Sweet and Tangy Pulled Pork

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Sweet and Tangy Pulled Pork is one of my go-to dinner recipes. We eat pulled pork on its own, in sandwiches, stuffed into tacos, piled on nachos, stacked with enchiladas, and last but most certainly not least, layered into BBQ Sundaes!

There is almost no way to go wrong making a batch of pulled pork and there are countless ways to serve it.

Crock-Pot Pulled Pork

Slow Cooker BBQ Pulled Pork

This Sweet and Tangy Pulled Pork was one of the first recipes I shared here on the blog and it was an instant favorite. The pork recipe is adapted from and with thanks to My Baking Addiction. It’s a keeper!

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The recipe is quite simple and does beautifully when left alone all day in the Crock-Pot. The house smells pretty amazing when dinnertime rolls around.

I shot the video for this recipe a couple of days ago when I was making it in the pressure cooker. The method is the exact same for slow-cooker (Crock-Pot) or pressure-cooker (stovetop or instant pot), the times are simply different.

What makes this recipe so delicious? There are a lot of factors at play in this super easy pork recipe but my favorite is that it has the perfect balance of sweet and tangy.

The brown sugar and apple cider vinegar work beautifully together, highlighted by mustard and spices, to create one of the tastiest BBQ pork recipes I’ve tried. You have to taste it for yourself to understand how good it is.

There’s a reason that everyone loves this pork!

And lest you forget, Memphis-style Coleslaw is an absolute MUST anytime we’re making pulled pork.

Sweet and Tangy Pulled Pork

Pulled Pork Recipe

Rinse and pat dry the pork roast to prepare it for cooking. Place onions in the slow-cooker or pressure cooker. In a small bowl, combine brown sugar, paprika, kosher salt, and pepper; mix thoroughly.

Rub the brown sugar and spice mixture all over the roast and place the roast on top of the onions.

In a medium bowl, combine vinegar, Worcestershire, red pepper flakes, sugar, mustard, garlic, salt, and cayenne pepper; whisk to combine. Pour over roast.

How to Make Pulled Pork in the Crock-Pot

Cover the pork in the slow cooker and cook on low for 4-5 hours, adding about 30-40 minutes for each additional pound if you’re multiplying the recipe.

Shred with the cooked meat with tongs and let the shredded meat rest in the liquids.

Slow cookers or crockpots are an appliance of which I have more than one. If you are an avid slow cooker user like I am, you might understand the need for more than one. So, let’s talk about my favorites:

First up is this 6-quart slow cooker that has a locking lid. These crockpots are fantastic for transporting foods. Mine has gone everywhere from church potlucks to barbecues, game nights to Thanksgiving dinner. However, fair warning, these slow cookers run crazy hot. Low is closer to a boil than a simmer, the warm setting actually simmers. So trust me when I say HIGH is high.

My everyday slow cooker is this 8-quart Crockpot. It’s my go-to appliance for cooking large roasts and big batches of chili. Fun fact: did you know that a full 4-quart cooker, actually cooks more slowly than a half-full 8-quart cooker?

For just cooking a few pounds of chicken to shred for enchiladas or other smaller recipes, this 3-quart version is perfect.

Thanksgiving has become a breeze since I have mastered how to hold all of the side dishes using these medium-sized round slow cookers.

If you aren’t a fan of the idea of keeping more than one slow cooker in the house, these CrockPockets are a game-changer when it comes to preparing and holding multiple dishes at the same time. They slide into a standard 6-quart crockpot, dividing it into two sections that are perfect for serving different side dishes or keeping taco fillings warm for parties.

Brown Sugar, plenty of spices, and apple cider vinegar work together to create the perfect slow cooker pulled pork.

How to Make Pulled Pork in the Pressure Cooker

Seal the pressure cooker and cook the roast on high for 60-90 minutes. Check to see if it is shreddable. If the pulled pork is not yet at the desired done-ness, cook an additional 30-40 minutes as needed.

Shred with tongs and make sure meat is well mixed with the liquid when finished cooking.

Serve warm on your favorite rolls, stuffed into tortillas, piled on nachos, or anywhere else you love pulled pork. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes:

  • When I made this BBQ pulled pork in the instant pot, the cooking time was 90 minutes. Others who have tried it in the stove-top pressure cooker have told me it takes less time. If you’re using a stovetop cooker, start with 60 minutes and check the pork to see if it’s shreddable before continuing to cook for additional time as needed.
  • Pork shoulder, picnic roast, pork butt, or even sirloin tip roasts will all work well for this recipe. Bone-in or boneless roasts both work fine.
  • This recipe doubles nicely. (The video illustrates a doubled recipe in the pressure cooker.) Add 1-2 hours cooking time for the crock-pot and an additional 30-40 minutes cooking time for the pressure cooker.
Tender, juicy, pulled pork in the slow cooker

Pulled Pork Freezer Meal

Pulled Pork makes a fantastic freezer meal to make in advance. Once the meat is cooked and shredded, let it cool completely.

Then store it in an airtight bag. Let the pulled pork thaw completely in the refrigerator prior to reheating.

More Pulled Pork Recipes

This Sweet and Tangy BBQ Pulled Pork is one of my most frequently made pulled pork recipes, but that hasn’t stopped me from playing with tons of others over the years.

When your family loves pulled pork as much as mine, you can never have enough variations on this easy and versatile meal.

Pulled Pork Carnitas make a Mexican dinner extra tasty, not to mention easy! You’re going to love Pulled Pork Taquitos with Chipotle Ranch Dipping Sauce and Crock-Pot Mexican Pork and Baked Taquitos.

You may have gathered that I have an affinity for Mexican and southwestern inspired dishes by now. I combined my love of good BBQ with my love of southwestern flavors in this Crock-Pot Green Chile Pulled Pork.

Love sweet and sour flavors together? Next, give this Sweet and Sour Pork a try.

Leftover pulled work is amazing served for breakfast the next day, too. My kids love whenever I make Pulled Pork Breakfast Wraps in the morning!

Coleslaw is required for the ultimate pulled pork sandwich

Kitchen Tip: I use this slow cooker and these tongs to make this recipe.

Sweet and Tangy Pulled Pork

Pork shoulder, picnic roast, pork butt, or even sirloin tip roasts will all work well for this recipe. Bone-in or boneless roasts both work fine. For what it’s worth, I almost always triple this recipe when I make it.

Leftover pulled pork is pretty much my favorite leftover – as all of the recipes I’ve linked here will attest.

This recipe multiplies nicely. (The above video illustrates a doubled recipe in the pressure cooker.) For a doubled or tripled recipe, add 1-2 hours cooking time for the crock-pot and an additional 30-40 minutes cooking time for the pressure cooker.

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Coleslaw is required for the ultimate pulled pork sandwich

Sweet and Tangy Pulled Pork

5 from 4 votes
Sweet and Tangy Pulled Pork is one of my go-to dinner recipes. We eat pulled pork on its own, in sandwiches, stuffed into tacos, piled on nachos, stacked with enchiladas, and last but most certainly not least, layered into BBQ Sundaes!
Pin Print Review
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 8 hours
Total Time: 8 hours 5 minutes
Servings: 6 servings

Ingredients 

  • 2 pound pork roast shoulder works well
  • 1 small onion sliced thin
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoons dry ground mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic or garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Instructions

  • Rinse and pat dry the pork roast. Place onions in the slow-cooker or pressure cooker. In a small bowl, combine brown sugar, paprika, kosher salt and pepper; mix thoroughly. Rub mixture all over roast and place the roast on top of the onions.
  • In a medium bowl, combine vinegar, Worcestershire, red pepper flakes, sugar, mustard, garlic salt and cayenne pepper; whisk to combine. Pour over roast.
  • CROCK-POT DIRECTIONS: Cover the pork in the slow cooker and cook on low for 4-5 hours, adding about 30-40 minutes for each additional pound if you're multiplying the recipe. Shred with tongs and allow the shredded pork to rest in the cooking liquids until ready to serve. Serve warm on your favorite rolls.
  • PRESSURE COOKER DIRECTIONS: Seal the pressure cooker; cook on high for 60-90 minutes, (The cooking time is 90 minutes for the Insta-Pot, but I've been told that it requires less time for a stove-top pressure cooker.) check to see if it is shreddable. Cook an additional 30-40 minutes as needed. Shred with tongs and allow the shredded pork to rest in the cooking liquids until ready to serve. Serve warm on your favorite rolls. Enjoy!

Notes

FREEZER MEAL: This makes a great freezer meal. Once the meat is cooked and shredded, let it cool then store it in an airtight freezer bag. Let it thaw completely in the refrigerator prior to reheating.

Nutrition

Calories: 241kcal · Carbohydrates: 9g · Protein: 34g · Fat: 6g · Saturated Fat: 2g · Cholesterol: 95mg · Sodium: 886mg · Potassium: 658mg · Fiber: 1g · Sugar: 7g · Vitamin A: 708IU · Vitamin C: 2mg · Calcium: 21mg · Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @barefeetkitchen or tag #barefeetkitchen!

{originally published 5/21/11 – recipe notes and photos updated 8/18/20}

Sweet and Tangy Pulled Pork makes the best sandwiches

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Mary Younkin

Mary Younkin

Hi, I’m Mary. I’m the author, cook, photographer, and travel lover behind the scenes here at Barefeet In The Kitchen. I'm also the author of three cookbooks dedicated to making cooking from scratch as simple as possible.

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  1. Dianne says

    Hi there I just need clarification. Garlic powder or garlic salt? The recipe says powder but the description says salt. Thanks!

    • Mary Younkin says

      Hi, Dianne! That was a typo on my end; there was supposed to be a comma between garlic and salt. You should use garlic powder in the recipe. Enjoy the pulled pork! It’s one of our family’s favorites.

  2. Jenna says

    BEST pulled pork sandwich I’ve ever had,no lie!!
    Don’t skip out on the coleslaw to go along with it. It adds so much yummy tangy flavor. I can’t wait to make these again. 🙂5 stars

    • Mary Younkin says

      Happy to hear that you’re loving the pulled pork, Jenna. The coleslaw adds so much flavor and crunch to sandwiches. Enjoy, and happy cooking! I hope your next batch is even more delicious than the first.