Slow Cooker Apple Cider Pulled Pork Recipe

Enjoy the taste of autumn with a unique spin on a classic dish – apple cider pulled pork – the perfect fall recipe. It is simple to make in your slow cooker, resulting in subtly sweet, flavorful pork.

a close up photo of pulled pork on a plate

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If you prefer traditional bbq pork, try our homemade pulled pork with homemade bbq sauce.

This recipe is the perfect choice when you are craving a hearty, warming dish. The shredded pork has so much flavor after being seasoned and cooked with apple cider and apples for hours in the slow cooker. It is sure to become a new favorite in your recipe rotation.

Why you will love Slow Cooker Apple Cider Pulled Pork Recipe

  • It’s versatile! Apple cider pulled pork can be served piled on a soft bun or alongside roasted vegetables.
  • It’s made in a slow cooker, and with minimal prep time, so you can set it and forget it!
  • It’s a great recipe for meal planning! Make a big batch and freeze the leftovers for another busy night!

Here is What You Will Need

This is a brief summary of the ingredients needed to make slow cooker apple cider pulled pork and a convenient shopping list from my Instacart affiliate link. For a printable recipe card with exact measurements and detailed instructions, scroll down to the recipe card section.

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  • Boneless pork shoulder roast
  • Onion
  • Apple
  • Chili powder
  • Garlic powder
  • Onion powder
  • Smoked paprika
  • Cinnamon
  • Brown Sugar
  • Apple Cider Tea
  • Dijon mustard
  • Cabbage


How to Make Apple Cider Pulled Pork

Prepare: Cut an apple into wedges and slice the onions. Mix the dry rub ingredients together.

pork shoulder covered in dry rub

Step 1. Rub the dry rub onto the pork shoulder until all sides are covered.

Step 2. Arrange the apple and onion slices on the bottom of the slow cooker.

apples and onions in the crock pot

pork on top of apples and onions in crockpot

Step 3. Place pork roast covered in the dry rub on top of the apple and onion mixture in the crockpot and pour in the apple cider. Cook at low heat for 6 hours.

Step 4. Once the pork has cooked, remove it from the slow cooker and transfer pork to a cutting board and shred it with two forks. Stir in the mustard and add shredded pork back to the slow cooker or pour the sauce over the pork on a platter and serve immediately.

an overhead view of pulled pork on a plate with the apple slaw

Cooking time can vary depending on the size of the meat and your slow cooker. Use a meat thermometer to ensure that the meat is fully cooked to at least 165 degrees f.

Ingredient Notes and Substitutions

Pork Shoulder. Boneless pork shoulder is the ideal cut for pulled pork due to its fat content, yielding tender, shreddable meat.

You can alos try another cut of meat such as Boston Butt or Pork Butt. If making a small batch, pork tenderloin can also be used but must be cooked slowly.

Apple. You can use any apple variety in this recipe; I prefer an all-purpose apple such as Empire, Gala, Braeburn or a Granny Smith apples.

Onion. Any onion can be used, all-purpose yellow onions are my first choice, but red onions or sweet onions will also work.

Smoked Paprika. This gives the pork a bit of a smoky flavor, if it’s unavailable or you don’t like the smoky flavor, substitute it with regular paprika.

apple cider pulled pork in a roll on a white plate

How to Store and Use Leftovers

Store leftove apple cider pulled pork in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to four days.

You can also store leftovers in the freezer once it’s reached room temperature in a freezer-safe container or bag for up to three months. Defrost the pork in the refrigerator overnight.

Reheat leftover pulled pork on top of the stove over low heat or in the microwave.

Serve leftovers in a sandwich, wrap, nachos or make pork tacos for taco Tuesday.

Recipe Variations

Here are some apple cider pulled pork variations to experiment with. Choose one and make it your own.

Apple Cider Pulled Chicken – Replace the pork with boneless chicken thighs instead.

Spicy – Add a kick by adding a chopped jalapeno pepper or a teaspoon or two to taste of red pepper flakes.

Apple Cider Vinegar Tang – Add a touch of tanginess with a few teaspoons of apple cider vinegar mixed in with the apple cider.

Apple Cider BBQ Suace – Stir in 1/4 cup of barbecue sauce into the slow cooker an hour before the meat is ready.

Hard Cider Pulled Pork – Replace apple cider with your favorite hard cider.

Serving Suggestions

Serve this flavorful meat on a roll as pulled pork sandwiches, pork sliders, or in a bowl with a side dish of apple slaw, smashed roasted potatoes, sweet potato fritters green beans or a salad.


  • Use an immersion blender or potato masher to mash the apples and onions or leave it chunky.
  • While it’s unnecessary, searing the pork in a large skillet before placing it in the slow cooker can enhance the depth of flavor.
  • Allow the pork to rest on a large cutting board for a few minutes before serving.
  • Trim any excess fat from the meat before shredding.
Can I make slow-cooker apple cider pulled pork in the oven?

Yes, you can easily make apple cider pulled pork in the oven. Preheat the oven 350 degrees F. Add the apples and onions to the bottom of a large dutch oven. Place the meat coated in the dry rub on top of the apples and onions in the dutch oven. Bake for 3 1/2 to 4 hours until the pork can easily be shredded with a fork. For extra flavor, sear the seasoned meat in the dutch oven before adding the apples, onions and cider.

Can I use apple juice to make apple cider pulled pork?

You can use apple juice, but it will be sweeter than apple cider and you will not have the fresh flavor that apple cider adds to this pull pork recipe.

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a picture of apple cider pulled pork on a plate

Apple Cider Pulled Pork with Apple Slaw

Boneless pork is slow cooked in a mixture of apple cider and spices for a savory fall dish.
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 6 hours
Total Time: 6 hours 30 minutes

Click on serving size to scale this recipe

Course: Dinner Recipes
Cuisine: American
Keyword: apple cider pulled pork
Servings: 6
Calories: 280kcal
Author: Anne


Scale this Recipe 6



  • Mix the seasonings together to make a dry rub and rub it into the meat.
  • Arrange the apple and onion slices in the bottom of the slow cooker.
  • Place the seasoned pork on top of the apples and onions.
  • Add the apple cider, cover the slow cooker and cook on low heat for 6 hours
  • Remove the pork from the slow cooker and place it on a cutting board, use two forks to shred the meat.
  • Use an immersion blender or potato masher to mash the apples and onions in the slow cooker and stir in the mustard.
  • Add the meat back to the slow cooker and keep it warm until it’s time to serve.


  • The best kind of pork to use for this recipe is boneless shoulder, boneless ribs or for a leaner cut, boneless pork loin. 
  • Substitute the pork with an equal amount of boneless chicken thighs
  • Use up  the leftover shredded pork to make quesadillas, tacos, nachos or toss it into a salad.


Serving: 1 | Calories: 280kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 43g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.03g | Cholesterol: 113mg | Sodium: 138mg | Potassium: 831mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 150IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 26mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and can vary based on cooking methods and ingredients used

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  1. I have all of the ingredients, this is going in my slow cooker today! Love the sweet, tangy taste that slow cooking this pork in apples and onions brings!