My 1987 Rival Crock-Pot, along with the mixture of spices used as the rub for the pulled pork.
#100daysofcooking, Recipes

Day 12: Pulled pork that rocks around the crock

Crock-Pot Pulled Pork

Making a rare appearance in the kitchen: my 1987 (according to eBay this makes it “vintage”) Rival Crock-Pot.

Welcome to Road Wordy’s first Small Appliance Challenge in this #100daysofcooking project.

There is no good reason why I never took to the glory of a device that “cooks all day while the cook’s away.”

Growing up, my mom rocked her crock and it still has a permanent position on her countertop. Our four kids have become devoted fans of the slow cooker, often relaying their successes with roasts, stews, soups and more.

“When first introduced (in the early 1970s), this gentle method of cooking ‘forever’ in stoneware was conceived as crazy,” writes Minnie Bernardino of the Los Angeles Times. “It wasn’t just for its wild name ‘crock-pot,’ but the idea was associated with going back to cooking in stone vessels in 7000 BC when you’re in an era of fast automation, or instant this and instant that.

“The concept is no longer wild and crazy. No longer surprising is that the pot has survived, thanks to those who still believe that slow cooking makes sense, particularly when you belong to the paid work force.”

Pulled pork sandwich, served with a bit of coleslaw on top.
Pulled pork sandwich, served with a bit of coleslaw on top.

Minnie wrote that in 1987. The “fast-paced” world of 30 years ago has sped up even more, and slow-cookers are hanging in, helping busy cooks (even those of us who are not currently “belonging to the paid work force”) in getting dinner on the table.

But I digress.

My day involves a trip to the airport and hanging out with my nephew, so a dinner of Crock-Pot pulled pork (paired up with yesterday’s leftover spicy coleslaw) sounds perfect.

The recipe came to me from son Jake, who has made it often enough that he has it memorized.

Kitchen Cast-Off used

1987 Rival Crock-Pot slow cooker

This is how we did it

Using the
Using the “Bear Paws” shredding claws on the pulled pork


  • pork loin or butt or shoulder. We cooked a fairly small one (about 1.5 pounds)
  • 2 onions, sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • ½ cup chicken stock
  • 1 to 2 cups of barbecue sauce (to taste)

For spice rub, combine

  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon


Pat the pork dry with paper towels, then coat with the rub.

Put the onions, garlic and chicken stock in the crock pot, then place the pork on top. Depending on the size of the meat, it can cook for anywhere from six to 10 hours. (We cooked for about seven on low, and it could have probably gone a little longer.)

Remove the pork, then strain the liquid and return the solids (onions, etc) to the cooker. Using two forks (or, as was our case, some brand news Bear Paws shredder claws purchased from Lee Valley hardware), shred the meat into bite sized pieces, removing fat as you go. Return to the meat to the cooker and add barbecue sauce (or, as we did, a mixture of barbecue sauce and the cooker juices) just until the pork is moistened.

Wondering what the “Kitchen Castoff” reference is all about? Here’s the explainer describing my 100 day project

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