March 1, 2015

Easy Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Barbecue Recipe {& Lay's 'Do Us A Flavor' Contest!}


Have you got a million dollar idea?  Look to your hometown for flavor inspiration like I did with this Easy Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Barbecue recipe, and you just might!  Thanks to the Lay's "Do Us A Flavor" contest.

Easy Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Barbecue

That's right ~ the ever-popular, now-iconic Lay's "Do Us A Flavor" contest has returned, with a $1 million grand prize for the best potato chip flavor idea.  $1 million!  And you  may just be the one with that $1 million dollar idea.

And this year, there's an exciting new twist for the contest ... the Lay's brand is asking entrants to include the city and state that inspired the flavor.  So, do you have a hometown favorite flavor?  Or, a special regionally-inspired dish?  Then you've got a "Do Us a Flavor" idea!

So pop on over to the "Do Us A Flavor" site to view official rules and enter it!

Today through March 30, 2015, Lay's fans are encouraged to visit the "Do Us A Flavor" site and submit their ideas for the next great potato chip flavor.  {See the Lay's "Do Us A Flavor" site for complete details and official rules.}  Then later this year, four fabulous flavor finalists ... representing four fabulously flavorful cities and towns across the U.S. ... will be brought to store shelves and voted on by all of America.

How cool is that?

And I'm tellin' ya, that winning idea may just be your  idea.

I have absolutely no doubt in my mind what my hometown-inspired flavor idea would be ~ Carolina Pulled Pork Barbecue.

Easy Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Barbecue

See, because I'm fortunate to live in the very heart of Carolina pulled pork barbecue country ~ Lexington, NC.  Of course, around these parts, we simply refer to the wonderful stuff as barbecue. No 'pulled pork' required.

That's right, Lexington, NC is the Barbecue capital of North Carolina ... and some would argue, of the world.

Lexington-style barbecue is a labor of love ... pork shoulder cooked slowly over a hardwood fire for hours, lovingly infused with nothing-short-of-amazing smoky goodness.  The meat is then doused with a tomato-and-vinegar-based sauce ... the recipe of which is unique to each of the area's many barbecue joints.

And quite honestly?  The merits of each barbecue sauce is truly a hotly debated topic in barbecue country.  Spirited discussions are known to erupt over which sauce is the best or favorite!

With it's culture so firmly rooted in barbecue, it's no surprise Lexington pays great homage to the pig.  And evidence of this can easily be seen with just a simple walk about town ... doing a little about-the-town pig spotting ...

Like "Barbecue Pig" ... and "Lawyer Pig" ...

Lexington, NC Pigs in the City

... and "Justice Pig".  And my favorite ... "Miss Puffy," the Red Bird Mints {made in Lexington} pig.

Lexington, NC Pigs in the City

Oh, and pig bench for a rest, anyone?

Like good barbecue country folks, our family loves us some barbecue ... especially my husband, Mark.  He can put away a pound of the stuff in one sitting by himself, I swear.  Barbecue is a staple at gatherings and get-togethers in these parts ... and, much to the delight of my hubby, was served at our engagement party, our rehearsal dinner, and is our family's Christmas Eve dinner tradition.

 Our favorite Lexington barbecue place?


Oh, they get such great smoky flavor in their 'cue.  And I love their hushpuppies, too ... You just gotta have a side of hushpuppies with barbecue!

Smiley's Barbecue - Lexington, NC

I wasn't always a barbecue lover, mind you.  Growing up in Vermont, I didn't know what the stuff was until I met my Southern then soon-to-be sister-in-law, a Charlotte, NC native.

To me, ... as to most New Englanders ... barbecue was a verb not a noun.  You know, you go outside on the grill and barbecue some chicken.  Or ribs.  Or hot dogs.  Or whatever you happen to be barbecueing.  So the classic North/South barbecue misunderstanding began when my soon-to-be sister-in-law asked the simple question ...

"Do you like barbecue?"

And I replied, "Barbecued what?"

"Barbecue," she said back.

"Barbecued what?"  I responded.

"You know, barbecue."

... a back-and-forth exchange I think would have gone on all day if my Northern-born, transplanted-to-the-South brother hadn't stepped in to explain that we had different understandings of that word barbecue.

A classic, classic moment.

And so, I think it's only appropriate that I got this Easy Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Barbecue recipe from none other than my sister-in-law.

And believe me, now that I live in the South, I truly understand both the verb and noun  use of the word.

Easy Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Barbecue

Now, I don't even begin  to proclaim ... nor would my sister-in-law ... that this easy Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Barbecue recipe comes anywhere close to creating the smoky slow-cooked deliciousness that the Lexington BBQ kings create.  What they  do with a roasting pit and pork is an art form.

But in the comfort of your own home, a slow cooker and a bit of liquid smoke will produce a tender and juicy pulled pork barbecue that will hold you over until you can get your hands on the real thing.

Now ... I've got to ask ... do you think the Lay's brand could work the hushpuppies into my Carolina Pulled Pork Barbecue potato chip  "Do Us A Flavor" contest idea?  Like, maybe 3/4 of the bag be Pulled Pork Barbecue flavored, and 1/4 be hushpuppie flavored??

Ohhhhhh, it would be so good if they could!

Easy Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Barbecue
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Easy Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Barbecue
Source:  My sister-in-law
(Printable recipe)
  • 3 to 5 lb. Boston butt pork roast
  • 1 medium-sized onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 c. ketchup
  • 1/3 c. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/3 c. apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 c. brown sugar
  • 1 T. dry ground mustard
  • 1 T. garlic powder
  • 3/4 tsp. liquid smoke
  • 1/2 tsp. paprika
  • 1/8 tsp. red chili pepper flakes
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  1. Combine ketchup, Worcestershire, vinegar, brown sugar, dry mustard, garlic powder, liquid smoke, paprika, red chili pepper, salt, and pepper in a slow cooker. Whisk until well blended.
  2. Place onions and pork into ketchup mixture, turning to coat both sides of the pork. Cook on low setting for 8 to 10 hours.
  3. After meat is cooked, remove meat into a baking pan or onto a large plate. Use two forks to shred meat; discard bones. Place meat back into warm sauce to reheat.
  4. If desired, serve on Kaiser rolls with coleslaw.

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Please enjoy these other Southern classics from The Kitchen is My Playground ...
Classic Southern Deviled Eggs
Southern Sweet Tea
Classic Vanilla Pound Cake


  1. Love using my slow cooker and my boys love pulled pork so I will have to be trying this soon :)

  2. I need this bbq recipe in my life STAT! Yum!

  3. I lived in SC for 10 years and came to love barbecue. Your sauce sounds amazing. My hubby is from Summerville, SC and is very picky about his barbecue. I will have to try this out. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Barbecue is definitely one of those foods that evokes strong opinions and emotions! Hope your husband enjoys it. :-)

  4. I've surprisingly never made pulled pork before.. but if the recipe is this easy I must try it. These little sandwiches look super delicious!

    1. It truly is THIS easy, Thalia! I encourage you to give it a try ... it's soooo yummy. :-)

  5. I'm a fan of NC "Q!" Your photos are gorgeous and appetizing!

  6. I'm a huge pulled pork fan! Definitely looking forward to trying your version!

  7. I love your Pig Photo's, and your special Pulled Pork, it looks delicious!
    Thanks so much for sharing this awesome recipe with Full Plate Thursday. Hope you have a great weekend and come back soon!
    Miz Helen

  8. I'm loving this! You always bring such amazing things to our party. Pinned and tweeted. I hope to see you tonight at 7. I can't wait! Lou Lou Girls

  9. Can't wait to try this! Thank you so much for linking up at Tasty Tuesday! Your recipe has been pinned to the Tasty Tuesday Pinterest board! Please join us again this week!

  10. My Father-in-law was from Elizabeth City, NC. He insisted that my Mother-in-law learn to make North Carolina Barbecue. They have both passed away now, but we make NC Barbecue every time we get together. Thanks for bringing back some great memories. Thanks for linking to Tips & Tricks. Come back and party with us tonight! ps. I pinned this to our Tips & Tricks board. :)

  11. My husband would love this! Thank you for sharing on Show Me Saturday!

  12. Caroline bbq is my ffaaaaavvorite! Seriously the best BBQ in the country and this looks so good!

  13. Carolina BBQ is something relatively new to me but man is it so GOOD! I'm excited to try this for our next pork roast! I could only imagine how awesome this would be in chip form from Lays!!

  14. Your pork looks amazing!!! BBQ is a big thing here in the south! Always pork. Always apple cider vinegar. Always so good! That sandwich is gorgeoug!

  15. I am so glad you have come to know and love the barbecue of the south;) and we have so many good ones around! I love this version

  16. My mouth is seriously watering! That pulled pork is calling my name!!


I love your comments. I read and appreciate each and every one. Thank you so much for visiting The Kitchen is My Playground! {NOTE: Captcha word verification is on to turn away the 'spambots' ... I apologize for the commenting inconvenience!}

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