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Slow Cooker Apple Butter Pulled Pork

Slow Cooker Apple Butter Pulled Pork
Recipe At-A-Glance

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Slow Cooker Apple Butter Pulled Pork

Recipe At-A-Glance

Apples and pork are a classic combination, and this slow cooker apple butter pulled pork recipe brings them together in a stick-to-your-ribs sandwich!

Freezer-Friendly, Slow Cooker

Ready in 8h 20m

I am so excited to bring you today’s post, guys. Not only because the recipe is off-the-charts (I mean, c’mon, apple butter pulled pork!), but also because it’s the first post in my 2015 partnership with my friends at Musselman’s Apple Butter. Over the next few months, I’m going to be bringing you a whole collection of wonderful, creative dishes made with apple butter.

Are you excited? I’m excited.

Slow Cooker Apple Butter Pulled Pork

We’re going to have so much fun exploring all the ways to use apple butter outside of just a spread on a biscuit (although, yum). I have tons of fun ideas that’ll cover all kinds of sweet and savory dishes—many even use apple butter in a surprising way. Kinda like pulled pork made with a sweet and tangy apple butter barbecue sauce.

Slow Cooker Apple Butter Pulled Pork

Pulled pork is one of those foods that seems like it would be labor and time intensive, but if you let the slow cooker do the work for you, it really is easy enough to be a weeknight dinner. Trust me, a house filled with the smell of apple butter pulled pork cooking is enough to melt away even the crappiest of days at work the second you walk in your door.

Apple Butter Pulled Pork

If you’ve never picked up pork to do pulled pork before, don’t fear! Head over to the pork section at your local supermarket, and look for something called either pork shoulder, pork butt, or Boston butt—skip the pork tenderloins. Save those expensive cuts of meat for when you aren’t cooking it for eight hours. The tougher pork shoulder roast is perfect for roasting away in a slow cooker for a full day. The slow cooking method breaks down the fibers in the meat making the end result tender and delicious.

Apple Butter Pulled Pork

These roasts are big. Like. Really big. Chances are, you won’t be able to track one down that is less than 6-7 pounds—which will end up making enough apple butter pulled pork to feed a small army. This is a wonderful dish to serve to party guests! No worries though if you don’t have any parties planned, pulled pork freezes wonderfully. And this recipe takes that into account, you’ll find freezing instructions at the bottom.

You’ll also need a large slow cooker. I love, love, love my six quart slow cooker. It is big enough to do big recipes like this one (it fits up to an eight pound pork shoulder), but isn’t so huge that I have to build a room onto the kitchen to store it. I’ve been using my same slow cooker multiple times per week for going on eight years now. I can’t recommend it highly enough!

If you do happen to track down a smaller roast (if you’re buying from a local butcher or farm, you might be able to request a smaller roast), you can easily half the barbecue sauce recipe and then proceed with the recipe as written. Or, since the apple butter barbecue sauce is so tasty, maybe just make the full batch and save the extra for another use. You won’t regret it.

Slow Cooker Apple Butter Pulled Pork

I always top my pulled pork sandwiches with slaw (there is a great healthified Greek yogurt slaw recipes in my first cookbook that works really well with this recipe), but feel free to play with the toppings to suit your tastes. Heck, I’m sure a big ole dollop of apple butter would be wonderful on top. All apple butter, all the time!

I am so excited to be working with Musselman’s Apple Butter this year, and I hope you guys are excited for some fun and interesting ways to use apple butter in your kitchen. Enjoy!

Slow Cooker Apple Butter Pulled Pork

Slow Cooker Apple Butter Pulled Pork

Yield: 16 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 8 hours
Total Time: 8 hours 20 minutes

Apples and pork are a classic combination, and this slow cooker apple butter pulled pork recipe brings them together in a stick-to-your-ribs sandwich!

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 cups Musselman’s Apple Butter
  • 1 cup Musselman’s Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 3 tablespoons spicy brown mustard
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sriracha hot chile sauce
  • 1 6-7 pound pork shoulder roast
  • Buns and slaw for serving

Instructions

  1. Heat the olive oil in a medium-sized saucepan over high heat. Add in the garlic and onion, and cook until just tender and fragrant, about five minutes.
  2. Add in the apple butter, apple cider vinegar, honey, water, paprika, mustard, salt, worcestershire sauce, and chile sauce. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until the thickness of a barbecue sauce (about 15 minutes). Reserve about one cup of the sauce for serving.
  3. Place the shoulder roast in a large slow cooker, pour over the remaining barbecue sauce, and cook on low for 8-10 hours, or high for 6-8, or until the pork is tender enough to shred.
  4. Shred pork with two forks. To serve, pile on top of buns, then drizzle with reserved barbecue sauce and top with slaw.

Notes

I personally like to toss my pulled pork in barbecue sauce before placing on the bun, but some folks prefer it with less sauce (or, gasp!, even none at all). So if you're serving to a crowd. Keep the barbecue sauce separate and allow folks to divvy it out as they wish. Put it in a squirt bottle for easy serving!

Because pork shoulder roasts tend to be large, this recipe makes a ton! No worries, pulled pork freezes well. Just let the amount you want to freeze cool, toss with barbecue sauce and then freeze in gallon-sized zip-top freezer bags. Defrost in the fridge overnight, and then heat in a saucepan over medium heat (you might want to add a touch of water to keep it from sticking). Or microwave until warm.

You'll need a large slow cooker to fit a pork roast. I highly recommend this one.

Cassie is the founder and CEO of Wholefully. She's a home cook and wellness junkie with a love of all things healthy living. She lives on a small hobby farm in Southern Indiana with her husband, daughter, two dogs, two cats, and 15 chickens.

Leave a Reply

18 Responses
  1. Shelly

    Oh my apple butter & pork!! Never would have thought of this on my own. When I was kid my older sister came to live with us and brought with her a strange habit…. apple butter on toast! This sounds heavenly and a nice send off meal for my 18 year old son Josh who leaves in 10 days for Army boot camp. He loves him some pulled pork sammies. Thank your the recipe 🙂

  2. Nichole

    Hello fellow Hoosier! 🙂 (I’m in snowy south bend!)

    I am the reigning 2014 champion of my offices annual BBQ contest. I do believe I will be 2015’s winner as well with this baby right here. I’ll be sure to share my winnings. Last year was a $20 Kroger gift card, haha.

    But, seriously, I can’t wait to try this and maybe tweak it with some of my tricks from my old recipe.

    I will keep you posted!

    Nichole from The North

    1. Cassie

      You could always “water down” store-bought apple butter by mixing in unsweetened applesauce. Still a lot of natural sugars, but less added.

  3. Kelli

    Just made today and not a fan. Smelled and tasted like too much vinegar…could 1 cup have been a typo??? Pictures looked beautiful and I absolutely love apple butter but really couldn’t taste it in this recipe.

  4. Cali

    Made this recipe tonight and it was delicious! Replaced apple butter with apple sauce because that is all I had. I was nervous that it was going to be a bit too vinegary since the sauce was quite fragrant when on the stovetop but after it cooked in the crock pot it seemed to cook out.

    After 6-7hrs in the crock pot I took the pork out to shred it. I again was not convinced by the recipe because it was quite watery. However once I shredded the pork in my kitchen aid mixer with the dough attachment ( I will never do it with forks again!) and then returned it to the crock pot with the sauce it all mixed together perfectly!

    I topped the pulled pork off with summer slaw and it was absolutely delicious! Will certainly make this recipe again!

  5. Victoria

    I’ve never commented on a blogger’s recipe before, but came back to let you know how impressed I was with this recipe! The only change I made to your recipe was to sear the shoulder in my cast iron before adding it to the crockpot. Also, I couldn’t find the exact brand of apple butter, so went with what I could buy. After 8 hours I removed the meat and shredded it, leaving the cooking sauce behind & served with the reserved BBQ sauce in sandwiches with coleslaw. Delicious. Easy. Thank you for posting! 🙂

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