Make Ahead

Slow-Cooker Pulled Pork With Sweet & Hard Cider

November 19, 2009
2 Ratings
  • Cook time 8 hours
  • Serves 6 to 8
Author Notes

I love slow cooked pulled pork, and it's quite simple to make in a crockpot. Sometimes I make it with bottled barbeque sauce, but this recipe features a less sweet, tangier 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. —WinnieAb

What You'll Need
  • 1 1/2 cups sweet apple cider
  • 1 1/2 cups hard apple cider
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 3 tablespoons hot sauce
  • 4 onions, peeled and sliced
  • 4 pounds pork shoulder, preferably organic and trimmed of fat (I find it easier to remove the layer of fat once it's cooked before you shred it, but you can remove it before you add it to the crock pot, 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 Crock-Pot/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, 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 sandwich buns; delicious with cole slaw and/or cranberry chutney!
Contest Entries

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • beetrixkiddo
  • Hark
  • Rebecca Vitale
    Rebecca Vitale
  • Cara Eisenpress
    Cara Eisenpress
  • Kelsey Banfield
    Kelsey Banfield
I grew up in a restaurant family (my parents owned the now closed Quilted Giraffe in NYC) and I've always loved to cook. My interest in the connection between food and health led me to pursue a graduate degree in naturopathic medicine. I don't practice medicine anymore; I have a blog called Healthy Green Kitchen that I started in May of 2009 and I wrote a book called One Simple Change that will be published in January, 2014. I live in upstate New York with my family and many pets.

9 Reviews

beetrixkiddo September 22, 2018
So if you are cooling it in the insta pot, are you usinthe slow cooker option? Seems obvious you are but I always check every detail.
beetrixkiddo September 22, 2018
Sorry( take 2) If you are cooking this recipe using the instantpot, are you using in the slow cooker option?

cheryllk February 4, 2014
7 hours on Hi in my slow cooker and the meat was far, far from shreddable. I finished it off in a 325 oven for an additional three hours. Might be my slow cooker; but if you're counting on this for an event at a specific time as I was, you may want to make it the day before, cook it way longer, and then reheat it in the slow cooker for your crowd.
Hark January 18, 2014
Big hit at the baby shower I threw today. Has a little kick. All the pregnant ladies loved it.
Rebecca V. June 15, 2013
ooh i'm brewing my own hard cider and some of it is getting set aside for this!
Cara E. November 30, 2009
Oh wow, this looks like a wonderful recipe. I've just returned from vegetarianism, so you can imagine how good this looks to me. Have you ever made it on the stove or in the oven? Just wondering if I could modify--my crockpot is tiny.
Kelsey B. November 21, 2009
I love pulled pork in the slow-cooker! Once someone gave me a recipe to make it with Dr. Pepper (!) but I much prefer your idea of using cider.
TheWimpyVegetarian November 19, 2009
I love pulled pork! What a great idea.
EmilyNunn November 19, 2009
Me, too. Looks delicious.