you are making, you don’t have to worry about it again until it’s ready. I like to prepare my crock pot meal the night before and refrigerate it. That way, in the morning, I just pop the crock into the pot, turn it on and forget about it.
Basically, a crock pot is just a big, thick ceramic pot that fits into a heating element. The way it works is that a low heat is distributed evenly throughout the sides and bottom of the pot, slowly cooking whatever is inside. It is almost impossible to burn something in a crock pot.
If you don’t already have one, buying a crock pot should not be a big investment. I’ve seen them available in the $20-$30 range. Ours has a lot of bells and whistles, and it only set us back about $45. For the use it gives us, that’s a bargain!
This crock pot BBQ pulled chicken recipe is a variation on a pork recipe I also make in the crock pot. The chicken version uses a store-bought BBQ sauce and beer. For the pulled pork loin recipe you kind of make your own BBQ sauce right there in the pan. I’ll post that one soon, I promise.
This is great served on whole wheat buns and tastes even better the next day, once the flavors have time to get to know each other. I always serve BBQ with lots of pickles on the side because the vinegar helps cut the fatty, sugary taste of the BBQ sauce.
Crock Pot BBQ Pulled Chicken
2-3 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts (frozen is fine)
2 TBS EVOO
1 white onion, sliced
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp granulated garlic
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp fresh cracked black pepper
12 oz beer (any kind)
18 oz jar smoky barbeque sauce (thinner is better than thicker)
1. Put cast iron pan on the fire. Meanwhile, season chicken on both sides with onion powder, granulated garlic, paprika and S&P. When pan is hot, add EVOO. When smoking, add chicken breasts one a time, being careful not to splash yourself with the hot oil. Sear both sides, about 2 minutes each side, and place into crock pot.
2. Let pan get hot again, then add the other TBS of EVOO. When smoking, add onions and sautee until slightly carmelized, stirring frequently, about 5 minutees. Pour onions over chicken, then add BBQ sauce and beer and stir together.
3. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours, stirring if you happen to walk by. After about 6 hours, you should be able to pull chicken apart into strings using two forks. Serve on whole wheat burger buns. Don’t forget the pickles.
What are some of your favorite crock pot recipes? Let everyone in on the action by sharing them in the comments section below. And thanks for looking at my blog!