Crockpot Pulled Pork with Apple Cider

Winnie Abramson, ND

By Winnie Abramson, ND

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I love slow cooked pulled pork, and it’s quite simple to make in a crockpot. Many pulled pork recipes call for bottled barbecue sauce, though, and it’s tough to find a brand that doesn’t contain high fructose corn syrup (which we should all stay away from).

This recipe features a much less sweet, yet tangy and delicious, homemade sauce based on apple cider. If you don’t have hard cider on hand, use an additional 12 oz. of regular sweet cider instead. Get the recipe started in the morning and it will be ready in all its glory by the evening, though it’s even better reheated on the next and subsequent days.

For the healthiest pulled pork, use organic, pastured pork in this recipe.

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Apple Cider Pulled Pork

Serves 6-8


  • *1 1/2 cups sweet apple cider plus 1 1/2 cups hard apple cider (or just use 3 cups of sweet cider
  • *1 cup organic or low sugar ketchup look for one without high fructose corn syrup
  • *1/2 cup brown sugar
  • *1 Tb. cumin
  • *1 Tb. paprika
  • *1 Tb. garlic powder
  • *3 Tb. hot sauce
  • *4 onions peeled and sliced
  • *4 pounds pork shoulder preferably organic (you will want to remove the layer of fat on the pork; I find it easiest to do this once it has cooked and before you shred it, but you can do it before you cook it, if you like)


  • 1. In a large bowl, mix together both ciders, ketchup, brown sugar, cumin, paprika, garlic power and hot sauce.
  • 2. Place half of the onions in the bottom of a 4 1/2- to 6-quart crockpot/slow cooker.
  • 3. Put the pork shoulder on top of the onions and pour the sauce over the pork. Top with the rest of the onions.
  • 4. Cover slow cooker with lid and cook pork mixture on high for 4 hours (or on low for 8 hours), or until pork is very tender.
  • 5. With tongs, carefully transfer pork to large bowl. Turn crockpot to high, cover, and heat sauce to boiling to thicken and reduce slightly (alternatively, this can be done in a pan on the stove).
  • 6. While sauce boils, use 2 forks to pull pork into shreds. Return shredded pork to crockpot with the sauce and allow to cook for an additional 30 minutes on the high setting.
  • 7. Serve pulled pork with or without whole grain sandwich buns; I love it with braised greens, cole slaw and/or cranberry chutney!

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