The art of barbecuing is a serious subject. Obtaining the perfect flavor profile with the right amount of bark and fall off the bone tenderness is the life’s work of many grill masters. Truly, there’s nothing better than a pork sandwich on game day. I don’t have a smoker, but I do have a crock pot so I’m making a slow cooker version of a Kansas City favorite! I seasoned the pork butt with an awesome Kansas City style dry rub and cooked it for hours in the crock-pot until the meat was fall off the bone tender. The sliders were out of bounds!
With just a few simple ingredients you can transform a pork butt roast into the most scrumptious pork sandwich. I didn’t take many pictures, but I’ll walk you through it. Above are the ingredients I used. This is a recipe you can’t rush. You’ll need to coat the pork in the dry rub the day before you cook it.
Kansas City Style Dry Rub
Kansas City rub is traditionally sweet and smokey with a complex flavor. In a Pyrex measuring cup, mix together 1/2 cup light brown sugar, 1/4 cup smoked paprika, 1 tablespoon kosher salt, 2 1/2 teaspoons each of garlic powder, onion powder and chili powder, 1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper and 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper. This rub yields a little less than a cup and it keeps well in a tight mason jar for 6 months where you keep your spices.
Note: For best results, use fresh spices. Check the expiration date on all your spices prior to making the rub.
Preparing the Pork Butt Roast
Pat dry the pork butt with paper towels and liberally sprinkle with the Kansas City Dry Rub mix. You won’t need to use all of it. Typically whatever sticks to the meat is just the right amount of seasoning the meat requires. Make sure you rub it well all over and cover it in plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight so all those flavors penetrate the meat.
Cooking the Pork Butt Roast
The next day, early in the morning, remove the roast from the refrigerator and allow it to rest for at least an hour at room temperature. Prep the other ingredients while the meat rests.
Slice a large sweet onion, finely mince 4 garlic cloves and set them aside. In a bowl, mix 1 cup of your favorite BBQ sauce, 1/3 cup brown sugar, 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar, 1 tablespoon yellow mustard, 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce and a pinch of thyme. Cut the pork butt roast in half (to speed up the cooking process) and place the meat in the crock-pot. Pour the BBQ sauce mix over the meat, add the sliced onion and minced garlic. Cover and cook on high for 6-7 hours or until the meat if fork tender.
Note: If the pork butt was not at room temperature, allow extra time in the crock pot. I would cook at least 8-10 hours, until the bone can be easily pulled out.
Once fork tender, remove the meat and place on a cutting board. Pour the liquid into a sauce pan and cook the liquid down while you shred the pork, stirring occasionally. Return the pulled pork to the crock pot, add 1/2 cup of your favorite BBQ sauce and about 1/4 cup of the reduced liquid. Stir and you’re ready to serve!
Assembling the Sliders
I like to serve these on a soft slider brioche bun. King’s Hawaiian now makes a slider bun and it’s also wonderful! So get your slider bun of choice (toasted or untoasted), pile a nice mound of pulled pork and top with creamy coleslaw and some sweet pickles! Perfection.
Note: Store bought coleslaw works just fine. If you want a homemade version, try my Sweet & Spicy Coleslaw.
Kansas City Style Pulled Pork Sliders
This pulled pork is a crowd favorite and so easy to make in a crock-pot, it practically cooks itself. The Kansas City style rub adds a sweet and smokey flavor while slow cooking makes it fork tender.
Kansas City Dry Rub
- ½ cup light brown sugar
- ¼ cup smoked paprika
- 1 Tablespoon kosher salt
- 2 ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 ½ teaspoon onion powder
- 2 ½ teaspoons chili powder
- 1 ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 4 lb. pork butt roast
- 1 large sweet onion, cut in half, thinly sliced
- 4 garlic coves, finely minced
- 1 cup your favorite BBQ sauce plus more for topping
- ⅓ cup light brown sugar, packed
- ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon yellow mustard
- 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 pinch dry thyme
Kansas City Dry Rub
In a Pyrex measuring cup, mix together the light brown sugar, smoked paprika, kosher salt, garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder, black pepper and cayenne pepper.
Note: Check the expiration date and replace expired spices before making the rub. Yields under a cup and keeps for about 6 months.
Preparing the Pork Butt Roast
Pat dry the pork butt with paper towels and liberally sprinkle with the Kansas City dry rub all over the roast. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 12 hours or overnight.
Note: Typically whatever sticks to the meat is just the right amount of rub the meat requires.
Making the Pork Roast
Remove the pork from the refrigerator and allow it to rest at room temperature an hour before cooking.
In a bowl, mix the BBQ sauce, light brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, yellow mustard, Worcestershire sauce and thyme. Set aside.
Place the pork butt roast in the crock pot. Pour half the sauce and top with the sliced onions and minced garlic. Cover and cook on high for 6-7 hours or until the bone can be easily removed, or the meat is fork tender, if boneless.
Note: If transferring pork butt from refrigerator to crock pot, allow extra cooking time until the bone can be easily removed, 8-10 hours.
Once tender, remove the meat and place on a cutting board. Pour the liquid into a sauce pan, remove the fat and reduce the liquid down while you shred the pork, stirring occasionally.
Return the pulled pork to the crock pot, add the reserved sauce and about ¼ – ⅓ cup of the reduced liquid. Stir and you're ready to serve!
Assembling Your Slider
Pile a mound of pulled pork meat on your favorite soft bun, add your favorite coleslaw, extra BBQ sauce and top with sweet pickles. Enjoy!